Monday, March 21, 2011

Market Continues 2-Day Bounce

{ Market continues a 2-day bounce as geopolitical events again intervene on its behalf.
{ G7 surprises, gets aggressive to weaken the yen.
{ UN finally does what it was designed to do as it sets up a no-fly over Libya.
{ China raises reserve requirements 50BP but with everything else happening no one paid any mind.
{ Consumer Sentiment takes a dip.
{ A bounce but the technical action was not convincing enough to start more upside.


Some good news helps stocks continue the rally but in the end the bounce remains dubious.

There was good news out on Friday that helped buoy the market and continue the bounce from Thursday. The G7 gave a surprise announcement that it would intervene against the yen, and the UN established a no-fly zone over Libya. That was able to quell some worry with respect to the natural disaster in Japan as well as the unrest in Northern Africa and the Middle East X at least with respect to the killing ongoing in Libya.

The market was able to continue its bounce. Looking at an intraday chart, stocks gapped at the session open, getting a good move upside right out of the gate. The first 15 minutes of the opening move was the zenith for the gains on the session. Every index and, of course, most individual stocks showed the same kind of action we see on the SP500. There is the initial surge followed by a trend lower for the rest of the day. Lower highs and lower lows.

That did not mean they gave up all the gains, although that proved to be the case with NASDAQ 100. The stock market did lose a lot of the nice gains built on the day. Indeed, NASDAQ lost almost -12 points off of its intraday high at the close. SP500 was down -10 points off its high as it closed. The Dow lost almost -75 points. They pared back their gains tremendously.
NASDAQ +0.3%, SP500, +0.4%; Dow, +0.7%; SP600, +1.2%; SOX matched NASDAQ in its inability to move the ball forward; NASDAQ 100, -0.2%.

A look at the daily chart is more telling than the intraday. Usually it is the other way around. In this case, there is a gap higher and the surge right off the open, and then the reversal gave away most of the gain accrued during the session. It also tapped at the 10 and 50 day EMA and reversed. There is the old tombstone-type of doji. If you see something like this after a strong run, that is more indicative of a top and rollover. Here it does not suggest a major selloff. It does suggest the bounce experienced off a Wednesday low and the gains on Thursday and Friday could be rather short-lived. We will look at that as we move forward.

What drove the action on Friday? It was a continuation of that Thursday bounce, no doubt, and it was expiration. That will affect the tape, but looking at the chart on the intraday action, there was not that much volatility. It all occurred at the open, and then it was a slow whittling away of the gain.


Dollar: 1.417 versus 1.4017 Euro. The dollar did dip. It was definitely weaker on the entire week. It tried to bounce and hold some support over the past couple of weeks, but that failed and it rolled over, continuing this short downtrend. Now it is getting more severe. First it rolled over at the 50 day EMA, and now it has rolled over at the 20 day EMA. On Thursday and Friday it was bouncing up to the 10 day EMA and rolling over. Looks like it is getting more aggressive.

It made a new closing low (not intraday) for the past year, and that is very important. You can tell it is at a very important level. It is trying to hang on. There are three other levels on this trendline that will be very important ahead as far as support levels, including the November and December 2009 low. A very bearish pattern right now, and the dollar is struggling even with intervention to weaken the yen.

Bonds: 3.27% versus 3.24% 10 year Treasury. Were weaker on the Friday session, but stronger on the week overall. There was a gap breakout by bonds as they moved over the recovery peak and then the higher low. This is an important test that has come back on Friday to test the gap. We will see if it continues to the upside. Bonds rally when there is concern in the world and people rush into US Treasuries. If the economy is apparently weakening, bonds become a better investment. There is something out here again. Bonds are near the level they were when the bond market was sniffing out the Egyptian and Tunisian problems, and that was the tip of the iceberg of political unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

Gold: $1,416.10, +11.90. Gold had another up session after being down on the week. It is recovering. It bounced off the 50 day EMA this week. It tested and bounced, tested and bounced, and then it found footing and moved up on Friday. This may be the test that breaks it back to a new rally high. We will see. It may give an opportunity. We might get a test back in the first part of the week. If that holds, that would be an opportunity to pick up gold. I said this earlier in the week on this test. If you do not have gold, you might a want to pick up a bit. Do not load the boat, but take some of your profits and buy a bit of gold at this point. You can either do physical gold or something like the GLD.

