Massive strength in the Semiconductor sector sparked a broad-based rally that enabled the Nasdaq Composite to gain 1.5% and erase the previous day’s loss in the process. The S&P Midcap 400 Index also advanced 1.5%, while the small-cap Russell 2000 Index similarly rallied 1.6%. The S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrials 0.6%. Opposite of the prior day, each of the major indices finished at their intraday highs.
Divergence between the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 was pretty clear yesterday if you analyze the volume levels. In the Nasdaq, total volume was 2% higher than the previous day’s level. Despite a 24% increase in turnover in the prior session’s “distribution day,” volume managed to rise even more yesterday. This is bullish because it indicates a heavier demand for stocks on the up day despite higher volume losses the previous day. However, total volume in the NYSE was 13% lighter than the previous day. Comparing the two exchanges, we see a bullish pattern in the Nasdaq but a bearish one in the NYSE. This divergence can be attributed to the fact that most of yesterday’s gains were concentrated within the technology arena.
Yesterday’s amazing 4.2% surge in the Semiconductor Index ($SOX) caused the index to close less than 0.5% off its 52-week high. It also put the $SOX back above resistance of its prior uptrend line that it fell below on February 21. Relative strength in the $SOX has been apparent over the past month because the index did not correct when the broad market did. This relative strength is the reason that we discussed IGW (iShares Semiconductor) for a potential long entry last week. After perfectly holding at support of its 50-day MA for the past week, IGW broke out yesterday and closed only fifty cents shy of its 52-week high. Because of relative strength in the $SOX, we really like IGW for long entry over the highs of its consolidation. The daily chart of IGW below illustrates the recent bullish action:
While the Semis have clearly taken leadership of all the industry sectors, many other industries are still showing neutral to bearish patterns. While money flow into the tech arena was very strong yesterday, the rally was not incredibly broad-based and many sectors only recovered a fraction of their prior day’s losses. Therefore, it seems that divergence within the broad market is becoming even more distinct. We certainly feel that buying the semis and related tech stocks is a good bet here, but we do not feel the same about buying the broad-based ETFs such as QQQQ, SPY, or DIA. In fact, we feel it is okay to remain short SPY or DIA unless they recover back above their February 27 highs because the market internals in Tuesday’s selloff were quite horrendous. For the lowest risk, consider positioning yourself on both sides of the market or simply sit on the sidelines and wait for the markets to get back in sync with each other.
There are no new setups for today, as we are near our maximum buying power of the model account. As always, we will send an intraday e-mail alert if/when we change our plans during market hours.
Daily Performance Report:
Below is an overview of all open positions, as well as a performance report on all positions that were closed only since the previous day’s newsletter. Net P/L figures are based on the $50,000 Wagner Daily model account size. Changes to open positions since the previous report are listed in red text below:
Open positions (coming into today):
SPY short (600 shares from Feb. 28 entry) –
shorted 129.04 (avg.), stop 130.35, target 125.70, unrealized points = (0.33), unrealized P/L = ($198)
Closed positions (since last report):
Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):
No changes to open positions.
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Click here to view MTG’s past performance results (updated monthly).
Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and