Russell 2000

Bull Rallies In Bear Markets - The Perfect Storm

"Investor hopes of coordinated G20 policy actions proved to be pure fantasy... It’s every country for themselves." Use any rally this week to move to the lowest level of equity exposure for this part of the cycle.

"Everything Is Rolling Over" - BofA Watches The Carnage

"Should the S&P 500 “The Generals” follow the weakness in the Value Line, NYSE, Russell 2000, and S&P Midcap 400 “The Troops”, there is risk below 1812-1810 toward 1730 (38.2% of 2011-2015 rally) and then 1600- 1575."

Breadth Breakdown Bodes Badly For Budding Bulls

While the S&P 500 held support at January low (1,812) yesterday (and October 2014's Bullard bounce lows), BMO's Russ Visch warns "it may not hold in the days ahead" due to weak market breadth.

What The Charts Say: "Complacent" Bulls Remain As S&P Support Under Pressure

"Sell into strength" remains BofAML's tactical advice in US equities, especially as several indicators have dropped back toward the more complacent levels that coincided with previous S&P 500 highs. As Suttmeier concludes, "we still are not ruling out a cyclical correction within the larger secular bull market with risk toward 1600-1575."

Either Banks Are Cheap... Or The Market's Gonna Crash

Simply put, either large cap Financials are cheap, or the entire U.S. equity market is still overpriced. Their precipitous decline year to date means markets fear they are both the transmission mechanism for a global slowdown/recession to come and a primary victim of that event.

"Few Are Yet Willing To Admit The Harsh Reality..."

A multi-decade Credit Bubble is coming to an end. The past seven years has amounted to an incredible blow-off top and the ongoing worldwide collapse in financial stocks provides powerful support for the bursting global Bubble thesis. Few are yet willing to accept the harsh reality that the world has sunk back into crisis as mal-investment, over-investment and associated wealth destruction remain largely concealed so long as financial asset inflation persists. This is true as well for wealth redistribution. The unfolding adjustment process will deflate asset prices so as to converge more closely with deteriorating underlying economic fundamentals.

Ignore Day To Day Market Spikes: Are Stocks Being Accumulated Or Distributed?

While on any given day, stocks may tumble or surge as marginal buyers send increasingly illiquid indices lower or higher on ever lower volume, a more important question is what is taking place below the surface: are large holders looking to offload large exposure (by selling), or vice versa. For the answer we go to Bank of America, which has models to measure precisely this.

What The Charts Say: "Similar Topping Process To 2000 & 2007"

The deterioration of the indicators highlighted below point to a downside break for the late-stage cyclical bull market from 2009, according to BofAML. Should 1,867 decisively give way, the 1820 (October 2014 low) provides additional support but the bigger risk is a top that projects down to 1,600-1,575; and derspite the last 2 days' bounce, volume and breadth suggest a market under distribution or selling pressure, not primed for new highs.

The Real Enemy Of Investors

The real enemy of investors is not these fairly routine 10 or 20% downturns. The real enemy is the bear market that is associated with a recession or crisis, the one that knocks your equity block down by 40 or 50%. And actually it isn’t even the depth that is the real enemy. For most investors the enemy is time.

How To Trade This Market: What The Charts Say

"...this is the real world where 'trend followers' do battle with 'mean reverters'... US (and global) equities may be finally responding to tactical oversolds with what we believe is a sell strength relief rally..."

"What To Own In An Equity Death Spiral"

As BofA admits, "this sell-off differs from a typical growth scare in that parts of the recession playbook are failing miserably." So until we have clarity on whether or not this is a garden variety correction or a true bear market, here is BofA's advice on what to own in an "equity death spiral"

Cracks At The Core Of The Core

It is the “Core of the Core” that now concerns us the most. That is where Federal Reserve (and global central bank) policies have left their greatest mark. It is at the “Core of the Core” where momentous misperceptions and market mispricing have become deeply entrenched. It’s the “Core of the Core” that has attracted enormous amounts of “money” over recent years. It’s also here where I believe leverage has quietly been used most aggressively. Over recent years it became one massive Crowded Trade. Now the sophisticated players must contemplate beating the unsuspecting public to the exits.

Weekend Reading: Breaking Markets - Season II

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be forced to either acknowledge labor market tightening as reason to continue with the four-hike schedule for 2016 or risk her credibility, belittle job market stability and sound a warning about the risks of lower oil prices and cheap gasoline (sacrilege to regular Americans) by slowing the hiking pace after a single 0.25 percent increase last month. If she gets it wrong, things could get ugly fast."