In our latest interview with Toni Turner of TrendStar Trading Group, we discussed some possible near-term scenarios for this shaky market. With so many uncertainties looming, traders and investors face a number of potential outcomes.
EQ: Stocks are up about 3 percent so far in September after experiencing a rough August. Is this an encouraging sign for the market to go higher from here?
Turner: It’s important right now to see what the S&P 500 does because we’re at a point where several key events could take place depending on the Fed’s stance this coming week. Ifwe look at a daily chart of the S&P 500, it is nearing a resistance point from the May highs. Should it start rolling over here and head back below 1625, it could form a head-and-shoulders top-reversal pattern, which usually has a negative outcome.
Alternatively, the S&P 500 could continue moving higher from here back to the 1709 all-time high. If it falls at that point, and moves to that 1625 or 1630 support line, then it could form a double top, which also usually has a negative outcome.
More optimistically, it could move sideways between 1630 and 1709 for a while until we move into the typical three best months of the year, which are November, December, and January. The best case scenario—and I’m sure everyone would like to see this—is for it to move above 1709 and continue into an uptrend. Right now, it’s in an iffy position and trading on low volume. So I think it’s wise for traders and investors to trade what they see, and not what they think is going to happen.
EQ: The Federal Reserve will be watched very closely the coming days as the long-expected taper of its bond-purchasing program could be set to begin as early as next week. What is your feeling on the market with this possibly news looming?
Turner: Most of the shock and awe over the Fed tapering its bond purchases has been priced into the S&P 500 right now. It has generally been assumed that the Fed would taper its bond buying by $10 billion a month in the coming months. Right now, it seems that the market has pretty much factored that in, but as I said earlier, the market will still react to this coming week’s announcement. If you look at long-term bond prices through the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treas Bond ($TLT) or other interest rate-sensitive vehicles, they’re all pausing here. Of course, they could go lower should the announcement next week be something that we don’t expect.
EQ: Apple’s new iPhone announcement was a major dud for investors, triggering a heavy selloff. Would you consider this a buying opportunity or is it too uncertain to touch right now?
Turner: I tend to stay away from stocks that are in the media spotlight. While I believe Apple (AAPL) is a fantastic company, my focus is on high-quality companies that trade below the media radar, with good fundamentals and good setups.
Were I to consider Apple here, I wouldn’t buy it at this exact point. I would need proof that it can hold above its 200-day moving average. To me, it appears to be in a very precarious zone, and it’s probably a good buy for investors like Warren Buffett, who buy and go to sleep for several years. For those people who are at all nervous about holding overnight positions, however, they may be advised to move into something more conservative.
EQ: What sectors are you watching right now?
Turner: The industry group that I’m watching right now is natural gas and the United States Natural Gas (UNG) . It’s risen off its August lows and has made a nice run up. Right now, it’s hesitating here with the lows at $18.47. As long as it can stay above that price level, I will be interested in it. If the U.S. does go on to have a manufacturing renaissance, as is predicted, natural gas could benefit nicely.