Sunday, August 07, 2011

Prepare for More Downside


- Jobs top expectations, but market response is less than welcoming.
- Stocks recover from morning selling, but the bid remains very weak.
- Economy so weak an ugly jobs report looks pretty.
- Economic 'recovery' a house of cards: stock market proves it with a crash after QE2 liquidity pump is turned off.
- Market is set to test breakdown, market should test the breakdown, but the action just does not seem right. With no QE3 market has no reason to rise. None.
- Use a bounce if it comes, prepare for more downside.


A better than expected jobs report, but still a weak report. A weak bounce attempt as well.

With a jobs report that only a weak economy and a weary market could love, investors got something of what they wanted on Friday. It was not a great report at 117K jobs, but was better than expectations. The market actually rallied on the news well, it rallied for about 15 minutes before it rolled over and sold off with another massive decline. That was matched by a somewhat larger reversal that brought stocks back to positive, but they could not hold the move. They waffled, moved laterally, and then sold some into the last hour. It was a very underwhelming performance. A bit better on the jobs, but the economy is still very, very weak.

The indices were mixed. NASDAQ, -1%; SP500, flat; Dow, +0.5%; SP600, -1.5%; SOX, -2%.

As I watched the market action unfold on the day, I was struck by how weak the move was. When the reversal occurred on Wednesday, the stock market ripped back to the upside from the morning dive. Nice volume recovery. I kept saying it appeared as if the market was looking over its shoulder. There was high volume, a nice recovery to positive, but it just did not feel like a really strong reversal. Obviously that turned out to be the case as it market rolled over massively on Thursday. Friday it did not feel like there was the same fear in the market as it sold off. Maybe that is why we did not get a big, roaring recovery that surged to the upside. Maybe that is why we did not get the initial rally off of the numbers that the market apparently wanted in the first place.

All I can tell you is that the bid remained weak. There were some great stocks in position to move (we picked up a little CMG, for instance), but they found it difficult to make that move. Running in place, no traction, stuck in the sand. Whatever metaphor you want to use, it seemed to apply to a very sluggish market on Friday. Looking back at the week, the market exploded lower. It careened to the downside and broke through all near support. It managed to rebound on Friday off of another massive drop that took it to the November 2010 lows. It basically erased the second half of the run from August 2010 to early-2011.


The other markets somewhat reversed their trends of the week on Friday. As the stock market tried to bounce back, some of the trades that have been so lopsided in other markets tried to reverse a bit as well.

Dollar: 1.4280 versus 1.4126 Euro. It lost ground after that massive move on Thursday that saw the Bank of Japan intervene to undermine the yen and the ECB leaving interest rates the same and starting its Quantitative Easing program once again. That move somewhat died out with a better jobs report. Ironic, isn't it? With a better jobs report, you would think our dollar would be stronger, but I guess it is reading the tea leaves and seeing through the fog. It understands that the economy is still very weak. It started to fall back on Friday right at the level where it started to hit the upper trendline off of the late-April low. It bounced into resistance and it is having trouble making its move.

There is speculation it might have been a reversal on Thursday. Friday put it into perspective, I believe. It dollar rebounded. It broke the rebound, it is testing it, and it may be kissing it good-bye and heading back to the downside. That would surely make the administration and all of its lapdog large corporations happy because they are the ones that benefit from a weak dollar. The rest of us suffer inflation, diminished retirement accounts, and a small business sector that is getting crushed under the weight of a weak dollar and policies that favor large businesses and overseas companies.

Bonds: 2.57% versus 2.43% 10 year U.S. Treasury. Bonds somewhat reversed their move. What an incredible race higher in as fear spiked. There were worries about what the Fed might do and what would be required in other governments, particularly the Euro zone. The bonds exploded higher as investors rushed into safety from around the world. Even with $14T+ in debt and really $50-60T in accrued debt U.S. Treasuries are still seen as relatively safe. Maybe we do not have anything to worry about. Right.

