The bulls appear to be in full control at this juncture.
On the charts, the NASDAQ has joined the Russell 2000 to move above their respective previous chart highs. This is bullish, but we need to see if the indices can hold.
Small-caps continue to outperform, with the Russell 2000 up nearly 21% this year and above its previous high of 745.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the markets from a technical perspective. Analysis is based on the market close of December 6.
The new-high/new-low (NHNL) ratio simply measures the number of stocks touching a new 52-week high versus the number of stocks that have declined to new 52-week lows. The theory is that, in a bullish market, investors quickly bid stocks up, and you see a rising NHNL ratio. When investors get nervous, fewer new highs are made, and the NHNL ratio will tend to decline, thereby giving you a warning. At the other end of the spectrum, bear markets have more new lows than they have new highs.
The trend of the NYSE NHNL has been edging higher, with 99 of the last 105 sessions bullish. The near-term trend is positive.
In the technology area, investor sentiment on the NASDAQ has been mixed since May 6, but 58 of the last 63 sessions have been bullish.
My near-term technical assessment is as.
The near-term technical picture is bullish with above-average Relative Strength (RS), so there could be additional upside moves in the near term. The index is hovering above 2,500 and holding above its chart top of 2,320.
The NASDAQ is holding above its 50-day moving average (MA) of 2,480 and 200-day MA of 2,341. The 50-day MA is above the 200-day MA, which is bullish.
The near-term technical picture for the DOW is bullish with above-average RS, so there could be more upside moves in the near term.
The index had broken back below 11,000 last week, but it rallied back above its 50-day MA of 11,105. The 50-day MA is holding above its 200-day MA.
In the broader market, the near-term technical signals for the S&P 500 are bullish on above-average RS.
The index is above its 50-day of 1,183 and 200-day MA of 1,135. The index is also holding above its chart top at around 1,130 and a key level at 1,150.
The 50-day MA is above its 200-day MA.
The near-term picture for the Russell 2000 is bullish on above-average RS, so watch for some upward moves. The index trades with the economy.
The index is edging higher above 700 and its 50-day MA of 706 and 200-day MA of 670.
In all, markets are at a critical juncture. Failure to break or hold above the previous highs could drive selling in stocks back to a sideways channel.