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If it wasn’t clear, I wanted to emphasize that there is a difference between a technically oversold, short-term snap back rally and a deep oversold condition which results after a prolonged and steep decline. The former can be only caught by nimble traders while the latter by position traders who want to catch intermediate moves.
Looking at the technical picture of the Utilities Select SPDR (XLU), I don’t think we are seeing any sort of intermediate bottom - atleast not the kind we’ve seen before. The bullish percent moved sharply lower from 96.25% to 83.33%. It only goes to show how strong this sector is that such a decline leaves it still at a historically high bullish percent reading.
The last intermediate bottom in this sector was in last summer when the BP reached a low of 67%. Historically, we’ve seen much, much lower BP readings form bottoms. In September 2001, there was a BP reading of 23.26%, in July 2002, 13.33% and October 2002, 20%. In keeping with the characterstic of strong bull markets, we have been able to launch further up moves from shallow oversold.
Looking at the percentage of stocks in the sector above their moving averages:
- 57% are above their 200 day MA - a real washed out would be around 20%
- 10% are above 50 day MA - lower than the 20% reading last summer
- only 1 utility stock is above its 10 day MA
So basically, in the short term, the utilities sector is stretched into oversold territory. But by any longer term measure, things are not as extreme. If you’re a nimble trader, you can catch short term moves but as a position trader or longer term investor, eventhough it is off its highs, I don’t think this is the time to add fresh money to this sector.
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