Bulls are having their way as summer draws to a close. Indeed, U.S. stocks and bonds seem to be the best and safest place to invest in a global economy that is at once hopeful and cautious, with lots of available cash hunting for attractive returns. But now the S&P 500 must deal with the ominous 2,000 level. Read more about Sector Detector: Up next for bulls, a big test of conviction

Scott MartindaleAs Q1 of 2014 comes to an end, we can see that January was extremely weak, February gained it all back, and March treaded water. At this point, as we head into what has been the strongest month of the year over the past 20 years, signals are mixed, with a steadily recovering economy and bullish fundamental indicators mixed with neutral technical and some bearish sentiment indicators. Read more about Sector Detector: Caution flag stays out as stocks continue their consolidation

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Scott MartindaleThere is no sugar-coating what happened to stocks on Friday. All around the world, stocks really took it on the chin as the usual support mechanisms that bulls have enjoyed failed to materialize. The S&P 500 sliced through firm support at 1800 on high volume like it wasn’t even there. But market participants had become convinced that a long-overdue correction was imminent, so they quite simply were looking for a reason to sell. Read more about Sector Detector: Will investors embrace weakness as an entry point?

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Scott Martindale“Stocks fall on Fed taper discussion.” That’s the gist of what you heard in the media on Wednesday to account for the market’s late-day pullback. There’s always some sort of attempt to explain daily market action. But the reality is that investors simply must take a periodic breather to regroup and retrench, particularly when making an assault on round-number resistance for a major index. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks retrench for another assault on round-number resistance

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Scott MartindaleThe intransigence continues in Washington, and it has kept stock market buyers at bay until they get the go signal from Congress. This has left the sellers in control as investor sentiment has temporarily shifted from a buy-the-dip mentality to protect-your-gains and preservation-of-capital. Read more about Sector Detector: Buy the dip sentiment gives way to preservation of capital

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Did you buy a market index call option in advance of the Scott MartindaleFOMC announcement on Wednesday? Maybe a straddle? Or did you at least hold pat on long positions knowing that you held an implicit “Fed put” against any meaningful downside? It seems like many investors did one of these, as markets have been strong in advance of today’s announcement. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks have a friend in the Fed

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Scott MartindaleOverall, earnings reports have continued to beat the low bar of expectations. Read more about Sector Detector: Revenue growth and raised guidance are critical for bulls

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Scott MartindaleBulls have regained their footing and recruited some reinforcements, as the S&P 500 on Wednesday powered right through its 5.5-year intraday high of 1576 on increased trading volume to set a new record of 1589. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls reclaim their mojo as Healthcare leads

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Scott MartindaleCash flush investors who have been waiting for a buying opportunity must be feeling like the guy standing outside the sold-out concert looking for someone willing to sell him a ticket. Stocks just won’t pull back much, despite a huge wall of worry that one might expect would put some quicksand under the bulls’ feet. Read more about Sector Detector: Lead, follow, or get out of the way

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An inordinately contentious and dispiriting election season left virtually everyone who was paying attention with a bitter taste in their mouth about the say-whatever-it-takes politicians that so desperately seek the honor of representing us. But never fear, at least we can still look to the top brass in our military for leaders with the utmost in discipline and integrity, right? Read more about Sector Detector: Jaded public needs a new hero

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