#SwingTrading – “Buy when the market tells you…”

Kennedy Gammage, the late great market timer, used to say “Buy when the market tells you, sell when the stock tells you.”

He could just as easily said “buy when the market tells you AND when the stock tells you.”

That is what this story is about.

Mr. Gammage’s market tools were the McClellan Oscillator ($NYMO) and the McClellan Sumation Index ($NYSI). The NYMO is a short term market-breadth indicator based on the New York Stock Exchange Advance/Decline line, and the NYSI is its longer-term brother.

Taken together, they are the clearest indication of mass market psychology which is to say: market direction, up or down.

When the NYMO and NYSI rise, it is time to buy stocks, ETFs, calls, futures, whatever money-maker one likes best.

That is the market telling you to buy…simple as that, and do not argue.

Now throw in my nifty-50-stock list (see its own story below) as it moves, again and again, from oversold to overbought and back again.

Each time there are 40 or more of the 50 stocks on sells, it’s time to sit up and take notice since that is the number that most often signals either the bottom or the beginning of a bottom on each down swing.

Once 40 more sells have registered on the list, it is time to take note of the NYMO to get market direction to trigger the buy, or if longer-term breadth, measured by the NYSI, is rising when 40 or more sells register on the list that is to time as they say in the market to “buy the dip” in an on-going up trend.

This is what market timing and swing trading are all about and the returns can be both rapid and remarkable.

#MarketTiming swing bottoms with 40 plus sells on the #Nifty50StockList

Again and again, my nifty-50 stock list moves from oversold to overbought and back again to oversold like an ever spinning wheel within the market’s spinning wheel…

And each time there are 40 or more of the 50 stocks on sells, it’s time to sit up and take notice since that is the number that most often signals either the bottom or the beginning of a bottom on each down swing.

I first posted about this strategy in November of 2015, one of the first entries on this blog.

Nothing has changed.

Usually it just takes one day of 40 sells, sometimes two days, to set up the bottom of a swing. Should be noted if it goes more than two days that’s is a warning that something bigger may be in the offing (last time that happened was the start of the Covid-19 bear plunge this year).

This is just an FYI, but it is what market timing and swing trading are all about.

The results can be quite remarkable, in leveraged ETFs like TQQQ, TNA, leveraged sector ETFs like SOXL, FNGU, and, of course, hot individual stocks.

The buy signal is the open of the first day after the Nifty50StockList ceases to have 40 or more stocks on sells. Stops are at whatever price level on whatever is bought based on each trader’s risk tolerance.

On the chart below the 40-plus sells are marked with purple paint bars.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#StockTrading – $NIO and its #DarvasBox

The basis of everything in the stock market is simplicity.

That’s hard to tell when there are thousands of opinions and indicators and time frames and derivatives flying around all the time. There must be a thousand videos on YouTube giving lessons in stock and option trading and now there’s also cryptocurrency too. There are brokerage programs and financial advisors and television commentators and TV guests galore. The mind boggles with all the information available, with all the noise, with all the complications.

But it all comes down to one simple fact – whatever it is, it either goes up or it goes down.

Even then, the question arises when is going to do one or the other?

So let me reminisce moment. I had a Twitter exchange recently with the excellent market-timing advisor, Brian Shannon, in which I had the opportunity to recall a conversation I had years and years ago in the parking lot of Cal. State University Northridge with the great market wizard, Willian O’Neil. He was just getting Investors Business Daily off the ground (that’ll tell you how many years ago it was) and was promoting it everywhere. That day at the university as he was leaving his presentation it turned out his car was parked next to mine. We had a nice chat about how useful his paper was, about his CANSLIM method of stock picking, his approach to timing the market particularly, and, as Hemingway used to say, how the weather was.

I asked him as he was trying to slip into his car to leave, what books and people influenced him when he started out. He paused, then with a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye, said “the Darvas book is awfully good.” The Nicolas Darvas book is “How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market.” He made the money in the 1950s and published the book in 1960.

The book is a classic.

Darvas was one half of a renowned dance act that toured constantly and often gave ballroom-dancing demonstrations on cruise ships. The market was a sideline and since he couldn’t pay all that much attention to it while he was away, he would study the stock tables in Barrons and the Wall Street Journal to find stocks in sideways consolidations. He would then draw a box around the consolidation and He would give his broker instructions to buy the stock if the price came out of the top of the box and use the bottom of the box as a stop-loss level.

His stock investing system is simplicity itself. So simple, I’m sure there are those who go “What? It can’t be that easy.” Yes, it can.

