Investor Alert

Oct. 26, 2019, 10:51 a.m. EDT

Stocks plunged a year ago — here’s what’s different about the current environment

Earnings are so far better than expected, and the Fed is keeping interest rates low

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By Nigam Arora

Getty Images

At the end of 2018 the stock market fell about 20%. Could it happen again this year?

Let’s use a chart to explore the issue. Please click here for an annotated chart of S&P 500 ETF /zigman2/quotes/209901640/composite SPY +1.54% .

Note the following:

• The chart shows when the stock market fell about 20%.

• The chart shows the Arora buy signal given on Christmas Eve, which turned out to be the bottom of the decline.

• The chart shows that since the 20% drop in the stock market, the market has recovered all of the drop and more.

• The chart shows the breakout. This is a positive.

• The chart shows that the move after the breakout has been small. This is a negative.

• The chart shows that resistance is nearby. This is a negative.

• Historically, the pattern the chart is tracing has a high probability of breaking out above the resistance level to the upside. This is a positive.

• The chart shows that the relative strength index (RSI) is overbought. This indicates that the market is vulnerable to the downside.

• The chart shows that the volume is typically higher on down days. This is a negative.

• The first big difference between last year and now is Federal Reserve policy. Last year the Fed was tightening its monetary policy. This year the Fed is easing. This is a positive.

• At The Arora Report, we monitor economic indicators from 23 countries. Our focus is on leading economic indicators. This year the leading economic indicators are weaker than they were last year. This is the second big difference from last year. This is a negative.

• Earnings are the single best determinate of the stock market in the long term. Earnings season is in full swing, and earnings are slowing. So far, however, earnings are better than expected. This is a positive.

US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 317.05
+4.82 +1.54%
Volume: 61.71M
July 6, 2020 4:00p
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