May 132015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks gave up early gains and slipped back to 2,100. We find ourselves stalled again in this 2,100-2,120 zone where no one wants to buy. While I’d love to see prices explode higher, I’m not all that concerned about this morning’s price-action. It’s understandable that few want to buy since we turned back from this level so many times before. Those with gains are defensively locking-in profits and anyone with cash is reluctant to buy near obvious resistance. But with every passing day, we are inching closer to the point where all these people will need to buy.

There are plenty of scary headlines coming from Asia, Europe, and the US. But all of them are recycled stories that we’ve been talking about for weeks, if not months. Does anyone still care if Greece stays in the Euro? I’m sure most European taxpayers and the financial markets would be happy to see them gone. Any major bank that still has unhedged Greek exposure after all these years deserves to go out of business. The US economy is growing frustratingly slow. Who could have possibly seen that coming? The Fed raising interest rates from the absurdly low 0%. That’s another shocker out of left field.

Sarcasm aside, everyone knows these things. If owners held through last week’s spate of bearish headlines, more than likely they will hold through this week’s bad news too. Prices only move when people change their mind and so far these owners are proving to be an exceptionally stubborn group.

The real pressure is going to be applied to recent sellers when they see the market take off without them. Their chasing is what will fuel the next move higher. That doesn’t necessarily mean the breakout will be sustainable, just that we are far more likely to hit 2,150 before 2,050. Depending on how many people are underweight this market and how acute the chasing becomes will determine how much further than 2,150 we go. But the longer we hold near the highs, the more likely it is we will smash through them.

Jani

 Posted by at 8:47 pm on May 13, 2015
May 122015
 
S&P500 Daily at end of day

S&P500 Daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

An ugly day in Europe spilled over to US markets. We gapped through 2,100 support at the open, triggering a wave of technical and emotional stop-loss selling that pushed us down to the 50dma. But as quickly as the selling hit us, it dried up and we bounced off 2,085. By the second hour of trade, we were safely back to 2,100 and the day felt much less ominous.

Since February, the market’s been stuck between a gently rising 50dma and 2,120 resistance. Everyone knows this ever tightening range will eventually resolve itself, the only question is which direction. Each time we reach the upper limits, buyers walk away and we stumble back into it. But just as reliably, each dip is met by indifferent owners who know we will bounce like every other time. As bears are finding out, it is frustratingly difficult to get a selloff rolling when no one wants to sell.

Which side is going to flinch first? While there are no guarantees in this game, we can look to history for guidance. Overbought and unsustainable markets implode with breathtaking speed. They runup on euphoria, stall as the last the board the bandwagon, and collapse when everyone tries to leave at the same time. But this market is behaving in almost the exact opposite way. We have been trading sideways for months and every selloff stalls on complete indifference. Calm and confident owners are the last thing anyone betting against this market wants to see. But that is exactly what we have.

Every attempted selloff is rebuked and the longer we hold near the highs, the more inevitable it becomes that we will smash through them. This market has been given every excuse to devolve into an emotional bloodbath. Scary headlines, big downdays, violating key technical levels. Every ingredient is there……..except the selling. When the market refuses to do the easy thing, then we know we have to do the hard thing, and right now that is sticking with this pig.

Jani

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 Posted by at 6:11 pm on May 12, 2015
May 062015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Analysis:

Wednesday saw another high-volume selloff, this time triggered by unnerving comments from Janet Yellen concerning stretched equity valuations. The index sliced through the 50dma and undercut recent lows in the 2,070s.

While we finished in the red, today’s price-action is actually quite intriguing to the dip-buyer. We undercut recent lows, but rather than trigger an avalanche of reactive stop-losses, supply dried up and dip-buyers rushed in, lifting us 10-points off the intraday lows. Bears had a gift-wrapped opportunity to extend the selloff to 2,050, but the market bounced instead. Clearly there is still uncertainly swirling around the market, but this afternoon’s pause gives nervous owners time to more rationally form their next trading decision.