Gold: $1,651.80, -7.20. After a massive spike to the upside, gold was actually giving back some. That is normal. You would expect it to give some back after a tremendous run like that. There have been comments about whether there is fear in the market. I think the action as shown that there is fear. It all exploded this week. The VIX blasted higher, the stock market sold off, new lows, and the put/call ratio shot higher. Options started to price it in. There was complacency based on Federal intervention in terms of Quantitative Easing. Now that is over. It took awhile, but it is hitting home that we do not have that liquidity here anymore. Some of the air has been taken out and it jolted the market into reality this week. The fear levels were low overall, and it showed up in the option pricing. Now we see option pricing and volatility bouncing up obviously as the VIX jumped higher on the week.

In any event, some of the fear trade was taken out of gold. It is still very strong because there is also that inflation component with all the money printing. There is also the feeling that the Fed has to come to the table with something given poor performance in the equity markets over the past few weeks.

Oil: $86.92, +0.29. Oil actually put in a bounce on Friday after selling off. It sold off sharply this week. It made another dive down on Friday. It interestingly undercut the February lows, but there is a range of support from October and November 2010. It tested right in the middle of that range and recovered. Oil was hammered. It is only natural that it bounces back some now, just as it did in June after it was slaughtered the second time on this leg. It has put in its three legs to the downside, and it can try to rebound. This is not any ABCD pattern, because it has undercut the prior low. It probably bounces up, tries the 200 day EMA, or maybe it stalls out at the June low before it struggles once again.



Volume. It was another strong day. Volume was up again, up 15% on NASDAQ to 3.7B shares. It was up 27% on the NYSE to 2.1B shares. Big times indeed.

Breadth. Decliners still lead the day even though there was a positive read on the Dow and SP500 was flat. -2.5:1 on the NYSE and -2.3:1 on the NASDAQ. Does not tell us a lot. I am more interested in the New Lows.

New Lows. 436 on NASDAQ and 901 on the NYSE. That is extreme. Thursday it was more than -10:1 on the breadth. Negative breadth on both NASDAQ and the SP500. Close to -11:1. That is extreme. Volumes are high, new lows are high, and volatility is jumping.

Put/call ratio. The put/call ratio is above 1.0 for about the tenth time in recent history.

When all of the sentiment indicators and technical indicators line up, they start showing that a turn is coming. They do not necessarily say it will happen at 9:18 on August 13th. It does not mean that. It does tell you they are getting ready for a move, so that is what you do. You play the probabilities in the market. The probabilities are starting to suggest a turn is on the way.


SP500. SP500 dove lower, and it came all the way back to the November consolidation range, effectively wiping off the second stage of the QE2 rally. It has come all the way back down. It did manage to bounce, and it closed mid-range of the November trading range. It is in position to make a bounce. If it does not bounce here, it threatens to go back down into the summer 2010 consolidation. That would be quite the selloff. Would that be outrageous when you consider that there really is not any economic improvement? Indeed, the economy has fallen off sharply. It would not a surprise at all. It could fall to that level. Believe me, it could fall down in the range of 1140, 1150, 1125 in a blink of an eye. It could do that in two or three days next week. It could spike volatility to levels we have not seen in decades. That might provide a turn if the Fed steps in, and you know it would at that point.

After the breach of a topping pattern such as this head and shoulders, you would normally expect it to come back up to test the neckline at 1260. 60 points away. That would make sense. The doji on Friday would suggest it would make that move. Then the extremes in the internals and the sentiment indicators would suggest that this would be the case. In these selloffs, however, you can get more selling than you would ever think possible before a turn. We also got more upside than we ever thought was possible during the liquidity runs. We have to be ready in case it does not happen. If it does not happen, it will dive lower and our last positions to the downside will probably double in value from Friday. We will have to see what we get. It is in position and can go either way here. The indicators strongly suggest it should bounce up towards 1260. But when there is a massive selloff based upon a lack of economic growth and a realization that you are sliding off into a new recession, the selling could just continue on.

