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Data Brief                                                                   Posted 12/13/10 at 3:10pm EST by Jason Goepfert



While the session isn't over yet, we're working on the 4th consecutive 52-week high on the S&P 500, while breadth on the NYSE remains relatively poor...or at least not good.  None of the days so far has seen more than 2 advancing stocks for every 1 decliner.



The last time we saw this was in January, right before the S&P took a big spill.  Let's go back to the inception of the S&P 500 futures in 1982 and look for every other time the S&P set four straight closing highs, while NYSE breadth was less than 2-to-1 positive each of those days.



The S&P's forward performance was egregiously bad for the next month or so, gradually improving the longer out we look.  The worst days were from 7 - 20 days forward.


The table below shows every since in the past 28 years, with the S&P's one-month performance.




Several of the occurrences preceded major short-term sell-offs, which tended to happen within just a few days' time.


When the 4th day showed breadth with more declining issues than advancing ones (as we're seeing so far today), then we were left with only four occurrences (10/5/89, 12/1/92, 9/15/95 and 3/24/00).  Two of those led to 10%+ declines over the next few weeks.


This study could be moot by the close, if breadth improves drastically, or stocks decline enough to not set another 52-week high.  But that still leaves us with 3 straight days as noted above, and still-negative historical stats.



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