Watch the Russell 2000 for Market Direction

The Russell 2000 is down about 0.5% today, as is the Dow (off about 100 points so far).  The Russell has rebounded of late, surpassing the 1,163 level where it began 2014, but has failed to make a new high.  Currently at 1,167, it is just 4 points from the break-even level.

The Russell has been a reliable early indicator of market direction.  I am watching this index to see if it once again treks lower, especially to see if it breaks down through its 200-day moving average (now at about 1,125), and then support at around 1,080.  Penetrations of these key support levels would be a sell indicator for the index, and for the broader market.

With this stated, today is the first day we have seen any measurable downside for stocks in a few weeks, and today’s downturn is minor at best, especially with regard to the NASDAQ Composite, which is basically flat at the moment.  We will need to see a lot more selling pressure and negative sentiment to get this market moving down.  The positive bias and momentum is very strong here, and it will take a lot to reverse it.

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