As this week’s Weekly Market Commentary suggested, we are seeing signs that indicate equities may have bottomed for the year. Today, we’ll take a look at market breadth—one of our favorite technical indicators—to explore whether it may be pointing to better times ahead for equities.
Market breadth measures how many stocks are participating in the movement of broader indexes. One of the easiest ways to measure this is via advance/decline (A/D) lines on various exchanges. An A/D line is a ratio of how many stocks go up versus down each day. The thinking is, if gains are caused by increases in many stocks, then there are plenty of buyers and the upward trend should likely continue, all else equal. On the other hand, if an upward move in a broad market gauge is driven by relatively few stocks, this can be a warning sign of cracks in the bull’s armor.
Looking at today’s Chart of the Day shows that the NYSE Common Stock Only A/D line has broken out to a new all-time high. “This is another clue to market participants that things are actually quite healthy under the surface. When advance/decline lines are breaking out to new highs, history tells us that stocks usually aren’t too far behind,” explained Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist.
The advance/decline line is a stock market technical indicator used by investors to measure the number of individual stocks participating in a market rise or fall.
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