Higher volume buying doesn't negate Russell 2000 'bull trap'

Options expiraton will have clouded Friday's volume, but Friday's buying in the Russell 2000 ($IWM) did not do enough to challenge the "bull trap" or the loss of the 20-day MA. The index is having to deal with 'sell' triggers in the MACD, On-Balance-Volume and relative performance against the Nasdaq. The expected result of the 'bull trap' is a move back to - then below - support defining the trading range off which the original breakout emerged. For the the Russell 2000 ($IWM), this means a move back to $188s.

The Nasdaq has just drifted below breakout support and its 20-day MA, enough to count as a "bull trap". If there isn't a return above 16,055 tomorrow it will effectively confirm the "bull trap", but there is still time for the index to get out of this.

The S&P was the one index not to flag a 'bull trap' and has the potential to lead a recovery off its 20-day MA. If there is a long-play tomorrow it will be in this index.

For tomorrow, we will want to see a positive open, especially in the S&P. Given the vulnerabilities of the Nasdaq and Russell 2000, a gap higher on the open would likely lead to more selling, so a slow-and-steady approach is perhaps preferred. As the Russell 2000 ($IWM) is furthest away from prior breakout resistance, it's the one most likely to see a shorts-attack on a return to this level.


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Investments are held in a pension fund on a buy-and-hold strategy.

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