Jul 132015
 

End of Day Update:

It was a good day for the S&P500 as it broke above the two-week old, 2,050 – 2,080 consolidation. It seems reality in Greece and China is less bad than was feared last week. This move leaves us just shy of 2,100 resistance and a declining 50dma.

Our stock market has been flat through the first half of the year. Depending on who you ask, this is either pausing and refreshing, or stalling before rolling over. Technicals are little use in settling this debate because pausing and stalling look the same on a chart. The answer lies in sentiment and supply and demand. More specifically, understanding why the market is flat.

Are we failing to make new highs on good news? This is the classic “overly bullish” top and signals stalling because we are running out of new buyers. Or is our market failing to selloff on bad news? That points to refreshing because bearish headlines flush out weak hands and replaces them with confident owners who keep supply tight.

Everything is debatable on the internet, but for the objective crowd it is hard to claim the market has been showered with bullish headlines. Greece, China, rate hikes, lowered earnings estimates, and all the others. Bears have been feasting on almost universally bad news. If we were not allowed to look at charts and only went by headlines and sentiment, it would be easy to assume we are in the middle of a bear market. Short interest is the highest it’s been since the financial crisis and AAII bullishness is 10-points under historic averages. But yet here we are, two-percent from all-time-highs. What gives?

We could argue headlines and fundamentals don’t support these valuations and the market is on the verge of a collapse. The problem is that is arguing with the market. Right or wrong, the market is far larger than we are and will always win every single argument. In my opinion, it is quite clear. When the market doesn’t sell off on bad news, that is bullish. End of story. No doubt the we will eventually fall into a correction, it might even happen soon, but it won’t happen for all the reasons people are talking about.

Jani

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 Posted by at 9:31 pm on July 13, 2015
Jul 092015
 

End of Day Update:

It was another frustrating day for the S&P500 as early strength faded into the close. We opened 1% higher following a monstrous rebound in the Chinese stock market. But rather than embrace the strength, nervous and regretful owners quickly jumped on the opportunity to sell higher prices. While we didn’t dip under Wednesday’s lows, we came darn close.

Shortly after our markets closed, all of Thursday’s price-action became irrelevant when Greece finally produced a palatable proposal that includes most of the austerity measures European leaders demanded. By itself that was enough to push index futures up three-quarters of a percent. But then the news got even better as China kicked off Friday’s trade with another gangbusters open. That nudged our futures above one percent.

Futures are often misleading and plenty of glitches can occur in China and Greece while the Western Hemisphere sleeps. But for the moment, the situation in China and Europe are looking less bad than was feared in recent days. This is a great example of why we should trade against the herd. Sell when people are confident like they were two weeks ago, and buy when they are fearful like they were today. It is against our natural instinct to go against the crowd, but there is a big difference between the skills that allowed us to thrive in the wild and what it takes to be successful in the markets.

Barring an overnight calamity in the Eastern Hemisphere, we should have another nice open Friday morning. Hopefully it sticks this time. But if sellers take over again, that is not a good sign and it tells us the bottom is not in yet. That doesn’t mean we need to join the panicked selling, but at least be prepared for a little more volatility.

Jani

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 Posted by at 9:42 pm on July 9, 2015
Jul 072015
 
S&P500 daily

S&P500 daily

End of Day Update:

It was another dramatic day for the S&P500. A brutal morning plunge undercut recent lows, the 200dma, and 2,050. This weakness sliced through most technical stop-losses, triggering a wave of defensive selling. But not long after those waves of autopilot liquidation ran through the market, supply vanished and we launched higher, ultimately closing nearly 2% above those fear-induced intraday lows.

Pundits claim the weakness was driven by this headline and the rebound motivated by that one. But the truth is far simpler than that. The market was acting in a predictable and typical way given sentiment, technicals, and supply & demand. Figuring out what was going to happen wasn’t that hard if we were looking at the right pieces of information.

Sentiment is in the toilet following this weekend’s “No” vote. Most analysts put the probability of a Grexit at far greater than 50/50. Anyone expecting an orderly resolution to this crisis is clearly in the minority these days. But since a Greek departure is now the widely held view, we know most of the defensive selling already happened. It’s common sense that anyone predicting an imminent market collapse is already sitting in the safety of cash. That tells us any bout of fearful selling like we had this morning would be short-lived because there are so few people left to sell these “new” Euro headlines.

Most of today’s weakness was fueled by technical stop-losses that defensive traders place near key price-points and moving averages. Undercutting last week’s lows forced disciplined traders to exit their positions. That selling then pressured others with stop-losses located near the 50dma and 2,050 to bail out not long after. But once we violated all the popular stop-loss levels, we ran out of new supply because only defensive technical traders were selling this dip. Since those that feared the Grexit already left, by default that means anyone still holding doesn’t fear these headlines and was uninterested in joining the herd selling. That’s why supply vanished and we launched higher after undercutting the last stop-loss level.

