A risk-off day is looming as Ukraine’s battle for survival against a Russian invasion enters its fifth day.
While the world holds out hope for a diplomatic solution, investors are waiting and watching headlines.
The strategist said a late bounce seen last week for those big indexes pushed them back above key support levels, but they remain vulnerable. “Thankfully, the support/resistance levels are still very well drawn,” he told clients in a note late Sunday.
Sharp declines seen earlier last week took those indexes below the “necklines” of their “head and shoulders” technical patterns, a widely followed trend reversal pattern for stock charts. The bounce starting Thursday helped those indexes regain their “lines in the sand” by week’s end.
However, the declines earlier in the week gave both indexes “lower lows” on a closing and intraday basis.
“Therefore, unless the bounces that began last week can see a lot more upside follow-through, last week’s action was still something to be very concerned about,” said Maley, who advises watching last week’s closing S&P 500 low of 4,225.
“Any meaningful break below that line will take it well below the ‘neckline’ of its ‘H&S’ pattern…and that would be a very negative development,” said Maley. But if the index can rally back and take out February highs of 4,590 “in any material way,” that will usher in a solid “higher-high” and much needed relief,” he said.
As for the Nasdaq, Maley said the technical setup is similar. Any “significant break” below last week’s closing lows around 13,500 will give it a “lower-low” and take it below that neckline — a bearish development. On the flip side, a break above February’s high of 15,140 would offer up a “higher-high” easing a lot of market tension.
Maley also commented on the fact that a big washout decline for stocks, that can usher in an important bottom, hasn’t happened. “We haven’t seen a few days when the volume has been huge…and the breadth absolutely horrible,” he said.
He isn’t as worried because he said those washout moves, while compelling, can also cause investors to “miss the boat” by waiting for them to buy stocks. Maley said he would reassess the team’s near-term stance if big indexes break above key resistance,
Ukranian and Russian delegates are currently on the Belarusian border while fighting continues in Ukraine, following a tense weekend that saw Russian President Vladimir Putin up tensions by moving the country’s nuclear forces to high alert. Belarus troops reportedly may be ready to fight alongside Russia.
Russia’s central bank doubled interest rates and shut stock markets on Monday, after Western allies agreed to cut off some Russian banks from the SWIFT global payments system. The ruble
has been in free fall and listed stocks in London slumped.
European and U.S. defense contractors — Raytheon
and General Dynamics
— are surging on Germany’s surprise move to raise military spending, and send weapons to Ukraine.
CEO Warren Buffett said there is “little that excites us” in the U.S. stock market, in his annual shareholder letter released on Saturday morning. Its energy unit pledged to keep reducing carbon emissions.
A United Nations report shows climate change is racing ahead of the world’s efforts to adapt.
An advance report on January trade in goods is ahead, in a week that will give us the Institute for Supply Management’s latest report and payrolls data for February.
are deep in the red, with Dow futures down over 400 points, as investors flocked to bonds
the U.S. dollar
are also under pressure, with financial stocks sinking. Crude
was up 4% to trade at more than $95 a barrel, and Goldman Sachs lifted its Brent
target to $115, from a current $98 a barrel.
These were the top traded tickers on MarketWatch as of 6 a.m. Eastern Time:
Here’s a refresher chart from Goldman on the commodities that Russia produces:
Airbnb will offer free, short-term housing for 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Here’s how some are helping Ukraine’s animals.
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