NASDAQ. NASDAQ is very similar. It has given up this entire move from November. It sold off to the bottom of that range. It was right at the bottom of the range at the November low, and then it managed to bounce. It should want to bounce up to the 2600 level, which is 70 points or so from here. The SP500 should also want to bounce. I want to see if it can do that. If it does not want to, it will likely go back down into this base from 2010. Ultimately, I think that is where it will end up going after a test to the upside. I would love to see this test to the upside. I would get out of my upside positions and reload to the downside, and then play the move down to that base of the summer of 2010.

SP600. Small caps are having a hard time, down 1.5%. They are also at the November 2010 lows. They, too, bounced off of this. They have the possibility to rally back up to 415, test, and then they likely roll over and sell as well.

SOX. SOX led the way down, and it is doing so again. It held the November consolidation range just by a hair, and it undercut it earlier today. It is in position to come back up and test this range, and then it will want to roll over. Lo and behold, it is already almost at the summer of 2010 lows. Semiconductors are in terrible shape, and that would be expected in a weakening economy. Chips go into just about everything. When there is slack in the economy, the inventory levels spike rapidly and their values plummet.


I will not go into a lot of different sectors. Instead I want to take you down a trail of stocks that are doing fairly well in the market and are in position to bounce. These are stocks that we would like to play on a rebound move if it occurs. As noted, the internals and the sentiment indicators are at levels that would suggest a rebound, and these stocks are in position to make moves and make us money.

BIDU is showing that doji at the 50 day EMA. AAPL looked good, too. It has filled the gap, tapped the 50 day EMA on the low and rebounded. You have to like GOOG's action. Sold off, recovered, and holding the 200 day EMA yet again. Those are big names that we all know, but what about some others? ATHN gapped higher on earnings. It has come down to test the gap, filled part of it and rebounded back on Friday. You have to like that. People say it is long gone, but it had a breakaway gap and strong volume. Those tend to run. If the market is ready to move, it is in perfect position.

There are others that you would not expect. BOOM looks like it has a little head and shoulders going. A little inverted shoulder, a test, and it could not keep it down. No follow-through as it sold off, and it gapped up on earnings. It is interesting. You are looking for interesting patterns.

In retail, COST has a nice ABCD pattern set up, and it is holding right at the 200 day EMA. Very interesting pattern. HANS is one we had on and took off, but it is doing well. They make the Monster drinks and others. No follow-through to the downside. It bounced nicely on Friday. Even the telecom wireless IDCC looks excellent. It has a nice pennant or flag pattern, pullback to test.

LTD has an ABCD pattern going for it, holding at the 200 day EMA. Looks like it is also holding at the 61% Fibonacci retracement. It has a MACD putting in a higher low. It makes sense. MFN has a nice rally and test. Look at the ABCD. It has already rallied up, but we have a double bottom with handle, a shakeout, and no follow-through to the downside. Hardly any selling when the market was selling off. That proves to be interesting. It is in industrial metals; go figure. The energy sector has been slaughtered of late, but there are some stocks that look great like SM. It had its own double bottom and a breakout and gap. It has come back to test it. It has potential to the upside. TRLG has a little inverted head and shoulders, a gap breakout, and a test back during all this week's selling. It is using the selling to its benefit. There are others I already have on the report that you know of. CPHD has a nice pullback to test that a gap. CMG is coming back nicely and testing, holding and reversing off the lows on Friday.

There are many stocks of leadership caliber holding up well. This market has not broken down all of the stocks. We also know that markets do not tend to dive or rally in straight lines. With all the sentiment indicators at extremes and with the market trying to reverse off of a logical support level at the November 2010 consolidation, it behooves us to be ready to play a bounce to the upside. If we get that bounce, we will take advantage of it as a trade. When we reach the point where we think there will be resistance, and it shows it is working and will push stocks back down, then we take what we can off the table on those. We just close out any other upside positions that got hammered on us, and then we play the downside. That will be our plan moving forward.


