As I went through my chart review this past weekend, the first thing I thought of was, “Is it possible last Wednesday’s 1.8% drop in the S&P 500 was just a one-day correction – designed to shake out weak bulls, and get overly aggressive bears to make big downside bets just before the market blasts higher one more time?” After all, most of the technical momentum indicators never reached extremely overbought conditions. We never got a breakdown in traditional leading sectors like high-yield bonds and semiconductor stocks. And technical conditions quickly reached oversold conditions on Wednesday’s decline – which is why I advised my Delta Report subscribers NOT to add short positions into the decline.
Happy option expiration day. Longtime readers know I’m not a fan of establishing new trades on a Friday, right in front of a weekend. I’m even less a fan of trading on option expiration day. The potential for “funny business” is too great. So, instead of writing about the technical condition of the stock market today, let’s open up the mailbag and see what sort of comments were inspired by this week’s volatility. But first… a little background…
Here’s what to look for in the action today… General Trends Welcome to the worst six months of the year for the stock market. The bears wasted no time yesterday reminding investors the reason “sell in May and go away” is a cliché on Wall Street. A modest decline in the overnight futures market quickly […]
We’ve been looking for the stock market to make a significant, intermediate-term top sometime soon. Up until yesterday, though, the market hasn’t done anything to suggest a top was in place. High-yield bonds and semiconductor stocks – two market-leading sectors – have been holding up well. Most technical indicators remained in “neutral” territory, with plenty of room to push higher before getting overbought. And the S&P 500 continued to trade above the support of its 9-day exponential moving average (EMA) line.
The bulls haven’t given up yet. Stocks rallied to a modest new high yesterday. The S&P 500 is still trading below my 2411 minimum upside target. Most technical indicators have room to run before the reach overbought territory. High-yield bonds are still trending higher. So, it’s still too early to put on a lot of bearish trades. But it’s not too early to get defensive. Take some profits off the table. Raise stops on existing positions. Be selective with new long-side trades. And be willing to hold onto your cash.
Friday marked the end of the seasonally strong period for stock prices. If the bulls were going to make a move towards new all-time highs, then that was the day to do so. That doesn’t mean the market still can’t rally from here. But the seasonal winds are now in the face of the bulls rather than at their backs. So, it’s a tougher job.
Today marks the end of the seasonally strong period for stock prices. Starting next week, the winds shift bearish. That doesn’t mean stocks are going to start falling right away. But it is going to make it more difficult for the market to rally. The S&P 500 still hasn’t made it up to my 2411 minimum upside target. The index got as high as 2404 this month. Perhaps today will be the day. But the bulls are running out of time. Here in the Market Minute, we take a look at the setups in the broad market and plan for the trading day ahead.
This is a dangerous situation. It’s not obvious. Major turning points in the financial markets rarely are. Nobody rings a bell at the top of a bull market, right? But Quasimodo is hanging out in the high-yield-bond bell tower. And he’s just about ready to pull on the rope.
In the final hour of the day yesterday, the S&P went from +1.50 to -2.50. The index closed down 0.1%. Meanwhile, in the final hour, gold stocks – as represented by the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners Fund (GDX) – went from -0.25 to just -0.02. Okay… neither of these are big moves. In the bigger picture, this sort of action is just “noise.” But, in a tight trading range market, traders are going to look for any sort of evidence that confirms their convictions.
Yesterday was one of the most boring, uneventful days of the year for the stock market. But boring action – during an uptrend – is bullish. It usually leads to even higher prices. The momentum remains bullish, and we’re looking for even higher prices later this week.