While today’s outside bullish reversal suggests we are near the bottom of this move, the situation in Greece and China is far from over. We should expect near-term volatility to continue, but this is a better place to be buying weakness than selling the fear.

Jani

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 Posted by at 9:33 pm on July 7, 2015
Jul 062015
 
S&P500 daily

S&P500 daily

End of Day Update:

After a “No” vote over the weekend, Greece has never been closer to departing the Euro, yet the S&P500 dipped a modest 0.4% on average volume. Is our market being naive and irrational ahead of Greece’s financial collapse? Or is the Grexit already priced in because everyone who fears it sold a long time ago?

Today’s price-action was constructive. Overnight futures cratered more than 1.5%, but as the sun reached our shores, the panic subsided. While we opened near last week’s lows, almost immediately the selling dried up and we rallied. Supply and demand wise, that tells us it is increasingly difficult to find owners still willing to sell the Greece story. The headlines were as ugly as ever, but few were willing to bail out at steep discounts.

It would have been nice to see prices dip under last week’s lows, the 50dma, and 2,050 before bouncing. This would have flushed out the last of hope and triggered technical stop-loss selling, setting up a traditional double-bottom capitulation. We didn’t get that, but the market never behaves exactly like it is drawn up in the textbooks. Maybe this last leg lower will happen later this week, or maybe supply is so thoroughly exhausted that there isn’t enough left to form a traditional double-bottom. Anyone insisting perfect chart patterns will miss a lot of good trades and so we have to ask ourselves if this is good enough?

The market was hopeful Greece and Europe would kick the can down the road two-weeks ago when it rallied to 2,130. Now that we find ourselves nearly 80-points lower, we can assume the dire headlines have convinced most traders to expect a Grexit. If the worst is already priced in, then this becomes a compelling place to buy because the potential upside far outweighs the remaining downside. While there could easily be a little more left to this dip, this is a far better place to be buying than selling.

Jani

 Posted by at 9:14 pm on July 6, 2015

Is it Safe Yet?

 End of Day Analysis  Comments Off on Is it Safe Yet?
Jun 302015
 
S&P500 daily

S&P500 daily

End of Day Update:

Monday’s one-way selloff took a break Tuesday as we bounced modestly off the 200dma. The S&P500 reclaimed 2,070 twice through the day but was unable to hold those gains and closed closer to 2,060. Volume was even higher than Monday’s selloff as waves of nervous owners sold to eager dip-buyers.

Greece continues to dominate headlines, but now some are claiming Puerto Rico is the bigger contagion threat. I don’t see it, but if the extra excuse helps people rationalize their emotional trading decisions, then good for them.

Technically we still find ourselves above 2,050 support and the 200dma. Both levels provided meaningful support since late last year and that was enough for buyers to rush in and buy the dip. The risk is emotional selloffs typically end when we run out of emotional sellers. Today’s modest gains on elevated volume show there is still a decent number of sellers bailing out of this market. More interesting would be a low-volume bounce since that tells us we finally exhausted the supply of available sellers. Conventional wisdom claims we want to see a high-volume rebound, but given all the headline uncertainty, don’t expect aggressive buying to save the day. The way Greek politicians are handling the situation, a rational person wouldn’t expect a compromise since inmates are running the asylum.

The most encouraging trade would be holding 2,070 support over the next couple of days. That period of calm allows traders to make more rational decisions. The risk is if we slip under 2,050 and the 200dma, triggering another wave of reactive selling. I’m not encouraged by today’s high-volume, weak trade and it seems like prices still want to go lower. But even at the risk of further weakness, this is still a better time to be buying than selling. Stay strong and resist the temptation to join the emotional herd of sellers.

Individual Stocks:

$AAPL – Apple struggles alongside the broad market and it will continue to trade weak until the entire market finds its footing. There is no reason to sell AAPL here, but not much reason to buy it either.

FEYE daily

FEYE daily

$EBAY – Ebay showed resilience around $60 support and the strongly rising 50dma. While all stocks are vulnerable to widespread selling, Ebay’s strength today showed many owners still believe in this story and are not ready to give up on it.

$FEYE – FireEye also found support at its 50dma, but the stock has a larger hill to climb since it finds itself more than 10% off of recent highs. The faster the rise, the harder they fall and clearly that was the case here. It is critical to avoid high-fliers during volatile periods because their drawdowns will be multiples of more conservative stocks, but the reward will be equally impressive once the stock reclaims $50.

$ALGN – Align continues trading well and is acting like it is immune to Greece all the other stories dominating headlines. This is definitely one worth keeping an eye on when the broad market regains its footing.

Jani

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Tags: $S&P500 $SPY $SPX $AAPL $EBAY $FEYE $ALGN

 Posted by at 10:29 pm on June 30, 2015