In January and early February all looked lost, but stocks have staged an impressive rally off the February lows that has lasted 26 trading sessions and gained just over 13%. However, market technician Jonathan Krinsky of MKM Partners notes that this rally is nearly identical in magnitude and duration to the Fall 2015 rally, which of course was followed by a sell-off.
“That is not to say the market is set up for a repeat of the November to January decline, but the symmetry is noteworthy,” he said.
They note one key difference between the current rally and those ending in the Spring of ’08 and the Fall of ’15 is that more than 60% of the SPX is now above its 200 DMA.
“Should that level hold for a few weeks, it would be a clear positive for the long-term sustainability of the rally and cause us to become more constructive,” Krinsky said.
In the near-term, the SPX is hitting downtrend resistance from the November 2015 highs, and is more than 6% above its 50 DMA, an extreme reading. The bullish scenario at this point would be a shallow consolidation that holds above 1970-2000, but even a pullback to 1970 would now represent a 4% decline.
The other wild card is crude oil, which maintains a 50-day correlation to stocks above 90%.
“With WTI crude putting in a small downside reversal at key resistance on Friday ($42.50), that could be another near-term headwind,” according to the technician.
Finally, he notes we are quickly approaching the buyback blackout period. With the S&P 500 Buyback Index having outperformed the SPX by ~5% since the February lows, they think that trend could reverse.
The firm list eight stocks with high buyback ratios that look vulnerable. They also highlight 15 buy ideas across various industries.
Vulnerable High Buyback Stocks: ABC, AIG, AMP, ESRX, MCO, MON, FOXA, URI
15 Bullish Charts: BCR, CBT, CL, DW, EBIX, FLIR, FMER, NVDA, POOL, RUTH, TER, THG, TMO, UNH, VMC