On St. Patrick’s Day, which has been a historically strong day for equities, we wanted to take a look at another “green” indicator.

The price level of the S&P 500 Index continues to flirt with its all-time high “green” level recorded on March 1, 2017 at 2395. Since then, the index has been operating in a 1% range—a typical sideways consolidation pattern bound by support at 2365 and resistance at 2395. Does this pattern suggest that equities are exhausted and cannot move higher? To answer this question, let’s look at the “green-tinted” RSI 14, which shows us price breakouts and suggests whether further momentum is likely.  (The Relative Strength Index 14 [RSI 14] is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains with recent losses in an attempt to determine overbought and oversold conditions of an asset over a period of 14 days.) A RSI (14) reading above 70 is considered overbought; below 30 is considered oversold.  When the index price and its RSI (14) indicator both make new highs, this is often a bullish sign.  When the S&P 500 made its new all-time high at 2395 on March 1, it also made a higher high on its RSI (14) indicator at 81.7—signaling strong momentum for stocks.

We take a closer look at this bullish confirmation scenario, with historical data, in the table below, and note the 15 times it occurred since 2009 (i.e., the beginning of the most recent secular bull trend).  Three months later the S&P 500 was higher 79% of the time with an average total return of 2.12%. Going out six months, the returns are higher 93% of the time with an average total return of 7.0%. Looking out over the longer term at 12 months, the returns were higher 100% of the time with an average total return of 11.78%.

We are encouraged by our RSI (14) and S&P 500 analysis, which suggests that based on the current environment, stocks may have an increased likelihood to continue to climb in 2017. As always, LPL Research will keep you posted on technical trends to watch.

 

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURES

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All indexes are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide or be construed as providing specific investment advice or recommendations for any individual security.

The economic forecasts set forth in the presentation may not develop as predicted.
Investing in stock includes numerous specific risks including: the fluctuation of dividend, loss of principal and potential illiquidity of the investment in a falling market.

Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.

The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.

Technical Analysis is a methodology for evaluating securities based on statistics generated by market activity, such as past prices, volume and momentum, and is not intended to be used as the sole mechanism for trading decisions. Technical analysts do not attempt to measure a security’s intrinsic value, but instead use charts and other tools to identify patterns and trends. Technical analysis carries inherent risk, chief amongst which is that past performance is not indicative of future results. Technical Analysis should be used in conjunction with Fundamental Analysis within the decision making process and shall include but not be limited to the following considerations: investment thesis, suitability, expected time horizon, and operational factors, such as trading costs.

This research material has been prepared by LPL Financial LLC.

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