On Thursday, Louise Yamada, founder of Louise Yamada Advisors and one of the most well-respected Technicians in market history, appeared on CNBC to give her thoughts on the current state of the market. While she does acknowledge the strong rally we have seen so far in 2019, Louise isn’t quite sure that equities have seen the last of the volatility. While she does mention that the Dow Jones and S&P 500 have recaptured their 200-day Moving Averages (the Russell 2000 has not), there are still some very important price resistance levels that need to be taken out as well. For example, in regards to the S&P 500, Louise points out that the 2800 area will be a very important zone to surpass, especially considering this area was rejected three times in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone.
So, why does Louise give little value to the 200-day Moving Average? Well, let’s go back to 2015, where we experienced very similar action. In that instance, we saw price rally back above the 200-day, but failed to take out the 2120 level, which was a very important level of resistance.
As Louis points out, there are many technicians, who think that the market could consolidate coming off the “large trust” from December. In this hypothetical consolidation, we could get a test of the lows, but with a positive (bullish) divergence. Louise points out that it’s simply “too early to know if this is a rally in a bear market, or an extension of the 2009 bull market.” She also believes a sideways move between 2600 and 2800 would indeed be a very constructive development for the market.
One area of stocks Louise is paying attention to are the F.A.A.N.G. stocks, which could roll over and bring the market back down with them, causing more redistribution in broad indices. The F.A.A.N.G. Index below also shows that this group of stocks has some overhead resistance, including the 200-day Moving Average, which sits right above.
I think Louise, an “OG” of technical analysis, does a great job of reminding us that while the recent rally has been great, we are still in the middle of large trading ranges in the broad indices. Other technicians, such as J.C. Parets, have prudently pointed this out as well. So many market participants worry about the 200-day Moving Average, and while it can be a signal for the market’s direction, what really need to be paying attention to are major support and resistance levels. We can cross above the 200-day a million times, but price itself can’t advance past previous highs, then does it really matter?