#MarketTiming – with not much fanfare Santa slips into view

On a FED day as the Federal Reserve held firm on low interest rates, it appears the annual Santa Claus rally may have quietly slipped into view despite the tight trading of the past few days.

Possibly it’s even set up a for a fast move by the tight trading.

Appropriate timing, I guess, since it’s hard to fathom this market continuing to rally on anything other than the FED pump, pump, pump…

Regardless, the NYMO put in a low above a low today (see the chart below), to go along with the important NYSI’s rise for the past four days. That completes the breadth pattern that is a most reliable trigger for a sustained up swing.

Since the last time the NYMO put in a low above a low on October 8th, SPY has rallied seven percent.

I would venture to suggest about the only thing that could abort the rally would be the Tweeter in chief scattering the trade-talk sticks again. Reportedly he is meeting tomorrow with advisors to discuss the proposed Dec 15th tariffs against China. Since when has he listened to advisors? So anything can happen.

In the meantime, one has to respect the signals and be long, and buying dips, until further notice.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#ShortStrangles on Stocks 10/07 – 10/11

This week’s strangles:

Last week’s results:

(Percentage gains and losses reflect returns on cost of strangles, not margin needed for the trade.)

#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)

Margin Debt – setting up a S&P 50% plunge?

FINRA margin debt is a long-term indicator and always reported a month late.

So now we have the August numbers, down 6% month over month, as reported by Advisor Perspectives Monday (see the chart below). But it’s not the margin number that is concerning, it’s the chart pattern for the long term.

In the 1990s margin debt chugged along in a reasonable bullish fashion before finally going ballistic in 2000 just before the dot-com bubble burst. Then again, coming out of the 2003 bear market, it moved up gradually before going ballistic again in 2007 on a bubble in housing, fueled by excessively low interest rates for too long a time, and we had the financial crisis of 2008/2009. And now in 2018 margin debt has pushed higher than ever before on deregulation and tax breaks to corporations fueling stock buy backs, and some would say on a lot of hot air.

It the fall of last year it topped and has not gone higher this year. That is ominous for long-term investors.

Consider the pattern on the chart below.

Note that in both 2000 and 2007 the market made a new high after margin debt topped and fell. Each time on the chart, the debt numbers formed a plateau lower than the peak as the market made those new highs.

What comes next?

That is always the most important question in the stock market.

In 2000, the S&P plunged 50% (the Nasdaq, 78%), and in 2008 the S&P plunged again down 56%. Note the pattern in place on the chart now. Same old same old.

So is another 50% bear market imminent? It’s likely because although they always say it’s different this time it never is, even though it sometimes takes a long slow time to get it done.

This is a bit tricky at the moment because of the late reporting. One has to guess what is happening with margin debt behind the monthly market moves. Since the August drop in price is reflected in the margin debt drop (big professional players lightening up, maybe desperately lightening up), and since the market has rallied so far this month, one can guess margin debt may move up a bit here in September but not a enough to head off what is to come.

And since the market likes to fool everyone into complacency at the last possible moment, a new high here would probably be just enough to lock long-term investors in when they should be at least shuffling, if not running, to the exit.

If by chance it doesn’t move up, October could become an October of old, which is to say…uh, crash… crash… crash.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY – Federal Reserve gives the market a yawn

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 6/19/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): BUY DAY 12
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): BUY DAY 3
Price: BUY DAY 3
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 33 BUYS, 5 NEW BUYS, 26 OVERBOUGHT; 17 SELLS, 6 NEW SELLS, 2 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 43, falling, FEAR LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 13 UP, 2 DOWN.

WHAT?

All in all a pretty boring day in the market.

FED left interest rates unchanged, but suggested rates may be cut later in the year. Reportedly the vote, was eight to sit, eight to cut, one to raise.

Tweeted this early in the day and it pretty much held true all the way to the close:

WHAT NEXT?

