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January 28, 2013 at 01:41 AM EST
Be Careful of the Three-Headed Dragon on the S&P 500

Three-Headed Dragon on the S&P 500The S&P 500 is at a crux, following its recent move to 1,502 on Thursday, the first time it was above 1,500 since December 2007. The index is up nearly 12% since July 24, 2012. The fear is that the index may be testing its third top at 1,500 since 2000, something I have discussed in the past.

The overall U.S. stock market is trending higher. About 75.2% of U.S. stocks are above their respective 200-day moving averages (MAs), versus 59.3% a month earlier. On a short-term basis, 86.2% of U.S. stocks are above their respective 50-day MAs, versus 63.6% a month earlier.

Take a look at the upward move of the S&P 500 stocks to above the 200-day MA; the move represents an 86% increase as of January 24, versus the 47% level in mid-November.

S&P 500 Percent of Stocks Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

And there could be more to come, based on the seasonal trends. The November–April period has resulted in the biggest gain for the S&P 500, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac. In the near term, watch to see if the S&P 500 can hold at 1,500 and move toward its record of 1,565 on October 9, 2007.

The chart indicates some concerns, in my opinion. Since its first top at 1,500 in 2000, the S&P 500 made another top in 2007; now we are precariously at a possible third top. The moving average convergence/divergence (MACD), as shown on the chart, shows a downward trend. Volume has also been declining, so we are seeing a bearish divergence between a higher S&P 500 and declining volume.

S&P 500 Large Cap Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Technology has been better, with stocks advancing in the eight months from November to June, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac.

In technology, the NASDAQ was displaying a bearish “death cross” with its 50-day MA below its 200-day MA; but with the recent moves, the NASDAQ is currently showing a bullish “golden cross” with its 50-day MA moving above its 200-day MA, based on my technical analysis. In my view, technology stocks will continue to be a top-growth area going forward.

NASDAQ Composite Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

The safe money will be with the blue chips, given the global uncertainties.

The charts are showing promise and potentially more gains to come. The NASDAQ, Dow, S&P 500, and Russell 2000 are all showing a bullish golden cross.

So while there is the market risk and volatility, if you trade the historical patterns, ride the gains, but make sure you also take some money off of the table.

The ability of stocks to hold is encouraging; although, any major upside move will be met with resistance. However, a strong break could make 2013 another decent year of returns.

The post Be Careful of the Three-Headed Dragon on the S&P 500 appeared first on Investment Contrarians.

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