Darvas turned his $10,000 savings into $2,000,000 in an 18-month period. As Bill O’Neil said “the Davas book is awfully good.” After I first read it, I realized that the sly smile and twinkle O’Neil gave me that day was him giving away his own stock-market secret – his CANSLIM methodology has Darvas written all over it.

Enough with the reminiscence, enough with the history. Dravas wrote that book 60 years ago.

What about now?

Nothing, absolutely nothing, has changed.

Let’s take NIO, the Chinese electric-vehicle TSLA wanna-be. See the chart below with the Dravas Boxes on each price consolidation since this year’s March low. NIO first came out of a Darvas Box at $3.20, then another at 4.17, then another at 7,91, and finally today again, on high volume, at 17.84 with no Darvas stops hit during its entire climb. Simplicity itself.

Of course, all of these boxes in NIO’s uptrend are in retrospect unless one happened to be focused on the stock and were watching for it to make its moves. That’s the past but notice is hereby given – NIO popped out of its box again today to 17.87 on a significant rise in volume. That makes it a buy on the open tomorrow. A tight stop would be the top line it just crossed at 16.44, and the stop Darvas would use would be the bottom of the box at around 10.5.

Stops are always determined by each individual’s risk tolerance but if the stops don’t get hit, NIO is an investment for the long term from this moment on.

(Click on the chart for a larger view)

Oh, and by the way:

(Click on the chart for a larger view)

$UVXY – lighting a fuse for its next explosion…

File this under “history repeating slash history rhyming.”

The last time I posted a VIX ETF heads up was January 14TH ($TVIX – Just a heads up…), when TVIX was 40ish and UVXY was 10 something. Both, at the time of that post, were down eight days in a row in a falling wedge pattern, like UVXY is now (see the chart below).

I suggested at that time that whatever buy trigger came along it was going to come along soon and those leveraged ETFs were going to explode.

Three days later they popped nicely, not spectacularly but nicely, then backed off to retest the lows into early February. Then there was a another buy, triggered by a down turn in the NYSI, the longer-term breadth measure of the McClellan Oscillator, on February 19th.

And the VIX ETFs exploded.

UVXY went from under 11 to as high as 135. In two weeks. TVIX, which rocketed from 40 to a 1000, is no longer with us, having killed itself with success…well, extreme volatility.

The blast was driven by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States. It started slow but with President Trump’s incompetence and his totally botching of this country’s response to the virus (calling it a “hoax”), it ran the major indexes down 36% in a few weeks.

The market has rallied back to the previous highs with Congress putting out a two-trillion-dollar stimulus that once again helped Wall Street but not much on Main Street, and with the Federal Reserve throwing money onto the market like gasoline on a bonfire.

Truly, it has been a market rally led by tech and irrational exuberance. Remarkably, the banks have been relative laggards in the rally, never a good sign for the market longer term.

So what now?

As yet, the market has not come to terms with how severely the economy has been damaged with double-digit unemployment, with a possible waves of evictions, with thirty/forty million people out of work, with relative consumer buying power in the shitter, with small businesses failing all over the place (YELP predicts sixty percent of restaurants will not recover). And now schools likely will not be able to fully open.

Even now the Trump Administration doesn’t have the slightest idea what to do, and Republican Senators are dickering with each other, holding up the Democratic rescue plan. Trump has returned to the coronavirus briefing podium to spout his lies and ignorance. Trump’s big botch goes on while the rest of the world has shown to varying degrees what should have been done.

Five million Americans have been infected and 170,000 have died (with both those numbers still rising fast). As the rest of the world continues to make progress against the pandemic (New Zealand has not had a new case now for 100 days), the United States, governed by not much more than an orangutan, continues to be a mind-boggling catastrophe.

What now? What now?!

This is just another heads up…like last time:

Watch UVXY. It will tell, and there will be money to be made there. It’s setting up another explosion. After these eight days down in a row it could come tomorrow or two weeks from now but it’s likely the fuse has been lit.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY #Options – #DayTrading calls on a FED day

The Federal Reserve announced its actions Wednesday in what was going be a foregone conclusion – nothing new, more to come.

So call that bullish.

CLOSING FIRST HALF:

CLOSING DAY TRADE:

$TSLA slams into an “outside day”

And it hit that wall on the day after its earnings report vaulted it into the airy realm of irrational exuberance.

All over stock market social media, Elon Musk fans and TSLA shareholders were ecstatic as the monster stock, in the midst of a world-wide pandemic and facing the prospect of a dire economic downturn, virtually doubled in no time at all. TSLA has boundless prospects long-term – long-long-term – but its recent rocket ride was crazy. Even Musk said so some time ago.

CRAZY!

So no surprise today as one of the oldest of Wall-Street adages strutted on stage yet again – “Buy the rumor, sell the news.”

