Sometimes the U.S. stock market sends a clear, unambiguous message. But many investors are so caught up in their own opinions that they shut out the message.

This market is controlled by the momo (momentum) crowd. The momo crowd believes blue skies are ahead as far as they can see. The message the stock market sent during Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference Wednesday says that the market is vulnerable. Let’s explore the issue with the help of a chart.


Please click here for an annotated chart of S&P 500 ETF

SPY, -0.22%

which represents the S&P 500 Index

SPX, -0.21%

Please note the following:

• The chart shows that the stock market rose immediately after the Fed decision was announced.

• The chart shows when Powell’s press conference started.

• The chart shows aggressive selling on Powell saying that lower inflation was transitory. The key word here is “transitory.” If Powell had not used that word, the stock market was ready to go higher. Bulls were hoping that lower inflation would prompt the Fed to lower interest rates. This stock market is addicted to low interest rates.

• The VUD indicator is the most sensitive indicator of supply and demand in real time. In simple terms, stocks fall when supply exceeds demand, and vice versa.

• The chart shows the VUD indicator with periods of orange and high amplitude. This indicates a significantly higher supply of stocks than demand.

• Even Apple’s

AAPL, -0.65%

stock, which was aggressively bought prior to Powell’s conference, was not immune. Apple stock saw selling during and after the conference. Please see “Prudent investors are worried about Apple’s ‘17% problem.’ ”

• Please click here for the longer-term chart showing the Arora buy signal given on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve turned out to be the low of this cycle. For the sake of transparency, this chart is unchanged from the original. Ever since the Arora buy signal shown on the chart, the VUD indicator has not shown such negativity until Powell conference. Prudent investors may want to make a note of this. Please see “This chart says to stay bullish on the U.S. stock market.”

• Popular large-cap tech stocks such as Amazon

AMZN, -0.56%


FB, -0.26%


NFLX, +0.07%

and Microsoft

MSFT, -1.31%

also saw selling late in the day.

• The market was sending another important message to the momo crowd. The momo crowd’s six favorite stocks reported good earnings; the stocks were up in the pre-market and were sold during the day. The typical pattern would have been for those stocks to bounce in the afternoon. Instead, the stocks were sold in the afternoon. The six stocks are AMD

AMD, +5.52%

Akamai Technologies

AKAM, -0.95%

Tandem Diabetes Care

TNDM, +5.23%


TWLO, +2.62%

Teladoc Health

TDOC, +0.00%

and Exact Sciences

EXAS, +4.56%

• Gold bulls were hoping for lower interest rates. Instead, as the dollar strengthened, gold ETF

GLD, -0.38%

silver ETF

SLV, -0.29%

gold miner ETF

GDX, -1.71%

and junior gold miner ETF

GDXJ, -2.19%

were sold.

• As the dollar rose, oil was sold. ETFs of interest are oil ETF

USO, -3.03%

leveraged oil ETF

UWT, -9.25%

and leveraged inverse oil ETF (DWT).

Read: Why the April jobs report could be unusually strong — and not reflecting underlying economy

Ask Arora: Nigam Arora answers your questions about investing in stocks, ETFs, bonds, gold and silver, oil and currencies. Have a question? Send it to Nigam Arora.

What to do now

Most investors will do themselves a favor by setting aside their own opinions, going into neutral without emotion and listen to the message of the market. The strong reaction to the word “transitory” shows that the main driver of this market is the Fed and the market is vulnerable.

A systematic way to listen to the message of the markets is to use adaptive algorithms that change themselves based on market conditions. To see how this is done in the ZYX Asset Allocation model, please click here. Based on the model, we provide precise levels of cash and hedges as well as positions to buy, sell and hold. In general the model is bullish but calls for holding a fair amount of cash and some hedges. These days you can get over a 2% return on cash.

Disclosure: Subscribers to The Arora Report may have positions in the securities mentioned in this article or may take positions at any time. Nigam Arora is an investor, engineer and nuclear physicist by background who has founded two Inc. 500 fastest-growing companies. He is the founder of The Arora Report, which publishes four newsletters. Nigam can be reached at

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