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Nasdaq 100 price action suggests renewed appetite for US tech stocks


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The Nasdaq’s gains are starkly contrasted with relatively weak performances this year from US index peers the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (Wall Street 30), suggesting some sector rotation has occurred.

BG_nasdaq_23234234.jpgSource: Bloomberg
 

 Shaun Murison | Senior Market Analyst, Johannesburg | Publication date: Monday 20 March 2023 

The Nasdaq 100 index, after being out of favour in 2022, has managed to produce double digit price gains within the first quarter of 2023. These gains are starkly contrasted with relatively weak performances this year from US index peers the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average (Wall Street 30).

The failure of smaller financial counters Silvergate, First Republic and Silicon Valley Banks, has sparked fears around a mini banking crisis prompting weakness in larger banking peers which make up some of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial index constituents. In turn there is a suggestion that we are now seeing some sector rotation by investors back into technology stocks found within the Nasdaq 100 index.

Relative strength comparison: Nasdaq 100 vs S&P 500

 

20MarNasdaqSPX.pngSource: IG

The chart above shows a ratio comparison of the Nasdaq 100 (numerator) and the S&P500 (denominator) from the beginning of 2022 up until now (20 March 2023).

The red trend line (arrow) highlights the downtrend in this ratio which reflects a significant underperformance of the Nasdaq against the S&P500 in 2022.

The blue arrow highlights the upward trend of this ratio which began in early 2023. The upward trend now prevalent, highlights the Nasdaq 100’s outperformance of the S&P 500.

Relative strength comparison: Nasdaq 100 vs Dow Jones Industrial Average

 

20MARNASDAQDOW.pngSource: IG

Similarly, to our previous chart (Nasdaq100 / SP500) the above chart of the Nasdaq 100 (numerator) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (denominator) ratio highlights these same trends, i.e. in 2022 Nasdaq 100 consistently underperformed the Dow, while in 2023 that trend appears to have reversed.

Year to date index moves compared

 

20MARYTDUSINDEX.pngSource: IG

Albeit from a lower base, the Nasdaq 100 has outperformed its benchmark peers the S&P500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average significantly in 2023.

Nasdaq 100 – Technical analysis

20MARNASDAQ1.pngSource: IG

As highlighted in a previous article, the 50-day simple moving average (50MA) (green line) has recently crossed above the 200-day simple moving average (200MA) (blue line). This moving average crossover is commonly referred to as the ‘golden cross’ in technical analysis terms. The suggestion is that it marks the beginning of a new longer-term uptrend in a market, in this case the Nasdaq 100.

While we have seen some short-term gains to follow in the index, the Nasdaq 100 does now also trade in overbought territory.
The overbought signal suggests that trend followers looking for long entry might be afforded an opportunity to do so through either a near term price pullback or sideways consolidation.

 

20MarNasdaq2.pngSource: IG

The price break above resistance at 12350, now sees this level as possible support, should a pullback ensue. Traders supporting the long-term uptrend might look for long entry on a pullback to either this level or trend line (solid black line) support. Preferably a pullback would need to end with a bullish reversal (candle) pattern.

In this scenario, 12900 and 13190 provide initial resistance targets, while a close below the reversal low might be used as a stop loss indication for the trade.

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