#MarketTiming – looking for a swing leg up…

Nearly every night for past two weeks, the overnight index futures have been trying to mount another leg up for the market from the March 23rd bottom, and nearly every day the bears try to knock it back down.

Actually that’s typical – as J.P. is reputed to have said famously: “The market will fluctuate.”

As a day and swing trader I’m just sitting on the edge of my desk chair waiting to see which way to go.

Technically speaking, the SPY chart is showing an island reversal for the recent spectacular bounce off the market low.

That is bearish.

In addition the chart patterns I watch most closely — the NYSI and NYMO — are decidedly bearish. After getting wildly and rapidly overbought on the bounce, they have retreated with both highs below highs on the NYMO and a drop below the zero line on the NYSI. In bullish times it usually take three or four NYMO highs below highs to stop a rally. In bearish times it may take but one and several lows above lows to mount one. So far that has been true again (see the NYMO/NYSI line in the middle of the first chart below).

Long term investors, if they are in this market below current price levels, are losing time (at least a year, maybe as much as Trump’s entire term). If they are in at higher price levels they are truly trapped, losing time and losing money.

Regardless, I keep hearing both groups wishing and hoping — and pleading for — more bounce, either to cut paper losses or to get out.

So what’s next?

Having said all the bearish stuff, let’s take a look at the a couple short-term rally possibilities.

The NYMO, despite the current bearish pattern, just did something that is normal in bullish times and is at least a glimmer for a another leg up. It has dipped to the zero line three weeks (15 trading days) from its low. Three to four weeks into is normal for a twelve to fourteen week McClellan Oscillator cycle; it happens all the time in bull markets. Could this be a hint this is the week to try for more upside? A bit of relief, a surge of hope for the bulls? Maybe.

In addition, every day I tabulate all the stocks on my nifty-fifty stock list as to whether they are on buys, buys-overbought, sells, sells-oversold. Have been doing that for years, and it is a list that talks.

See the histogram on the second chart below for reference.

I’ve said before any time 40 or more of those stocks are on sells that is either the bottom of a swing or the beginning of the bottom of the swing. On the chart below, that tallies as 30 or more (stocks on buys minus stocks on sells). The red box mark each time this has happened.

During bull markets, when the nifty-fifty start up again, they either lead or confirm the next up swing. But since February that has not been case. No need to guess why that is so. Whenever a reliable indicator has a change in behavior, it screams there is SOMETHING BIGGER GOING ON HERE! My stock list is one among several technical indicators that have just announced the bear is out of his cave (and he’s given the world a vicious virus besides).

But…like the glimmer on the NYMO, there is a glimmer here also. The stocks on sells has been under forty for three days (there is no four days on this chart), and for the past two of those days it’s been slowing slogging its way higher.

Monday will be important but I’m going guess… The market is going to pop and take a leg up for at least a couple days this week.

Needless to say, I could be totally wrong about this since I am arguing against the NYMO and NYSI at the moment, the two most important measures of market psychology there is.

If so…well…it will be a short…again.

(CLICK ON THE CHART FOR A LARGER VIEW)

(CLICK ON THE CHART FOR A LARGER VIEW)

#MarketTiming – the Santa Claus rally goes crazy

The Santa Claus rally which arrived with a buy signal on the open of December 9th, is still going and going and going…

I wrote about this quiet rally trigger first in this link:

#MarketTiming – with not much fanfare Santa slips into view

Then, as the fanfare took hold:

#MarketTiming – the Santa Claus Rally, a progress report

Since that second post, TQQQ has gone from up from 9% to 17.7%, UPRO from 6% to 11.2%. The 3x-leveraged sector ETFs continue to surge: TECL (tech) up 21% now, ERX (energy) up 18.1% and SOXL (semis) up 29.9%. Among the bellwether stocks I follow, TSLA is leading the pack, up 27% now; NVDA up 13.4%; WYNN up 18.2% on a big jump out of a high-level consolidation today.

AAPL, which lagged early on, has now moved up a nice 10.9%, closing above 300.

Big gains in not much time – the rally is a mere 17 trading days old.

All of which is great for the bulls…except it’s all begun to go kind of crazy.

AAPL has a market cap of $1.3 trillion, somewhat insane no matter how much cash the company generates for buy-backs. MSFT is at $1.2 trillion; both GOOGL and AMZN are knocking on the trillion-dollar door. These stocks have market caps four and five times such “puny” companies as Walmart, Coca-Cola, Nike, Proctor and Gamble, Home Depot and even Exxon-Mobil. How crazy is this?

Speaking of buy-backs, corporate debt is likely piling up more and more as the FED keeps its foot on the printing-press pedal – margin debt did not move much last month so all this “irrational exuberance” has to be coming from somewhere.”

CNN Money’s “Fear and Greed” Index is at 97. Ninety-seven! That in and of itself is the stratosphere of extreme greed. It can’t go higher than 100. A year ago it touched 3, on a trap door that swings both ways.

