Last Thursday was a so-called 90% down-day for American stock markets (and many other bourses also recorded downward dynamics). A 90% down-day is defined as a day when downside volume equals 90% or more of the total upside plus downside volume and points lost equal 90% or more of the total points gained plus points lost. The historical record show that 90% down-days do not usually occur as a single incident on the bottom day of an important decline, but typically on a number of occasions throughout a major decline. As far as the very short term is concerned, 90% down-days are often followed by two- to seven-day bounces.
The stock market is on a knife’s edge at the moment as seen in the chart below, showing the long-term trend of the S&P 500 Index (green line) together with a simple 12-month rate of change (ROC) indicator (red line). Although monthly indicators are of little help when it comes to market timing, they do come in handy for defining the primary trend. An ROC line below zero depicts bear trends as experienced in 1990, 1994, 2000 to 2003, and in 2007. And 2010? With the ROC delicately perched just above the zero line, the primary trend is still bullish, but barely so.
Regarding seasonality, I have done a short analysis of the historical pattern of monthly returns for the S&P 500 Index from 1950 to August 2010. The results are summarized in the graph below.
Source: Plexus Asset Management (based on data from I-Net Bridge).
As shown, the six-month period from May to October has historically been weaker than the period from November to April as seen in the average monthly return of 1.05% for the “good six months” compared with 0.25%% for the “bad six months”. Importantly, when considering individual months, September (-0.18%) and October (-0.19%) have historically been the only two negative months of the year. (A word of warning, though: one should take cognizance of seasonality but understand that it is not a stand-alone indicator and it is anybody’s guess whether a specific year will conform to the historical pattern.)
Where does this leave us at this juncture? Considering an array of indicators, we are somewhat in no-man’s land regarding whether the bull or bear will…
The SPX continues to trade below both the 50 and 200 day moving average (MA) but yesterday rallied to close above the once solid support level of 1040. The market bounce off the lows of July 2 also correlated with the Dark Cross formation which occurs when the 50 Day MA crosses the 200 Day MA downward. As we discussed in the Dark Horse Hedge, this has not traditionally held up as a good foreshadower of bearish activity. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that it took place.
With a low volume rally on Wednesday, and the lack of any follow through midway through Thursday, combined with the rally lacking any real quantifiable economic basis, the charts lead us to believe that Wednesday’s action was a relief rally so far. To begin even a modest short-term uptrend, the SPX will need to hold above the July 2 close of 1023 on any downward close and then break the close of Wednesday at 1060 or close today, whichever is higher. The 14 day RSI is slightly bearish at 41.68 and would need to cross 50 to become a bullish technical signal. As one other confirmation of the weak technical chart, I have added the 12-26-9 MACD which is currently -17 with the bullish signal line being a break of 0.
So in conclusion, the SPX had a earnings foreshadow or relief rally on Wednesday, with Volume below the 50-day MA. The index itself is remains securely below both the 50 and 200 day MA which have crossed. The confirmation by RSI and MACD lead us to believe that based on our reading of the current chart, the rally of Wednesday will have to retest 1040 and more importantly 1022 before it can move higher. If the next down move breaks 1022 and seeks what should be technical support from Sept 2009 of 995, we are technically in a downtrend.
The DDH started with a 67% SHORT tilt last Thursday which is confirmed through this chart analysis. On Tuesday, both LONG positions were up and the 4 SHORT positions were down creating the “Perfect Storm” for that day. DDH attempts to build a L/S portfolio with the best fundamental companies held as LONG positions and the worst fundamental companies held…
Small Caps again took charge and dragged Tech indices with the help of the semiconductor index. Bulls used rising support to launch their attack as the Russell 2000 added another percentage point. Supporting technicals made modest gains but are mapping bearish divergences with lower highs – but bulls won’t be complaining too much.
History tends to repeat itself, and trend lines, triangles, and other patterns do work in TA. Charts show the collective opinions of all market participants for that day, month, or whatever timeframe that is used. Charts are direct evidence of the trader’s beliefs and feelings, and each movement reflects a bit of human emotion (or at least it did before speed trading – HAL9000). So, it should be no surprise that patterns repeat themselves over and over.
In Figure 1 below, typical up trends and down trends are shown. These zigzag patterns are seen all the time, but why do they form? Let’s say someone bought a stock at a certain point. If that stock went up, but pulled back to the original purchase price, they will often think that it’s an opportunity to buy more at their original price, thus adding to their position. This is also the same for shorts when they are able to short a stock at the same price they shorted previously. Then why do peaks form? People sell (or cover) to take profits. Obviously, any increase in selling will pull the stock back. Those who bought at a lower level may start buying again. This repeats and repeats until 1) there is no more stock left for people to buy, or 2) there is too much supply and not enough buyers. On a larger scale, this is how bull and bear markets begin and end.
Small Caps and Tech continued their good form. Technicals continue to support the move higher for Small Caps (Russell 2000) with new highs for the MACD and +DI line. The Russell 2000 would have to give up 25 points (or 4%) just to test breakout support at 650.
