#HousingStocks and the three little bears…

It is nearly impossible to call a market top before it becomes obvious it has already happened but the housing stocks have come closest in the past to doing it.

Which is why I keep an eye on LEN, KBH, DHI, MDC, NVR, TOL, PHM AND TOL. If is all not quite well with the market (and the economy for that matter), they are often the first to show the strain.

As far back as December of last year I posted an entry here at what I suspected might the first warning sign:

Gonna Huff and Puff and Blow Your House Down

And again in early February of this year, as the SPY began to break down, being led by the housing sector, I posted a warning here to also watch the banking stocks:

Housing stocks – the tails that wag the banking dogs

And finally this last April 24th, another post looking back at the history of these tell-tale stocks:

Housing stocks – Remembering 2008

Which bring us to today.

The ten-year bond rate went through 3% for the first time since 2011, with no sign of turning back, and it appears (obviously) the housing sector did not like it (see the chart panel below).

In 2007, this sector had a long sideways to up move after the initial hard break that had all the stock pundits (on CNBC and elsewhere) proclaiming the market pull back was over. The banks were even making new highs at the time (they are not now).

Then the plunge began into 2008.

The hard break in this sector this year has many of these same housing stocks down 20% already. And they have moved generally sideways — some with a downward bias — since mid-February before today’s four and five percent drops as it appears they are breaking down from their months-long consolidations just like last time.

On the chart panel below, see LEN, DHI, TOL and HOV particularly.

Is this the sign the bears have noticed this Goldilocks bull market has been eating their porridge and sleeping in their bed for far too long? There is a chance they are about to chase her out of the house running for her life into the deep dark forest of the time to come. And if so, the banking stocks will scurry after…

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#BankStocks – as GS and DB tumble…

It is on my my mind that we’re seeing 2007 all over again in the financial sector stocks.

During the pullback in the SPX since January, housing stocks and the bank stocks have been breaking support and beginning to “stair-step” down (see the chart below), led to the a possible 2008 cellar by DB and now with GS (a bellwether, no less) following suit.

The rest of those I follow – JPM, BAC, WFC, USB – are sitting right on support. It the market takes another hard hit (like tomorrow?), they could all be in solid downtrends.

Needless to say, as the banks and the general market tend to feed on each other in up trends, they can also eat other alive to the downside too.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

Trending days in the “Fool’s Game”…

The market Friday broke to the upside at the open and never looked back.

As a result it was what I’ve now come to call in my mind a “perfect trending day” in what I ironically call the “Fool’s Game”. That is to say since I started trading and tracking weekly SPY calls and puts solely on as longs and solely as day trades to avoid as much time decay as possible, it is a day when the in-the-money option gains more than 100% on the trend for day.

Friday’s expiring weekly SPY 275 calls vaulted on my day-trading signal into the close for 252% profit on the day trade. That is $25,200 for each $10K traded, in this instance 93 contracts (see the white flag on the lower right of the 10-minute chart below).

Going into Friday, last week’s trading was truly looking like a fool’s game.

From Monday to Thursday, the daily trades were down a cumulative 150% for the week, $15k for each $10k traded, the first weekly loss of the year.

But there had been no trending day during the week, by Thursday no 100% plus day, another first for the year.

And it was also a Friday, when the weekly option expires and there are the most volatile movements. There have been twelve trending days (up and down) in the first ten weeks on this year and five of those days have come on a Friday, making Friday this week once again the best possibility for another trending day.

And so it was to be, as it turned out. Rather spectacularly. For 252%, the second biggest day-trading gain of the year (on February 2nd, the Fool’s Game racked up a 265% gain on a put trade), and turning the loss on the trades for the week into an overall 100% profit.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#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.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Buy (Day 1).

PRICE: Buy. (Day 5).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Buy. (Day 5).
VOLATILITY: Buy, (Day 5).

CONTEXT:

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)

$SPY $QQQ – day trading weekly options, again up 100%

After the Nasdaq’s big up day to start the new year, all of my swing signal clicked again to buys.

See signals table below.

But the question for discussion today is what those swing signals mean for the day trades in what I’ve been calling the “Fool’s Game”, the practice of going long – LONG – calls and puts each day.

Today, with all swing signals in place, and intraday 10-minute signals on SPY and QQQ also on buys at the end of Tuesday, the buys for the day trade today were on the open.

From that point, a day-trading options player in this game wants nothing more than to not be stopped out any time during the day and to close the trade at the end of the day making money. If it turns out it is a strong trending day, like yesterday to the upside with the QQQ calls, then the day trade becomes a big, sometimes very big winner.

The initial stop loss would have been 10 minutes of risk. If the first bar of the day closed below the day’s open, the position would be sold, no doubt for a loss, and possibly reversed depending on its relation to the moving average. If the option finished above the open, it would be in profit and a stop-loss just below the open could be placed to make it virtually a free trade.

So how is this game going today?

The buy on the open in the weekly SPY and QQQ in the money calls have gone straight up so far for the day with the SPY 268 weekly call up approximately 80% at the moment, and QQQ weekly calls up about 118% (see the chart for an illustration of all of the above).

