Leadership and new highs
Eoin Treacy's view This
has been a harrowing couple of months for investors with rampant fear of a double
dip recession in the USA combined with a deepening of the Eurozone's crisis.
Stock market declines have reflected this heightened sense of anxiety. Banking
sectors in particular have been a focus of investor ire. Oil and staple food
prices remain uncomfortably high.
Speculation continues to mount on whether there will be another round of quantitative easing by the Fed. Investors are waiting for President Obama's "jobs speech" and what that will bring in terms of a boost for the economy. The Swiss National Bank is printing Francs. The Bank of England has not ruled out a fresh round of quantitative easing. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) took a step closer to becoming a reality today. When in place, the balance of probabilities is that it will eventually be able to issue bonds backed by the balance sheets of all the Eurozone's countries.
The majority of stock market indices have at least lost downward momentum. A number have posted an incremental progression of higher reaction lows since mid August as they unwind their respective oversold conditions. Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines are the only indices to have held above their respective 200-day MAs. Time is still a requirement for the majority of indices to demonstrate that they have found medium-term lows rather than simply paused in the course of a larger decline.
The majority of commentary has focused on the problems. The loss of uptrend consistency by so many shares is definitely a cause for concern. This week, I would rather focus on some of the shares that still exhibit consistent uptrends. As we say at The Chart Seminar "A consistent trend is a trend in motion" meaning that provided a trend remains consistent it should continue to trend and range higher in an identifiable and orderly manner. Changes to the progression suggest an altered relationship between supply and demand.
In a review of the constituents of the S&P100 Index in Comment of the Day on August 26th I mentioned that McDonalds and Southern Corp were the only two shares to have posted new highs since early August. As a starting point to today's piece I used the Chart Library Filter system to identify US companies that have hit new highs in the last 5 days. Here is a link to the online interactive tutorial on how to use the High/Low filter.
I filtered the constituents of the NYSE and Nasdaq Composite for companies that had made at least a new 3-month high or low in the last 5 days. In this sample, 118 companies have posted a least a new 3-month high. 27 have posted new All Time Highs.
The first clear standout is the relative and absolute performance of gold miners. Royal Gold has been accelerating higher and is now susceptible to a reversion towards the mean represented by the 200-day MA. Yamana Gold completed a lengthy consolidation 4 weeks ago and a sustained move below $14 would be required to question medium-term upside potential. Newmont Mining, Kinross Mining Corp, Cia de Minas Buenaventura and Agnico-Eagle Mines have all hit at least new 6-month highs in the last few days. Barrick Gold hit new 3-month highs. Among silver miners, Silver Wheaton, Coeur d'Alene and Silver Standard Resources have all hit new 3-month highs.
Gold mines were among the best performing shares following the late 2008 stock market rout. They moved to positions of underperformance as the wider stock market recovered from March 2009. It is noteworthy that gold mines again occupy positions of outperformance because they acted as such a good lead indicator of stock market activity previously.
Coca Cola is a Dividend Aristocrat and yields 2.62%. It hit at least a new 3-year high last week and remains in a consistent medium-term uptrend. A sustained move below $65 would be required to begin to question medium-term scope for additional upside. The AmBev ADR, which is the sole distributor of Pepsi products in Brazil, has a similar chart pattern. National Beverage Corp continues to post a consistent progression of higher major reaction lows and has found support in the region of the 200-day MA on successive occasions since late 2008. A sustained move below $14 would be required to begin to question medium-term upside potential.
In the food sector, dividend aristocrat McDonalds yields 2.75% but did not make it onto the above list because it hit a new high more than 5 days ago and subsequently pulled back slightly. It remains in a consistent medium-term uptrend and a sustained move below $80 would be required to question upside potential. Arcos Dorados Holdings is on the list. It is the largest franchiser of McDonalds' restaurants in the world, concentrating on Latin America. The share has only been trading for a relatively short time but its recent chart pattern is similar to McDonalds'. Diamond Foods closed its overextension relative to the 200-day MA in early August but has subsequently rebounded strongly to post a new high last week. Some consolidation near current levels appears likely but a sustained move below $65 would be required to question medium-term upside potential.
In the automotive parts sector O'Reilly Automotive remains a totem. It found support in the region of the 200-day MA five weeks ago and rebounded impressively. A sustained move below $60 would now be required to question medium-term scope for additional upside. Autozone has performed even more impressively and also found support in the region of its MA in August.
In the pharmaceuticals sector Bristol Myer Squibb continues to trend steadily higher. It posted a new 3-year high last week and a sustained break of the progression of higher reaction lows would be required to question medium-term upside potential. Akorn is now somewhat overextended relative to the 200-day MA as it tests the area of the 2007 peak. The progression of higher reaction lows would need to be broken, on a sustained basis, to question the consistency of the medium-term uptrend. Biotechnology companies Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals have both rallied impressively and while overextended relative to their respective 200-day MAs clear downward dynamics would be required to signal supply is returning to dominance.
In the Gas Distribution sector WGL Holdings, Delta Natural Resources and RGC Resources have all bounced impressively over the last month to post new all time highs. Some consolidation of recent gains appears likely but sustained moves below their respective 200-day MAs would be required to question medium-term upside potential.
In the technology sector, Apple, IBM and Amazon did not appear in the above report but they all remain above their respective 200-day MAs and appear more likely than not to lead in a recovery scenario.