The prior underperformance of the semiconductors was undone with today’s 2% gain.
This revival helped keep the rally in the Nasdaq ticking over
But Large Caps didn’t quite live up to the gains of Tech and Small Caps
Last Friday’s breakout gap remains the most tempting pullback zone.
This morning the market soared higher after the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report by the U.S. government. Reportedly the GDP increased 5.7 percent in the final quarter of the year. This news was much better than economists had expected, and a rally was underway to start the day. This was another day when the good news just kept pouring in and the media headlines looked great. Then one might ask, why did the market reverse after making a 10:30 am high? Please realize that the NASDAQ was trading at 2202.00 during the morning peak and is now below 2175.00, and negative on the day.
Often when a "buy the rumor, sell the news" type event takes place it is usually because price is already built into the market. However, today many leading technology stocks have rolled over intra day even as they are at major daily chart support levels. Leading stocks such as Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) have reversed to the negative side by selling off more than eight points intra day from today’s early session highs to the recent intra day low. Sandisk Corp (NASDAQ:SNDK) is another leading stock that is getting punished today by traders and investors. However, this stock gapped lower and has continued to sell off into its daily 50 moving average at 25.80 which should be some short term support. Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) is another stock that supposedly had very good earnings and was trading higher to start the day. This stock gapped up higher at the open by trading at 29.90. Since that opening print the stock has sold off and reversed to the negative side.
What is this telling us when good stocks can’t hold their gains after good news? Often it tells us that conditions have changed. The market has obviously priced in the good expectations from earnings and even the economic data. It is prudent to remember that the market is similar to a pendulum. Often the markets swing to one side too far, and then to the other side too far, and rarely finds that common middle ground or equilibrium point.
With that being sad one should always realize that you can’t fight the tape and the market is always right. Therefore, price action is king and…
Here are the leading options as I see them. Again, there are no slam-dunk winners here and still several ways to count this rally.
First is my preferred count:
Pros: Listed here (Alternate Count Possibility - now the preferred count)
Cons: Wave 1 is now much longer than is proportional to the size of the A wave it will be part of in this count (I believe the long term wedge trendlines are *extremely important* and will be mostly respected until the final finishing wave where we might get an overthrow).
Alternate Count 1 – Columbia’s Option
Pros: Very elegant. Look at the trendlines for this count in his post (Week-end thoughts, A Fresh Prospective!!!)
Cons: None. I really like this count. And am really thinking about making it my preferred. Col’s trendline observation is the most insightful analysis yet I have seen on this rally.
Alternate Count 2 – Large Ending Diagonal
Pros: I think a huge wedge *wants* to end with a diagonal (Alternate Count (Very Speculative))
Cons: That is one big freaking wedge. It is way out of proportion with the rest of the waves in the rally
So did today’s action give any clues?
Like I mention above, **if** the move today is a Minute degree Wave 1 completion (as opposed to a A wave or a completed C), this has a few implications.
1. This will be the start of a very large rally, and will likely take us past the 7-month wedgelines.
2. I believe the wedgelines are *extremely important* will be respected, with only minor excursions, until the final move. If we get a significant break to the downside, I believe P2 will be over. If we get a significant break to the upside, then that will be the final rally before P2 is over.
I, of course, may be completely wrong. But this is a key assumption I am making.
So before jumping into some counts, lets look at Weekly and Daily charts.
For me, trading is not a hobby, not a game of chance not some intellectual odyssey filled with clashing egos and chest pounding pissing contests. No, for me, trading is a way to make a living, doing something I love and am good at. So my approach is a little different then some of you may be used to.
Yet every so often a communication from one you impacts me with frustration and dismay. By now I would think that if you have been with me for six months, or a year, or longer, you would be making money trading, using some ideas and techniques that I have described over the months and years of writing AllAllan. But I hear something else from these communications, I hear that many of you are not getting it.
Today I am going to present to you three ways to trade using the simplest of strategies based on end of day prices and a minimal of necessary hardware or software. I am going to use an unleveraged ETF and remove all of my more sophisticated (read: expensive) tools, using only Market Club Triangles and 3 Line Break Point charts, both very similar in their construction and entirely objective in their application.
You can trade this going forward on XLF and probably not need anything else to be successful month to month, quarter to quarter and year to year. But it is my hope you will instead, glean from this the very basic premise of a simple rule-based system that can be applied and tweaked to any number of tradables, a simple trend following trading system from which anything is possible if you only have the discipline and desire to make it work.
XLF – Market Club Triangles -Daily Chart
Their are actually two systems shown on the chart:
(1) Enter trades on appearance of WEEKLY TRIANGLES and exit on appearance of reversing DAILY TRIANGLES. If flat, RE-ENTER on appearance of DAILY TRIANGLE in direction of most recent WEEKLY TRIANGLE;
(2) ENTER/EXIT on appearance of WEEKLY TRIANGLES (disregard DAILY TRIANGLES).