Still, the market can go higher, and probably will, since there is momentum in that 97 number. It usually takes a divergence (a high below a high) in that index to trigger a decent down swing (see the red circles on the chart below). The index has to back off on a market dip (which is likely imminent) then fail to go higher as the market resumes its advance to another high.

And both breadth measures, the NYMO (short-term) and the all-important NYSI (longer-term) remain positive. So there is time for more rally.

Not much more to say at this time…except to note in markets going crazy (like 1999, like now) there is, in the end, no profit until one sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#Stocks – and out of the blue the brokerages fell…

Reportedly, this slam down in the brokerage stock is a result of Charles Schwab (SCHW) announcing a no-commission policy for online trade with presumably its competitors to follow.

And this is precipitated, according to reports, by the brokerage Robin Hood, which has been not charging for trades since its beginning. Robin Hood? Compared to these others, is that even a competitive trading house?

Regardless, SCHW, AMTD, ETFC, and IBKR are (at the moment) down either double-digit percentages or close to it in an out-of-the-blue across-the-board plummet. AMTD is down 23% (Holy cow!).

Whatever.

I would note the NYSI (long-term breadth) is falling. When it is, “accidents” like these often happen.

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)

#IPOs – hanging in and moving on…

Updating the chart discussed in this link:

IPOS – A Great Year for “Dummies”

Particularly BYND (again) and PINS, rallying again over the high of its IPO day after being stopped out a couple of times at that high.

(CLICK ON THE CHART PANEL FOR A LARGER VIEW)

#MarginDebt – The Reckoning has arrived…

You know those recaps that begin each new episode of TV shows with words like “Previously on Mad Men…Previously on Shameless…” or most appropriately in this case “Previously on Breaking Bad”?

For a year I’ve been watching for the end of this bull bubble and chronicled it’s slow rollover in the links in this link so let’s call this recap “Previously on Margin Debt”:

Margin Debt – the divergence that kills the bull

As has been noted before the trouble with this gauge from FINRA (it used to be from the NYSE) is that it is calculated and released always a month late. So during any given month one pretty much has to guess from price action what’s going on with the margin debt. Given how over extended it was, my guess October’s price action was probably finally killing the bull market (see the link above), and November would probably be the confirmation that the bear was out of it’s nine-year cave. Indeed, it was confirmation and the bear did emerge.

If one stares at the chart below for a while, it’s clear if history is any guide (at least based on the 2000 and 2007 bull bubbles) when margin debt comes apart it does not quit feeding on itself until the SPX declines 40 to 50 percent.

Ai-yi-yi, long-term holders!

But can this time be different? Of course it can. Margin Debt this time is coming down from higher levels than even 2000 and 2007. What if different turns out to be the same as 1929-1932? Talk about a “Presidential cycle” – the last “businessman” to be President was Herbert Hoover who presided over the worst bear market in history.

Different is never really different. It really means all things must change so that all can return to being the same.

America has had magnificent prosperity from 1945 to… Picking a time depends where one sits on the income inequality scale but I suppose for the vast majority of Americans the time was the 1980s when prosperity began to fray, the American dream began to fade. Read an telling opinion piece on this just yesterday – American Capitalism Isn’t Working. Needless to say it can be fixed but the fix is going to take a lot of year now. It’s going to be long climb back and we’ve not even hit bottom.

I could be wrong about this, of course, since market psychology can run amok even in the face of time and all sorts of fundamental foolishness.

In the meantime, as J.P. Morgan so famously put it “the market will fluctuate.” There will continue to be plunges to buy and bounces to sell. For those of us who actively play this game, that’s all that matters to make money.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY $TQQQ – Fast and furious the bear-market rally rises…

It was noted in the post below from the day before yesterday that bear market rallies tend to be fast and furious so we would have to see how this one goes.

And now, so far, it has went exactly as expected. Both short-term and long-term breadth, measured by the McClellan Oscillator and Summation Index, gave buy signals for yesterday’s open.

Despite a somewhat squishy start to yesterday, the rally (or maybe it should be called a “bounce”) clicked in strongly today. The fast move up midday was probably due to a speech by Federal Reserve chairman Powell which turned out to be more dovish than expected on future interest-rate increases. Funny how often news comes along to agree with what market breadth is saying already.

Notable moves in the rally so far include TQQQ up 12.% in two days; UPRO up 9.1%; FNGU, the 3x-leveraged ETF of the “FAANG” stocks, up 9.7%; tech ETF TECL up 13.4%. In two days…

So what now?

Both SPY and TQQQ are up more than two standard deviations of an average advance (“fast and furious”) and SPY is about to smack into an obvious down trend line (see the chart below). This is not sustainable. It is likely too much too soon. In addition my nifty-50 stock list has 45 stocks on buys (this current turn to the upside started with 39 of those 50 stocks on sells). Consequently, it’s likely the general market will either go sideways for a time now or take a quick dip…maybe only one day. Given past history, those who did not jump on the buy signals yesterday are probably itching to buy any dip so the rally should go on. Only 11 of my 50 stocks are overbought. Usually there will be many more of them overbought before this upswing stalls out completely.