A report only a weak economy and weary market could like.

Without liquidity the illusory recovery is revealed.





VIX. The VIX blew out to the top on Thursday and Friday. It easily surpassed the March peak. I have said that once it revved up, it would easily be able to surpass that level (indeed, to reach prior levels). It reached 39.25 on the high Friday. If we scroll back over to the 2010 selloff, intraday it reached 41.74. Not far off at all. A big scream to the upside as fear shrieked into the market and the house of cards started to fall down. Volatility is quickly getting to a point where there could be a reversal. You would expect some kind of reversal, but remember: volatility spikes and reversals can come days later. We can still be very sluggish for several days while people despair.

As Galadriel said in the Fellowship of the Ring, "All shall love me and despair." Everyone loves to see volatility spike if there is selling. They know that, when it does, that pretty much means it will end it is just painful getting there. There is a spike in volatility, and then there are a few days where nothing happens. Despair sets in, and then there is the reversal. We may still have more volatility spikes to come before there is any turn in the market.

VIX: 32; +0.34
VXN: 33.77; +2.09
VXO: 32.85; -1.36

Put/Call Ratio (CBOE): 1.22; -0.08

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: 46.3% versus 49.5%. After a one-week jump bulls are right back down, almost matching the 46.2% from three weeks back. Moving back down as you want to see, but well off levels considered bullish (35%). Highs from April and December (60% readings spanning December through early May 2011). The 5 year high is 62.0. 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: 24.7% versus 21.5%. Big jump after holding flat for 2 weeks. Heading back toward the early July high near 28%. The 35% level 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: -23.98 points (-0.94%) to close at 2532.41
Volume: 3.739B (+14.62%)

Up Volume: 899.34M (+861.96M)
Down Volume: 2.8B (-450M)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Decliners led 2.34 to 1
Previous Session: Decliners led 10.87 to 1

New Highs: 10 (-12)
New Lows: 436 (+125)





Stats: -0.69 points (-0.06%) to close at 1199.38
NYSE Volume: 2.152B (+26.81%)

Up Volume: 3.05B (+2.964B)
Down Volume: 5.47B (-1.98B)

A/D and Hi/Lo: Decliners led 2.53 to 1
Previous Session: Decliners led 10.93 to 1

New Highs: 34 (-28)
New Lows: 901 (+307)




Stats: +60.93 points (+0.54%) to close at 11444.61
Volume DJ30: 406M shares Friday versus 301M shares Thursday.



There will be economic data without a doubt. We will have Q2 productivity on Tuesday. We will have the FOMC out with its rate decision. Obviously everyone will be looking to see what kind of changes they put in their statement, if any. They will grab ahold of that jobs report and try to say things look good. They do not want to come out and make too much of a change, but ultimately they have to implement QE3.

Wholesale inventories are on Wednesday. Yeah, yeah. Initial claims on Thursday. Retail sales on Friday will be key. Thursday we will also have a bunch of the Same Store Sales numbers coming out. There is Michigan Sentiment on Friday. Business inventories are always a sleeper, but it will be interesting. I am curious to see whether they rise or fall. This is one of those situations where if they rise, it is not a good thing because that would mean sales are down because the economy is slowing.

That is the economic picture, but what about the real world of the market? The market is in a position to rebound. The sentiment indicators and internals all suggest extreme levels that would push the market back up. The action of holding the November 2010 trading range and bouncing off of that would suggest the market wants to do that. The action on Friday was just sluggish, however. There was not a great bid, and it just did not feel like any kind of big reversal. We may not get that; we may just get a total dump down to that prior low. If that is the case, we will have a few downside plays in addition to what we already have, but it is not a great risk/reward entry point for the downside.

