The S&P 500 rallied off of its lows on Tuesday, but it is facing key technical resistance levels.
Analysts say investors shouldn’t get too optimistic until the market’s bearish trend is broken.
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) got off to a hot start to the week on Tuesday, bouncing more than 2% to start the day. While the rally off last week’s lows is somewhat encouraging, Bank of America analyst Stephen Suttmeier said Monday that bulls shouldn’t get too excited about Tuesday’s rally until the S&P 500 surpasses a key technical resistance level.
Suttmeier said the resistance level he’s watching is the 3,800 to 3,900 range.
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“This aligns with the broken late May low at 3810 and the key retracement levels at 3815 (38.2% of the March 2020 to January 2022 rally) and 3824 (61.8% of the September 2020 to January 2022 rally),” he said.
Potential Support: In addition, Suttmeier said 3,500 is a major technical support level to the downside. The S&P 500’s 200-week moving average is currently right around 3,500, and that level also represents a 50% retracement of the market rally from March 2020 to January 2022. Below 3,500, Suttmeier said 3,200 is the next potential technical support level. The 3,200 area provided support in the fall of 2020 and represents a 61.8% retracement of the post-pandemic market rally.
At this point, it’s unclear if the 20% pullback from recent highs is simply a 20% bull market correction for the S&P 500 or the beginning of a more severe bear market. Suttmeier said the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes don’t bode well for the market outlook. He noted 11 of the past 15 Fed tightening cycles either preceded or coincided with U.S. recessions.
Benzinga’s Take: Tuesday’s rally provides some relief for investors after a difficult few weeks, but the macroeconomic conditions that have driven the 2022 market weakness so far didn’t change over the weekend. Until the market gets clear signs inflation is easing in a meaningful way, it’s difficult to see a good reason for stocks to rally.