Friday's action sees defense of S&P and Nasdaq breakouts

There wasn't a whole lot of drama to Friday's action but it was telling that there was no undercut or 'bull trap' left to linger into the weekend for either breakout in the S&P or Nasdaq. On Thursday, we did see potential reveral candlesticks in these indices, but there was no return on them by Friday's close. However, I was disappointed with the number of penny stocks that were picked up by my breakout scan on Friday, suggesting there may yet be trouble ahead for the indices. However, there is a tonne of support for traders to lean on, even if it takes a 10% loss to get there. The S&P may be underperforming relative to the Nasdaq, and the last couple of days have seen buying volume fall, but the breakout is very much intact and technicals are solidly bullish.

Fresh breakouts for S&P and Nasdaq

Bit by bit, the bearish thesis I had outlined in April is no more. Today delivered strong breakouts for the Nasdaq and S&P, although the Russell 2000 ($IWM) still has some work to do. The S&P delivered a clean breakout on higher volume accumulation. A technician couldn't ask for a better move. Now it's up to the market to deliver on this promise. One thing we need to watch is the relationship of the S&P to its 200-day MA; at the moment it's 12.2% above this moving average which is in the 10% extreme zone of historic overboughtness. If it gets to 14.4%, it will be at the 5% level, and at 18.1% it will be at the 1% level, and becomes a strong 'sell'.

Markets stall at Friday's highs as trade volume continues to fall.

Friday's highs continue to play as a top but today's losses didn't undercut Friday's lows, leaving things in a bit of a 'No-Mans-Land'. The Nasdaq returned to a 'buy' trigger for On-Balance-Volume and kept its challenge of the 'bull trap' intact. This could still go either way.

Bearish candlesticks Friday do not necessarily translate Monday

We have seend this before; a rally of a few weeks tops off with a reversal candlestick, but the next day, the rally continues. Things were perhaps a little more bearish for the Russell 2000 ($IWM) than the S&P and Nasdaq, but with all indices pressuring resistance of bearish flags - to the point these flags may no longer be considered bearish - it's still more likely we will see challenges of March highs before we see any retest of April lows. For the Russell 2000 ($IWM), there was a 'bearish cloud cover' candlestick to finsh Friday's trading. The index is still above its 20-day (50-day and 200-day) MA, and is running along the top of its 'bear flag' in what could be viewed as a resumption of its rally. Volume has dropped across the flag pattern, as is typical, but if the next uptick in volume coincides with buying then it won't be long before the March 'bull trap' is challenged.

Markets peaked yesterday, but today wasn't one for sellers

It was a bit of an off day. The gap down had all the makings of a substantial sell off (one I tried to short), but in the end, it was longs who came out on top. The question for tomorrow is if today's action can deliver a challenge on yesterday's highs, and get past them on a way to challenge all-time highs. The S&P is the best of the indices. The day finished flat, but today's action remained close to yesterday's doji. It's the index most likely to follow through tomorrow. On the subject of Large Cap indices, the Dow Jones Industrial average actually pushed beyond yesterday's candlestick, although it's up against another resistance level. The Nasdaq is next in line, although we could be looking at a bearish 'evening star' despite today's gain. Today's gain wasn't enough to prevent a new 'sell' trigger in On-Balance-Volume. While the Russell 2000 ($IWM) has the most well defined bearish 'evening s

Indices look to escape 'bear flags' as resistance levels get chalked off.

While I was (still am?) looking for zig-zag measured moves lower for the S&P, Nasdaq and Russell 2000 ($IWM). All of these indices did a good job of pushing out of bearish patterns and setting up for challenges of highs. It was impressive, as the easier option was probably to move lower, particularly for the Russell 2000 ($IWM) that had finished yesterday on a bearish 'black' candlestick. The Russell 2000 ($IWM) easily negated the 'black' candlestick, not just gapping higher, but pushing itself outside of resistance of the 'bear flag' and above a minor horizontal resistance level (now support).

Large "Inverse Hammers" kill rally in Indices

Today was not a great day for bulls; what looked promising for all indices intraday, was cooked by the close. The percentage loss for the day was not the issue, it was the intraday spread that caused the problem. In the case of the S&P and Nasdaq, current action since April lows has the look of 'bear' flags, and if they play out as such, then we need to look for measured moves lower (again, bringing the 200-day MAs into play).


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