BofA suggests stocks will hit turbulence, but new highs are coming

One of Wall Street’s largest firms sees signs the 2019 rally is stalling, but that may be no reason to turn bearish.

It’s a bull thesis BofA-Merrill Lynch’s Stephen Suttmeier builds in two charts.

The first chart suggests the S&P 500 will hit turbulence before breaking out to new highs.

“We’ve got some tactical exhaustion signals up here. I think it’s just a pause to refresh,” the firm’s chief equity technical strategist said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.” “I think what we see maybe a minor dip into the 2,700 range.”

Suttmeier, a secular bull, expects the S&P to eventually pass the key 2,800 and 2,870 levels — which would put the index on the path to new records.The S&P closed at 2,789 on Tuesday.

“We do think we can hit that high around 2,940 and surpass that,” Suttmeier said, referring to the index’s all-time high hit on Sept. 21.

According to Suttmeier, the relationship between industrials and the S&P reinforces his view solid market gains are ahead this year.

“We’re basically taking the price of S&P industrials and dividing that by the price of the S&P,” he said. “You get a relative ratio. What we’re showing here is a bear trap in 2019. Why is that important? Because there are growth fears.”

The notion of a bear trap is significant because global growth jitters surrounding Europe and China have been hanging over the U.S. market. When similar concerns surrounding growth happened in 2012 and 2015, stocks recovered, Suttmeier said.

“This chart of industrials versus the S&P [shows] that growth fears similar to these past periods were unfounded,” Suttmeier said. “I think it resolves soon. I think industrials lead the market, and the S&P follows that leadership.”

The S&P closed lower five of the last six sessions. However, it’s up more than 18 percent since the Christmas Eve plunge.

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