#MarketTiming – What a “long” glorious week!

This is an update of this post in this link, made last weekend:

#MarketTiming – Time for a bounce…

Wow! The predicted “bounce” has turned out to have been an understatement to what happened in the market this week.

Remember the 1961 movie “The Absent-Minded Professor” with Fred MacMurray, which introduced the world to flubber? Well, this week was a FLUBBER OF A BOUNCE, and since today it turned long-term breadth positive it is a bounce that has likely turned into a rally.

If I had to guess, instead of just following along, I suspect the pause begins tomorrow. If it gaps up, the rest of the day will likely be flat as the monthly options expiration plays out. If it gaps down or opens flat, there’s a good chance it rises again to the close and starts the pause there.

Just guessing this stuff…

Regardless, it has been a truly glorious week for swing traders – among the leveraged index ETFs TQQQ is up 15.8%, TNA up 12.1%, UPRO up 10.7%, even SVXY in the blistered VIX complex is up 15.3%. The at-the-money monthly SPY 263 call from Monday’s open, expiring tomorrow, is up 179%. Among the bellwether stocks AAPL is up 9.2% (that is a heavy market-cap lift in an awfully short time), BIDU up 13%, NFLX up 11.2%. I’m going to update my bellwether stocks later but suffice it to say here all twelve as of the close today are in the black for the week.

Now for a few cautionary notes.

If there is any trouble with this, it is that it has been a straight up move since last Friday. All the major indexes and most of the sector ETFs are up five days in a row. Much of the market is wildly overbought on short-term basis. This up move has been crazy. It is easily three standard deviations of an average advance and done in five consecutive days! (See the histogram on the Nasdaq Composite chart below.) I can’t even remember the last time anything like that happened, and obviously not in the last six months of this huge bull market. Forty-seven of the stocks on my nifty-50 stock list are on buys with 31 overbought (see the swing trading signals below), and yet we are not at new highs. This is going to have to have a pause, some backing and filling, then a resumption of the upswing before one can be sure it is yet another bullish rally in the on-going bull market.

The trouble with rallies out of hard drops, like the one the market took before this bounce, is that by the time they are obvious, they are sometimes over.

In addition, if the fierce sell-off that has preceded this bounce was a shot across the bow of the bull market, it is possible the buying this week is the last leap into the market by those long-ago left behind — if so, and if this rally fizzles before new highs (or even at marginal new highs) then this could be an advance before a mighty, mighty big flop.

Whenever this ends, we are going to have one of the biggest bear markets in history. If you don’t think so, you must not know history or you think “it’s different this time.” History says it is never different this time.

Even flubber bounces had to come back to earth.



PRICE: Buy. (Day 5).
VOLATILITY: Buy, (Day 5).


SPY CLOSE – 273.03
QQQ CLOSE – 165.70
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: 11, falling, extreme fear level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 47 Buys; 31 Overbought, 0 Oversold, 1 new buys today, 1 new sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#IPOs – $FIT shows the first day’s range is sacrosanct

As has been stated in a previous post here, buying into an IPO 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.

So, with history on our side, let’s take a look back at one of the most famous IPOs of past couple of years – FIT.

FIT came public in 2105 at 30.40 and had a high on its first day of 31.90, a low of 29.50 and a close of 29.68. That would make the “sacrosanct” range from the 31.90 high to the 29.50 low (see the blue rectangle on the chart below).

The next day, FIT closed at 32.50. That was the buy signal as it finished outside the first day’s range. It then rallied as high at 51.90, a pretty nice rise in a couple of months.

I’m not one for fundamentals but how far did anyone think the company was going to go on a gadget product keyed to New Year’s resolutions and open to competition from virtually everybody?

Needless to say, like New Year’s resolutions themselves, the stock began to fade and by the end of the year 2015 it was violating its “sacrosanct” first day’s range. It started 2016 with a serious break to the downside on substantial volume making it a clear short in IPO trading and, as they say, the rest is history.

It has now dropped into the $5 range from its IPO low of $29.50 in the face of one of the greatest bull market’s in history.

This price action, long or short, is the same with every IPO.

By the way, history, me thinks, is the best market indicator of all.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$AAPL trying for a new high, holds up the market

Talk about a mixed market.  Should say a mixed day.  The general indexes were up on the day and down from the open.

So I guess the story is AAPL.  How many times has that been the case in this bull market?  Every day?  AAPL closed at 161.47 just a point off its all-time high of 162.51.  The high today was 162 even. It is overbought.  See the daily chart below.

The question arises “Can AAPL hold up the market all by itself?”  Probably, at least for a while. But if it comes apart, the market is likely to flush like crazy. It has an $834-million market-cap which is a number that absolutely defies history so when it falls it could (and likely will) fall very hard.

In the general market, I had end-of-the-day sells on my Breadth signal (as was expected after six days up) and the Volatility signal.  The turn-down in breadth was not enough to damage the longer-term breadth.  The price signal remains on a buy.  Like I said, a mixed day.  The market could go either way tomorrow.

