Trading Places with Tom Bowley

Dow Jones Sets New All-Time High

Market Recap for Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Dow Jones moved into blue sky, all-time high territory intraday on Tuesday as it touched 20155.  If there was any bad news, it's that the move didn't hold into the close as the Dow came up 10 points short of closing at an all-time high.  Still, there's clearly a bid under the market and any type of selloff is difficult to sustain.

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Key Relative Ratios Argue For Continuing Rally

Market Recap for Monday, February 6, 2017

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It's noteworthy to point out that Apple (AAPL) closed above 130 per share for the first time in its history yesterday.  While that didn't exactly light a fire under technology stocks (XLK, +0.06%), we did see outperformance from the group and certainly benefited the computer hardware group ($DJUSCR), which gained 0.72% and closed at 1846, just four points beneath its all-time closing high of 1850, established two years ago.  Check out this longer-term weekly chart:

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Financials Lead Dow Jones Back Above 20,000

Market Recap for Friday, February 3, 2017

Financials (XLF, +2.02%) had another huge day with consumer finance, investment services and banks leading the charge.  The former had been struggling with a negative divergence over the past couple months while remaining in an uptrend.  But just after testing its 50 day SMA, the group rallied strongly on Friday to breakout:

The last time that the DJUSSF showed signs of slowing momentum was in early October and that was followed by selling down to its 50 day SMA.  It happened again on Thursday, just prior to Friday's strength and breakout.

Pre-Market Action

With 30 minutes left before the open, Dow Jones futures are down 38 points following weakness this morning in Europe.  Asia was strong overnight, however, with the Hang Seng Index ($HSI) up 219 points, or nearly 1%.

Gold is strong and threatening a short-term breakout above the 1220-1225 resistance range.  At last check, gold was trading up 9 to 1219.

Current Outlook

The short-term trading range on the S&P 500 is from 2267 to just above 2300 and can be visualized looking at the following 15 minute 10 day chart:

As discussed below in the Historical Tendencies section below, the 7th to the 10th of the calendar month tend to be bearish.  It would make sense for that to once again be the case as the S&P 500 is testing price resistance in the near-term.

Sector/Industry Watch

The Dow Jones U.S. Defense Index ($DJUSDN) has been consolidating over the past two months, but it's nearing a key resistance level and breakout.  Check out the current technical picture:

The 2 month trading range of 345-357 is being tested on the upper side and I'm expecting to see leadership from defense stocks on the breakout.

Monday Setup

It takes patience to allow stocks to retreat to levels that make sense from a reward to risk perspective.  Many times, it's simply sideways consolidation to unwind slowing momentum.  Buying too early means becoming very frustrated as your stock does nothing but move back and forth in a narrow range.  Unfortunately, time is of the essence to a short-term trader and stocks moving in sideways fashion is a waste of capital.  Devry (DV) is a perfect example.  After reporting solid earnings last quarter, DV meandered in sideways fashion the past 5-6 weeks as a negative divergence played out.  Take a look:

After reaching its last high 3-4 weeks ago, DV has represented wasted capital as it's been unwinding its negative divergence.  It tested its 50 day SMA on Friday and could be poised for another push to the upside.  One word of caution, however.  DV did miss its revenue estimate last week when its latest earnings were released.  A close below the 50 day SMA on increasing volume could lead to more selling.

Historical Tendencies

The 7th through the 10th of calendar months tends to be a period of profit taking and consolidation and February is no exception.  Since 1950 on the S&P 500, February 7th through 10th has produced annualized returns of -19.71%.

Key Earnings Reports

(actual vs. estimate):

CNA:  .82 vs .82

HAS:  .64 vs .28

L:  .79 vs .63

MAT:  .52 vs .71

NWL:  .80 vs .80

RYAAY:  .41 vs .45

SYY:  .58 vs .54

TSN:  1.59 vs 1.27

(reports after close, estimate provided):

CBOE:  .60

FMC:  .89

FOXA:  .49

Key Economic Reports


Happy trading!


