United States

S&P 500

Technically, the daily chart is having a nice rally through the 50-day moving average and after factoring in the bearish sentiment as measured by AAII this rally may have some legs in the short-term. In order to turn positive the market is going to have to move through the 200-day moving average AND the June high, which would set the stage for a rally up to the April highs.

The weekly chart is bearish with a potential head and shoulders top formation and resistance at the 50-week moving average. Failure to break through resistance will be a significantly bearish indicator and will likely signal a move to new lows on the year.

The monthly chart is bearish and has been so since March when the stochastic peaked and we tested resistance at the 50-month moving average. Currently we sit at an important crossroads testing support at the 200-month moving average. Failure to maintain this support level is a very bearish sign and sets the market up for a possible retest of previous lows.

Nasdaq Composite

The daily charts of the NASD have just pushed through the 50 and 200 day moving averages with the next target the June highs. Technical indicators appear to be getting close to overbought territory and how the index behaves as it approaches the June highs will determine if this is a short-term top or preparation for a move to test the April highs.

The weekly chart is a bit more bullish as the index has just pushed through a convergence of the 50 and 200-week moving averages. A head and shoulders pattern is in the process of forming attention should be paid in the event the current rally runs into resistance in a few weeks time.

The monthly chart has just pushed through a key resistance level with the 50-month moving average. While the technical indicators are bearish, it is not inconceivable that the current rally continues for a small amount of time before finally rolling over.

Canada

TSX

On the daily charts, the TSX is tracking the Nasdaq Composite. Having already moved through the 50 and 200 day moving averages the next test will be the recent July high, which stands very close to Friday’s close. A move higher would mean the TSX would likely test the June highs then the April highs.

It is possible the TSX will lead the US and provide market leadership over the coming weeks.

The weekly chart shows a range bound market with the 200-week moving average providing significant technical resistance. A move through the 200-week moving average would be a significant technical breakthrough and a bullish signal but as we approach that point we may see the market enter into overbought status.

The monthly chart is showing significant technical resistance at the 50-month moving average level that is approximately 200-week moving average level. A move through this level would be a very bullish indicator for the Canadian markets.

It is possible that the Canadian markets diverge for some time with the US markets as the Canadian economy as a whole emerged from the downturn relatively unscathed and the Canadian banking sector is rock solid. The biggest concern would be a slowdown in the US caused by a lack of hiring, weak banking sector, a weak housing market, and slow consumer demand. Since a significant amount of Canadian exports are dependant on the health of the US economy Canadian economic growth will likely slow over the second half of 2010 into 2011.

A strong banking sector and vibrant consumer demand will allow the Canadian economy to weather and stormy seas caused by a slowdown in the US allowing the Canadian economy to be in the sweet spot globally with moderate economic growth coupled with low inflation.

Summary

So far, our beginning of the year call to be long the first quarter and short thereafter has been correct and the market appears to be following the expected path for 2010.

Looking back over history and the four-year Presidential cycle, the stock market’s low in the 2nd year of a Presidential term provides a nice rally into the third year as the President gears up for his reelection campaign.

Currently, the cycle was thrown off by the crash in 2008 along with the sharp rebound in 2009 but should return to form this and next years.

Within the larger 10-year cycle, the stock market has negative returns during the first few years setting the stage for positive returns later in the decade.

Investors should remember that while stocks are cheap, in the context of a long-term sideways market, it does not mean they cannot get cheaper.

Classic bull markets start in times of cheap stocks, as measured by PE’s, over a long-term horizon. It is likely that PE’s will continue to move lower as we see earnings increase over the next few years setting the stage for the next classic bull market.

With the indices led higher by low quality stocks and typically underperforming markets leading the way investors should be wary over the rest of the year until a tradable low is in place.

While the market continues to churn it is best if investors wait on the sidelines for the dust to clear.

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