I don’t have much more to say.

Hmm…that reminds me, the great trader Linda Bradford Raschke once said (if I may paraphrase) she loved it when nothing much happened in the market because the next big thing usually is a REALLY BIG THING.


PRICE: Buy. (Day 2).
VOLATILITY: Sell, (Day 1).


CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (29 rising, fear).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 21 Buys; 6 Overbought, 8 Oversold, 1 new buys today, 1 new sells.

(click on the charter for a larger view)




$RACE – Ferrari racing up the Darvas stairs…

At the risk of oversimplification, the most effective ways to trade stocks is to keep it simple.

One of the best ever at this was Nicholas Darvas.

His method was to put a simple box around a stock’s price consolidation and buy it as the stock came out of the top of the box and either put a stop loss below his trade price (which would be a tight stop if the stock came back into the box) or below the bottom of the box (depending on anyone’s individual risk parameters).

Darvas said he never shorted a stock dropping below the bottom of a box only because he felt he was not psychologically suited to selling short. Still that would be, especially in a bear market, as simple of buying the top of one of his boxes in a bull market.

Darvas’ book “How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market” (this was the 1950s) describes his “Box System”. It is a classic. And timeless – see the chart of RACE below.

I have said before the easiest way to buy or not buy an IPO is to put a box on the high and low of its first day of trading and buy above the top of the box and short below the box. While an IPO’s first day is itself a Darvas box (blue on the chart below) as one can see here there are others also very worthwhile for the trader as well as a longer-term investor.

(Click on chart for a larger view)


Watching $BID for a market top

Sotheby’s Holding (BID) has so often been a market bellwether.

And at tops at that!  A rare thing in the world of calling market direction. Bottoms are easier to see and sometimes obvious but tops…”calling” tops has killed many a market prognosticator and killed many a bear.

So let me say right off I’m not calling a top here.  Just trying to pay attention…

And when BID quits rallying and/or diverges with general market, it is time to pay attention.  BID was down a bit on its monthly chart in September.  That is a lower high for the stock while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq drifted higher.

What’s it mean?  Maybe nothing.  Yet.  But take a look at the chart action showing BID with the SPX on the chart below in 2000 and 2007.  One might say, as BID goes so goes everything else.

And this time, so far, BID has not even crawled up to the top of its long-term price range, which is rather ominous going forward.

(click on the chart for a larger view)



#Greed top could lead to #SPY stumble

CNN Money’s “Fear and Greed Index”, a calculation of seven key market indicators in order to gauge the primary emotions underlying the stock market, appears to have put in a double top at an extreme greed level.

Historically, this pattern has led to significant sell-offs in the general market as investors’ and traders’ greed, fueled by the market’s recent rally, cycle down once again to a prevalent fear level.

There is really no way to tell how far the S&P 500 index (SPX, also the SPY ETF) will fall but the last time this down cycle took place the SPY fell from a high of 211 to a low of 185 (about 250 SPX points, a 10% or so correction). There is no guarantee it will stop there.

Regardless, this is an excellent shorting opportunity across the face of the stock market, just as it will eventually lead to an fine buying opportunity later on.

Market timing.  They say it can’t be done but a study of the chart below should make it rather obvious “they” don’t know what they are talking about.

(right click on the chart to view a larger image)


#NYSE Margin Debt

This may be too simplistic but every time I look at this Doug Short chart, I think at least 800 SPX points down before this finishes unraveling. It takes time, of course, but this time that would put the S&P 500 somewhere in the 1400s.

These numbers from the NYSE are a month old so the current record rally is not in them yet but I suspect when it is, it’ll look similar to that little blip up in 2008 just before the real tumble continued.

For Doug Short’s article GO HERE.

(click on chart for a larger view)

Nyse Margin Debt 2016-04-02_1114


#Banks – Someone said there’s a rally?

Since February 12th the stock market has been rallying strongly.

So what’s with these guys?

And to top it off, Bloomberg had an article this morning on CEO compensation at the biggest banks.  Now we know where all the QE went.

(click on image for a larger view)



I $SPY seven days of greed…

CNN Money’s Fear-and-Greed Index is, simply put, one of the most useful market-timing tools there is.

For example, the most recent rally, using the index as a trigger, bought the market on the open of February 16 (see the green vertical line on the chart below), a swing that has carried SPY, the SPX ETF, from 188 to 199 today, a gain of 5.3%, but more notably it has so far racked up gains for the 3x-leverage ETF of 17.4% in UPRO, 15.9% in the Nasdaq’s TQQQ, and a whopping 29.5% for TNA, the Russell fund.

That buy signal, now 18 trading days old, is still on and counting but …

But the Fear-and-Greed Index has now registered greed for seven days.  Call it lucky or unlucky depending on one’s bullish or bearish point-of-view but seven days of greed is often all she writes on an upside swing (see the chart) before a sudden sell-down.

As they say, it could be different this time but…

But it seldom ever is.

(right click on chart for larger view)