Stocks Tank On February 23 With Nowhere Left To Hide

This column is my opinion and expresses my views. Those views can change at a moments notice when the market changes. I am not right all the time and I do not expect to be. I disclose all my positions clearly listed on the page, and I do not trade my account on the stocks spoken of in this column unless fully disclosed. If that does not work for you stop reading and close the page. Do not bother me or harass me.

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Stocks were smashed on February 23, with the S&P 500 dropping by nearly 1.9% and the NASDAQ ETF dropping by almost 2.6%.

S&P 500 (SPY)

At this point, with 4,250 broken and the index, all but taking out the lows of January, one needs to wonder what happens next. Tough call because this market could go any number of ways, and while some may see a relief rally coming because the market is oversold, I would argue it is not oversold.

The RSI is still at 32 and could fall well into the 20s without taking the prior lows. So I think one needs to be careful about falling into the market’s trap of being oversold. I suspect that the selling isn’t over, and we visit 4,180 and lower over time.

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The channel lower is now very well defined, and at this point, the index could fall to 3,850 and still only be at the lower end of the channel in just a few days.

In 2020, during that market sell-off, the S&P 500 hit an oversold reading of 19 on February 28 and fell 23% as the RSI increased to 30.


The VIX did rise slightly today to 31 but is nowhere near capitulation-like levels. So if the market opens higher, we run the risk of a Vanna rally as the VIX drops. However, I think any rallies will be short-lived, and the VIX will ultimately need to reach much higher levels before this is over.

Financial Conditions

Meanwhile, financial conditions continue to tighten based on the IEF/LQD ratio. The exciting thing here is that the ratio hasn’t hit the 2018 peak despite the significant rise. So there could be much further to climb on this ratio.


There is nowhere to hide this time either; with yields rising, it makes for losses all around. There is no flight to safety yet, and that implies this stock market has further to drop. Typically, you find people rushing to safe havens towards the bottom of a stock drop. Well, the 10-Yr yield was up four bps to close at 1.98% and probably still on its way to 2.16%.

Microsoft (MSFT)

Now Microsoft is very close to breaking down, sitting just a touch below support at $282. A further decline to $262 seems possible.

Netflix (NFLX)

We need to consider the reality that if Netflix falls below $360, there is a very good chance this stock goes back to $300.

Qualcomm (QCOM)

Qualcomm has that giant gap at $140 to fill.

That’s going to be all.


Mott Capital Management, LLC is a registered investment adviser in the State of New York. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results.