This Friday’s screens had just 7 buys and 42 sells. That compares with the previous Friday’s 8 buy signals and 48 sell signals. 1211 stocks met the initial screening criteria. 96% of stocks are either already moving in the direction of the most recent signal, whether up, down or sideways, mostly sideways. As was the case last week, there’s still no real sign of thrust in either direction.
But there are hints of a downturn that suggest that it’s finally time to actively consider adding shorts to the list, something that I’ve assiduously avoided for the past 18 months.
Again this week, one of the interesting things in these signals was that 9 of them were bearish signals on fixed income ETFs. Last week it was ten. They’re not movers and not really candidates for trades, but it squares with our liquidity analysis that the bond market will be a bad place to be.
Likewise there were numerous sell signals on REITs. That’s another bearish sign for not just the group, but for fixed income and the stock market. I don’t like to trade REITs. They tend not to trend, but to jump around like rangebound Mexican jumping beans. But the bearish indications are beginning to coalesce into a theme that fits our outlook.
Healthcare was another theme that kept cropping up on the sell side.
Despite all the sell signals, I didn’t see many charts that looked like a setup for a big decline right here. I did find a couple that were interesting, however, and am taking a bite on xxx, xxx, and xxx (subscriber version only).
Maybe after the next bounce there will be more obvious shorts. I’ll put a toe in the water here, leaving the list balanced. I want to be patient until I see a clearer path to the downside before adding more shorts.
Last week was not a good week. Seven buy side picks got stopped out. Only two of them had gains. Including both those stopped out and those left open, the list had an average loss of 0.9% with an average holding period of 18 days. That wiped out the prior week’s 1.5% average gain on an average holding period of 12 calendar days.
The premature failure of buy signals is a sign that the market is probably reversing. It’s time to start looking for shorts more actively. We’ve been avoiding them until now.
Charts and table of existing picks below (subscriber version only).