The last two-times we undercut the 50dma but finished off the lows, we saw strong rebounds the next day. Will tomorrow make it three in a row? If we reclaim the 50dma, there is a good chance the rebound will continue through all-time highs. There are two ways an over-extended market refreshes itself. The most obvious is by pulling back. But the second is churning sideways and grinding out the optimism. While we’re still within a couple percent of all-time highs, it’s been a trying year as the volatility chased off the weak holders. While everyone is still waiting for the widely expected correction, the longer we hold near the highs, the more likely we are to break them.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:24 pm on May 6, 2015
May 052015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

The market giveth, and the market taketh away. Stocks tanked and gave back all of Friday’s rebound. This puts us right back on top of the 50dma and 2,090 support. Volume was elevated, but short of the high-volume down-days we saw last week.

Conventional wisdom says we should give more credence to high-volume moves, meaning recent down-days are more important than the corresponding up-days. And like most conventional market wisdom, it is true………half the time. Meaning it is as reliable as flipping a coin.

More than just volume, we need context. The market’s been stuck in a trading range all year. Originally we were holding between ~2,000 and ~2,100, but more recently it inched higher to ~2,150 and ~2,120. It’s been acting this way long enough that anyone who’s paying attention caught on, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Every time we hit the bottom, swing-traders jump in and ride the elevator up to the top, where they promptly jump off. This style of trading props up dips and stymies rebounds. But like all good things, it will eventually come to an end.

Bears gleefully point to the market’s inability to break 2,120 resistance. But there comes a point when this stops being stalling and starts becoming basing. There is a reason double-tops are a common reversal pattern, but we rarely hear about triple- or quadruple-tops. These are not reliable technical signals because holding a level for three or four attempts means we are more likely to break through than turn lower. So while it is frustrating to see the market stall at 2,120 yet again, the longer we hold these levels, the more inevitable it is we will eventually smash through resistance.

The test comes Wednesday. If we bounce, cover shorts and go long. If the market cannot get out of its own way, then look out below because we have a date with 2,050 and the 200dma before finally breaking through overhead resistance.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:48 pm on May 5, 2015
Apr 302015
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks sliced through 2,100 support and didn’t stop until they fell well under the 50dma. The only positive is a late bounce kept us from closing at the lows. Volume was well above average and the highest in over a month.

Thursday’s move looks intriguingly similar to April 17th’s dip under the 50dma. That’s good news for bulls because we bounced back above the 50dma the next day. Will history repeat itself? We’ll know the answer by Friday’s close.

It’s funny how pundits and gurus claimed a strengthening dollar and falling oil prices were threatening S&P500 earnings. Today the dollar tanked and oil surged. Following their logic, stock prices should have jumped higher today. Shows what the “experts” know.

The problem with this market isn’t technical or fundamental, like always, it comes down to supply and demand. Or more specifically today, the lack of demand. Few are willing to buy stocks above 2,120 and we’ve stalled at that level three times in recent months. When no one is in the mood to buy, it doesn’t matter what the fundamentals and technicals are.

Where do we go from here? While a lack of demand keeps us from breaking 2,120 resistance, we’re seeing a similar but opposite dynamic happen every time the market dips. Confident owners are completely uninterested in selling regardless of headlines or price volatility. When no one sells, prices bounce on tight supply. That is what saved us April 20th and we’ll see if owners are just as stubbornly confident Friday.

As for how to trade this, we slipped back into the middle of the 2,050/2,120 trading range. That leaves us with a fairly balanced risk/reward. But we’re not looking to trade a coin-flip, we want the odds in our favor. That means waiting to see what happens next. Strength on Friday tells us stubborn owners are winning and their refusal to sell will keep a floor under this market. However, nothing shatters confidence like a plunging prices. Another ugly day could easily push us down to 2,050 support. My gut tells me it won’t be as easy this time and we will probably see another leg lower before the selling exhausts itself.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:22 pm on April 30, 2015