We finally saw some real concern creep into the market on Friday. Or at least a strong desire to hedge. We also saw the major indexes come down either to, or very close to, their 50-day moving average lines.
We know there was some concern on Friday, because the total put/call ratio zipped up to 113%, a reading not seen since early June, just as stocks were making a low.
The equity put/call ratio flew up to 87%, a reading we didn't even get to in May. We have to go all the way back to December to see readings that high. That's how we know there was some real concern as we headed into the weekend.
Even though breadth has performed reasonably well this past week, the McClellan Summation Index is still heading down. But on Friday it dipped a toe into oversold territory. When this indicator needs a net differential of plus 2,000 advancers minus decliners on the New York Stock Exchange to halt the decline, it's gotten modestly oversold.
For the second day in a row the volume for the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) was high. Typically that type of high volume in this popular exchange-traded fund leads to a short-term bounce.
I would not call the Volatility Index jumpy, but I would note that it ended the day in the red, even though the S&P 500, and other major indexes, were all down quite a bit. It probably means it has gone too far and needs a break from the relentless rise from last week
The S&P has been red for five straight days. Nasdaq has been red for five straight days as well. It hasn't gone to six straight in almost three years, since it went nine in a row just before the 2016 election.
These are all signs we should see a short-term bounce. And then we should come back down again.
There are also the 50-day moving average lines. We are sitting at or near this well-watched moving average in almost every major index. Take a look at the May decline. That arrow represents the day we closed under the 50-day moving average in mid-May. We bounced back to the line almost immediately after breaching it. And as soon as everyone breathed a sigh of relief, we came back down again.
Why must we come back down again? Well, we don't have to, but it is a typical pattern. For starters, there was another expansion in the number of stocks making new lows Friday. That should contract and that up-down pattern is what might get us there.
The 10-day moving average of the put/call ratio is still down at the bottom of the page. That should move higher before the correction is done.
The various intermediate-term indicators are not oversold. That up/down pattern is usually what takes them closer to an oversold condition. For example, the Volume Indicator got overbought in mid-July when it got to 56%. It entered last week at 52%, but plunged to 48% by Friday. A few more points for this indicator on the downside and it will reach an oversold condition. But like all intermediate term indicators, it takes time to get it there.