By Lawrence G. McMillan
The incessant march upward has run into a bit of a roadblock. The 1850 level on the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has proven to be stiff resistance. The failure of the market to clearly break through to new all-time highs has put the bears (temporarily?) in charge. There is most likely going to be a challenge of support at the 1810 level soon.
Equity-only put-call ratios have both rolled over to sell signals.
Market breadth indicators are still on buy signals, despite Thursday’s sharp market decline. Another day of negative breadth, though, will roll them over to sell signals.
Volatility indices ($VIX and $VXO) had reached extremely low, overbought levels, with $VIX trading down to 12 and $VXO down to 11. A close above 14.50 would be bearish for $VIX.
In summary, $SPX has been able to rise since late 2011 despite sometimes severe overbought conditions because major support has not been violated. That is still the case, but a close below 1810 would be a signal to brace for a more serious correction. The bulls on TV are so certain that buyers will appear again (as they did two weeks ago) that one has to seriously doubt that they will this time.