Monday, June 20, 2011

Germany Knuckles Under, Greece Gets Bailout


- Market in great position to bounce, gets a continental push, then once again, cannot hold the move.
- Germany knuckles under and Greece gets a bailout. Question is, will Greece voters take it?
- June preliminary Michigan Sentiment falls more than expected.
- May LEI doubles expectations, but the LEI is not that leading.
- More China stats showing its economy is struggling.
- Selling appears pervasive, suggesting the economy is worse than many expect.
- Market still set to bounce but not expecting any upside breakout when it does.


Stocks ready to go, get the catalyst, cannot hold the move yet again.

The market was perfectly set to move higher. It was in great position with the SP500 at its 200 day EMA and NASDAQ at its March low. It got a continental push, so to speak, from the $170B "final" (as they call it) bailout of Greece. Germany had to knuckle under and agree with respect to some bond holders, but they did it. France got its way, and things looked pretty good from the start.

Futures were up on the news. Everyone was happy that Greece was getting its final bailout, so the stage was set. Stocks indices were at the right place. There was a trigger and stocks started to the upside. Once again, however, they could not hold it. They could not even hold a one-day rally, so to speak, on Friday. Why do I say that? They started nicely higher. NASDAQ gapped back above its 200 day EMA. It just could not hold the move, and it reversed and closed lower. Indeed, it was at a closing low for this pullback, eclipsing the March low. It was not the best day for stocks. Even SP500 rallied. It managed to hold a 0.3% gain but it tapped its 10 day EMA on the high and faded back. Not a lot of strength on the day.

I cannot call it a total washout. SP500 finished positive as did the SP600 and the Dow. NASDAQ, -0.3%; SP500, +0.3%; Dow, +0.36%; SP600, +0.04%; SOX, -1.5%. Not a great day. Stocks started higher and closed off the high. Again, not a total washout because some were higher. It was, after all, quadruple expiration Friday which often leads to volatility. There was also the SP500 rebalance after the close to get things ginned up. There was going to be a lot of back and forth anyway. I will just put it in that light, and we might see a new rally attempt next week.

Indeed, after things settle down, it very much could do that because there has been no real change. The indices are still at the same place they were on Thursday. They are still oversold, and there is actually some decent news with the bailout. There was also the May Leading Economic Indicators in good shape. They doubled up expectations. There are some positives out there. It could still see the move higher, but the selling is pervasive. On Wednesday the market could not find any footing.

On Thursday the SP500 held and tried to rally. It did bounce off the lows, but it never got great footing. We had the rally on Friday, and it faded back. Not able to hold that move. It is rather discouraging action when there are reasons to rally (you would think) but stocks are unable to hold the move. They have the opportunity; there is the setup at the prior support. There is reason, whether it is the Greek bailout, Leading Economic Indicators, or maybe some good earnings. They still cannot seem to keep the move going. Indeed, some important stocks gapped and then reversed on Friday.

AAPL gapped and reversed, and it is trying to break down through its trading range. FFIV continued the dive through the bottom of its range. NFLX did not cave. It can still go higher, but it was a disappointing session. That is the way a lot of investors and traders feel about the market right now. They are getting somewhat exasperated. It keeps looking like it will bounce, but then it does not. That definitely tells us something about what is going on. I talked a lot about the economic issues. There is still a lot of encouraging commentary about this being just a short-term slowdown. They say things will improve just as they did after last summer. Yesterday I said that this is not last summer. This is a top versus a base. That seems pretty fundamental, but when people get in a certain mindset, sometimes it is hard to shake them out of it.

There is the base an inverted head and shoulders and there is a top. It is different. We have a slowing economy. Last summer we had one that was still trying to pick up. After all, we had 3% growth in Q4 triggered by QE II. Now there may not be any more Quantitative Easing. The economy has been slowing down since day one of 2011. This past week there was more evidence of that occurring when the Philly Fed slipped into contraction itself, the second region to do so.

