The tech-led Nasdaq just broke its longest-ever ‘uptrend’ in troubling sign for market

Investing

The Nasdaq-100 Index shed more than 2% on Tuesday, and based on one key technical indicator, it may be headed for even steeper declines.

On Monday, the tech-heavy index’s 14-day RSI reading fell below 50, breaking its longest streak above 50 on record, according to data from Sentimentrader.

RSI, or relative strength index, is a momentum indicator that measures price changes in stocks or an index in order to asses an overall trend. Readings range from 0 to 100, with a reading of 50 considered neutral. Anything above 70 signals overbought conditions, while a reading below 30 indicates something is oversold.

After more than 90 consecutive days with a reading over 50, on Monday the Nasdaq 100’s RSI fell to 39.3, according to FactSet.

“When similar streaks of bullish momentum ended, the Nasdaq-100 usually chopped sideways or fell over the next 3 months,” Sentimentrader said.

Some of the index’s largest decliners on Tuesday included Western Digital, which was down more than 6%, and Micron, which shed more than 5%. Microsoft and Apple — the two largest U.S.-listed companies — were each down more than 1%, and are currently trading in correction levels.

Tech stocks were instrumental in leading the market higher during the bull run, but have been hit especially hard as investors seek safety trades amid the coronavirus-induced selloff.

That said, when it comes to the Nasdaq 100, Sentimentrader noted that after the initial 3 month period of weakness, following a drop in the index’s RSI reading, “strong momentum usually beget more gains.”

On Monday the Nasdaq 100 shed 3.89%, for its worst daily performance since Oct. 2018. The index is, however, still positive for the month, and is on pace to post its sixth straight positive month.

– CNBC’s Nate Rattner and Yun Li contributed reporting.

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