While stocks have bounced in an impression manner of late, the question of the day remains the same. Cutting to the chase, both sides are wondering if the recent run for the roses ended Monday at the all-important retracement level of 2000 on the S&P 500.
The bulls argue that stocks were due for a rest given the swiftness of the 9.4% blast to the upside that occurred over the last 3 weeks. Our heroes in horns suggest that this move is starting to be reminiscent of the October 2015 rebound, which was sponsored by Mr. Draghi and some well-coordinated central bank intervention.
Speaking of Mr. Draghi, with expectations running high for the ECB to announce additional stimulus at the upcoming meeting of the European Central Bank, many wonder what will happen if Super Mario fails once again to deliver the goods.
If you will recall, it was disappointment in the ECB’s announcement that killed the last bull run in its tracks. As such, traders fret that stocks could be in for a repeat if Draghi doesn’t drag out the QE bazooka this time.
From a technical perspective, the bears argue that the 2000 mark on the S&P represents critical resistance and that yesterday’s failure should usher in more selling. In short, talk of a reversal dominates the discussion in the glass-is-half-empty camp.
S&P 500 – Daily
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However, before we get too carried away with the idea that the bulls are out of steam here, let’s remember that this game remains all about oil.
Compare the action in the chart of the USO (below) and the S&P (above) over the last month. See what I mean?
US Oil Fund (NYSE: USO) – Daily
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From my perch, it would seem that oil remains the name of the game here. So, if oil continues to rebound it is a safe bet that stocks will follow suit.
However, I’m also of the mind that if Super Mario should disappoint again in front of the microphones, the bears could easily regain control for a spell.
Thus, we will continue to watch the correlation trade between oil and stocks in the near term as well as what the bankers are saying across the pond.
Finally we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to with this bull market a happy 7th birthday! Recall that 7 years ago today, Jamie Dimon stood in front of the microphones on the White House lawn and reminded everyone that his bank was making money. And given that the thinking at the time was that the global banking system was about to fail, that was all it took for traders to come to their sense.