Thus, it is not a great story for the stock market or our economy down the road. Growth areas are lagging. The market cannot seem to get any real traction even when it has the reason to do so. As I said, it had the opportunity and the trigger, but it cannot get any traction. This is really evidence that there is much more of a problem with the economy. Many have this idea that we will snap out of it as we did last summer. That may be absolutely wrong. The growth indices, NASDAQ and the small caps, have been clearly lagging this last move. They are in much worse shape than the SP500, which is populated more by stocks that benefit from the export economy.

While there was no washout on Friday, it did not mean that the market would reverse. It is very discouraging. We will get a rebound at some point. The market is oversold, and markets give rebounds even if they are heading lower overall. We will get an oversold bounce out of this, but it just reinforces my belief that it will only be an oversold bounce. It may not be as solid as we wanted it to be. It may not come close to the February peak and set that right shoulder.

That said, I want to give a big caveat. Look for change when most traders start to get discouraged. I have to admit, it has been frustrating this week. The market will try to move, and it throws it right back in your face. That is how these markets work. Keep taking the good risk/reward plays when they are there. If they work, then they work; if not, you get out of dodge. I still think we can definitely get an oversold bounce from this selling. The question is where it moves. The February peak may be out of the picture. Early April peak is a maybe, but that is close to the February peak. We have to start looking mid-range, something along the mid-April low. There is a gap up point from late March in that area. Looking back in late February, that is roughly where it held on a closing basis moving into early March as well.

The sights for the upside have to be truncated. The quality of the move may not be that the solid. Frankly, given the action, that is what you should expect. As I said, moves often occur when people get very discouraged. Keep an eye out. We will still keep looking for those good plays. They are still basically in the same place they were on Friday with a few notable exceptions such as AAPL and others that have had some problems. We will watch for a bounce. Overall we do not expect that bounce to succeed and even come close to a new high. We will use the bounce for short-term upside gains. We will ride some of our upside positions back up where we can exit them if they cannot continue and they start to falter. Then we will look at downside plays yet again after that setup.


Other markets went back and forth during the session based upon the bailout and the overlay of the US economic data released on Friday.

Dollar: 1.4303 versus 1.4191 Euro. The dollar closed lower versus the Euro. A big swing. A big bailout of Greece will do that because some of what was driving the dollar higher obviously had to do with worries coming out of Europe. Notably, Moody's said it is putting Italy up for a possible downgrade. They give and take away in the same day. Italy is a concern. There are many other problems in Europe, and it is just a harsh reality that it is not all about Greece. You also have Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The dollar sold. The question now is will this turn into a double top or will it continue its trend break after this test?

Bonds: 2.93% versus 2.93% 10 year US Treasury. Interestingly, US bonds closed virtually flat on the day. The 10 year did bounce all the way to 2.97% on the yield Friday. Of course, that was selling as the EU plans were announced for Greece. It is still holding at the top of the range, still has not broken out of that range. That will be the next key move for the bond. Can it make the breakout and continue this rally? Weakening economic data and problems in Europe would enhance its chances to move out of this range. Despite the Greek bailout, no one thinks the problems in the EU are over. Not at all.

Gold: $1,538.10, +8.20. Gold was up on the session. It had a good day, bouncing back up, continuing the bounce off of the trendline. Still not making a lot of headway, but it is keeping its trend in place. Frankly, that is all it can do given what is happening in the other countries. It is biding its time and waiting for the inflation bug to bite again to send it running higher.

Oil: $93.01, -1.94. Oil had a very tough week, and it closed down again. Note how it tapped at the 200 day EMA on the low. It also tapped the December and January peaks of its trading range that spans December through mid-February. It has come back to a key support level, and it bounced off of that level intraday. That is exactly what you would expect it to do. The question is will it turn and rally here? I do not think so. It may try to bounce. It has been very stubborn over the past month and a half, trying to hold after that big gutting to start May. Now it is breaking down below the bottom of that range, but it does have support. It may try to hang in this range some more. It may even try to bounce. Ultimately I think it will break back down into this trading range in the bottom of this range near 84. It has a significant way it can tumble.