A 100% day trade…can’t ask for much more than that, but as always in trading it is take what you can get.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Buy (Day 11).

PRICE: Buy. (Day 1).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Buy. (Day 1).
VOLATILITY: Buy, (Day 1).

CONTEXT:

SPY CLOSE – 268.77
QQQ CLOSE – 158.49
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (62, rising, greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 30 Buys; 18 Overbought, 0 Oversold, 17 new buys today, 5 new sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#Stocks – Bellwethers kick off new year with a bang

All but one of my bellwether stocks have started the year so far with solid percentage gains.

Only GS lags, up at the moment only 25% on the day. The leaders include BABA up 5%, NFLX up 4.6% and FSLR up 3.5%.

For the rest see the charts below:

(click on charts for a larger view)

$SPY – the fool’s game’s not foolin’ for 79% on the day trade

THE FOOL’S GAME – BUYING CALLS AND PUTS FOR DAY TRADES

After SPY’S opening gap, it was very trying trading in the early action as the ETF whipsawed back and forth across its open.

The market’s first ninety minutes chopped out two short signals and two long signals before settling into an downward trend for the rest of the day.

That slide into the close saved the trade for the day. After an initial draw down of $1500 (on a $10K buy-in on each trade), the overall net at the close was $7,900 for the day (or 79%) trading the weekly calls and puts (see the chart below for an illustration). Instead of saying the drop from 8 a.m. (PST) into the close “saved” the day, I guess it would be more apt to say it made the day-trade with this system once again great for the day.

I have upped the ante on what I talk about here from buying $5K worth per trade to $10K worth for each trade simply because it’s easier to talk about percentage gains and losses using that level. The SPY is best for this kind of options day trading because of the liquidity in both the weekly and the monthly strikes. The action today was in this week’s 266 calls with a volume today of more than 63,000 contracts and this week’s 267 puts with a volume today of more than 9,000 contracts, both were in the money contracts (that volume may be skewed by the fact this week’s expiration Friday is also a monthly expiration). Size ranged from 72 to 90 contracts per trade.

With $10 in the trade, it’s also fun to say on good days like today — Made $7900 today with my 10 grand in the market and now I’m flat with no overnight risk! What a fool am I?!

(click on the chart for a larger view)

REMINDER: The commentary presented here is for entertainment purposes only and should not be construed in any way as direct investing or trading advice.

$TQQQ – a Nasdaq bloodbath too far too fast?

TQQQ, the 3x-leverage ETF based on the Nasdaq 100 stocks (NDX), was down 5.4% today, a bloodbath that affected many of the bellwether Nasdaq stocks in the index.

See the table below:

(click on the image for a larger view)

NVDA down 14 points, NFLX down 11, and so on. Pretty ugly in the momentum bellwethers.

There was a fake-out nudge to the upside Tuesday, but can’t say today’s slam down was unexpected. Posted this two days ago:

This could be tricky since long-term breadth continues to climb (up for the fourth day). Given that, if short-term breadth turns up here in the next day or two (or bless a bottom dollar, three days), the market would get another bullish boost. If long-term breadth turns down, this could very easily become the hook that catches every bull off guard. Although the bull market has so far defied the signs over and over again, it is inevitable that one of these times, like today, when the signals signal a turn, the turn will come. Probably when the bears are worn out and the bulls don’t expect anything of on their blindside.

If today’s sell off continues, that will be relevant, but there are signs this is done already.

Nearly every time TQQQ falls through the standard deviation lines (the blocks on the green lines on the chart below), the Nasdaq bounces the next day or two days out (the red vertical lines on the chart). It is as if any fall this far is too far too fast. And oftentimes in this bull market, the bounce becomes another rally (see the diamonds on the chart are TQQQ). In fact, a look-black on the chart shows this last great upswing in the Nasdaq, which began in late September, started with a touch down on the green lines just like today.

So I’m looking for the bounce, and looking to ride a rally if it develops here (Santa time?), and if it doesn’t then the suggestion in the quote above might indeed be a sea change in the market.

SWING TRADING SIGNALS:

LONG-TERM BREADTH: Buy (Day 6).

PRICE: Sell. (Day 1).
SHORT-TERM BREADTH: Sell. (Day 1).
VOLATILITY: Sell, (Day 1).

CONTEXT:

SPY CLOSE – 262.31
QQQ CLOSE – 153.89
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (67, rising, greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 14 Buys; 11 Overbought, 8 Oversold, 6 new buys today, 3 new sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SBGL (TRADE UPDATE) – up 9.4% in 4 days…

SBGL, long from 11/21 at 5.09, has had a nice four day run to the upside to close-by resistance.

SBGL – START OF THE TRADE

At the same time the leveraged gold-stock ETF, NUGT, has move up to the top of its recent range (see the chart below). Would like to see a breakout in order to take SBGL above 5.65. It closed today at 5.57.

In the meantime, moving the stop on half the position to 5.42, and to breakeven on the other half.

(click on the chart for a larger view)