Mish's Market Minute

When Uncle Utilities (XLU) Shows Up Drunk

Mish Schneider

Mish Schneider

Director of Trading Education, MarketGauge.com

Gosh, it's been a minute since we have looked at Utilities.

With rising interest rates, in March 2023, utilities fell near the October 2022 lows. Currently, XLU is changing phases from Bearish to Recuperation.

In my book, Plant Your Money Tree: A Guide to Growing Your Wealth, I explain that "When Uncle Utes Shows up Drunk at the Door, It's Time to Pay Attention."

So, is it time to pay attention?

In the last year, Utilities, as a flight to safety, have been largely ignored. Higher interest rates are the main culprit. Also, in the cyclical nature of trading sectors, Utes simply fell out of favor. Now, however, with gold flying (see the March 19th article), rates and the dollar falling, and tech stocks extremely crowded, we thought it would be a good time to take a fresh look.

The 50-day moving average provides support and a super low risk point. Should that level fail, or price close back under 66.75, the trade is done for now.

On our Leadership Triple Play indicator, XLU continues to underperform the benchmark. Should that change, it would be noteworthy.

On our Real Motion momentum indicator, the red-dotted lines show momentum improving and diverging, as they are further above the 50-DMA than the price is.

While we have been reporting on the 23-month moving average in the indices and how none have cleared it yet, XLU's 23-month MA looks a bit different. XLU only failed the 23-month MA two months ago. That suggests utilities are neither in expansion nor contraction. Rather, they are trading more on the expectations for rates than on the direction of the indices.

Along with the phase change to Recuperation, we are watching for a a monthly close over 69.00. A monthly close over that level would suggest a bigger move for Utes, and a more difficult time period for equities.

For more detailed trading information about our blended models, tools and trader education courses, contact Rob Quinn, our Chief Strategy Consultant, to learn more.

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Mish in the Media

Mish talks about Dominion Energy with Angela Miles in this appearance on Business First AM.

Mish chats with Neils Christensen on Oil and Gold in this article from Kitco.

See Mish's presentation at Real Vision's Festival of Learning, exclusively available for Real Vision members.

Mish talks with CNBC Asia about hope, fear, and greed, and what could happen going forward.

Coming Up:

April 13th: The Final Bar with David Keller on StockCharts TV

April 24-26: Mish at The Money Show in Las Vegas

May 2-5: StockCharts TV Market Outlook

ETF Summary

  • S&P 500 (SPY): 405 support and 410 pivotal.
  • Russell 2000 (IWM): 170 support, 180 resistance still.
  • Dow (DIA): Confirmed bullish phase, provided it holds 331.
  • Nasdaq (QQQ): 325 the 23-month moving average; huge resistance.
  • Regional Banks (KRE): Weak get weaker--41.28 March 24 low.
  • Semiconductors (SMH): 255 key support, 270 resistance.
  • Transportation (IYT): 223 pivotal -- this sector needs to hold.
  • Biotechnology (IBB): 125-130 new range.
  • Retail (XRT): 60-64 current range to watch.

Mish Schneider


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