Of course that will be good for pricing for the consumer. That may help consumers run back up their consumption, help the economy, and maybe turn some of the negatives that have caused the economy to slow (such as high gasoline prices) into positives as they come back and we buy. Of course it is all based on jobs. I will not go into a big discussion about that as I have all week, but we are not going to be creating a lot of jobs with the policies we have out of Washington right now. These are policies that have not worked in the past. I have said this for two years now, and we are just finding out that they really aren't working. There was a monetary stimulus bump from all the liquidity the Fed pumped into the world, but that is all we got out of it. We did not get anything lasting, and that is just the way it will be until we figure out that these policies do not work. Just ginning them up, redoing them, and putting more money out there will do nothing but cost us more money and put us further into debt without creating any new businesses. That is where new jobs can come from.



Volume. Volume surged to 2.4B, up 21% on NASDAQ. It surged up 34% to 1.3B on the NYSE. That was expiration and the Russell Rebalance. We cannot read too much into anything with respect to volume.

Breadth. Breadth was flat as a board. Flat on NASDAQ. 1.7:1 advancers over decliners on the NYSE. As noted, all of those indices closed higher, so you can understand there being better breadth on the NYSE.


SP500. SP500 bounced to its 10 day EMA. It posted a modest 0.3% gain after tapping its 200 day EMA on the Thursday low. That put it almost right at its March closing low as well as the December 2010 short consolidation range that led to a renewed breakout. It is in great position to make a bounce. We were looking for a bounce up to the February peak or the early-April peak. Probably will not get that now, but we may. If there is enough worry and frustration like we were feeling this week, that can often lead to a bounce. It could be stronger than we currently anticipate just because we are negative now. After this kind of week, it is natural to feel negative. What are we looking for? The first key area is at 1294-1295, which is the bottom of the prior range. If it can make it through there, then you start looking for these gap points around 1300. 1300 may be all it gets. A lot of traders are talking about 1300. If it gets there, there are such things as self-fulfilling prophesies, and that may be what happens.

NASDAQ. NASDAQ was ugly. It was down -0.3%. It gapped higher, rolled over, and now it has made a new closing low on this selloff. It just slightly undercut its March low right after the Japanese tsunami. The techs look bad. Below the 200 day EMA, below the low for the year. Not a good-looking scenario. Often you will have a false break. As soon as a key level is broken, you can have a reversal. With the rest of the market looking like it wants to bounce, that would be a perfect scenario for NASDAQ to bounce. We were looking for it to come up and form a right shoulder up near the early-April peak. The first test now is whether it can break back into its range at the February and April lows. That is up at 2706. That puts it almost 90 points off of that level. It gives it something to shoot for. That would be a good run in itself, and that would be the first level we would look for any bounce to fail. It might be able to make it up to these gap points, however.

It is set to bounce if the rest of the market does, but it is lagging. It looks like it is hurting, and it could fall lower if the market decides not to make the bounce. With the economy how it is, this is what tells the story. The market's inability to rally is a definite indication that the economy will not be nearly as good. It will not be the short-term transitory slowdown that so many have said it would be. Bernanke said it was that, but Bernanke also said that the housing issues would not blow up in our faces. I think we still have powder burns all over the place from those.

SP600. SP600 gained virtually nothing on the day. It is trying to hold at the bottom of its range. This looks very bearish to me. Maybe it will bounce if the rest of the market bounces, but it looks very bearish with this big doji. It has tried to pull back up. It is wedging. It has made a selloff and is coming back up near the 38% retracement. It looks like it might want to sell off, and that is not good for the economy. If these guys go down, that is an indication that the economy is in for real trouble. That would make total sense given my thesis that small businesses have been hacked, ignored, trampled, and spit upon. They would go down eventually, and that may be exactly what we will see. Even if it does bounce, it could roll right back over because we are not looking for anything strong. We are looking for just a relief bounce.