As long as the NYSI keeps rising, the market context remains bullish.

Yawn.

#MarketTiming – tracks of the bear?

Sometimes, as they say, it’s not a stock market, it’s a market of stocks:

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

(Click on the chart to see the full twitter thread)

#MarketTiming – Oversold and very close to a bounce…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 5/13/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): SELL FROM 5/6.
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): SELL FROM 5/13.
Price: SELL FROM 5/13.
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 9 BUYS, 0 NEW BUYS, 2 OVERBOUGHT; 41 SELLS, 14 NEW SELLS, 30 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 32, FALLING, FEAR LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 0 UP, 15 DOWN.

OF NOTE SPY OPTIONS:

In a very bearish trading environment, today was a put day (see post below) with the in-the-money at the open 284 put rocketing to a 144% gain at its peak and registering through a chop at the end of the day a 76% gain. That final gain is if one was not paying attention, but obviously there were profit taking points all during the day – as it gained 100%, coming off the top for 121%, selling on the first blue-bar sell signal for 90% (see the chart in the post below).

WHAT:

Today’s market action was again news driven as the US-China trade talks broke off Friday with Trump escalating the pressure with a jump in tariffs on many Chinese imports from 10% to 25%, then tweeting over the weekend several threats to make it worse.

Finally, China retaliated with $60B in tariffs on US products, most farm products in the heart of Trump’s voter support. Sixty billion is not that much on its face but in the scheme of things it was a sign China is not going to, as some Trump supporters were claiming, “bend a knee.”

With an all-out trade war getting closer and closer to a real possibility (don’t these guys ever read history?) it was inevitable the US market was going to take a big rip.

On a technical note, except for a one-day up blip on 5/3, the long-term breadth, as measured by the NYSI, has been been falling since 4/17 (see the red vertical line on the chart below). Since that time, the market managed to trudge higher but the indexes are all now below the level they were at when the NYSI turned down. In other words never bet against the NYSI. It sometimes takes a while but it most often wins in the end.

In a previous post on the this pullback, I said: “If the market focuses more and more on the Trump administration turmoil in Washington, it is likely to unstable for some time.” That still is the what’s what.

WHAT’S NEXT?

However, for now, it is time for a bounce. It may not come Tuesday (a “turnaround Tuesday”?) but it is very close by.

The market can go down as long as it wants but not forever.

At this point SPY is down seven of the past nine trading day, the nasdaq down eight of the last ten. Short-term breadth, the NYMO, is deeply oversold. VIX has moved from the “12s” to 20 in the same amount of time. It’s getting to be too far, too fast, which always leads to a quick bounce. Except for QCOM, all the bellwether stocks are sells and were flushed to oversold with big drops in the indexes today.

In addition, my nifty-50-stock-list has 41 stocks on sells and 30 individual stock on the list oversold. Forty or more on sells is oftentimes the beginning of the end, if not the end, of a downswing.

I’m not one for Fibonacci numbers because like all support and resistance indicators they are notable only as long as the market doesn’t slice right through them (which it often does), but they are sometimes fun to take a look at and right now it appears SPY is sitting on one on a retrace of the rally from December (see the chart below). Supposedly that’s as good a spot as any for a bounce to begin.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$LYFT gets no lift on first earning report since IPO

LYFT, the ride-share biggie, is a perfect example of not buying into the hype surrounding an IPO.

LYFT came public on 3/29 and dropped almost immediately in on its opening bar, then gaped down the next day (see the charts below). Eventually, it settle down to move sideways until…today. It’s earnings report was terrible, losing $9 a share, more than a billion dollars, despite an increase in revenue and market share. And it had to announce on a day when its drivers are on strike with its biggest competitor coming public Friday.

The stock dropped nearly 11%

If one is an investor, none of this should matter. As outlined in this link below, investors should not even be long the stock until all fundamental and technical finally shake out, if they ever do. (Keep all this in mind also for the upcoming UBER IPO.)


