Harry Peterson
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Harry Peterson in Investing & more!,

S&P pullback may be investors’ last chance

As much as the market rallied this past week, we still have not seen dissipation of the bearishness in the financial media. Most seem way too focused on corporate earnings, and believe that will be the next shoe to drop, and cause the market to drop.

Yet, in study after study that I have read, it has been clearly shown that corporate earnings are not what drive the financial markets, as stunning as that may sound to some of you. If you take time to think about it, how often do we see stocks tank on good earnings reports, or rally on bad ones? How do we explain stocks that rally to the stratosphere that have no earnings at all? If one is honest about these markets, it is quite clear that earnings are not what drive our movements.

So, while many remain bearish due to what they expect to be bad corporate earnings in the upcoming reports, we have chosen to remain steadfastly bullish the main trend. But we are faced with a question as to whether the market is truly ready to break out right now. As of the close on Friday, there is mounting evidence that it wants to break out in the not-too-distant future. In fact, this year may turn out to be a "Buy in May" event.

From a timing standpoint, the market turned up right at our last turn window on our timing chart, with the futures hitting a spike low on the Friday during which the markets were closed (which is why it is not seen on the SPX turn chart). Furthermore, the market downside over the last month had come within 8 points of the ideal target region I have been posting, even though many did not believe we would approach those levels when we called for a top at the end of February.

However, in order to view the pullback as a completed correction, we would need to rely upon a truncated 5th wave in the (c) wave of the b-wave of 3 — the larger-degree count for which is presented on our timing chart. Personally, I have a hard time relying upon truncated patterns, but that does not mean I am taking a bearish posture, or even considering selling any of my long positions. Remember, we have been expecting a very strong rally to take place in April and May, so attempting to aggressively trade downside while we await the heart of a 3rd wave to take hold is usually not a healthy proposition for your investment account. In fact, a strong move through 2117 on the S&P 500 Emini futres ESM5, +0.11% will be a signal to me that we are in the heart of the 3rd wave of the c-wave to 2182ES.

From the standpoint of the iShares Russell 2000 ETF IWM, -0.02% it still looks like this has only been a b-wave rally, with a c-wave down yet to come, which should retest the 121-122 region. Yet, when we dropped for the a-wave, I noted several times in the Trading Room at Elliottwavetrader.net that I added to my long IWM positions, and I still do not suggest selling those positions. This is simply because the larger-degree pattern is a textbook bullish setup, with a parabolic move higher yet to come. But as I noted this past week, it is reasonable to hedge your longs in anticipation of the c-wave, with stops just over the all-time highs.

So, while the IWM is still ideally suggestive of one more drop to complete this wave ii consolidation, if, in the upcoming week, we see a move through the prior all-time high, with strong follow through over 128, it should be clear that wave ii completed at the end of March in very sharp and quick fashion (not the typical wave ii), and we should be setting our sights next on the 132-136 region for wave iii of 3.

The upcoming week should provide us with the answer to the question I posed in the title of this update. Keep in mind we have been looking at the last month as a consolidation setting us up for a strong rally toward 2200 in the S&P 500 and 132-136 in the IWM. So, if next week does not provide us with weakness in the equity market, and we take out the all-time highs, we are clearly heading much higher, and toward our long-time targets much sooner than later. But should the market be so kind as to provide us with one more pullback or even one more low toward 2021ES, it will likely be your last opportunity to enter for this next rally to 2182ES/2189SPX and 132-136 in the IWM.