Here’s the battleground for a new high in stocks

MARKET INSIDER with Patti Domm

This summer, the semiconductor sector could be the battleground for the bulls and bears.

In a market starved of consistent leadership, the S&P 500 has not made a new high in more than 12 months and is trading just about 2 percent off that record. Some traders hope recent outperformance in chip stocks will prove strong enough to take the broader index to new highs, while uncertainties about growth remain.

“Typically when the market is turning, up or down, it’s often led by chip stocks,” said John Kosar, chief market strategist at Asbury Research. “The S&P has gone sideways for a year, sideways since April. When that happens we’re looking for some kind of leadership. Historically (semiconductors are) an indication for investor appetite for risk.”

He noted in a report Tuesday the PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX) broke “major overhead resistance” last week. On Thursday, the SOXX closed at its highest since late last June and posted its first nine-day win streak since 2014.”

And while the S&P 500 rose just 1.5 percent in May, the chip stock subsector jumped 7.67 percent, to make information technology the top performer for the month.

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Asbury Research subscribers can access the reports and accompanying charts that were used as a source for this article by logging into the Research Center.

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