I don't believe there was an indicator that changed during Wednesday's market.
Breadth hovered near flat and closed just the other side of positive. But it wasn't enough to move anything. The only noteworthy statistic is that there were fewer stocks making new lows on Nasdaq for a second day.
What did change was the number of questions I got on the utes -- utilities. Exactly one week ago, I showed the chart of the utes, and explained they had been red for six straight days which made them short-term oversold. I thought they should rally and come back down. So far, they are doing just that.
I still think we will see them make their way back into that 870-880-ish area.
For the market as a whole, my view has not changed since mid-April. Despite my call for a short-term bounce after Tuesday's drubbing, I still think we are in pullback mode in the market. At some point we'll get oversold with sentiment too bearish and the pullback will be over.
In the meantime I was asked the other day about when sentiment typically peaks in a market. Coincidentally with the high or after the highs? I can honestly say it can be either way. In 2000 it was prior to the highs and in 2007 it was coincident. But this did force me to go back and have a look at some charts from those periods and I was struck by something.
I have stated that I think what we saw back in January and February was a lot of speculation. Between the EV names and the solar stocks and the special purpose acquisition companies and everything else of a speculative nature, it was unsustainable.
Take a look at the chart of the Invesco QQQ (QQQ) from back then. Notice how it went sideways with an upward bias into November 1999 and then the QQQs took off like it was lift off. They ramped right through March. Oh, sure, there were a few hiccups in January, but they were just hiccups.
Now look at how after they came down off that high there was a rally that went sideways for months. The real breakdown didn't come until the fall (red arrow) when there was finally a lower low. The chart is not complete, because we know that the spring of 2002 into the summer was the relentless decline.
Now take a look at a chart of ARK Innovation (ARKK) . I think we can all agree that a lot of those speculative names reside in there, some more so than others. But notice the upward tilt into November 2020 followed by the lift off in November that had a hiccup or two in December and January but ran until that February high.
Now look at the rally off the initial low and the giant sideways since. It's not exact, but the pattern is familiar. I saw a lot of chatter about how ARKK is at its 200-day moving average line on Wednesday and it is a little oversold (having come down from near 130 in a straight line). But I look at this chart and think that at some point in the coming months this too should break down the same way the QQQs took their time before they broke down two decades ago.
I would add one more point here. There was an either/or market back then as well. Look at the chart of the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR fund (XLP) heading into that March high (for the QQQs). You would have thought we were in a bear market the way XLP was trading. But once the QQQs fell from grace, XLP was able to rise. It didn't roll over until 2001.