How Negative Sentiment Will Continue To Drive The Market Higher
As I noted two weeks ago as we were striking the 2400 region on the S&P 500 (SPX): "As we now find ourselves striking our target of 2400-2440SPX, now is the time to emotionally prepare yourself for a 'pullback.'"
Since that time, the market has been consolidating lower.
In just the last 24 hours on Seeking Alpha alone, where I publish frequently, I have counted no less than nine bearish articles, with headlines such as, "Convincing Traits Of A Market Bubble," "When This All Blows Up..." and "The Correction In The S&P 500 Is Already Here."
Yes, it seems that the market is quite bearish, at least based upon the plethora of negative articles about the market. Moreover, with the SPX dropping 47 points from its all-time high (registering a 2% pullback), bearish sentiment, according to AAII Investor Sentiment Survey, reached levels not seen since the bottom of the market in February 2016. That is an astounding statistic to me.
When you couple the relatively high bearish sentiment along with the plethora of negative articles being presented by analysts, it is hard to see how we can even see a deep pullback. Clearly, it is not likely that the "crash" which most have been anticipating for quite some time will be seen anytime soon. You see, markets do not strongly decline when most expect it. Rather, markets top when most are bullish, and bottom when most are bearish. A sentiment reading that is as bearish as when the market bottomed in February of 2016 is not an indication of a market top, in my humble opinion.
As I warned a few weeks ago, the market is likely going to see a pullback in the near term. And, in the patterns I have been following, I thought we would approach the 2300SPX region, and even saw the potential to drop as deeply as the 2230SPX region in this pullback. However, due to the huge negative sentiment developing when we are only 2% off the all-time highs, it is leading me to a potential whipsaw scenario over the coming month.
So, as long as the 2335SPX region is held as support on any further weakness within the next week or so, I see the potential for the market to make a new all-time high in what we count as a b-wave rally, as shown on the attached chart. And, that new all-time high can certainly dissipate some of the current bearishness, which can then set up another decline in a c-wave down, potentially in April.
But, I just want to reiterate that I do not see any major corrections in the near term. Rather, I see this action I expect over the next month or two as setting up the next 200-point rally in the SPX into the summer.
Avi Gilburt is a widely followed Elliott Wave technical analyst and author of ElliottWaveTrader.net (www.elliottwavetrader.net), a live Trading Room featuring his intraday market analysis (including emini S&P 500, metals, oil, USD & VXX), interactive member-analyst forum, and detailed library of Elliott Wave education.