The markets appear to be at a standstill. Stock markets hesitated last week despite a valiant effort by the tech-laden NASDAQ, which traded at a new five-year high on Wednesday and Thursday before Friday’s pullback. And the failure of the blue chip DOW to hold after breaking resistance at 11,300 on March 16 is a cause for concern for those long in the market.
There is currently a bias towards tech and growth stocks versus blue chip stocks, a reversal of a trend towards blue chips over technology in early March.
But the reality is the markets are now at a crux. Is the hesitation just a normal pullback in a rising market? Or is it a sign of a topping market?
The DOW appears to be the weakest versus that of the technology and small-cap groups. Relative Strength on the DOW has declined to just below neutral. The MACD has been flashing a sell signal since late March. The index has also broken below its key 20-day moving average of 11,207 and threatening to take out its 40-day moving average at 11,067.
The concern with the DOW is the decline on Friday broke below its rising trend line. This is negative, but is not a definite exit sign as the DOW had managed to bounce back after the previous retreat to 11,100. In the upcoming sessions, watch if the DOW can bounce back on oversold selling and hold at 11,100. Failure to do so would be negative and see a test of the 50-day moving average.
On the tech side, the NASDAQ looks technically stronger than the DOW. The near-term signals for the NASDAQ remains moderately bullish versus moderately bearish for the DOW. The new five-year highs last week were positive but the index now needs to hold at the five-year pivot point of 2332 or we could see a further decline to the 20-day moving average of 2319 and risk a fall to the 50-day moving average of 2295. The Relative Strength also needs to improve. The MACD continues to trend higher and flashing a buy signal, albeit it is relatively weak.