Friday was a “consolidation day” for the broad stock market. The S&P 500 stayed within a relatively tight trading range. The index DID NOT give back more than 50% of Thursday’s big gains. So the momentum remained with the bulls.
Today is option expiration day. So in addition to the regular amount of computer-driven trading programs that influence the market action, we’re also likely to see some influence from computer programs designed to squeeze as much profit as possible out of expiring option positions.
The broad stock market continues to chop back and forth in a ridiculously tight environment. Neither the bulls nor the bears can seem to make much of a move. We are entering a seasonally bullish period for stocks, and we do have a new Volatility Index (VIX) buy signal. But nothing has come of it yet.
The bulls have a slight edge today – very slight. The Volatility Index (VIX), the market’s “fear gauge,” declined again yesterday, thereby confirming the broad stock market “buy” signal that triggered on Monday. This, plus the seasonal bullishness that shows up this time of year, favors the bulls.
The S&P 500 Index had a terrific bounce off of support yesterday. The index popped 20 points higher, recovering everything it lost last Thursday. And the Volatility Index (VIX), used to measure market risk, triggered a new “buy” signal. So we should be ready to rally to new all time highs.
The S&P 500 has reached my downside target for the recent decline. It could fall farther, of course. But conditions are now oversold enough that the downside risk is limited from here. And the potential reward now justifies that risk.
Here’s what to look for in the action today…