S&P 500 Index and Big 10 Weekly Outlook – April 30th
Right back at 1400 in the S&P 500 futures. If that was the extent of the correction, it certainly was a mild one. For those of you, including myself, looking for more of a dip in the market, think again. Stellar earnings for the most part, dividend increases, stock buybacks and splits set the stage for a major rally, after staring into the abyss on Monday morning. After failing to breach the low of the move at 1352.50 (Monday’s low was 1354), the shorts started to scramble and new money tried to find a home.
Therefore, Friday’s high (1403) should be a minor stopping point on the way to smashing through the high of the move at 1419.75. However, if the market cannot continue on its merry way early in Monday’s session and the futures slip below 1385, all bets are off on the correction being over.
What is wrong with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)? Perhaps I need to contact my data provider since AAPL is still a three digit stock. After Wednesday’s gigantic move, AAPL has responded with two lower highs, two lower lows and two lower closes. Hmmm, think some investors are just now reading that AAPL has substantially lowered guidance for the third quarter. Perhaps the company itself does not expect the unprecedented momentum to continue forever. And that makes one wonder about the final quarter as well. In my opinion, AAPL needs to hold 600.00 (the close was 603), take out 618 in a hurry, and march to new highs above 644, or this issue may drift lower for the next three months. Or as long as it takes for AAPL to reveal what is next in its pipeline.
Exxon-Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has recovered nicely from its visit to 81.88 earlier in the month. However, it appears to be running out of steam as it approaches its 52 week high (88.13). Of course, a 9 cent miss on earnings did not help the cause. On the other hand, a nice boost in the dividend should keep major investors content for now. At this time, it is hard to identify a catalyst that will propel XOM into a breakout mode and there might not be one until the second quarter earnings are announced. Institutional sellers all through the 87 handle and more at 88.00 have halted several rallies this year and expect that to continue. Below 85.15 (earnings day low), expect XOM to meander its way back down to the 82.00 level.
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) has recouped almost all of its losses since announcing solid earnings (as usual) and an increase in its dividend and stock repurchase program. Why IBM sold off 10 points following the announcement is beyond my understanding of technical and fundamental analysis. As long as IBM can stay above 206, prepare for an attempt at a new 52 week high (210.69).
Only one prediction for Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), it is going to bust out one way or another. And by that I mean, break out to the upside above 32.32 and up to the 52 week high of 32.95, or break down below 31.83 and back down to major support at 30.94. No matter how hard the futures rallied, MSFT would not budge. In fact, MSFT topped out for the week on Monday as the overall market bottomed. Perhaps the street is not convinced MSFT can perform as well in the upcoming quarter and are locking in profits while they still can.
General Electric’s (NYSE:GE) price activity for the last few years reminds me of the children’s story book, “The Little Engine That Could”. But instead of the popular phrase of “I think I can” GE ‘s chart offers “I think I cannot”. Time and time again, it struggles to reach a crucial resistance level and then retreats no matter what analysts say, or how good the news or earnings seem to be. In fact, GE is still two points away from its post recovery 2011 high (21.65) and over 20 points from its 2008 high (38.52). If you can identify the catalyst for GE to make new highs than hold on, or otherwise you may have to be satisfied with its 3.44% dividend yield.
Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) has rallied since flirting with the 100 level earlier in the month. CVX reported a 5% increase in profits as well as an 11% boost in its dividend. After four consecutive higher lows and higher highs, CVX may be in for a breather. A double top just under 107 has halted the rally for now. This area coincides with the 50% retracement from the mid-March high (112.28) to the mid-April low (100.51). If CVX does retreat expect minor support in the mid 102’s and major support at the recent low of 100.51. Above 107 there is minor resistance at 108.50 and major resistance at the all time high of 112.28.
AT&T (NYSE:T) has made a fool out of me. After writing this stock off for dead after going ex-dividend earlier in the month, T has exploded to levels not seen since August of 2008. A better than expected earnings report propelled the stock through major resistance at 32 and sent short-sellers scrambling for cover when it was taken out on Thursday. Follow through on Friday allowed T to tack on nearly 2 points on the week, which is unprecedented for this heavily traded issue. Expect some institutional selling at 33 and major resistance at the July 2008 high of 33.58. However, be cognizant that T has made five consecutive higher highs, higher lows and higher closes, and investors wanting to lock-in profits should focus on 32.45 as an exit point on weakness.
Often in my Weekly Outlook and during the morning broadcasts at www.premarketprep.com the term “institutional orders” is used. In other words, extremely large buy or sell orders placed on the Open Book of the NYSE. Both the long-term and short term affects of these orders are covered in detail. Why do I mention this now? During Procter&Gamble’s (NYSE:PG) climb from 64 to 68 from mid-February through early April, it had to claw through one gigantic sell order after another from 66.50 to 68.00. Furthermore, there was another 500,000 shares on the book at 68.00 that the High Frequency Traders salivated over for weeks. For the time being, the big boys had it right as PG revealed poor earnings and the stock crumbled to 63.95 on Friday before recovering to close at 64.48. It is crucial for PG to hold Friday’s low to prevent a test of minor support around 62.50 and major support at 60.00. Expect resistance from Friday’s high (65.26) up to the gap from Thursday’s low at 66.63, as short-term quantitative players exit their longs from Friday’s bloodbath.
Another issue that had me leaning the wrong way was Johnson&Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). After finally breaking its long standing trading range from 64-66 to the downside, JNJ is right back in it. During the rally from 62.76 to 65.13, JNJ has produced six consecutive higher lows and four consecutive higher highs and closes. Similar to PG, JNJ has been pestered with large institutional sell orders all through the 65 and 66 handle. Expect that trend to continue as JNJ cut through 65 on Friday, but was unable to sustain that level until the close. For those attempting to exit JNJ on weakness, focus on Friday’s low (64.68) in order to lock-in profits.
Along the lines of traders taking on large size at a whole number is Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) at 34.00. Since its better than expected earnings release WFC has been range bound from 32.43-34.00, unable to make a decisive move one way or another. Perhaps the major sellers from the 34.50 area have lowered their expectations to 34 and that may keep a cap on WFC for now. Here is yet another issue with an impressive string of four consecutive higher highs and higher lows. If WFC cannot clear 34 early in the week, it will most likely drift back down to the lower end of its recent trading range. Similar to other financials that posted better than expected earnings, the earnings have not been good enough to inspire a new 52 week high as a result.
In closing, earnings season has been impressive (many beats, dividend hikes and stock buybacks) except for one thing. No new high in the June S&P 500 futures. In my opinion, if the numbers are as good as advertised, than the index should clear Friday’s high (1403) with ease and make an assault on 1419.75 early in the week. If not, the old adage “sell in May and go away” just may be the play. Or at the very least, investors should consider exploring some downside protection tactics, if a new high is not made this week.
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