SOX. SOX was down 1.5%. It really looks weak. It is not even trying to bounce. It is at some support back from November of 2010, but that is about it. The next range of support is way down at 345, and it closed at 388. Not a strong index, and they tend to lead higher and lead lower. They are certainly down here. In any bounce you look for the 200 day EMA and the March low, and then you look for a resumption. I hate to sound overly negative, but it just does not look very good.


Financial. Financials were actually up on the day, helping out SP500 (though not greatly). JPM posted a modest 1% gain. WFC helped out with a 2.3% gain. Looks like they are trying to make a break to the upside. There is a bit of divergence in the MACD as WFC made lower lows. It looks like there is an attempt to bounce. Maybe we can mine those for some possible plays. It has been a tough go playing those, but we will see if anything comes up that we can mine to the upside.

Industrial. Industrials continue to struggle. CAT looks like it still wants to bounce. It could help lead a bounce to the upside. With this pattern, all you are looking at is a bounce off the 200 day EMA. MMM gapped up to the 50 day EMA and reversed. It could make some moves, but it is not a great-looking pattern. There is nothing I can get too excited about. TEX sold off hard. It is trying to bounce, but it is just a relief bounce right now.

Metals. Metals are having their issues as well. FCX is back down near the bottom of its range. It got a modest bounce out of it in late May, but it has not been able to do anything since. AKS is selling off. It was selling on Thursday and it is selling again on Friday, going back to the bottom of its range without much of a bounce. That is not good technical action. BHP is at its 200 day EMA, but it has done absolutely nothing. Metals do not look sharp right now.

Healthcare. CELG is trying to hold up decently, but it is not necessarily a pattern that looks outstanding. ZOLL is up there. It gapped higher, and it may be able to continue upside. That is always something to watch. Watch those gaps. It is testing it and the 50 day EMA is coming up. Maybe it can give us something to play. ZMH is struggling, fading back. CAH is holding up decently. It may end up give us something, but it has not been a great mover. None of these have been tearing the cover off the ball. They are holding on but will not put a lot of money in our pocket. We have been playing SRCO to the downside. It gapped higher, but it looks like an intraday reversal. It may try to turn, but it looks like it has turned over and it is at significant resistance.

Consumer products. WHR continued a bounce after that nice surge on Thursday. PG has bounced off the 200 day EMA. Not great patterns here either. Recovery patterns and bounces back, that is about it. CLX is bouncing off of its 200 day EMA as well. Note the volumes. I know it is expiration and rebalancing, but watch the volumes over next week to see if they continue to perk up. That would show that the big investors are turning very conservative and bearish in this market that does not look all that great.

In short, there are not a lot of stocks leading. Traditional leaders in downside such as drugs and healthcare are holding up for the most part, but they do not look ready to surge anywhere. Personal products and consumer goods are trying to bounce. They are getting some money thrown their way. Not outstanding leadership showing up. There are some stocks that are always in position to move, but we will have to see if leadership can develop. This is getting thin. When leadership thins out, the market struggles. Lo and behold, the market has been struggling. We will need to see new bases forming up to lead the market higher. When you see good bases setting up, typically the market is ready to make a move. In all these stocks we just looked at, there were very few maybe zero bases you would be comfortable with starting a lead to the upside.




Michigan sentiment at levels that stills show a recession despite the 'recovery.'

May LEI doubles expectations but it is not really a leading indicator.

China showing the inevitable signs of trouble from government involvement in 'slowing' an economy.


VIX. As the market finally broke lower, volatility broke out. It is interesting to note that the stock indices did not break below their lows, but they did break out of their ranges. As they broke out, obviously the VIX broke out as well. Now they are at their support levels. The VIX has rallied up to some prior levels. First is the mid-February peak, and then the gap up point in March. There is an island reversal, a gap up, and a gap down. Very important level. It has experienced a bit of resistance. Whether the stock market decides to rally at this point determines whether the VIX falls back down.