Oil: $101.07, -0.35. Oil finished lower at the early close on Friday. It was either up or down slightly, depending on what market you follow, but overall the picture is that oil was unable to surge. It did rally even though the Libya no-fly zone accord was reached at UN. One would have thought oil would weaken because maybe we get oil flow. The problem is that Gadhafi is likely winning out over the rebels. What do we do at that point? Do we sanction Libya and not buy its oil, or do we buy the oil and use other sanctions that only impact the citizens of the country? That is a dilemma we find ourselves in because we never learn from history how to respond to these problems.

Oil is still holding its gain. It bounced off a test of the breakout, and it is still well higher in its range. It does not show any signs of weakness other than a bit of a pause on Friday on the no-fly zone. If it was going to really weaken on that news it would have cratered. The fact that it rallied and still held its move overall shows that it is really not worried that much about Libya. Maybe it had a tangential effect on the price of oil, but oil is moving where it is for other reasons that are bigger than Libya itself.



Volume. You can tell it was expiration Friday. Volume jumped 28% on NASDAQ to 2.5B shares, and it jumped 83% on the NYSE to 1.9B shares. Definitely expiration from the volume standpoint, but not from the volatility standpoint. That makes it interesting. There were simply a lot of positions being shuffled and rolled over because of the events that hit the market relatively late in expiration.

Breadth. Breadth was fairly strong at 2:1 advancers over decliners on the NASDAQ and 2.6:1 on the NYSE helped out by those small caps, posting that 1.2% gain.


SP500. SP500 rallied to the 10 and 50 day EMA on the high. It showed a tombstone doji of sorts on high volume as it faded off of that early rally. If this appeared at the top after a long run to the upside, you would not necessarily know it was the top. It would be a more important indicator. As it has occurred after a short bounce in what has already been some selling, it still suggests more near-term downside. Not necessarily a rollover to new lows, but it could come back down and test the recent low, and even down to the support level that was the next logical support level before the early to mid-December consolidation level. That puts it almost at the top of the November turnover or the November peak before the market started to sell off in that consolidation/correction.

We still have a near-term weak bias despite to upside days on SP500. Overall, there is still an ABCD pattern in place. If it was going to work, you would expect it to continue higher from here. It has bounced up and hit the B point. It has been unable to punch through right now, and that is an important point when an ABCD pattern is moving to the upside. It has not completely answered the question of the ABCD yet but, in my gut, I do not like what I see near term. It may have to test deeper and then maybe a new move to the upside. Overall it is not a tragedy of any sort on SP500. It is just taking a deeper correction. In length, SP500, NASDAQ, and the other indices have been just about as long as the August and November corrections.

NASDAQ. NASDAQ had a weak session. It gapped higher and rolled over. That was the second day in a row it gapped higher and rolled over. It has posted gains both sessions, but those gains finished well off the highs of the sessions. It is not showing the strong drive to the upside you would expect if a bounce had discovered renewed vigor and was going to carry itself back up to new rally highs.

In my opinion, NASDAQ has more selling to do. As with SP500, it does not look like a major selloff. On Wednesday it came close to the November peak on the low. I would expect it to sell back down to that level or in the top part of that consolidation where you see the gap point up in November. That point was tested later that month with a high and then a gap through that level later in that same month. It is a very important level at 2540 that you need to watch on NASDAQ as it continues this test. If it holds that and bounces, there is a very good chance of it having put in the low on this correction.

SP600. The small caps posted a very good session. It was a good session on the price, but that still leaves them below the 50 day EMA and at the late-February low. That makes it coincident with the late-January peak and the late-December consolidation. A very big level of resistance that the small caps are running into right now. They will definitely have to prove they have what it takes to get through this resistance range. Resistance and support are usually a range, and you can see where the highs have been hit, bouncing up and down in that narrow range. The SP600 looks good in terms of the bounce and the percentage it made, but it still has a lot of work in clearing some serious resistance immediately overhead.

