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Market Outlook

The popular averages closed down on Friday, although the Nasdaq Composite was essentially flat. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index popped upward to indicate acceleration in manufacturing within the Midwest. Consumer sentiment slipped by a trivial amount this month. Second quarter employment costs rose much less than expected. Lower oil prices hurt the earnings of Chevron (CVX -4.9%) and Exxon Mobil (XOM -4.6%), which helped to depress the averages. Meanwhile, the price of crude oil fell while gold rose on Friday.

    Above is my 3-month chart of the S&P 500 exchange traded fund (SPY). The choppy action during late April and early May might have been frustrating, but the price pushing back above the 50-day MA average kept me optimistic. The record closing high on May 21 may have validated that mindset. The approach on May 26 back toward that MA caused a slight frown, but the rebound on May 27 while the Nasdaq set a record elicited a big smile. Oscillations around the 50-day MA in early and mid-June might have been disconcerting. But in the process record highs were set on June 22 and 23 by some of the indices. The correction that followed brought the SPY price down to the 200-day moving average. It had been oscillating around that level for two weeks, then closed well above on July 10. The leap on July 13 approached the 50-day-moving average and the follow-through the next day exceeded it.

   Further gains seemed encouraging, but the downturns last week were not. The significant drop on July 24 to well under the 50-day MA painted all of my outlook arrows a cautious yellow. On Monday the price fell to the 200-day MA which provided support. On Tuesday it impressively shot above that level and closed near the high of the day in shooting distance of the 50-day MA. That restored the green hue to my outlook arrows. That level was exceeded on Wednesday which further boosted confidence.

DISCLAIMER: Our commentaries are provided as general information and not investment recommendations. You are responsible for your own investment decisions. Our opinions are based on historical research and data believed to be reliable. There is no guarantee that results will be profitable. We are not responsible for errors or omissions. We may hold positions in vehicles that are mentioned.

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© Curt Renz

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