There was a tremendous dive lower, and it does not exactly give me warm, fuzzy feelings about initiating new downside at this point. If the market breaks, we will have a few to play. I would like to see that bounce to the upside. There is no economic reason for the market to bounce. Quantitative Easing is not in yet again. No reason to bounce other than just a technical move to bounce back up and relieve some of that pressure on the extreme numbers that the internals and sentiment indicators are showing.

Our strategy is to play some of the big names I have talked about. I would love to trade upside some of these really good-looking patterns that are holding well. We also patiently let a bounce run its course. Then we can get the best exit points on any plays we have that broke during the week and need to have some rebound to get them into a position of repair where there is a better exit point. Then when the move fizzles out it should at 1260 or lower then we will be preparing on the way up with more downside plays to take the market back down. That is not only to the November low but on down into this range from 2010.

It is not a great prognosis. I am not saying things are good. They are not, and you know that as well as I do. I have been talking about it for months, and it is all coming to fruition. I guess some would say ruination. It is not a good situation out there, and the wild card is the Fed with a new round of Quantitative Easing. Smarter people that me are saying it is coming. We just do not know exactly when it will get here. That is the wild card that could change the game. Until then, we have a market that has rolled over. Sentiment indicators are extreme. It wants to bounce. If it does, we will take advantage of it both to the upside and then to the downside.

Not a great prognosis. It is a long, hot summer. August is a bad month for the market, no doubt. It is living up to its billing. September is not great either. At some point during the traditional time of selling in the market and the traditional recovery period in the fall, the Fed will announce Quantitative Easing and it will have its effect. The market will miraculously rise in the fall as it often does. Maybe I am thinking of a fairy tale right now, but in any event, you see where I am going. It all seems to fit into place with these cyclical patterns. More than anything else, this proves to me that markets are based upon human rhythms more than any machines.

With that, have a great weekend. Hang in there. We will play the bounce and then make money on the downside again. After all, we did bank some tremendous downside gain this week. I hope you were in on it.

Have a great weekend, and I will see you Monday!

Support and Resistance

NASDAQ: Closed at 2532.41

2540 is the early November 2010 lower gap point
2569 is the November gap up point through the April 2010 peak
2580 is the November 2010 closing high
2599 is the June 2011 low
2603 is the March 2011 intraday low (post-Japan low)
2645-2650ish from December 2010 consolidation
2676 is the January 2010 low
2686 is the January 2011 closing low
The 200 day SMA at 2710
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 2748
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
2879 is the July 2011 peak
2888 is the May 2011 peak

2535 is the upper gap point from 11-10
2497 is the lower gap point from 11-10
2469 is the November 2010 low
2435 from October 2010

S&P 500: Closed at 1199.38
1220 is the April 2010 peak
1227 is the November 2010 peak
1234 is the August 2011 low
1235 is the mid-December 2010 consolidation low
1249 is the March 2011 low (post-Japan)
1255 is the late December 2010 consolidation range
1275 is the January 2010 low, early January 2011 peak
The 200 day SMA at 1287
1295 to 1294 is the April 2011 low and the February 2011 consolidation low (bottom of the trading range)
The 50 day EMA at 1301
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
1357 is the July 2011 peak
1364 is the March 2007 low
1370 is the August 2007 low
1371 is the recent May 2011 peak

1196 is the November 2010 consolidation peak
1178-1180 is the October 2010/November 2010 consolidation low
1160 from early October 2010
1127 from August 2010

Dow: Closed at 11,444.61
11,452 is the November 2010 peak
11,555 is the March low
The August low at 11,700
11,734 from 11-98 peak
11,867 from the August 2009 high and peak on that bounce in the selling.
11,893 from March 2008 closing low
The June low at 11,897 (closing)
The 200 day SMA at 11,995
12,094 is the April 2011 low
12,110 from the March 2007 closing low
12,283 is the March 2011 peak
The 50 day EMA at 12,331
12,391 is the February 2011 peak
12,876 is the May high
12,754 is the July intraday peak
13,058 from the May 2008 peak on that bounce in the selling