SOX. The semiconductors are still thrashing about. They gained a bit of ground on Friday, but it was a modest bounce off the selling on the week. They are still below the 10 day EMA and still below some resistance from the January lows. They have a lot of prove at this juncture, and I think they have some more selling. There is at least more consolidation to get through before they can make a new and renewed move that challenges the prior highs.


Financial. Financials are looking quite good, bouncing nicely. Looks like they might be trying to help out SP500. JPM gapped over the 50 day EMA after a tough week. GS bounced sharply off the 200 day EMA on a big surge of volume. We will see if that volume outlasts expiration. The financials are trying to step up. Not necessarily a beautiful pattern on JPM, but they are trying to step up and getting some money put their way.

Industrial. CAT had a big day on Friday. An ABCD pattern is helping it, and it is gapping to the upside. DE was able to gap. It did not hold its entire move, but it has its own ABCD pattern and is moving to the upside. No complaints about those areas or the transports.

Transportation. CSX hit a new rally high on a closing basis Friday. TK has a very nice pattern. It is not breaking down at all, showing solid volume increases. Looking at trucking, ODFL has broken to a rally high. It cleared a trading range. While these may not be in the best buy positions at the moment, these areas are showing good growth. They are from important areas X financial, industrials, and transports.

Energy. Energy has been a leader. It has not all broken down, but it is struggling. OIH, the oil service ETF, has been playing around the 50 day EMA lately. It is trying to break above it, but it had a tough day on Friday. You would expect that with the UN action on Libya. XOM is struggling at the 50 day EMA itself. Great run, but it has a struggle going. Looks like it needs to base out a little. We took good gain off the table.

CHK rallied and almost got to a new rally high, but it has fallen over the past two sessions. We will have to watch that and see how it plays out. It has been quite strong to this point. BTU has been performing very well over the last week. Looked like it was broken down, but there was a nice reversal on big volume to the upside as we start looking around for other means to power our vehicle fleets and our economy.

Retail. Retail is a very mixed bag. ROST is holding up very well with a test of the 50 day EMA. KSS looked like it was making a break higher, but now it looks like it may be breaking down. BBBY looked to be in very good shape all the way into January and even February, but it put in a broad top with a triple peak and a lowering MACD. It has broken down. A lower high, and now it is bouncing up to the 10 day EMA and having trouble there. PNRA is a leader in the restaurants, and it is still holding up just fine at the 20 day EMA. UA gapped to the downside on big volume in sympathy with NKE and its poor earnings outlook on Friday. It said it will have inflation issues with cotton, labor, and transportation prices.

Cheaper retailers are on the mend. DLTR is bouncing off of a rounded bottom and moving higher. HD is holding but struggling, and there is a little head and shoulders. On the other hand, LOW is holding at the 20 day EMA. There is a clear back and forth from the retail sector.

Metals. Metals are mixed once more. FCX is still moving higher, although it gapped and finished basically flat on Friday. It is making a bounce, and we will see if it can continue that move. RS looks toppy. A head and shoulders, a breakdown, and looks like it is failing at the 50 day EMA. Metals are not grotesquely in trouble right now, but they are not looking that sharp.

Technology. There is not leadership to the upside here. It is more to the downside. FFIV is breaking down through an important gap point on Friday. It did so on volume, although that could have been related to expiration. AAPL is having a tough week. A sharp selloff on Wednesday on a downgrade, and then an upgrade on Thursday. Looked like it did not save it or pull its castanets out of the fire; it looks like it is heading lower to test this important support level. VMW is heading down to the bottom of a range, taking a deeper plunge. Maybe it can hold at that level. Definitely worth taking a look at. CRM is trying to hold its gap from November. It broke below the trading range, but it might give us a false breakdown and bounce to the upside. Even though there is weakness, you should always look for opportunity either upside or downside. Some of these are showing that potential. Techs overall are no doubt struggling.


G7 Intervenes to weaken the yen in a surprise move.

UN and the US overstep their bounds while failing to live up to their primary purpose.

