The leaders have been powering this market higher for a long time. The distance between the generals and the soldiers, once thought to portend a market top, is as wide as it has ever been.
Market participants have been having the same discussion for the last 5 years.
At this point any chatter about lousy breadth sounds like boy who cried wolf talk, so please forgive me for going there again, because what happened last week is truly remarkable.
Jonathan Krinsky wrote:
The Nasdaq Composite (CCMP) closed up 1.49%, while the Nasdaq A/D line was -971. To put that in perspective, since 2004 (as far back as we have data) there has only been one other day where the CCMP was up at least 1.49%, and there were more decliners than advancers. That was 4/16/20 which was +1.66% with the A/D line -319.
Looking at it the other way, there have been 645 days since 2004 when the CCMP had at least 971 net decliners. Prior to Friday, the best performance for the CCMP on those days was +0.67% (6/10/20). The second best day was +0.53% on 7/9/20. Put another way, the top three most lopsided breadth/performance days in the last 16 years have come in the last 7 weeks.
So, the question you might be asking is, does any of this matter? Paradoxically, this was more concerning on the way up than it is today. What I mean is, now that the big five are such a large percentage of the market, it hardly matters what the rest of the stocks are doing. For example, Krinsky notes that the top three names in the NASDAQ-100, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, are equal to the bottom 87 stocks in the index.
I’ll give Jonathan the last word here.
So until and unless some of the mega-cap tech names begin to breakdown a bit, it’s difficult to call a top and breadth divergences are less and less meaningful.