If I had to guess, I’d pick the 281 neighborhood as a place where the SPY may settle this trip up (see the chart). Maybe even a bit higher. It may not take long or it may chop up until January. After that all indications are we have not seen the eventual lows of this bear.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#CoalStocks – thinking about shorting BTU, CLD…again.

Just thinking about it. This is a heads up. Don’t quite have the triggers I’d be comfortable with yet.

But unless the stocks surprise further to the upside, the prospects for shorting them again are getting closer day by day.

These stocks have been rallying in recent months on the desperate hope President Trump will do something to revive the industry. There is no chance of that happening. He is paying lip service, but is hardly interested or able to do anything else. Remember these stocks, long term, have fallen faster than dead canaries. This is an industry slammed by cheaper cleaner natural gas and it is facing an inevitable death at the hands of renewable energy.

CLD, once the stock dropped below $5 a share, could easily fade to dead money around $1, and maybe even go off the board like so many others in this sector – Patriot Coal, Walter Energy… BTU has already been through a bankruptcy, taking out decades of shareholder equity, and now has restructured and emerged to try to do it again.

I’m not one for fundamentals but this industry blow happened just yesterday:

LAST COAL PORT PROPOSAL ON THE WEST COAST DIES

Businessmen, especially coal executives, always complain that environmentalists never let them do anything. That is not true. Environmentalists don’t let them do stupid things. All of coal, once an evil necessity, is now a stupid thing.

So, trading-wise, I’m looking for more signs of weakness, negative candles, breaking supports, indicator divergences before sealing the shafts (see the charts below). Call it waiting for the bloom to come off the black Trump rose.

(click on each chart for a larger view)

All information, presentations and discussions on this site are no more than a journal of my personal stock market thinking and trading. This site is for entertainment purposes alone, and nothing here is to be construed in any way as direct investment advice.

$KBE – Are these banks or the walking dead?

Long-term market breadth has been rising for nine days.  That usually takes most stocks in the same direction.  After all, if a stock isn’t rallying when it has the entire market on its side, when is it going to rally?

So, consider the banking sector…

JPM, BAC, GS, WFC, DB, KBE (the ETF for the sector) are all falling while breadth is positive (see the rising green in the middle of each chart below), and now all of these stocks have broken support falling out of their respective consolidations (see the blue boxes on the charts below).

Don’t those boxes look a lot like coffins?  So is this out of the coffin and into the grave like “out of the frying pan and into the fire”?

Enough fiddling around.

If you’re a bull this is not a sector you want to see lagging, let along falling apart.  So here’s the heads-up, they’re likely going down.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

 

 

#IPOs – $ZKIN and others…

Today, let’s take a look back at a couple of recent stock IPOs and a new one on a buy from yesterday.

As has been stated in a previous post here, buying into an IPOs is actually one of the easiest decisions in stock investing but never let a broker con you into doing it the day of the offering.

Instead, note the high price and the low price on the first IPO is traded. Those are the lines in the sand or the Darvas box around the first day of trading (see the charts below).  The time to buy, invest, is on a close above the high of the first day with a stop loss below the high of the first day.  That is usually a low-risk trade since the real good news comes when the stock proves it can move up from all the hype surrounding the offering itself and if it falls back the stop to exit is close by.

Applying this to the newest offering here,  ZKIN (ZK Intl Group) would have created a buy on yesterday’s close (9/5) at 9.49 above its first day high of 8.68.  Today it closed at 10.27 up 8.2%.  The stop-loss is a close below 8.68 but with an 8.2% leap in profits already in the stock one might want to at least put in a break-even to avoid any loss.

These are purely technical signals.  I have no idea what that company does except it is Chinese.

To sum up the other IPOs here that have given recent buy signals, ZEAL is up 7.1% and RNGR is down 2.6% from its buy.  RNGR at 14.53 is close to its stopping point at 14.50.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

 

A $ZEAL for investors…

Investing in an IPO is actually one of the easiest decisions in stock trading but not on its first day.

But it is an IPO’s first day of trading that gives a clear look at when to buy the stock.  Simply note the high price and the low price on day one of the IPO. Those are the lines in the sand (see chart 0f ZEAL below). The stock is a buy on a close above the high of the first day with a tight stop loss below the high of the first day.

With ZEAL that buy would have been at 18.95 on the open of August 28 (after its close above the high of the first day at on August 25).  The stop loss is on any close below 18.69, the high of the first day.  ZEAL backed off for a couple of days and retested its breakout above the IPO-day high but did not trigger its stop loss.  Today it is, at the moment, turning up again at 18.90 (UPDATED: 18.80 on the close), again with a stop below 18.69.

This is an an opportunity for investors to buy and hold.  This is not for traders.  With a good-till-cancel stop loss order in, with very little short-term risk, it is a buy it and forget it with the hope it will appreciate over time.

(click on the chart for a larger view)