#MarketTiming – long, strong and more to come

Didn’t getting around to posting the timing signals last week for various personal reasons so this post probably looks a little late to the party.

Oh, well…

A lot related to the headline above has already happened. The Nasdaq is already up six days in a row and the SPY, except for a minor dip during the week, would be too. My nifty-50 stocks have risen from 13 on buys and 15 oversold six trading days ago to 41 on buys and 29 overbought as of the close Friday. Virtually every index and sector ETF is overbought.

Once again, the market internals, ruled by short-term and long-term breadth, called the swing low, the turn, and the rally (see the circles and lines on the chart below).

So why bring this up now?

Because there is more to come in this bull market, either right away or right after a shallow pullback. The short-term breadth indicator is just too strong to be turned on a dime, and with the long-term breadth having just come out of a divergence itself (see the circle in the middle of the chart), there is a good chance this rally has another three, four, or more weeks to run before any significant sell-off is possible. So every dip is to be bought, and every surge savored.

Could it be different this time? The market could do whatever it wants but history says not right now, and history, when it comes to the mass psychology and movements of the market, is the best indicator of all (no matter who says otherwise).

(click on the chart for 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.



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)

#MarketTiming – Time for a bounce…

Just spent a week in New Orleans watching Carnival parades, eating too much food and listening to lots of great music.

So what did I miss in the markets?

Just kidding. Saw all that too. Long time coming but again, just as everyone started to believe it was, it is NOT DIFFERENT THIS TIME.

The question to be answered is was that just a correction after a great bull run or is that the first plunge from a new bear born? Probably the bear is being born but we’ll have to see if it is so in the fullness of time.

For now, after Friday’s further plunged to another new low and reversal back into positive territory, it’s likely the market will bounce this week. How high and for how many days is anyone’s guess but a bounce is what to look for, and, as they say, if one sees what one is looking for, jump all over it.

An important note, the lows and tests of lows last week set up a divergence with short-breadth (see the green circle in the upper section of the chart below). That is an aggressive trader’s buy signal. Works like a charm in bull markets. Doesn’t work all the time in bears. What happens next on that indicator could tell a lot about what kind of market we’re going to have going forward.

All swing signals registered buys Friday but the long-term breadth remains negative indicating so far this bounce will only be a bounce.



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


SPY CLOSE – 261.50
QQQ CLOSE – 156.10
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: 10, rising, extreme fear level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 19 Buys; 2 Overbought, 29 Oversold, 9 new buys today, 6 new sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

#Stocks – the tails that wag the banking dogs

As I recall back in 2007 or so there was a moment when the banking stocks were making new highs while the housing stocks had long since died.

Needless to say the rest in 2008 became history.

So are we there again? Stuck that “history repeats” thing again? Or is it different this time?

At moment the answers are out. Home building stocks are down on the creep up in interest rates and the overheating in the retail housing markets and the current pullback in the general market but maybe not out yet since we are still in a bull market overall. The banks are so far holding near the highs.

I bring this up just as a heads up.

Watch the tail – it will tell if the dog will die.

(click on the charts 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 – finally a gap and fall that’s worth some money

The general market gaped up today, ran higher, quietly rolled over, then roared down into the close.

It was the quiet at the highs of the day that was a bit eerie. VIX was up (as it has been for the two previous days) and that’s not supposed to happen as the indexes advance. The NYSE advance/decline line was almost immediately below its open. The SPX tagged 2800, the Dow ran through 26,000, and then everything just stopped and reversed. At first, it was almost as if Coyote from the Roadrunner cartoons had again run off his cliff and had yet to plummet to the valley floor below and then like a car that runs out of fuel going up a steep hill.

In the end the day felt like SPX 2800 and DOW 26,000 could be nice round numbers to leave behind.

If one looks at the close in comparison to yesterday’s close it appears as if nothing much happened today. But the close today is deceptive. The close does not quite register the initial leap and the final fall.

And it was a fall worth something. On my $10K weekly options model, the intraday sell signal on the in-the-money QQQ 166 put raced up to a peak gain of 167% and finished the day up 127%; the SPY in-the-money 280 put peaked at 94% and finished the day up 51% (see the white flags on the lower right of the charts below).

If there more downside to come?

Over and over again, this bull market has said no and charged ahead after every little downside glitch. It will continue to do so until it doesn’t. After today’s reversal from higher highs, long-term breadth turned negative making all of the sells on my swing signals shorts (see table below). If today turns out to be the time the bull does not charge higher, well then…it will be a bull that dies with a sigh instead of a snort.



PRICE: Sell. (Day 1).
VOLATILITY: Sell, (Day 3).


