The S&P500 is up 54% over 102 trading sessions - its strongest rally in history over that period - inching closer to the record high, leaving investors wondering if the current stock-market setup will either be a double-top or an upside breakout.
With the main equity index flirting with record highs, Reuters' April Joyner points out Monday morning the 5 day average of CBOE's equity put/call (P/C) ratio suggests "whether it [S&P500] forms a near-perfect double-top or makes marginal new highs - this measure appears to be suggesting the market may soon be dealt a hand of instability."
As the S&P 500 flirts with its February record closing and intraday highs at 3,386.15 and 3,393.52, a contrarian measure of sentiment based on the CBOE equity put/call (P/C) ratio appears to be doubling down on a bearish setup.
Indeed, the 5-day moving average (DMA) of the P/C ratio, with a current reading of 0.492, is suggesting from a contrarian perspective an overly bullish or especially complacent market, vulnerable to a reversal.
Since late 2018, sub-0.60 readings in this measure have coincided with significant S&P 500 highs. Indeed, most recently, in early June, after this measure fell to a two-decade low at 0.402, the SPX promptly slid more than 8% in just five trading days.
That said, ahead of the two sharpest SPX declines, in late 2018 and early 2020, the 5-DMA of the P/C ratio made a higher low against a higher SPX closing high.
After its bottom in early June, the measure formed a higher trough in mid-July, and it now appears to have formed a second higher low this month. Meanwhile, the SPX has continued to advance.
Thus, as the benchmark index tests its February highs - whether it forms a near-perfect double-top or makes marginal new highs - this measure appears to be suggesting the market may soon be dealt a hand of instability. -Joyner
While 'hope' and global liquidity have 'bounced' the market near new highs; a number of factors suggest it is fraught with immediate danger, including a reversal in state reopenings, the shape of the recovery transforming from "V" to "Nike swoosh," fiscal cliff, and stretched valuations.
Or maybe, it's just time for the dead-cat-bounce to end?