Russell 2000 Builds Breakout Base as S&P 500, Nasdaq Approach Local Top

  • Stock Market Analysis

Another solid day on Friday for indexes with the Russell 2000 ( IWM building up some nice momentum, but other indexes did not disappoint.

The Russell 2000 ($IWM) added over 1% as it reached resistance of the January swing high. Volume climbed to register a second day of accumulation in a row, increasing the probability of a breakout.

Technicals returned net bullish with new 'buy' triggers in the MACD and On-Balance-Volume. This technical improvement coincided with a bounce from the intermediate stochastic midline, a typical bounce point in a cyclical bull market.

While Monday may not deliver another gain, I would be looking for an end-of-day close near resistance.

IWM-Daily Chart

Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 had finished Thursday with narrow range doji that at this stage of an advance frequently mark a top but this was not the case by close of business Friday as both indexes were able to post gains.

The Nasdaq currently sits 15.7% above its 200-day MA, which puts it above the 85% of historic price action for this index dating back to 1971, increasing the probability that a major top is not far away.

We may be looking at a double top for this index, even if the index has just edged itself beyond the last peak in a potential bull market breakout. If this proves to be the case, then it will register as a 'bull trap'.

COMPQ-Daily Chart

The S&P 500 is 12.6% above its 200-day MA, which is in the 90% zone of historic extreme price action dating back to 1950.

This index has already surpassed the point where it could mark a double top, so if there is a top here then I would be looking for a sequence of higher highs and higher lows in a pullback to the low 4000s.

Whereas I believed the break of 4,766 marked an end of the bear market and would not undercut this level, this is looking less likely given the degree of extension beyond the 200-day MA.

SPX-Daily Chart

While indexes are approaching a level of heat associated with market tops, we are still seeing good strength in the semiconductor index , an index that can continue to drive the broader rally in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.SOX-Weekly Chart

For the coming week, we want to see how selling - when it comes - impacts the new bull market breakouts, and whether these support levels can hold *should* sellers make a mark next week. Otherwise, we are going to keep drifting upwards.

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