A good week for the S&P 500 but not the ASX

By Colin Twiggs
June 21st, 2014 10:00 a.m. AEST (8:00 p:m EDT)

Advice contained herein is provided for the general information of readers and does not have regard to any particular person's investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, no reader should act on the basis of any information herein without first having consulted a suitably qualified financial advisor.


  • Good week for US markets.
  • China continues to threaten further down-side.
  • The ASX 200, pulled in opposite directions, is range bound for the present.
  • Momentum strategies require persistence.

The S&P 500 broke through 1950 and is expected to test the next resistance level at 2000*. Rising 21-day Twiggs Money Flow signals medium-term buying pressure. Reversal below 1925 is unlikely at present but would warn of a correction.

S&P 500

* Target calculation: 1900 + ( 1900 - 1800 ) = 2000

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) continues its downward path, indicating low risk typical of a bull market.

S&P 500 VIX

The Shanghai Composite Index rebounded Friday after a tough week and continues to test primary support at 1990/2000. Breach of support would signal a decline to 1850*. 21-Day Twiggs Money Flow oscillating above zero indicates buying support; a fall below zero would suggest selling pressure. The primary trend is expected to continue its downward path, but this is a managed descent and an abrupt fall seems unlikely.

Shanghai Composite

* Target calculation: 2000 - ( 2150 - 2000 ) = 1850

After a strong surge on Thursday the ASX 200 retreated below 5450 on Friday, suggesting another test of support at 5400. Reversal of 21-day Twiggs Money Flow below zero indicates medium-term selling pressure. Breach of support is likely and would indicate a correction to 5300. Recovery above 5500 is unlikely at present, but the long-term trend remains upward.

ASX 200

* Target calculation: 5400 + ( 5400 - 5000 ) = 5800

Resist the urge to avoid discomfort

Momentum stocks have suffered a fair degree of turbulence since April, after a strong first quarter. Investors unfortunately have to endure periods like this, when the market appears hesitant or lacks direction, in much the same the same way as travelers can expect turbulence during an air flight. It is important is to resist the urge to avoid discomfort by exiting positions. Enduring uncomfortable parts of the journey are necessary if you want to reach your intended destination. Our research on both the ASX and S&P 500 has shown that attempting to time secondary movements in the markets does not enhance but erodes performance: the average (re-)entry price is higher than the average exit price after accounting for brokerage.

A basic rule of thumb in investing is that investors need to endure higher volatility in order to achieve higher returns. If your investment time frame is long-term, it is important to focus on the end result and not be overly concerned by weekly fluctuations.

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.

~ Thomas Sowell


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