Stock Market's Breadth Data Suggests Panic-like Selling

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is selling off, but not with the panic-like force that market breadth data seems to suggest. The Dow fell 82 points, or 0.5%, in afternoon trade. Meanwhile, the NYSE's Arms Index, a volume-weighted measure of market breadth that tends to rise above 1.00 when the broader market declines, jumped to year-to-date high of 2.43. Technicians say an Arms reading above 2.0 suggests panic-like selling, or capitulation by bulls, that often leads to a short-term bounce. The last time the Arms Index topped 2.0 was Feb. 2, when it closed at 2.30 while the Dow tumbled 296 points, or 1.8%. The Dow then rallied 263 points over the next two sessions.

Continue Reading Below

Copyright © 2016 MarketWatch, Inc.