Apr 162015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

The market closed short of all-time highs for a second day. Depending on your outlook, this is either pausing or stalling. Volume is finally making a comeback. Yesterday’s up-day occurred in enthusiastic trade while today’s modest dip hit the average mark, something that’s been hard to do recently. This shows traders are finally starting to pay attention.

This week’s AAII investor sentiment survey mirrored the market’s gains and inched modestly in the bullish direction. The most interesting thing remains the heavy overweighting of neutrals. The historic average is 30%, yet we find ourselves over 45%. That tells us both bulls and bears are growing fatigued by this zigzagging trading range and giving up the fight. They’re not willing to change sides yet, but are far less confident in their outlook.

Technically we find ourselves near the upper end of the trading range. Two previous attempts to break 2,120 failed. Will the third time be the charm? We should know in coming days. Either way this is an important turning point for the market. If we cannot break through, bulls will likely give up and it will be a rough summer. If we smash through resistance, the nearly four months of sideways trade this year built a solid foundation to launch the next leg of the rally.

While many pundits and gurus claim to know what the market is going to do next, at this juncture it could go either way and we are best served following its lead. Buy the breakout or short the stumble.

Jani

 Posted by at 9:50 pm on April 16, 2015
Apr 132015
 

End of Day Update:

Stocks woke up to early gains, but stumbled into the close. Volume was even lighter than the below average trade we’ve gotten used to. That tells us few were changing their mind and buying or selling these early gains or late losses.

Last week’s AAII Investor Sentiment survey shows an interesting result where the percentage of BOTH bulls and bears declined precipitously. That’s because both sides piled into the neutral outlook. It seems bulls have grown tired of being burned by false breakouts and bears are afraid of another breakdown rebounding in their face. We’ve been stuck between 2,040 and 2,120 for two-and-a-half months and it seems many traders are finally waking up to the realization that we don’t always go up or down. Of course the crowd giving up on a directional move means we might finally breakout out of this trading range.

Technically we reclaimed 2,100 resistance Friday but were unable to hold it through Monday’s close. The lack of breakout buying and short-covering tells us most of this buying is already behind us and we could drift lower on weak demand. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see us dip to 2,080. The real insight will come from how the market responds to this test of support. Is this just another pause before resuming the climb to all-time highs? Or will we slice through support and crash back down to the 200dma?

We should either buy the dip or sell the weakness, but we won’t know the answer for a couple more days. Trade sideways in this area for the remainder of the week and that stability tells us it is okay to hold for higher prices. But if we crash through the 50dma and the selling shows no signs of letting up, then expect us to blow right past recent lows and continue to the 200dma at 2,020.

Jani

 

 Posted by at 9:50 pm on April 13, 2015
Apr 062015
 

End of Day Update:

Does the lousy Employment Report matter? Not if you go by Monday’s bullish response. Many traders were lucky the market was closed for Good Friday or else they would have mistakenly dumped the big miss in jobs.

While pundits are spinning their “good is bad” doublespeak, the simple truth is we ran out of sellers. Recent weakness put a damper on enthusiasm and many owners bailed before the jobs report. When the selling occurs ahead of time, there isn’t much weakness left for when the disappointing news finally breaks. Given today’s strong move, this was a classic sell the rumor, buy the news trade.

Many people complain the market is rigged, but they make the mistake of trading headlines. Those with a little more experience know only supply and demand drives prices. As I discussed in last week’s blog posts, we knew sentiment shifted heavily toward bears and prices slipped to the lower end of the 2,040-2,120 range. Even with a demoralizing miss in employment, there wasn’t a lot of downside left. That made buying ahead of employment an attractive risk/reward.

Over the near-term expect a short-squeeze to push us up to 2,100, but it doesn’t feel like this market has the momentum to finally break through 2,120 resistance. That means we are better served taking profits, not adding positions as we approach new highs.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:19 pm on April 6, 2015
Apr 012015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks plunged Wednesday, closing Monday’s gap higher and continuing to 2,050 support before bouncing. The weakness sliced through the 50dma and prior resistance at 2,065. This flushed out recent dip-buyers and technical traders using these levels as stop-losses. That autopilot selling is what pushed us off a cliff in the first 30-minutes of the day.

This is the kind of market where if you have profits take them. If you have losses, wait two days and then sell for a profit. Since February we’ve been stuck in a trading range between 2,050 and 2,120. Buying the breakout or selling the breakdown has been the exact wrong trade, but most people come to this with a bullish or bearish bias and cannot help themselves. The profitable trade has been betting against these swings and now we find ourselves at the lower end of this range. Either the pattern continues and we bounce, or we start a new one and continue the move lower. 

Bears have a laundry list of reasons this market should collapse, but these are recycled headlines that have been with us for months. Rate hikes, strong dollar, lethargic economic expansion, plunging oil, euro drama, Middle East unrest, etc. Despite the noise, we are within 3% of all-time highs. When everyone is aware of something, that tells us it is already price in because everyone already had the opportunity to trade it. Without a doubt we could continue lower, but it won’t be for the reasons everyone is talking about.

Source: Stocktwits 4/1/2015

Source: Stocktwits 4/1/2015

We have employment on Friday. While a lot of people look forward to this “market moving” news every month, it is far less useful than the talking heads would have us believe. Over the last several months, sometimes good news is good, but other times it is bad. Same goes with bad news; sometimes it is bad, other times it causes prices to jump. While this contradictory behavior seems confusing, the takeaway isn’t that employment drives the market, but that the market does whatever it wants regardless of the headline. Sometimes it wants to go higher. Other times it wants to sell off. This is supply and demand at work, not headlines moving markets.

Recent weakness put sentiment in the gutter, meaning most likely good news is good again. It also means bad news could be good news too. We’ll have our answer soon enough.

Jani

 Posted by at 9:50 pm on April 1, 2015
Mar 192015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks gave back some of the Fed pop Thursday, but remain well above prior resistance at 2,080. We cannot read too much into today’s pullback because it is healthy to give back a little of Wednesday’s huge move. The encouraging thing is the market traded sideways near 2,090 for most of the day and only showed modest profit taking. Holding this level through Friday’s quad-witching means owners and buyers believe in this market and we will likely retest all-time highs near 2,02. But if we cannot maintain these gains, watch out below because that tells us this pop exhausted all available demand.

Jani

 Posted by at 9:23 pm on March 19, 2015