VIX: 21.85; -0.88
VXN: 23.58; -0.89
VXO: 21.44; -0.53

Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 1.19; +0.07. Twelve sessions above 1.0. Friday colored by expiration, but you get the point: plenty of negative sentiment to foster a bounce.

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: 37.0% versus 40.9%. Dive, dive, dive. Bulls are running . . . out the door. Down 8 points in two weeks (45.2%). 35% is considered bullish. Getting there rapidly. Well 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. The crossover level at 29% bulls from July 2010 is long gone. 35% is the threshold level suggesting bullishness. To be seriously bearish it needs to get up to the 60% to 65% level.

Bears: 26.0% versus 22.6%. Surging higher now (20.4% three weeks back). Easily past the 18.5% registered a month back. Moving up on the 23.1% to start April. 28.3% in September 2010, just as the market pulled out of that base. Moving toward the 35% level, above which is considered bullish for the market overall. 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: -7.22 points (-0.28%) to close at 2616.48
Volume: 2.388B (+21.84%)

Up Volume: 819.22M (+160.67M)
Down Volume: 1.52B (+350M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 1.04 to 1
Previous Session: Advancers led 1.06 to 1

New Highs: 33 (+16)
New Lows: 118 (+4)





Stats: +3.86 points (+0.3%) to close at 1271.5
NYSE Volume: 1.318B (+34.08%)

Up Volume: 2.82B (+950M)
Down Volume: 1.53B (-580M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Advancers led 1.68 to 1
Previous Session: Decliners led 1.36 to 1

New Highs: 46 (+8)
New Lows: 70 (-55)




Stats: +42.84 points (+0.36%) to close at 12004.36
Volume DJ30: 342M shares versus 190M shares Thursday.



Next week brings more economic data. Existing Home Sales on Tuesday will be important. We will have to FOMC rate decision, a two-day meeting, on Wednesday. What will it tell us? It may talk a bit more about removal of stimulus, that things are getting better, and no QE II. It may not get in anywhere near that much detail. They definitely will not make any serious statements that will change what they have said of late. With that in mind, we still have a market that looks like it could bounce. Again, the SP500 and the Dow looked fine, able to bounce. If they can, they will lead the market in a recovery move.

The selling seems pervasive. It seems pernicious, and it does not want to let go. Thus any bounce is that we have is likely to be up to a prior nearer-term resistance versus getting back up to that February peak and making that symmetrical head and shoulders pattern. It may do it. That would be a great run for our upside plays. If it does, we will take it. We have taken some upside positions, and some of them have been thrown back in our faces. Others that we have carried have been thrown at us, finally breaking support after it looked like they would hold up just fine.

There is erosion of leadership and erosion of quality stocks. That is not a good indication for the market overall. We are not looking for a breakout in any bounce we get. We are looking for some kind of move to the upside that gives us a chance to exit some upside plays and make some money on other short-term upside plays. Then we will pick up more to the downside. We made some really good money on our downside trades, and we may still make money on those if this bounce fails. If NASDAQ, SOX, and SP600 went out and are negatives, then we could definitely see more selling. You also have to look at SOX it looks like it is oversold and wants to bounce. The small caps look like they want to sell, but they will follow along to the upside a bit before they rotate down.

That leaves us back where we have been. We are looking for that bounce, and at least the indices are still at support and still in position to make the bounce. That will give us better exit points and a little upside profit. Then we can look for some more downside plays. I hate to be negative about the market. You can be negative or just say it is going to happen and it goes down. Then we use it to make money that way, playing the put options to the downside. The really discouraging part is the negative economy and how the stimulus and the hundreds of billions we spent on it have not worked. It has not created any jobs. People are still suffering, and now we will have inflation. It will be the misery index for the 70's all over again, in my opinion.