China Raises Reserve Requirements 50BP.

CNBC Consumer Survey is concerning.

To view the video, use the following link:


VIX: 24.44; -1.93
VXN: 26.6; -1.81
VXO: 23.55; -1.94

VIX. Volatility spiked up over 30 on the intraday high on Wednesday, and it managed to hold at a high level overall. That is high relative to where it has been trading, and 30 is considered a more volatile level historically. By the end of the week it had fallen back to 24, down to the mid-range of what is historically considered the 20-30 range for volatility. That puts it at a moderate level of volatility, but it is on the rise thanks to this selloff. Volatility did not show there is any major aggressive selloff in progress, but of course it does not always factor in (as bonds do) extraneous events that could be in the works that hit the market overall. That is why we see that big spike higher after the Japanese issues.

It has pulled back. It has broken out of one range, but it does not mean it will explode higher in major selling. It is likely to find resistance near the 30 level. That is a key level from back in 2007-2009 X times when there were not a lot of negatives facing the market overall. You might say are a lot of negatives out there with all the geopolitical issues, and you are right. There are negatives, but the volatility market is not necessarily showing that. Again, fall back on the bond market some. It is showing another issue could possibly erupt. It continues to price in higher bond prices versus higher yields.

Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 1.02; -0.06

Bulls versus Bears:

This is a reading of the number of bullish investment advisors versus bearish advisors. The reason you look at this is that it gives you an idea of how bullish investors are. If they are too bullish then everyone is in the market and it is heading for a top: if everyone wants to be in the market, then all the money is in and there is no more new cash to drive it higher. On the other side of the spectrum if there are a lot of bears then there is a lot of cash on the sideline, and as the market rallies it drags that cash in as the bears give in. That cash provides the market the fuel to move higher. If bears are low it is the same as a lot of bulls: everyone is in and the market does not have the cash to drive it higher.

Bulls: 52.2% versus 52.2%. Holding steady after bouncing from 50.6%. Below the recent high of 53.3% three weeks back and 55.1% hit in January and the 58.8% high on this leg. Still at a high level in a string of high readings but below the 5 year high at 62.0. Fading back from the level considered bearish, i.e. where so many are in the market and believe it is going up that the ammunition to send it higher runs low. This is where you start to be careful and watch for breakdowns, but there is also a lot of liquidity being pushed into the market and that can continue the move despite excess bullishness. The crossover level at 29% bulls is long gone, but it did its job. The high on the last leg was 56.0% after starting at 35.6% on the low in February, the lowest it has been since July 2009 . . . until this last leg. 35% is the threshold level suggesting bullishness. Again, to be seriously bearish it needs to get up to the 60% to 65% level.

Bears: 22.3% versus 21.1%. Growing skepticism among bears, up from 19.5% to start March. Moving back up toward 23.3% hit mid-February, still well below the 28.3% in September 2010. The 37.7% peak at the height of the crossover is well in the rearview mirror but bears remain well below the 35% level, above which is considered bullish for the market overall. Hit 18.7% on the low in April. Hit a high of 27.8% level on the prior leg in February. For reference, cracking above the 35% threshold considered bullish. Hit a high on the prior run at 47.2%. For more reference, bearishness hit a 5 year high at 54.4% the last week of October 2008. The move over 50 took bearish sentiment to its highest level since 1995. Extreme negative sentiment. Prior levels for comparison: Bearishness peaked at 37.4% in September 2007. It topped the June 2006 peak (36%) on that run. That June peak eclipsed the March 2006 high (33%) and well above the 2005 highs that spawned new rallies (30% in May 2005, 29.2% in October 2005). That was a huge turn, unlike any seen in recent history.


Stats: +7.62 points (+0.29%) to close at 2643.67
Volume: 2.493B (+27.88%)

Up Volume: 1.57B (+330M)
Down Volume: 1.09B (+353.58M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 2.11 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 1.54 to 1

New Highs: 50 (+10)
New Lows: 45 (-18)





Stats: +5.48 points (+0.43%) to close at 1279.2
NYSE Volume: 1.91B (+83.65%)

Up Volume: 1.34B (+510.21M)
Down Volume: 556.1M (+358.73M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 2.61 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 2.69 to 1

New Highs: 69 (+16)
New Lows: 25 (-11)




Stats: +83.93 points (+0.71%) to close at 11858.52
Volume DJ30: 355M shares Friday versus 182M shares Thursday.



