The market may not be past the tipping point yet, but yesterday’s loss certainly pushes it to the brink. With Wednesday’s loss, the S&P 500 is now resting right on its 20-day moving average line, feeling a sentiment headwind.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) did much of the damage, losing nearly 8% of its value as investors continue to digest its lackluster cash flow outlook for the year now underway. Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) took a big bite out of the market too, though, just because increasingly nervous investors continue to file out of their most aggressive trades.
There were some winners too. Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) jumped 4.5% thanks to Guggenheim’s improved price target, while Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) bolted more than 20% higher following an earnings report that suggests the retailer may be salvaged after all.
There just weren’t enough of the right, big names to push the market into positive territory.
Omnicell has been on fire since the middle part of last year, even sidestepping the worst of December’s marketwide weakness to fight its way to record highs earlier this month.
All good things must eventually come to an end though, even if only temporarily. As rewarding as OMCL has been of late, we’re now seeing all the telltale signs that a pullback from an overbought condition is already underway.
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• The daily chart speaks for itself. While it catapulted higher early last month, the stock has struggled to hold onto those gains. Wednesday’s loss was particularly big.
• It’s not something that can be plotted, but the divergence between the white 200-day moving average line and the stock’s price reached a typical maximum of 35% last month, essentially matching September’s and November’s pre-pullback divergence.
• Zooming out to a weekly chart we can see Omnicell has moved into overbought territory with its RSI and stochastic indicators, leaving it ripe for a pullback as has been the case with past clues of the same. A pullback to the 200-day average around $67 may be required to burn off all the froth.
Advance Auto Parts (AAP)
Advance Auto Parts shares haven’t reached their breaking point yet, but they’re getting close. As of yesterday’s action, a key technical floor is being tested for a second time this year. This time, however, it’s starting that test in the shadow of a major bearish clue.
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• The technical support in question is the 200-day moving average line, plotted in white on both stock charts. Any move lower from here would pull AAP below that long-term line for the first time since 2017.
• Such a breakdown may already be a foregone conclusion. The tall reversal bar from Feb. 19, highlighted on the daily chart, suggests the pivot has already been made from a net-bullish to a net-bearish environment.
• Though the stage is set, it’s a setup that practically requires a break below the 200-day moving average line before becoming actionable.
LyondellBasell Industries (LYB)
We put LyondellBasell Industries on the radar back in early February, when it started to act like it was going to work its way out of a downtrend. It wasn’t quite ready for prime-time at the time, but it was inching closer.
That potential breakout move never really went anywhere. But, after Wednesday’s session, LyondellBasell are closer to a breakout thrust than they’ve been in months. One more good day could seal the deal.
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• The “setup” is the horizontal trading range that has taken shape since the beginning of the year. The upper edge of that range is plotted in yellow on both stock charts, while the lower boundary is plotted in blue.
• Although LYB stock didn’t poke through the upper ceiling yet, as of Wednesday, the stock’s above the gray 100-day moving average line for the first time in weeks.
• Underscoring the new-found bullishness is the volume surge behind yesterday’s gain. The bulls had been waiting in the wings, but the swell of volume suggests there’s a crowd of willing buyers on standby.
As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about James at his site, jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.
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