SPY CLOSE – 276.97
QQQ CLOSE – 164.02
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: 75, falling, extreme greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 23 Buys; 18 Overbought, 7 Oversold, 0 new buys today, 9 new sells.

(click on the charts for a larger view)

#BellwetherStocks – longer fangs for the new year?

Let’s put it this way:

AMZN UP 11.3%
TSLA UP 7.7%
BIDU UP 7.0%
BABA UP 6.5%
TWTR UP 5.5%
AAPL UP 4.0%
FB UP .9%

The above are year-to-date returns – nine trading days – which is why they are the “bellwether stocks” for this melt-up bull market. They also happen to be the stocks in the NYFANG Index, up 8.4% year to date.

Also I would add FSLR, up 8.2%, as a bellwether for the future of energy.

(click on the chart panel for a larger view)

$SPY – the flying bull still flies but…

With the last stimulus signed (the tax cut), Santa heading home (his job done), and the general market in a slight, slow sideways slide (at a time it usually is rallying), the new year may be coming early this year.

Hate to be bearish while the bull market continues, so far, unabated, but it can’t go up forever and at this time it appears most everyone is believing it can. The wackiness that often appears at tops has begun (bitcoin and its cousins), stocks tripling on name changes… If AMZN or GOOGL or TSLA or even AAPL were to split the stock now and scream up on the “fundamental” of the split alone, I’d say we are in 1999. They haven’t split of course…but what the hell, we are in 1999 and I suspect 2000 is right around the corner.

That said, and maybe meaning nothing since the bull continues to fly, all three of my daily swing signal enter today on sells. One of these days this is going to matter and this flying bull could drop out of the sky (do bulls actually fly?).

However, long-term breadth remains on a buy. Which at worse means a falling bull will bounce before it dies.



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


SPY CLOSE – 267.57
QQQ CLOSE – 157.37
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (66, falling, greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 16 Buys; 9 Overbought, 3 Oversold, 2 new buys today, 8 new sells.

(click on the chart for a larger view)

$SPY $QQQ – A December Rally to hate Part Two


The market was up to its current tricks again Tuesday. Came into the day with a signals blaring buys and the market sold off.

As noted in the link above this has been going on pretty much all month. One day a buy, the next day a sell…hasn’t mattered much except as a fade. But one can’t fade signals developed over years of experience in the market or the signals won’t matter anymore, nor will the years of experience. Finally, when a11 is in doubt, there is a moment of obvious follow through that may indicate all is back on track.

That may be today.

Yesterday, all my swing signals turned again to sells (see table below). Long-term breadth was still moving up for the third day in a row, but limping. Still, if all was right in stock-market world, today should go down on the short-term signals, even gap down. Instead, tricky as its been, it gaped up…

Then sold down fast. …Hmm, that may be the indication all is back on track. If so, it could be the passage of the Republican tax plan, as many have suspected, might be the hammer that breaks the bulls back – a classic sell-the-news event.

Hard to know that for sure, but the market has been too tricky lately — too tricky — and that too may mean something. Trader Vic Sperandeo once said if the market doesn’t do what it’s expected to do, it will do the opposite twice as much. Of late, there has been an awful lot of bullish belief out there. Sentiment turns slowly and often too late, often not until it’s obvious the market is not doing what it is supposed to do.

Is this the day? As with everything in the market, we will, as the great Ed Hart of the old Financial News Network used say, “know in the fullness of time.”

P.S. Didn’t get a chance to post this Tuesday because of other pressing matters, and wouldn’t you know it on a day like today I overslept (I live on the West Coast).



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


SPY CLOSE – 267.17
QQQ CLOSE – 157.7
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (73, falling, greed level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 35 Buys; 22 Overbought, 3 Oversold, 1 new buys today, 6 new sells.

#MarketTiming – hard to call a pause, let alone a pullback…

But if there is to be a pause, there’s a good chance it will be now.

All of my short-term signals — Price, Breadth, Volatility – turned down on this lackluster day (see table below), and CNN Money’s Fear and Greed Index turned down too. Twenty of the stocks in my nifty-50 stock list gave individual sell signals. That may be a bit deceptive since the stock list was sorted over the weekend and came into the day maybe too strongly bullish, and then again it may be a harbinger of a pause when even the strongest slow down.

So, if there’s a pause here, can it turn into a pull back?

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.

Maybe right now is day one. Maybe not.



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


SPY CLOSE – 260.23
QQQ CLOSE – 156.19
CNN MONEY’S FEAR AND GREED INDEX: (52, falling, neutral level).
NIFTY-50 STOCK LIST: 14 Buys; 10 Overbought, 0 Oversold, 2 new buys today, 20 new sells.