Indices hold their ground

After plenty of volatility, indices have begun to stabilise, and breadth readings suggest dip buyers may be showing up.

Source: Bloomberg

An early bounce has helped to restore some measure of positivity among indices, although the weak finish to last week casts a long shadow.

Breadth continues to recover, albeit slowly, providing some hope that the dip buyers are back in action.

The put/call ratio has dropped back slightly, which can indicate that a move higher in price is on the way. A drop in investor bearishness is often a good sign, so this indicator bears watching in coming days.

S&P 500 put/call ratio chart

Even if markets do rebound, it is important to distinguish between various indices. This is not the 'easy money' era of 2017, when all equities seemed to go up, regardless of location, fundamentals or economic outlook.

Instead, we have seen wide divergences develop, and indeed continue, as European and Asian markets fall back.

If the market begins to rebound, and if this rebound continues into year end, as seasonality would suggest, then the indices to look for long positions would be those with the strongest record so far this year, and US indices and the Nikkei seem to be the ones to watch here.

S&P 500 and Nasdaq

Breadth has recovered for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, even if the price has yet to mount a meaningful rally.

Risk-reward is still probably skewed to the upside here, although heightened volatility means the journey may not be a smooth one.

S&P 500 chart

Nasdaq chart

FTSE 100 and DAX

Risk-reward is also skewed to the upside for the FTSE 100 and DAX, but it is important to note that while US markets saw record highs only relatively recently, both these indices have been moving lower during the summer.

Thus upside may be limited, and any rebound in price and breadth could well bring out the sellers once again in due course.

FTSE 100 chart

DAX chart

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