Last month–on Monday, October 5th, after a brutal August and September in the stock market–I wrote a blog, entitled, “Are we at the bottom of this correction?” There, I gave five technical reasons that we have likely seen the lows for the year and hopefully should see a sizeable Santa Claus rally in Q4.

By month’s end, the market put up its best gains in 4 years with the Dow rising a whopping 1,379 points and the S&P 500 gaining 8.3% (

In this edition of “Technically Speaking” I want to answer another question than may have a big bearing on your portfolio, namely is that Santa Claus rally mentioned earlier still on the table? Or are the bears, contrarians, and fear mongers right—that the Grinch will steal Christmas?

First, I’d like to address the bearish concern using weekly charts of the S&P 500, containing three exponential moving averages—the 10, 50, and 600–and a hybrid indicator called StochasticsRSI.

The trading strategy works as follows: buy when the red 10 Exponential Moving Average (EMA) crosses above the green 50 EMA and to sell when the 10 crosses below the 50 EMA. And to avoid what traders call “whipsaws”—the costly, repeated buying and selling of one’s position–one should only sell when the StochasticRSI is oversold as indicated by the circled ellipse. (Please be aware, however, that NO strategy assures a profit or protects against a loss.)




Using this criteria, we should be selling right now, shouldn’t we?

Maybe a few weeks ago, but not anymore I would argue.

Using the same criteria, here is what the same averages looks like today, where the blue line is the 10 EMA and red, the 50 EMA.




If anything thus far, I believe we’re witnessing similar market action displayed in 2011, the last best buying opportunity had in years.

Using the same criteria on the other major indices further supports this view.

The ETF that tracks the Nasdaq Composite Index referred to as the QQQ or “Qs,” for instance, is so strong that it’s 10 never crossed below its 50 Exponential Moving Average in the first place.





The only major index that hasn’t displayed this bullish behavior yet is the Russell 2000. Here you can see that its 10 not only crossed below its 50 XMA, but it has yet to cross above it.





So what are we to make of that?

Indeed, that is the question that has the pundits in Barron’s and the WSJ and on the networks—especially CNBC and Fox News—talking.

As a former equity index futures trader, here’s my take.

Think of the Russell 2000 as the tip of a dog’s tail, the Nasdaq as the middle of the dog’s tail, and the S&P as the base of the dog’s tail, if not the dog itself.

Then ask yourself this question: Does the dog wag the tail or the tail, the dog?

It’s no different than defending your man in the game of basketball. Any defensive coach worth his salt will tell you: keep your eyes on your man’s midsection—his belly button—not his head and limbs, for if you go for every head and ball fake, you’ll get beat time and again.

Well, it’s the S&P and the Nasdaq that matter most, not the volatile Small Caps. As a trend follower, I watch the former and trade in their direction.

If still unsure, just look at the VIX, a measure of options volatility.

A low reading below 20-25 is bullish, and a high reading of 25-30 or higher is bearish.

As of today, 11/2/15, it’s only 15. That’s lower than at the beginning of October, not higher. Even the staunchest bear will be hard pressed to find a time in market history that the VIX fell as the markets crashed.

Low is good and so are the averages and current price action, and that’s why I hold that we are heading higher from here.

In the end, however, only time will tell.

Be sure to tune in next month for another edition of “Technically Speaking” to find out how the Russell 2000 and VIX play out in November.

Until then, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.
The NASDAQ Composite Index measures all NASDAQ domestic and non-U.S. based common stocks listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The market value, the last sale price multiplied by total shares outstanding, is calculated throughout the trading day, and is related to the total value of the Index.
The Standard & Poor’s 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.
The Russell 2000 Index is an unmanaged index generally representative of the 2,000 smallest companies in the Russell 3000 index, which represents approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of the Russell 3000 Index.
Market Volatility Index (VIX) is an index designed to track market volatility as an independent entity. The Market Volatility Index is calculated based on option activity and is used as an indicator of investor sentiment, with high values implying pessimism and low values implying optimism.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is comprised of 30 stocks that are major factors in their industries and widely held by individuals and institutional investors.
Investing in securities is subject to risk and may involve loss of principal.
StochasticsRSI is an indicator used in technical analysis that ranges between zero and one and is created by applying the Stochastic Oscillator formula to a set of Relative Strength Index (RSI) values rather than standard price data. Using RSI values within the Stochastic formula gives traders an idea of whether the current RSI value is overbought or oversold – a measure that becomes specifically useful when the RSI value is confined between its signal levels of 20 and 80.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advice offered through Independent Financial Partners (IFP), a registered investment advisor. IFP and Jon C. Goodman are separate entities from LPL Financial.