Stocks began the day weak — weaker than most traders probably realized. As you can see in the intra-day chart below, short-term momentum, as measured by Real Motion, had rolled on Monday. As a result, when the SPY broke its 30-minute Opening Range low (as shown in the chart below), it accelerated lower.
The pattern to notice in the chart above is the divergence in Real Motion’s two moving averages vs. the same moving averages in the price chart. The day began with the Real Motion averages negatively stacked (the 50 in blue, under the 200 in green). The is weak momentum, even when the price moving averages aren’t negative (yet). When this divergence occurs, Opening Range breakdowns tend to follow through, as happened today.
Today was particularly bearish, as there were good reasons for stocks to be under pressure. Regional banks broke down to new year-to-date lows, and the crude oil ETF, USO, had its biggest down day since July 2022. This dragged down energy stocks and stoked fears of economic slowdown. Adding to the uncertainty, the Fed will make its interest rate decision tomorrow.
Flight to safety and worsening fears of economic slowdown were confirmed by the big rally in the long bond ETF, TLT. Tomorrow, gold may be the biggest mover. Gold is often referred to as the asset that rises and falls with inflation, but gold’s favorite time to shine is in periods when markets lack confidence in the monetary system.
Today, the market’s mood with respect to the regional banking system went from bad to worse, as exemplified by the action in the KRE and the XLF. Tomorrow, the Fed will likely raise rates again, which is expected. However, if Chairman Powell’s remarks create a further loss of confidence in the Fed’s ability to navigate the worsening banking crisis, economy, and inflation risks, the weekly gold chart (below) is ready to shine.
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May 2nd-5th: StockCharts TV Market Outlook
S&P 500 (SPY): 23-month MA 420.Russell 2000 (IWM): 170 support, 180 resistance.Dow (DIA): Over the 23-month MA-only index.Nasdaq (QQQ): 329 the 23-month MA.Regional Banks (KRE): 43 now pivotal resistance.Semiconductors (SMH): 246 the 23-month MA.Transportation (IYT): 202-240 biggest range to watch.Biotechnology (IBB): 121-135 range to watch from monthly charts.Retail (XRT): 56-75 trading range to break, one way or another.