Key Points

  • High Beta/Low Volatility Stalls Below Resistance
  • Discretionary/Staples Meets the 50-Day Moving Average
  • Copper/Gold Gets Stuck in the Zone
  • Small Caps vs. Large Caps Are Resilient
  • High Yield Fades vs. Treasuries

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Key Themes and Relationships

High Beta vs Low Volatility

The High Beta to Low Volatility Ratio remains stuck between support and resistance and the 50 and 200-day moving average. The 14-day RSI remains in a bearish regime, unable to break above the 60 level on the most recent rally attempt.

High Beta / Low Volatility chart for March 25th research.

Consumer Discretionary vs Consumer Staples (Equal Weight)

The Discretionary/Staples ratio is holding above broken support but remains below the declining 50 and 200-day moving averages. During the rally that began in May, the 14-day RSI did not reach the 60 level and remains in a bearish regime.

Discretionary / Staples (EW) chart for March 25th research.

Lumber vs Gold

The streak of bearish price action has reached a fourth week for the Lumber/Gold ratio. The ratio has eyes for last year’s lows as it trades below the 50 and 200-day moving averages. Momentum confirms the bearish trend as the 14-day RSI sits in an oversold condition.

Lumber / Gold chart for March 25th research.

Copper vs Gold

After a rally in the prior two weeks, the Copper/Gold ratio has stalled within the consolidation zone that was in place for most of last year. The ratio now sits in a neutral position, between the 50 and 200-day moving averages as the 14-day RSI recedes below 60.

Copper / Gold chart for March 25th research.

Small vs Large

Once again, as stocks are under pressure this week, Small Caps are demonstrating their resilience relative to Large Caps. The ratio is holding above the 50 and 200-day moving averages as the former is beginning to turn higher. A break of the October/November highs could set the stage for further outperformance. The 14-day RSI is holding above 60 as it tries to break from a bearish regime.

Small Caps / Large Caps chart for March 25th research.

Growth vs Value

Growth remains on the back foot relative to Value as the ratio stalls at resistance below the declining 50 and 200-day moving averages. Momentum confirms the bearish trend with the 14-day RSI in a bearish regime.

Growth vs Value (Large Cap) chart for March 25th research.

High Yield vs Treasuries

We have had the High Yield vs. Treasuries theme on the radar for the past few weeks as we thought that its improvement was worth noting. However, the ratio has failed to capitalize on that improvement and is beginning to fade once again as resistance and the 50-day moving average combined to halt the advance. The ratio remains below the 200-day moving average and the 14-day RSI is holding in a bearish regime. 

Growth vs Value (Large Cap) chart for March 25th research.


The improvements that we have seen in risk appetite over the past two weeks are beginning to recede once again. Perhaps investors have decided to become less aggressive ahead of the report on CPI due out today. We are not going to get caught up in the “why.” Rather we note that stocks have not been able to capitalize on those prior improvements or the better breadth that we have been highlighting of late. This keeps the bears in control for now.

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