Two Notable Breakouts
While the broader indexes were choppy and non-committal, two markets broke out above long-term resistance to new highs last week. The first inside the US, the biotech sector, IBB, had tried to get above the $300 level at least 4 times in the past year and a half and failed each time. Apparently the fifth time was the charm as it surged almost 10% last week on huge (>3x) volume. This has room to run as it used a rising 200 day moving average as a trampoline. $340 should provide near term resistance but if this has legs the rectangle pattern target is $360 and above that, the prior $400 high.
The second breakout occurred in the Taiwanese stock market. This chart below goes back 21 years so the fact their market broke out above this level on its fifth attempt is more confirmation of investors (current) desire for risk assets. Whether this is due to the lack of interest in bonds or just an extension of this bull market only time will tell. Regardless, a break to all-time highs in such an important financial market as Taiwan can be viewed as extremely bullish.
When looking at alternative markets, it’s important to view them in context of the US and global indexes. It makes no sense to commit financial capital unless the alternative can outperform your current holdings. In the bottom pane of the chart below is the plot of the Taiwan market against the SP500. As you can see it has been in a steep downtrend lagging the SP500 since 2009 by 50%. What should stand out is the ratio has bottomed and has made (ever so) slightly higher highs and higher lows, signaling a high probability the downtrend has ended and a reversal is at hand.