Last week was big on economic data with some geopolitical issues thrown on top of Friday to ice up the week. We still have important data this week to go on top of the strong PPI, the strong CPI (in my opinion), and the decline in housing starts that I think was a good decline. There is other data regarding housing. Monday brings existing home sales, and new home sales are out Wednesday. Very important to see how they are playing out. We have to find a bottom somewhere, but prices need to bottom first. Inventories have been falling, and that is a help. We will have to see how much of a help. Great things are not expected, I will just put it that way.

Initial claims are out Thursday. Durable orders are important. Then there is the final Q4 GDP. Some data has suggested it could come higher, but it is not expected to rally much off of the right down to 2.8% on the second iteration. Finally there is Michigan Sentiment. We will see if it shows any improvement or if it tracks the CNBC poll that came out.

How do we approach the coming week? We did not have a lot of confidence in the bounce. We did not want to take any positions on Friday to the upside even though some of our plays were bouncing through buy points. They were just not showing the kind of strength that you want to see. There was no point in trying to be a hero on Friday. There is a tombstone doji on the SP500, even in the overall ABCD pattern. We think there could be a pullback to start to week that takes us down into this late-December or early-December consolidation range. Logical support levels. If you remember the review of the Fibonacci chart, it has been holding at the 50% retracement level, at least on a closing basis. It could come back and test that early-December consolidation and come back to the 61% level. That would not be anything horrible. It just needs a consolidation.

Near term looks a little bearish to us even though it has two days to the upside. That is one of the reasons we were not putting new money to work on Friday. There were just too many factors out with expiration and the geopolitical actions ahead of the weekend. We will see how things play out this week. We will have to be ready for both downside and upside. There are still stocks setting up. If this turns out to be the bottom near this 61% level and the consolidation point from December, then we will get a decent bounce off of that. It is not that far away.

You might be able to get an upside play from the leaders that are holding support now, or those that have come back down in a trading range to a key support level (such as CRM). Not to mention those that have been holding up well all along and are ready to move to the upside. They are out there, believe me (DE, JOYG). There are great stocks out there that are still in position to move back to the upside. We need to be ready for those when the selling stops.

Near term, maybe we can take some positions to the downside on the SPYder. We had a gap and reversal on Friday, and that could take it down to the November peak or this consolidation range as we were talking about. That is a good drop that would make us some money. Then we look for a turn back to the upside. Maybe for the NASDAQ, you could play the QID. You can see how it has gapped higher, it is testing, and it looks like it wants to move higher as well.

That would be the flip side of the QQQQs which have gapped to the downside, bounced a bit, and now they look weak and like they want to test somewhere in this November range. It may not be a huge move if our theory about a relatively mild consolidation plays out incorrectly. Why would I think that would be case? A lot of bad news has hit the markets, but it has not tanked them. They were ready to sell. They got a little choppy, no doubt, after that long move to the downside. MACD was waning and they needed a consolidation. That was the technical reason that the market has been selling. It was a technical reason, and the geopolitical events put a label on it and gave even a reason to sell.

Even with all of those issues, the markets have held up well, just putting in a relatively normal consolidation. With a normal consolidation, even with all of the heavy-weight geopolitical actions, our thesis that the market is just undergoing another normal correction looks decent to us. If the economy tanks or if new data comes out that shows the economy is really rolling over, then that goes out the window, of course. This rally has been predicated upon liquidity from the Fed and a modest economic recovery.

Whether liquidity alone can do it is questionable at this juncture because the Fed is toward the end of its Quantitative Easing II period. If the Fed does not announce another Quantitative Easing program and the economy starts to slip dramatically, then likely the liquidity alone cannot hold the market up. That would change the game somewhat. If the economic data does not improve and actually takes a turn for the worse, do you think the Fed will not come out with Quantitative Easing III? At some point, the Quantitative Easing will not make a difference, but Quantitative Easing III would still make a difference in this economy.

