SPX reached our Fibonacci .886 retracement target yesterday. It’s a level I never imagined seeing after stocks reached important support back on March 23. But, then, I never imagined $5 trillion in liquidity – equal to the nation’s Q2 economic output according to the Atlanta Fed – being pumped into the economy in the second quarter.
We’ve always known there would be a fundamental battle between another round of QE (remember when Powell insisted it wasn’t QE?) and the realities of the worst pandemic in over 100 years, spawning unemployment that would exceed the GFC and deaths in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. But, this market cares little about fundamentals. It cares about liquidity and a steady diet of the right signals being fed to the algos.
Central bankers and governments have delivered on both counts – with WTI having risen $59/barrel and VIX plunging 72% and with liquidity injections purportedly intended to bolster employment which, in many cases, went into stock buybacks.
Nevertheless, here we are. In Harmonics, the .886 Fib represents an 88.6% retracement, or rebound, of a significant drop. It’s typically as large a rebound as you’ll see unless stocks test their former highs (a potential double top) or push past them to new highs. Unfortunately, it’s not always clear cut.
In May 2015, SPX tumbled 12.5% after coming within 3.32 points of our 2138.04 target. By Nov 2, it had retraced 88.6% of those losses, at which point we looked for a pullback. Instead, it spent the next several sessions pushing above the .886, no doubt stopping out plenty of shorts before finally succumbing and making new lows – the 1.272 Fib extension at 1823.42.With the pandemic picking up steam – at least in the US and many lesser developed countries – the fundamental picture is looking iffy at best. The technical picture, on the other hand, is flashing plenty of warning signals. Can we count on it mattering?
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