Note from dshort: I've updated the quiz based on yesterday's Q3 Financial Accounts of the United States (previously referred to as the Flow of Funds Accounts). Hint: The correct answer is the same as it was for the last quiz, just more incredible.
Pop Quiz! Without recourse to your text, your notes or a Google search, what line item is the largest asset on Uncle Sam's balance sheet?
A) U.S. Official Reserve Assets B) Total Mortgages C) Taxes Receivable D) Student Loans
The correct answer, as of the latest quarterly data, is ... Student Loans.
The rapid growth in student debt has been an ongoing topic in the financial press. One stunning chart that continues to haunt me illustrates the rapid growth in federal loans to ...
The % of NYSE stocks above their 200-day moving averages has a strong bearish divergence similar to previous plunge-preceding divergences. As BofAML notes, this points to diminishing momentum for market breadth and preceded pullbacks in the range of 15%-20% in 2010 and 2011; increasing the risk for a US equity market pullback in 2014.
It would take a break below 60% for the % of NYSE stocks above 200-day MAs to provide a more dire warning for US equities.
The Whitaker Companies announces the sale of Whitaker Medical a leading physician staffing firm, to On Assignment (NYSE: ASGN), a leading global provider of diversified professional staffing solutions.
Whitaker provides experienced physicians and mid-level practitioners across a wide variety of sub-specialties to medical facilities nationwide and has been in business since 1989. Whitaker will become a part of VISTA Staffing Solutions, making VISTA the fourth largest physician staffing practice in the United States with combined pro forma 2013 revenues of over $130 million.
“We are very pleased to welcome Whitaker Medical into the VISTA Staffing Solutions and On Assignment family,” said Peter T. Dameris, president and chief executi...
Today, with very little market moving news, the S&P 500 closed at 1808.4, yet another new closing daily high. The index did touch the 1811 area on at least three distinctly different time slots creating a new resistance level. But after last week’s bevy of positive economic surprises, the sharp gain of 1.1% on Friday, leaving the index just a tiny point away from its ninth consecutive up week, we can’t be too quick to suggest today was a topping rally. For one thing, volume was quite low as traders seemed to be trying to sort out the odds on the earliest date of Fed tapering. Estimates range from this month to March and even later. But it’s going to happen…so why so much emphasis on when? Perhaps protection of end-of-the-year profits in so many fund managers portfolios? ...
OSIS – OSI Systems, Inc. – Options volume on OSI Systems today is well above the average daily level for the stock, with upwards of 7,500 contracts in play as of midday in New York versus average daily volume of 57 contracts. The surge in options trading on OSI Systems coincides with a 40% decline in the price of the underlying shares to $39.00 today, the lowest level since October of 2011. The company provided an update on a recent $60 million order cancellation by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Call options are more active than puts, with the call/put ratio hovering near 2.0 as of 12:40 p.m. EST. Some traders appear to be selling out of the money December and January 2014 expiry calls, while others step in to buy the contracts perhaps in the expectation that shares rebound in the...
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This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).
We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.
Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.
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These rallies are becoming familiar. In early July we saw a streak of 12 of 13 sessions in a row up, early September 11 of 12, and mid October 11 of 13 (current streak). It is a bit uncanny the similarities and how the escalator goes straight up in vertical ascent as we see indexes come out of mini corrections during QE. So we are about at the same stage where the last two began to tire, so it will be interesting if this is similar or if the current consensus of the market that there is nothing to worry about until next year as the Fed and D.C. are both off the table and this 3% annual growth rate in earnings we are now seeing in the S...
Welcome to the fouth update of the IRA Virtual Portfolio. First I am going to summarize the current state of the Portfolio then I will get into all the activity we had during September expiration.
Profit and Loss – Net of closed positions the portfolio is up a total of $769
Market Commentary – Last expiration I said, "I would like to put a total of $20,000 to work by the end of SEP expiration. If the VIX pops up to around 20 I plan to put about $50,000 total to work." The market didn't quite reach the goal but I did manage to deploy $15,000 of buying power. I still feel the market is too high and expect a correction during October. If the vix pops up to around 20 I still plan to put about $50,000 to work. If a correction doesn't happen I still plan to have a total of $25,000 in buying power put to work by October expiration. Now on to the act...
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Come and get it! Read all about it! Biotechs, biotechs and more biotechs to buy buy buy for your portfolio! To date, almost 30 biotech companies have hit the market. Most of the time, there are fewer than 10-12!
For the last five years, biotechs have had issues obtaining offer prices above expectations. In 2013, that trend looks to be broken. According to BiotechNow, the offer prices are 4% above expectations! In addition, biotechs are going public with little more than a wing and a prayer (pre-clinical or Phase 1 data only). Really? What this means is that the drug or technology looks good in mice, rats, or dogs, etc, but there is no smidgen of evidence that it will work in humans. That's what is called an appitite for RISK!
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