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Sizing Up the S&P 500

  • S&P 500 maintains steady uptrend as breadth improves and rate of change stays positive
  • Potential support: 5111 (2/11 high)
  • Next major catalyst could be Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, 3/20
  • Advance/Decline Line shows positive breadth as index pushes new highs
    • Nasdaq-100’s A/D Line has stopped rising in the last month
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), daily chart, with select indicators.

Energy / Metals In Focus

  • Crude-oil futures (@CL):
    • Non-commercial net long positions rising since December as institutional investors look for upside
    • OPEC sticks with oil-demand growth forecast despite IEA doubts
    • Ukraine attacks on Russian refineries remind traders of geopolitical risk
    • Crude oil inventories -1.5mln barrels vs +900K estimate
    • Energy Select Sector Index approaches potential “golden cross” after four-month base
    • Note: @CL daily chart has the tightest Bollinger Bandwidth since March 2017
  • Goldman Sachs predicted 2/21 copper and gold would benefit most from Fed rate cuts
  • Copper futures (@HG):
    • Prices challenge highs from August
  • Gold futures (@GC):
    • Above weekly closing highs of 2021-2023

Sector Watch

  • Energy, Materials leading in the last 1-2 weeks
  • Global stocks outperforming
  • Precious metals outperforming
  • Homebuilders outperforming
  • Biotechnology, banks, semiconductors lagging in the past week
  • “Value” outperforming “growth” in the last month

Key News:

  • February CPI slightly higher than expected
  • February non-farm payrolls beat, but unemployment higher than expected and wages lower than expected.
  • Deutsche Bank expects Tesla (TSLA) deliveries to miss estimates amid weak demand, Cybertruck slowness
    • CNBC: “EV euphoria is dead.”
  • Oppenheimer on Netflix (NFLX): Password crackdown boosting revenue per user
  • Goldman Sachs raises 2024 buybacks growth forecast for S&P 500 from +4% to +13%. Sees +16% in 2025.
    • Megacap tech earnings growth driving trend
  • CNBC: Silver could outperform gold on rate cuts, industrial demand
  • Reuters: China unexpectedly cuts copper production
  • Bally’s (BALY) jumps on takeover offer for casino operator

Signals Scan

  • Russell 2000 tries to hold December high
  • S&P 400 Midcap index clear 2021 peak
  • Microsoft (MSFT): Potential trendline breakout
  • $SOX: Bearish engulfing Friday menaces Philadelphia Semiconductor Index
  • Goldman Sachs (GS): Will tight consolidation resolve to upside?
  • InterDigital (IDCC) holding above 2017 high
  • Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) retraces 50% of 2/26 rally, tries to hold 2023 highs, 21-day EMA
  • Greenbrier (GBX) pulls back to 21-day EMA, above 2023 high
    • 1/5: Earnings beat on margins, multiyear business turnaround plan

Upcoming Events

  • Fri 3/15: Industrial production, consumer sentiment
  • Mon 3/18: NAHB housing index, Nvidia’s GTC conference (March 18-21)
  • Tues 3/19: Housing starts, building permits
  • Wed 3/20: Crude oil inventories, FOMC with Dot Plot
  • Thu 3/21: Initial jobless claims, Microsoft New Era of Work conference

Using the Platform

  • “Bollinger Bandwidth Range” custom indicator added to zip file above
  • Readings of 0-100 show tightest to widest distance between Bollinger Bands.
  • Bollinger Bandwidth Range works on Chart Analysis, RadarScreen, Scanner
    • It can be combined with “Bollinger %B” (>1) in Scanner to find stocks with tight bandwidth breaking the top of their bands
  • This shows whether current movement is significant relative to history.
  • Bollinger Bandwidth Range compares each stock to its own historical norms.
    • (Simple Bollinger Bandwidth varies based on the different volatilities of various symbols. This makes it less useful for comparing stocks to each other.)

Standardized Performances for ETF mentioned above

ETF1 Year5 Years10 Years
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY)+28.22%+82.32%+172.74%
As of February 29. Based on TradeStation Data.

Security futures are not suitable for all investors. To obtain a copy of the security futures risk disclosure statement visit

Exchange Traded Funds (“ETFs”) are subject to management fees and other expenses. Before making investment decisions, investors should carefully read information found in the prospectus or summary prospectus, if available, including investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Click here to find the prospectus.

Performance data shown reflects past performance and is no guarantee of future performance. The information provided is not meant to predict or project the performance of a specific investment or investment strategy and current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data shown. Accordingly, this information should not be relied upon when making an investment decision.

Options trading is not suitable for all investors. Your TradeStation Securities’ account application to trade options will be considered and approved or disapproved based on all relevant factors, including your trading experience. See Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options.

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David Russell is VP of Market Intelligence at TradeStation Group. Drawing on two decades of experience as a financial journalist and analyst, his background includes equities, emerging markets, fixed-income and derivatives. He previously worked at Bloomberg News, CNBC and E*TRADE Financial. Russell systematically reviews countless global financial headlines and indicators in search of broad tradable trends that present opportunities repeatedly over time. Customers can expect him to keep them apprised of sector leadership, relative strength and the big stories – especially those overlooked by other commentators. He’s also a big fan of generating leverage with options to limit capital at risk.