Since large institutional investors (hedge funds, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, etc.) are the primary drivers of asset prices, it pays to keep an eye on them. The market’s ‘big boys’ seem to be focused on this Dow Jones News Service report:
Widespread anti-government protests in Egypt have lifted crude prices sharply higher the last two trading sessions. On Monday, protesters called for a general strike and said they planned a “million man march” Tuesday to mark one week since the start of the upheaval. Though Egypt is not a major oil producer, the continued protests stoked fears that shipping traffic at the Suez Canal, a key energy transit route, could be interrupted or that the unrest could spread to major oil producers elsewhere in the region.
Our guess is a “million man march” has the potential to turn into a violet scene on Tuesday. Large market players seem to agree as they basically have sat on the sidelines as of 2:50 p.m. ET. Trading volume is down approximately 27% vs. the same time on Friday on both the NYSE and NASDAQ.
From a technical perspective (another way to track big market players), the S&P 500 is flashing several short-term bearish divergences. Compare the slope of the green line for price to the slopes of the orange lines in the indicators. The orange slopes show a market that is still susceptible to selling in the short-term. These conditions can be easily cleared, but they should not be ignored.
The market may find its footing soon, but we prefer to be patient with any cash. We will also maintain a watchful eye on our holdings until the technical weakness shown above is no longer present.