Friday was a relatively disappointing day. The tight action of Wednesday and Thursday gave way to broader range day on Friday, but there was no strong swing one side or to the other - despite jobs data to spice the action. It only whipsawed traders who played the break of the mid-week narrow range.
The Nasdaq was the only index to suggest there is a (slight) edge to bears. Shorts may decide to take a sniff for a second test of breakout support. Stops on a break above 4,371.
While the Nasdaq lost some ground by the close, it does have the help of an ever improving Semiconductor Index. After years of underperformance, the Semiconductor Index is about to push itself into the rarified air of the blowoff run of 2000; the break of 550 should prove significant in the long run. This will help fuel gains for the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100.
There was to be no comeback by bears after Tuesday's rally supreme. Bulls can take significant comfort from the narrow action near Tuesday's highs. Look for more of the same with tight action offering a low risk swing opportunity: trade break of high/lows with a stop on the flip.
The Russell 2000 offers a neat example of this tight range, although the strength of the move suggests bulls are more likely to win out in the days ahead.
Well, it didn't last long. The 'bull traps' created in the Russell 2000 and S&P yesterday were dissected by today's open. It would have taken an aggressive short to jump in at the open. The new trading ranges established yesterday are probably still valid, even with today's breakouts. The boundaries of these ranges are likely to expand out, but in the near term it's hard to be a bear given markets are prepared to look past the events in Ukraine.
Somewhat inevitable events in the Ukraine were going to nix the nascent breakouts for the S&P and Russell 2000. The net sum is to drop these indices into broad trading ranges for which a move to support (the January low) is perhaps the next move. A stop at a break of 'bull trap' highs is the protective stop.
The real breakouts occurred in the S&P and Russell 2000 on Thursday, although it was bit anti-climatic to see these indices make the push given the Nasdaq and Nasdaq 100 had broken out in the weeks before. However, it's important as it now has all indices pushing new highs, even if the Russell 2000 did lose ground on Friday to threaten its nascent breakout.
The breakout in the S&P came in with higher volume accumulation, which suggests something more than the short covering which typically drives the early move. Technicals are good, but relative strength is sharply in favour of the Russell 2000 (and Nasdaq).