Chart Advisor: Watching Microcaps for the Next Move

Articles From: Investopedia
Website: Investopedia

By J.C. Parets & All Star Charts

Wednesday, 22nd March, 2023

1/ Watching Microcaps for the Next Move

2/ Tech Over Financials

3/ Is the Yen About to Rise?

4/ Sugar, Sugar

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1/ Watching Microcaps for the Next Move

As the market reacts lower following today’s FOMC decision, we want to be on heightened alert for technical damage and signs of further weakness.

When looking for evidence of additional downside risk, some of the best information we have is in the price action of market laggards. The weakest areas typically break down first and lead the broader market lower.

When it comes to the major averages, the Russell Microcap Index (IWC) is as weak as it gets these days:

Source: All Star Charts, with data provided by Optuma

As you can see in the above chart, bears have already made a go at this level a handful of times since last year. Bulls have stepped in and successfully defended it up until now, but they could be on their last leg.

One thing we know about technical analysis is that the more times a level is tested, the more likely it is to break. This key psychological level just above 100 has been a battleground since the pre-pandemic peak back in 2020.

If bears finally take control and force a downside resolution, we could expect a fresh leg lower for micro-cap stocks. If this proves to be the case, the broader market could come under increased selling pressure as well.

2/ Tech Over Financials

The growth vs. value relationship has been a big part of the conversation in recent weeks as we have seen a clear shift unfold in favor of growth areas of the market.

Another way to view this relationship is through the technology (XLK) vs. financials (XLF) ratio, which serve as close proxies for growth and value stocks, respectively.

Source: All Star Charts, with data provided by Optuma

As you can see in the chart above, XLK recently found support at its dotcom bubble highs relative to XLF and rebounded to its highest level since November 2020.

As long as we’re above this shelf of former highs, we could anticipate growth and tech stocks to lead for the foreseeable future.

3/ Is the Yen About to Rise?

Few global currencies are more strongly impacted by interest rates than the Japanese yen (JPY).

Here is a chart of yen futures:

Source: All Star Charts, with data provided by Optuma

Since the Fed began raising rates last spring, the yen has been one of the fastest-depreciating currencies relative to the U.S. dollar. It stands to reason that it could experience a significant trend reversal as the Fed changes course.

We’ll know whether this is the case if and when the yen reclaims a key polarity zone marked by its 2015 pivot low.

If the yen takes back that level, long-duration assets such as bonds and tech stocks could enjoy a similar boost.

4/ Sugar, Sugar

The Fed has made its mark on commodity futures contracts.

Crude oil is digging in at a key polarity zone as energy contracts are on the verge of a breakdown, while copper is struggling to hold above a critical shelf of former lows. We also can’t forget about the impact of recent bank failures.

Cyclical assets across the board are experiencing increased selling pressure, but pockets of strength remain within the commodities market. For instance, May sugar futures posted fresh contract highs today:

Source: All Star Charts, with data provided by Optuma

Other areas, such as cattle and cocoa, are also catching higher. While they might not carry the same significance to the global economy and Consumer Price Index (CPI) as copper or crude oil, they still reveal lingering inflation.

Originally posted 22nd March, 2023

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