That is so discouraging. After going through those 10 years, I never thought we would have to do it again in my lifetime. I thought we had learned the lesson. After that came the boom started by the Reagan reduction of regulation and encouragement of capital investment in the US. It was fostered by Clinton as he cut the capital gains tax and stayed out of the way of the economy, trying not to do too much to it or create too many new programs. It seems like we have forgotten what got us here. In other words, we are not dancing with who brung us as Darrel Royal, football coach of Texas used to say. We got to this point, and now we have left them and are looking for something better. As is often the case, you end up settling for something worse. You can get a lot of promises. You can be beguiled out there by grand words about how things need to change, but we broke away from Europe for a reason. That was to set up a government that would allow us to pursue individual greatness. It worked very well while we followed the blueprint. We have strayed and we see the results.

It is beyond me why we would want to go back where we came from when we know what that entails. Hopefully we will wake up. Hopefully we will do what needs to be done before it's too late. Then our children and grandchildren can live in a place where they can start their own businesses, make plenty of great money, raise their standard of living, and help people around the world. I will get off my soapbox now because I did digress. I hope you have an outstanding Father's Day. Enjoy yourself and enjoy your kids and grandkids. Kudos to all the fathers out there. It is a tough job, but it sure is the best job I have ever had.

Support and Resistance

NASDAQ: Closed at 2616.48

The 200 day SMA at 2641
2645-2650ish from December 2010 consolidation
The 10 day EMA at 2663
2676 is the January 2010 low
2686 is the recent January 2011 closing low
2706 to 2705 is the April 2011 low and the February 2011 and consolidation low (bottom of the trading range)
2723 to 2705 is the range of support at the bottom of the January to May trading range
The 50 day EMA at 2744
2759 is the May low
2762 is the February low
2796 is the February gap down point
2816 is the early April peak
2825 is the 2007 closing peak.
2841 is the February 2011 peak
2862 is the 2007 peak
2888 is the May 2011 peak
2956 from November 2000
3026 from October 2000 low
3042 is the May 2000 low

2603 is the March 2011 intraday low (post-Japan low)
2580 is the November 2010 closing high
2569 is the November gap up point through the April 2010 peak

S&P 500: Closed at 1271.50
1275 is the January 2010 low, early January 2011 peak
The 10 day EMA at 1281
1295 to 1294 is the April 2011 low and the February 2011 consolidation low (bottom of the trading range)
The 50 day EMA at 1310
1313 from the August 2008 interim peak
1318.51 is the May low
1325-27 is the March 2008 closing low and the May 2006 peak.
1332 is the early March peak
1340 is the early April 2011 peak
1344 is the February 2011 peak is being challenged again
1364 is the March 2007 low
1370 is the August 2007 low
1371 is the recent May 2011 peak

The 200 day SMA at 1259
1255 is the late December 2010 consolidation range
1249 is the March 2011 low (post-Japan)
1235 is the mid-December 2010 consolidation low
1227 is the November 2010 peak
1220 is the April 2010 peak

Dow: Closed at 12,004.36
12,094 is the April 2011 low
12,110 from the March 2007 closing low
The 50 day EMA at 12,276
12,283 is the March 2011 peak
12,391 is the February 2011 peak
12,605 is the mid-May 2011 high
12,876 is the May high
13,058 from the May 2008 peak on that bounce in the selling

11,893 from March 2008 closing low
11,867 from the August 2009 high and peak on that bounce in the selling.
The 200 day SMA at 11,735
11,734 from 11-98 peak
11,555 is the March low
11,452 is the November 2010 peak

Economic Calendar

June 17 - Friday
Michigan Sentiment, June Preliminary (9:55): 71.8 actual versus 73.5 expected, 74.3 prior
Leading Economic Indicators, May (10:00): 0.8% actual versus 0.4% expected, -0.4% prior (revised from 0.3%)

June 21 - Tuesday
Existing Home Sales, May (10:00): 4.78M expected, 5.05M prior

June 22 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 06/17 (07:00): +13% prior
FHFA Housing Price I, April (10:00): 0.3% prior
Crude Inventories, 06/18 (10:30): -3.406M prior
FOMC Rate Decision, June (12:30): 0.25% expected, 0.25% prior

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

Jon Johnson is the Editor of The Daily at

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