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Slowing Momentum Could Pose a Threat to this Rally

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That's the bad news.  The good news is that momentum issues are more of a short-term nature than a long-term one.  Still, as traders, we need to respect them just the same.
 
First, let's take a look at the benchmark S&P 500 index on a weekly basis (think BIG picture):

SPX 6.1.13 weekly chart

The MACD couldn't be much stronger.  As S&P 500 prices have risen to new heights, so too has the weekly MACD.  That suggests that the longer-term rally hasn't ended, so keep this in mind during any short-term periods that are more bearish and frustrating.  The short-term may prove to be troublesome.  While the long-term weekly MACD looks great, that's not the case on the daily MACD.  Check out the S&P 500's daily chart and take a look at the hit the MACD has taken lately:

SPX 6.1.13

Last week saw a big spike in the Volatility Index ($VIX).  Determining where the VIX will top is a big piece of the puzzle in determining where the S&P 500 will bottom.  Take a look at this chart of the VIX and note how recent tops have marked short-term bottoms in the S&P 500:

VIX 6.1.13

I would look for a top in the VIX in the 18-19 area.  If selling really escalates and fear spikes, perhaps we'll see a test of the downtrend line closer to 21.  Over the past year, nearly every short-term bottom in the S&P 500 has occurred with a VIX somewhere in the 18-21 range.  The late December 2012 period was an anomaly as fiscal cliff talks spooked investors.  Once the VIX tops, though, I do expect another rally in equities based on a number of factors, but certainly that strong weekly MACD won't hurt.
 
I've recorded a video lesson on the MACD and would be happy to share it with anyone interested.  CLICK HERE for details.

- Tom

Tom Bowley
About the author: is the Chief Market Strategist of EarningsBeats.com, a company providing a research and educational platform for both investment professionals and individual investors. Tom writes a comprehensive Daily Market Report (DMR), providing guidance to EB.com members every day that the stock market is open. Tom has contributed technical expertise here at StockCharts.com since 2006 and has a fundamental background in public accounting as well, blending a unique skill set to approach the U.S. stock market. Learn More
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