I have been desperately trying to bring some good news to this column on a daily basis. Something -- anything -- to make those of us at home, fretting over the market, fretting over our health, or fretting over the economy, feel better. But I am going to start with the bad news today.
Yes, I know. What am I doing? Well, let's get it out of the way first. The bad news is credit remains a mess. None of the credit exchange-traded funds rallied Thursday. They didn't even pretend to rally.
Now that that is out of the way, let's talk about some positives. One positive I have been highlighting for the last week is the number of stocks making new lows. It has now contracted every day for a week. So far, last Thursday was the peak. But, now, I want to take a look at the 10-day moving average of stocks making new lows. As you can see it has soared.
But you know what? Ten trading days ago, there were 714 new lows. Nine trading days ago there were 1,620 new lows. Thursday, there were 1,051. What does all that mean? It means that if that number of new lows on the New York Stock Exchange can continue contracting, the 10-day moving average is set to peak in the next two-to-four trading days. That prior peak you see was three days after the low in 2018.
As a reminder, that low was unique in my view. It is more likely once we see these extreme readings subside that we will have months of ups and downs, likely to lower lows as the market tries to find its footing. But it has to start somewhere.
On Thursday, the breadth did quite well relative to the move in the S&P 500. It has taken the McClellan Summation Index to the point where it now needs a net differential of positive 2,800 advancers minus decliners to halt the decline. This is the narrowest readings we've seen in three weeks.
On the sentiment front, the American Association of Individual Investors' weekly survey showed little change in bulls, but the bears remained up at 51%. This means the four week moving average up again. One more week of high bearish readings and I might even call this indicator extreme.
The 10-day moving average of the ISE call/put ratio is trying to turn upward. This is like the inverse of the put/call ratio where low readings are more bullish than bearish. Again, it doesn't always coincide with the low in the market, but a low.
Finally the 10-day moving average of the equity put/call ratio is now at 98%, the highest since the 2008 financial crisis. You can't see it on the chart, but we did rally off those peak readings. But once again, those were not the lows but rather the peak readings that then had months of bottoming ups and downs thereafter.
The Daily Sentiment Indicator (DSI) did not move back over 10 for the S&P on Thursday which I will count in the positive column.
So far the market has still not managed two up days in a row for the S&P in five weeks. The first thing the market has to do is change that pattern by showing us it can give us two consecutive green days. That would at least let us start the process of trying to bottom.