We will have to be ready for both situations, upside and downside. That is the market we have right now. It has not finished this transition period, and that is the game we have to play. Do not be a hero and take huge positions; take a lot of base hits. Just hit singles, doubles, and triples, and we will all be happy at the end of this.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Support and Resistance

NASDAQ: Closed at 2636.05

2645-2650ish from December 2010 consolidation
2676 is the January 2010 low
2686 is the recent January 2011 closing low
The 10 day EMA at 2693
2705 is the February 2011 and consolidation low
The 50 day EMA at 2718
2729 is the 127% Fibonacci extension of the August 2010 run
2735 from late 2007 interim peak
2762 is the February low
2796 is the February gap down point
2825 is the 2007 closing peak.
2841 is the February 2011 peak
2862 is the 2007 peak

2580 is the November 2010 closing high
2569 is the November gap up point through the April 2010 peak
2550 from May and June 2008 peaks
2540 is the gap up point from early November
2535.28 is the April 2010 intraday peak
2530 is the April 2010 closing peak
2518 is interim peak from April 2010
The 200 day SMA at 2464
The November 2010 low at 2460

S&P 500: Closed at 1273.72
1275 is the January 2010 low, early January 2011 peak
1278 is the 127% Fibonacci extension of the August 2010 run
1294 is the February 2011 and the consolidation low
The 50 day EMA at 1294
1313 from the August 2008 interim peak
1325-27 is the March 2008 closing low and the May 2006 peak
1344 is the February 2011 peak
1364 is the March 2007 low
1370 is the August 2007 low

1255 is the late December 2010 consolidation range
1235 is the mid-December 2010 consolidation low
1227 is the November 2010 peak
1220 is the April 2010 peak
1185 from late September 2008
The 200 day SMA at 1183
1174 is the May 2010 high, 78% Fibonacci retracement of April peak
1173 is the November 2010 low
1170 is the prior March 2010 high
1156 is the Sept 2008 low
1151 is the January 2010 peak
1133 from a September 2008 intraday low
Bottom of the January 2010 consolidation 1131 to 1136
1129 to 1131 is the June and August 2010 peaks

Dow: Closed at 11,774.59
11,867 from the August 2009 high and peak on that bounce in the selling.
11,893 from March 2008 closing low
The 50 day EMA at 11,949
12,110 from the March 2007 closing low
12,391 is the February 2011 peak
13,058 from the May 2008 peak on that bounce in the selling

11,734 from 11-98 peak
11,452 is the November 2010 peak
11,258 is the April 2010 peak
11,205 is the April closing high
11,100 from the 7-08 low
The 200 day SMA at 11,050
10,963 is the July 2008 low
10,920 is the recent May high
10,730 is the January 2010 peak

Economic Calendar

March 21 - Monday
Existing Home Sales, February (10:00): 5.05M expected, 5.36M prior

March 22 - Tuesday
FHFA Housing Price I, January (10:00): -0.3% prior

March 23 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 03/18 (07:00): -0.7% prior
New Home Sales, February (10:00): 288K expected, 284K prior
Crude Inventories, 03/19 (10:30): 1.745M prior

March 24 - Thursday
Initial Claims, 03/19 (08:30): 384K expected, 385K prior
Continuing Claims, 03/19 (08:30): 3700K expected, 3706K prior
Durable Orders, February (08:30): 0.9% expected, 3.2% prior (revised from 2.7%)
Durable Orders ex-Transports, February (08:30): 1.8% expected, -3.0% prior (revised from -3.6%)

March 25 - Friday
GDP - Third Estimate, Q4 (08:30): 2.9% expected, 2.8% prior
GDP Deflator - Third, Q4 (08:30): 0.4% expected, 0.4% prior
Michigan Sentiment - Preliminary, March (09:55): 68.0 expected, 68.2 prior

By: Jon Johnson, Editor
Copyright 2011 | All Rights Reserved

Jon Johnson is the Editor of The Daily at

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