The stock plummeted 163 point from its open today and 77 points lower than its close yesterday on higher than average volume, in other words the very definition of an outside day.

So what next?

Actually outside days are somewhat up in the air. In an up trend (and TSLA certainly is in one), it can be a mere bump in the road so to speak, but whenever violent action like that a happens, particularly on good earnings news, one has to see if anyone has been killed in the crash.

Today’s low, me thinks, is the line to live by. If TSLA rises above it, tomorrow, it’s a long with the today’s low as the stop loss. If it continues to drop, the low becomes the protective stop for the shorts.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#DayTrading $SPY #Options – Buying Calls and Puts

The contents of this blog entry was first posted here a year or so ago about buying SPY calls and puts for day trades.

I am copying the contents of that post here in order make it easier for me to find. Plus, the current volatility in the market makes this strategy better than ever.

There are so many options strategies in the stock market the head spins – a straddle, a strangle, a naked and/or a covered put and/or call, a calendar, a condor, an iron condor, an iron butterfly (isn’t that a rock band?) and any combination of any of these for hedging purposes, for capital appreciation or preservation, for gambling. Mind boggling.

But buying options…

Buying options, just plain buying a call or a put, everyone will say is a “fool’s game.”

Regardless of whether a trader buys calls or puts on index ETFs like SPY or QQQ or IWM, or buys options on stocks, there are only three things that can happen – the option goes the trader’s way (good), or the option goes against the trader (bad), the option goes sideways with price decay over time (also bad).

Two out of the three possibilities for the option buyer are losers. What fool would want to play that game?

But is it really a fool’s game, like everyone in options trading says?

For day traders it doesn’t have to be. If the trader is persistent, discipline and experience, it almost never is.

Let’s take SPY options as the prime example — very liquid across multiple strikes, tight spreads, hardly any time decay on a trade for only a day, a stop-loss is close by and immediate, and the profits, if there is a trend for the day, can be substantial, even rather astounding.

Also great for scalping on any time frame intraday.

Again, I must stress the key, as always, is persistence, discipline, experience, and an entry signal the trader is comfortable taking.

I have included the chart below from today as an example – the SPY 278 in-the-money call, expiring Friday, up 106% to close the day trade. (I will probably edit this out of this post, along with the chart, as time goes by.)

(Click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – another day, another dollar or two

As market sold off it gaped-up gains Tuesday, the NYMO and NYSI did not turn down.

Today showed why traders always want to be on the same side as those two breadth indicators.

It’s been a great bounce and so far there’s not sign it’s done, except we’re running into a holiday in a bear market. I haven’t studied those occurrences but I would not be surprised if there’s a stall tomorrow.

No telling what more three days of news can bring during a world-wide pandemic.

Anyway, some highlights in this spectacular bounce suggested to start on on the open of March 23rd in this post: Reading history on the #MarginDebt chart. Since then UPRO, the SPX leveraged ETF, is up a whopping 60%, TQQQ is up 52%, TNA 45%; among the leveraged sector ETF’s I follow, ERX is up 82% and SOXL 74%.

Spectacular numbers.

So spectacular in fact that going into the weekend traders might want to move up to the edge of their seats to insure nothing goes wrong with the profits grabbed in this fierce bear-market rally. Investors can go on praying there’s more to come after the harrow plunge they’ve just seen. I hear a lot of happiness among those who did not buy and hold and bought sometime in the past two weeks and a lot of hoping from those blistered by what the hope is a “black swan” interruption of last year’s bull market.

I still believe this is a bounce to be slaughtered because of the unraveling of margin debt discussed in that link above but I guess we’ll see in the fullness of time.

In the meantime, this was my play for today, the SPY 267 in-the-money call expiring today, stopped out once but finished up 149% for the day trade.

Like I said above, another day, another dollar or two…in a spectacular week.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – this week’s up leg UPDATED

In Sunday’s post below it was said:

“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.”

Got the pop. Got the couple of days up. Anyone sell the open today?

The market gaped on the overnight futures again but a turn-around-Tuesday did not another Monday make. Unlike Monday there was no follow through on the gap today. Although the bull-market-hope-to-be buyers made a game try to bring it back mid-day after the first slip and slide down, but the bear gave a little push with his paw to bring on a true turn-around Tuesday.

There were reversals all over the board.

That mid-day sway was rather nerve wracking for the 274 put that triggered on my SPY day-trading system but, all’s well that ends well. It finished with a 33% gain.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

As for the day itself…

Hmm…. That big black thing on the daily chart does not…well, that does not look good, but the NYMO and the NYSI continue to rise so there is still some hope for the bulls.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#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)