Buying IPOs For Dummies

These IPOs are difficult to short in the initial stages, but traders on biggies like LYFT have options to play with. LYFT’s options came to market five days after the stock’s IPO day (see the charts below). And there is where the downside can be played. The LYFT May monthly 75 puts bought on its own “IPO day”, using the same criteria outlined for the stock in the link above,is now up approximately 150%.

Now that is uplifting.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY – the slide from the top continues…

MARKET TIMING SIGNALS FOR 5/8/2019.

Long-Term Breadth (NYSI): SELL FROM 5/6.
Short-Term Breadth (NYMO): SELL FROM 5/6.
Price: SELL FROM 5/6.
Nifty-50-Stock-List: 18 BUYS, 3 NEW BUYS, 7 OVERBOUGHT; 32 SELLS, 1 NEW SELLS, 16 OVERSOLD.
CNN MONEY’S “Fear and Greed” Index: 41, FALLING, FEAR LEVEL.
Bellwether Stocks: 5 UP, 10 DOWN.

OF NOTE SPY OPTIONS:

SPY CALLS AND PUTS, BOTH, were down on the day as a tight sideways chop all day slammed premium for Friday’s expiration on both sides of the market. (See the charts below for how bad it was.)

The most nimble of options traders could make money, at great risk, buying the yellows And selling the blues on the charts below, but not much. The not-so-nimble could lose a lot.

WHAT:

It appears the market has been moving on Trump tweets. That is as absurd as it can get since he should not be tweeting about any of this and the market shouldn’t be paying any attention to any thing he tweets. The New York Times broke a story on ten years of his tax returns during a time he lost more than a billion dollars, all of the money his father gave him a lot more. Surely, one of the worst businessmen in history but a major-league con-man. His beloved Twitter has hung #BillionDollarLoser on him.

If the market focuses more and more on the Trump administration turmoil in Washington, it is likely to unstable for some time.

WHAT’S NEXT?

All sell signals remain in place – as usual this is a market can can go down as long as it wants and turn up any time. That sharp drop in the calls and the rise in the puts in the last twenty minutes of the day on the 10-minute charts below may hint there is more downside to come right away tomorrow but news, like a trade deal with China, can intervene.

This is a dangerous time for short-term traders. On the longer term, every bear market begins (or resumes) on a single down day and that day was six days ago to start this current slide.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#MarketTiming – tricky, tricky, tricky…

So the market did not go down Friday as expected here.

And it may have switched gears to rally some more to the upside.

While long-term breadth, as measured by the McClellan Summation Index ($NYSI), continues to decline, short-term breadth ($NYMO) turned up Friday with a low above a low on its chart (see the green circle on the charts below). In bullish times, that is an aggressive traders buy signal. In bearish times, not so much.

Now if the Summation Index turns up, which it needs to do in short order (like Monday…), it could be the start of several weeks of rally. And if it doesn’t, and the low above low on the NYMO is canceled out, which seldom happens in bull markets but is common in bear markets, we will again, immediately be looking at a likely down swing again. One that could be big.

A lot hinged on Friday’s market action and now more may hinge on Monday’s.

The the first chart on the left below is based on the long-term breadth signal year to day. Because of this monster rally that ended at the end of February, TQQQ, the leveraged ETF for the Nasdaq is up 48% for the year. It is flat now but will go long if the NYSI turns up. TQQQ on the center chart is riding the short-term breadth signal and is currently up 14% for the year. It will go long on tomorrow’s open (Monday’s open). The chart on the right is a purely a price-base signal (I say “buy the yellow, sell the blue”). It has booked 3.1% profits and is currently up 5.1% on this latest on-going upswing.

If the market rallies tomorrow again, it is likely all three will be long at the same time. That is truly bullish.

IF not, then it won’t be bullish. As I said, much hinges on Monday for now. Tricky, Tricky, Tricky.

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)