Major averages were unusually mixed on higher volume with spiking volume on the NASDAQ Composite, coming in at 69% above its 50-day average.
Divergences were pronounced:
1) Major averages: The NASDAQ Composite was down -1.8% while the S&P 500 was nearly flat and the Dow Industrials and Russell 2000 were up almost half a percent.
2) A large number of technology stocks got crushed. The space has become broad over the years as many stocks now are at least somewhat involved in the space. Meanwhile, financials as noted by the ETF XLF were up strongly at +1.89%. This was due to the potential repeal of parts of Dodd Frank legislation which is seen as highly bullish for financial stocks.
3) The advance/decline ratio stood at a surprising 1835:1115 for NYSE stocks and 1279:704 for NASDAQ Composite stocks despite the carnage.
Techs have been leading the way all year, but the Dodd-Frank issue pushed institutions to sell some of their tech holdings and move them into financials. Friday's action in the financials ETF XLF vs. the NASDAQ-100 ETF QQQ underscores this rotation. Nevertheless, it is indeed a rare event that such deep divergences occur over one trading day.
Friday's market action underscores the discipline to always know your exit points and heed your stops. Risk management is the most important rule in investing. Lose as little as possible when the market goes against you by having strategic, low-risk entry points that expose your trade to a few percent or less risk as we have frequently detailed in our daily Focus List Review updates. While you let the upside take care of itself, be mindful of profit taking strategies when a stock's price gets ahead of itself in context with its overall chart.
The divergences continue as NASDAQ futures are off by -0.77% vs. S&P futures which are off -0.15% at the time of this writing.
The Federal Reserve concludes its two-day meeting this Wednesday when they announce their decision on interest rates. CME Fed Futures predict near certainty that the Fed will hike rates once again. Investors will remain focused on language the Fed uses regarding the strength of the economy as well as for clues on whether a second rate hike will occur in December.