11,178 from November 2010
10,978 is the bottom of the November 2010 consolidation
10,750 from September 2011
10,694-700 from August 2010 peak

Economic Calendar

August 1 - Monday
ISM Index, July (10:00): 50.9 actual versus 54.0 expected, 55.3 prior
Construction Spending, June (10:00): 0.2% actual versus 0.0% expected, 0.3% prior (revised from -0.6%)

August 2 - Tuesday
Personal Income, June (8:30): 0.1% actual versus 0.1% expected, 0.2% prior (revised from 0.3%)
Personal Spending, June (8:30): -0.2% actual versus 0.1% expected, 0.1% prior (revised from 0.0%)
PCE Prices - Core, June (8:30): 0.1% actual versus 0.2% expected, 0.2% prior (revised from 0.3%)
Auto Sales, July (15:00): 4.1M expected, 3.86M prior
Truck Sales, July (15:00): 5.2M expected, 4.98M prior

August 3 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 07/30 (7:00): 7.1% actual versus -5% prior
Challenger Job Cuts, July (7:30): 59.4% actual versus 5.2% prior
ADP Employment Chang, July (8:15): 114K actual versus 100K expected, 145K prior (revised from 157K)
Factory Orders, June (10:00): -0.8% actual versus -1.0% expected, 0.6% prior (revised from 0.8%)
ISM Services, July (10:00): 52.7 actual versus 53.7 expected, 53.3 prior
Crude Inventories, 07/30 (10:30): 0.950M actual versus 2.296M prior

August 4 - Thursday
Initial Claims, 07/30 (8:30): 400K actual versus 405K expected, 401K prior (revised from 398K)
Continuing Claims, 07/23 (8:30): 3730K actual versus 3700K expected, 3720K prior (revised from 3703K)

August 5 - Friday
Nonfarm Payrolls, July (8:30): 117K actual versus 84K expected, 46K prior (revised from 18K)
Nonfarm Private Payrolls, July (8:30): 154K actual versus 100K expected, 80K prior (revised from 57K)
Unemployment Rate, July (8:30): 9.1% actual versus 9.2% expected, 9.2% prior
Hourly Earnings, July (8:30): 0.4% actual versus 0.2% expected, 0.0% prior
Average Workweek, July (8:30): 34.3 actual versus 34.3 expected, 34.3 prior
Consumer Credit, June (15:00): $15.5B actual versus $5.0B expected, $5.1B prior (revised from $5.076B)

August 9 - Tuesday
Productivity-Preliminary, Q2 (8:30): -0.6% expected, 1.8% prior
Unit Labor Costs, Q2 (8:30): 2.2% expected, 0.7% prior
FOMC Rate Decision, August (14:15): 0.25% expected, 0.25% prior

August 10 - Wednesday
MBA Mortgage Index, 08/06 (7:00): +7.1% prior
Wholesale Inventories, June (10:00): 1.0% expected, 1.8% prior
Crude Inventories, 08/06 (10:30): 0.950M prior
Treasury Budget, July (14:00): -$165.0B prior

August 11 - Thursday
Initial Claims, 08/06 (8:30): 409K expected, 400K prior
Continuing Claims, 7/30 (8:30): 3700K expected, 4730K prior
Trade Balance, June (8:30): -$48.0B expected, -$50.2B prior

August 12 - Friday
Retail Sales, July (8:30): 0.5% expected, 0.1% prior
Retail Sales ex-auto, July (8:30): 0.2% expected, 0.0% prior
Michigan Sentiment, August (9:55): 62.5 expected, 63.7 prior
Business Inventories, June (10:00): 0.5% expected, 1.0% prior

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

Jon Johnson is the Editor of The Daily at

Technorati tags:

No comments: