Markets were content to put this week to a close Friday, with the Dow, that quite frankly we do not follow much, losing ground everyday this week. Perhaps the round 16000 number may offer some temporary support. The leading Nasdaq which we pay very close attention to, as it is the leader among the big three, lost 2.1% this week. That was the third consecutive week of underperformance compared to the S&P 500. The Nasdaq has lost ground 6 of the last 7 days, with volume trends not positive. The one up day, Wednesday, where it rose .4% in weak volume was sandwiched between Tuesdays .6% decline and Thursdays 1.5% loss in accelerated trade. On a YTD the Nasdaq is treading water above the UNCH line with a 1.6% advance, and another week like last will put it into negative territory. The S&P 500 is already there lower by .4% YTD. To keep things in perspective the Nasdaq lies just 2.9% off decade old highs, so the bulls can claim that this pause is healthy, where the bears can say there is potential for a meaningful correction. The groups becoming leaders recently, namely the utilities, are outperforming handsomely in 2014. The XLU is up close to 8% YTD. Looking back on how it started 2013 was interesting as it gained ground 15 of the first 16 weeks. The intraweek high during that robust run was 41.44 made during the week ending 5/3/13. It is right back there now. Last years fabulous start to 2013 was welcomed as a very broad based rally. This years divergence an ominous sign?
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