Talking Numbers

What investors might be missing about the market now

What investors might be missing about the market now

The market is still just a few points from its highs yet it seems everyone is now skittish. But are they too nervous?

Concerns of a 10 or 15 percent correction ahead in the benchmark S&P 500 is too much, according to Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners. Though Newton sees the potential for a correction several months from now, he thinks worries are too premature.

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"We really need to see technical deterioration, particularly in the S&P [500] and the Dow [Jones Industrial Average] to really join the small caps in pulling back before we can even begin to think that the market is going to have a pullback of that amount," Newton said n response

While Newton thinks some apprehensions are justified given the pace of the economy, decelerating revenue growth, geopolitical tensions, and fewer stocks hitting 52-week highs, he says the technicals don't show cause for alarm just yet.

"Those are concerns," said Newton. "Yet, to turn this nervous at this stage when we really haven't seen real evidence of true technical damage means that there likely will be a floor on this market on any attempt to pull back in the weeks ahead."

Newton also sees the put-to-call ratio in the S&P 500 as a counter indicator to where the market is headed. The ratio is at 1.7 to 1, meaning there are more bearish bets than bullish bets in the options market.

"That's just one reason to think that people are getting a little too skittish given that we really haven't seen a broader market correction yet," added Newton. "The trend lines in the S&P are still very much intact."

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But, Kevin Caron, portfolio manager at Stifel's Washington Crossing Advisors, thinks the market may be too complacent. He sees signs that "investors become a lot more comfortable with the world."

Caron's examples include the CBOE's Volatility Index (the VIX), which measures the market's estimate of volatility in the S&P 500 over the next month. It closed Friday at 12.44, close to is 52-week low. He also said that a tightening of the spread between various bonds and US government debt is also sign that the market is relatively relaxed.

"Everywhere you look, you see that investors are more comfortable with risk," Caron said, adding that corrections in highflying social media stocks have thus far been "healthy."

"I think companies are fundamentally strong but I think a correction is overdue," said Carron.

To see the full discussion on the S&P 500, with Caron on the fundamentals and Newton on the technicals, watch the above video.

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