Mish's Market Minute

Has the Small-Cap Index (IWM) Tricked Us?

Mish Schneider

Mish Schneider

Director of Trading Education, MarketGauge.com

Recently, we talked about the volatility fund standing its ground in price. While the market has been trending higher, the short-term volatility fund S&P 500 VIX (VXX) was able to stay mostly over its 200-day moving average near 24. Then, on Tuesday, many commodities rallied into the close. These were hints to be cautious as the major indices pushed higher.

Additionally, the Russell 2000 (IWM) cleared a major resistance point, making it look as though the market was ready to run. While that still could be the case, IWM closing underneath its breakout level at $209 on Wednesday does not look good.

For traders heavily in equities does this mean they should reverse positions and go short? Not completely, since there are still key areas to watch for support and the indices have been due for a small pullback after such a quick run-up in price. With that said, support levels are nearby in the Dow Jones (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY) and the small-cap index (IWM).

Most of the nearest support levels come from either the 50 or 200-DMA, as seen in the above charts. However, the Nasdaq 100 (QQQ) does not have much technical support until the $350 area.

While we can watch these support levels, the market is in a tricky spot. We are sitting on the edge of looking for continuation higher, as well as potentially falling back into the lower trading range. Therefore, place trades carefully or watch for more clarity from these support and resistance areas based on the major moving averages.

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ETF Summary

  • S&P 500 (SPY): 447 support.
  • Russell 2000 (IWM): 209 pivotal.
  • Dow (DIA): 350 support to hold.
  • Nasdaq (QQQ): Could not hold the 200-DMA at 368.83.
  • KRE (Regional Banks): With such a large selloff. Watch for a close under the 200-DMA.
  • SMH (Semiconductors): 268 support.
  • IYT (Transportation): Flirting with 274, the 200-DMA.
  • IBB (Biotechnology): 127.67 the 50-DMA support.
  • XRT (Retail): 78.06 to hold from the 50-DMA.

Forrest Crist-Ruiz


Assistant Director of Trading Research and Education

Mish Schneider
About the author: serves as Director of Trading Education at MarketGauge.com. For nearly 20 years, MarketGauge.com has provided financial information and education to thousands of individuals, as well as to large financial institutions and publications such as Barron’s, Fidelity, ILX Systems, Thomson Reuters and Bank of America. In 2017, MarketWatch, owned by Dow Jones, named Mish one of the top 50 financial people to follow on Twitter. In 2018, Mish was the winner of the Top Stock Pick of the year for RealVision. Learn More