BUY THE DIP? WHAT DIP?
Buy the dip? What dip? Beyond the double-digit gains in stocks this year1 and all of the all-time highs (29 for the S&P 500 Index already this year), perhaps the biggest story for the S&P 500 in 2017 is the absence of pullbacks. Here we discuss the lack of pullbacks, what could cause the next one, and how technical analysis could help us decide whether to buy the dip.
Whether you look at the number of trading days since the S&P 500 has pulled back 5% (279 days), or just 3% (187 days), it has been an unusually calm and steady advance. The streak without a 3% pullback, pictured in Figure 1, is particularly noteworthy as it has only been matched once since 1950. From January 1995 through January 1996, the S&P 500 went 241 trading days (about two weeks short of a full calendar year) without a 3% pullback. The early stages of the technology boom, Federal Reserve (Fed) rate cuts, falling market interest rates, and low (at least for that period) and stable inflation all played a role in the stock market’s steady move higher during that period.
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