Market Minute

Jeff Clark’s Market Minute is a free e-letter containing the unique insights of master trader Jeff Clark. By analyzing broad fundamentals, technical patterns, volatility, and momentum, Jeff helps traders prepare to profit on the most likely moves the market will make.


The Action to Watch on 5/25

It’s quiet out there… too quiet. The stock market continued its lethargic grind higher yesterday. The S&P 500 closed near an all-time high at 2404. But the unheard sound of champagne corks not popping was deafening.


The Action to Watch on 5/24

Some days, there just isn’t much of anything new to say. This is one of those days. Stocks pressed higher again yesterday – though it was lethargic, tired action. The S&P 500 challenged the 2400 level and was turned back, closing at 2398. With the S&P trading above its 9-day exponential moving average (EMA), the bulls keep the momentum. Most technical indicators are neutral and grinding ever so slowly towards overbought territory. The Volatility Index (VIX) closed below 11 once again. It continues to warn of complacency.


The Action to Watch on 5/23

If you had fallen asleep last Tuesday evening, and then just woke up this morning, you wouldn’t notice anything different about the stock market. You wouldn’t know the S&P 500 suffered a 43-point drop last Wednesday. You wouldn’t know about the three-day-rally since then that has nearly recovered the entire decline.


The Action to Watch on 5/22

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.


You Won’t Hit a Home Run Swinging at Every Pitch

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…


The Action to Watch on 5/17

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 Action to Watch on 5/16

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.


The Action to Watch on 5/15

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.


The Action to Watch on 5/12

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.