A Closer Look at Technical Support

Market Blog

We continue to believe there is technical support for the S&P 500 Index as discussed in our August 9 blog, and we’re already seeing some signs of the pessimism that is necessary for forming a bottom. The negative sentiment intensified August 14 following the inversion of the yield curve (discussed in our August 14 blog), so today we want to take a closer look at some key levels the LPL Research team is watching.

 

First is resistance, or levels that an index or stock may struggle to rise above. Despite Tuesday’s 1.5% gain, the S&P 500 ran right into its 50-day moving average near 2,940. This level also marked the 2018 highs for the market, adding to its significance.

As for support, or levels at which we think buyers are likely to step into the market, there are three key levels we are watching:

  1. 2,822. The intraday low from August 5 is only about 1% below Wednesday’s close, but it may be viewed by short-term traders as a tactical way to gauge whether we have hit the bottom in this current pullback.
  2. 200-day moving average. Currently at 2,796, the 200-day moving average is a closely watched trend indicator that is commonly viewed as either support or resistance, depending on where the index sits in relation to it.
  3. 2,740. Perhaps the strongest level of support for the S&P 500 is 2,740. As seen in the LPL Research Chart of the Day, Key Levels for the S&P 500 Index, this benchmark has actually tested 2,740 two times so far this year, but it failed to close below that level either time. 2,740 also happens to be 9.5% below the July highs, right in line with a standard 10% correction.

“We believe a retest of the December lows remains unlikely,” said LPL Chief Investment Strategist John Lynch. “We think any decline beyond 10% from recent highs would be excessive, and we would recommend that suitable investors rebalance and add to positions accordingly if the S&P 500 falls that far.”

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Please see the Midyear Outlook 2019: FUNDAMENTAL: How to Focus on What Really Matters in the Markets for additional description and disclosure.

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