Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pullback on Hold

A rapid bounce, a one-day sell off which looked like something more, then a return to buying. There were important breakouts, but shorts are not out of the game yet.

On the breakout front there was the S&P. Yesterday's selling didn't return below support and today put some distance on it. The 50-day MA may play as resistance tomorrow, but given it has flat-lined it may not play as big a role in this regard.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Time for the Pullback?

Sellers were going to make an appearance at some point and today was the day they paid a visit. Whether a larger pullback emerges will depend on events over the coming days, but today's selling did occur at some natural attack points for shorts.

The S&P finished with a 'bearish cloud cover,' but it did manage to hold declining resistance turned support. The 20-day MA has also entered the fray as an area for bears to work. But this wasn't the most bearish of the indices, and today's finish actually gives bulls a long play tomorrow (for a bounce off support).  Technicals also suggest a bounce.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Has The Bounce Gone Too Far?

A fourth straight gain has probably caught bulls by surprise in as much as it has hurt bears. What I had thought would evolve into an Adam-and-Eve bottom may instead become a plain 'ol "V"-bottom. What this sequence of gains does is it generates lots of underlying support for buyers to step in on the next sell off.

The S&P was able to break declining resistance and close above its 20-day MA. Volume climbed to register accumulation, although overall volume was well down on earlier selling.  Bulls would probably welcome some tight action near today's highs to help digest these gains. Today didn't give any indication of a bear attack on the 20-day MA.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Bullish Finish for Indices

Today had the kind of action which allows bulls sleep easy: steady buying action from start 'til finish. If there is a concern, it was opening gap downs which greeted some indices.

The semiconductor index didn't deliver on its island reversal, but it may yet do so tomorrow. Those who bought today's open will be sitting pretty. What may contain bullish enthusiasm is the presence of overhead resistance at the 200-day and/or 20-day MA, but I still like this for an opening upside gap.

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Bulls Work on Establishing a Market Low

Friday's gains helped put some distance on Wednesday's spike reversals. This will offer bulls something to defend when selling inevitable returns. Friday's action didn't all go bulls' way as key moving averages played a role in halting the advance for a couple of indices.

In the case of the Nasdaq, the blocker was the 200-day MA. Friday's high tagged the 200-day MA before weakening - although there was a bit of a recovery into the close. The index is no longer oversold, giving bears an opportunity to turn the screw again.  However, a close above the 200-day MA would give bulls confidence that last week was a low of note.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Contained Buying for Indices

It wasn't the day I expected, but bulls can take some comfort it wasn't worse.  Some indices fared better than others.

The S&P finished on the bearish side, despite closing a little higher. The inside day to yesterday's wide range day looks like something which will deliver more weakness in the days ahead. A close above yesterday's high would confirm a bottom (maybe not 'the' bottom), but this is something for tomorrow. A 2011 style bottom would still need another 5-6% decline to suggest this.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bullish Engulfing Pattern in Russell 2000 and Semiconductor Index

While I think markets are close to a swing low, I'm not entirely sure the bottom is there yet. The wide range day and spike lows are setup for a walk-down retest of these lows over the coming weeks. However, today was a step in the right direction for a near term bounce.

Best of the action was in the Russell 2000 and Semiconductor Index. The Russell 2000 finished with a sizable bullish engulfing action that finished the day next to channel resistance. Tomorrow is set up for an upside channel break.

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Volatile Flat Day for Indices

Contained Volatility is perhaps the best way to describe Tuesday's action. By the time markets closed there was little change from open prices, but it was a bit of a roller coaster ride getting there.

Not surprisingly, Small Caps had the best of the action, although relative to what's gone before it was a small change, but it's making big ground relative to Tech and Large Cap indices. The index remains within the sharp falling channel, which is unsustainable in the short term and will likely break upside sooner rather than later. At that point, I would be looking for a trading range in preparation for the next move up or down.  It has already tagged the 10% bottom percentile of loss relative to the 200-day MA (at -8.8%, taken from table below), so now is a good time to be taking nibbles on fundamentally strong Small Caps trading at a discount: look for Small Caps breaking or trading near highs (not necessarily 52-week highs: I like looking at action near 6-month highs).

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Third Big Sell Off in a Row.

The S&P took another big hit to the face as sellers rushed to the exits in late afternoon trading. The 200-day MA was barely noticed on the way down and the August swing low cleanly sliced.  Technicals are oversold and volume is in line with a capitulation, although I would be more comfortable calling a bottom once the index is at least 10% below its 200-day MA (which is 1,714).

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