One of the more contentious market debates going on right now centers around “breadth” or, perhaps more appropriately, a lack thereof.
This is another one of those conversations that at the end of the day can be traced back to conflicting views about the relative health and/or sustainability of the equity rally.
During the first half of the year, there was no shortage of digital ink spilled on the extent to which a handful of tech names were responsible for a disproportionate share of benchmark performance.
I’m aiming at conciseness here, so I’m not going to rehash that argument, but for those interested, my most recent post on this platform detailing the issue can be found here.
In that linked piece, you can find my response to a popular Twitter personality who I contend might be looking at things the wrong way, and also commentary from Howard Marks that supports my contention.
But here I want to leave aside that point and just focus on a few rather poignant visuals.
The first is particularly telling. So this is the number of stocks on the NYSE making new 52-week lows minus the number of stocks making new 52-highs in the top pane with daily returns on the S&P (SPY) in the bottom pane:What that shows is that the last three times the S&P has risen, the number of stocks making new lows exceeded the number of stocks making new highs. Obviously, that doesn’t say anything good about market breadth.