February Is A Time For Toys And The Chart Agrees

Market Recap for Thursday, February 2, 2017

Defensive stocks were once again at the forefront of U.S. stock market action on Thursday with utilities (XLU, +1.06%) and consumer staples (XLP, +0.92%) easily the best two sectors on the session.  Over the past week, healthcare (XLV, +2.79%), utilities (XLU, +0.91%) and consumer staples (XLP, -0.02%) have been the three best performing sectors.  There have been a few reasons for it.  First, the U.S. stock market is in consolidation mode with the benchmark S&P 500 index down close to 1% from a week ago.  Second, the 10 year treasury yield ($TNX) has been declining over the past week and that's generally a reason for investors to rotate into the high-yielding, defensive utilities sector.  Finally, the steady decline in the U.S. Dollar ($USD) in 2017 has driven more traders toward gold ($GOLD).

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Healthcare Leads Wednesday Rally But Still Suffers From Relative Weakness

Market Recap for Wednesday, February 1, 2017

U.S. equities staged a recovery on Wednesday after a recent bout of profit taking, but the recovery could've been much stronger after a very solid open.  The NASDAQ jumped 40 points at the open after Apple (AAPL) posted results well in excess of Wall Street consensus estimates.  Unfortunately, most of those opening gains were gone by noon EST before an afternoon rally secured the strong performance by technology (XLK, +0.76%).  Still, much of the strength was seen in computer hardware, semiconductor and internet shares.  Six of the eleven industry groups in technology finished lower on the session so it clearly was not a day of wide participation.

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Apple Beats Earnings Estimate; Tech Poised To Jump

Market Recap for Tuesday, January 31, 2017

It was a second day of rotation into defensive stocks as leadership came from healthcare (XLV, +1.60%), utilities (XLU, +1.55%) and consumer staples (XLP, +0.48%).  Unfortunately, all of the aggressive sectors were lower and that kept a lid on overall price action.  Our major indices finished in bifurcated fashion mostly because of a very strong last two hours yesterday afternoon on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000.  The latter actually finished with  solid 0.70% gain, while the large cap Dow Jones closed beneath 20000 for the second consecutive session after ending three straight days above that psychological level.  A primary reason for the Dow Jones lagging was the horrible action in transportation stocks ($TRAN).  Has the group completed a handle?

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Here Are The Key Support Levels To Watch

Market Recap for Monday, January 30, 2017

It was most definitely a day of profit taking across U.S. equities on Monday.  All of our major indices finished lower, although an afternoon rally did cut into some of the earlier losses.  Still, the Russell 2000 was hit hardest and finished lower by 1.34% - its second worst daily performance since the rally began in early November.  This index of small cap stocks did, however, hold and bounce off price support on its hourly chart.  Take a look:

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February Typically Sees This Sector Shine

Market Recap for Friday, January 27, 2017

Last week was a milestone week for U.S. equities as the Dow Jones closed above 20000 for the first time in its history and the S&P 500 tagged 2300 for the first time as well.  But that doesn't tell the whole story because following headline news can get you into a lot of trouble in the stock market.  It's not the index number that we need to watch, it's the leadership that we need to watch most closely.  Four sectors actual fell last week, but they were the three defensive groups - utilities (XLU, -0.51%), consumer staples (XLP, -0.38%) and healthcare (XLV, -0.13%).  The other weak sector - energy (XLE, -0.42%) - is not among our aggressive sectors, although I do expect energy to perform well over the coming months due its strong historical results during the months from February through April.  I wrote about historical relative strength among sectors in an article earlier this month.  CLICK HERE to see that article.  Also, look below under the Historical Tendencies section as I've summarized this historical relative strength on a seasonal chart here at  Here's how the XLE looks technically as it approaches its strong historical period:

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Russell 2000 Advance Measures to 1450 Or Another 5-6%

Market Recap for Thursday, January 26, 2017

It was another bifurcated day on the U.S. stock market Thursday as the Dow Jones was able to muster up another gain after piercing the psychological 20000 level on Wednesday.  It was a small gain and it wasn't mirrored by the S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000 - all of which finished with minor losses - but it was a reminder that this bull market lives on and clearing such an important level will likely be followed by further gains.

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Transports and Financials Drive Dow Jones Above 20000

Market Recap for Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Dow Jones kept searching for a catalyst to finally break that psychological 20000 barrier and it came in the form of a one-two punch from transports ($TRAN, +1.43%) and financials (XLF, +1.67%) that left no doubt about the strength of Wednesday's rally.  Railroads ($DJUSRR) were particularly strong, rising more than 2% on the session and nearing a major long-term price resistance level.  The DJUSRR closed at 1542 while the 1600 level is a very big deal technically as you can see below:

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