Time will tell whether today’s selloff is the precursor to a real cannonball shot to the gut of the post-February rally, or merely a glancing blow. The cannonball scenario probably should not be dismissed, however, since the weakness is occurring from the right price levels.
Despite ongoing Central Bank interventions which boost asset prices and acts as a huge wealth transfer tax from the middle class to the rich, corporate earnings are a direct reflection of what is happening in the actual economy. Wall Street has always extrapolated earnings growth indefinitely into the future without taking into account the effects of the normal economic and business cycles. This was the same in 2000 and 2007. Unfortunately, the economy neither forgets nor forgives.
BofAML's Stephen Suttmeier views the 61.8% retracement of the May-Feb decline at 2010.72 as critically important. A failure to close above this retracement would send a bearish message, especially given negatively positioned and falling 100 and 200-day moving averages.
While the market has climbed from the ground floor all the way back up the elevator shaft, it may find the access to upper floors there rather limited. After rallying 14% in just about 3 weeks, a ratcheting down of upside expectations would certainly seem warranted.