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Markets Stabilizing February 18, 2018

Posted by Tom in Thoughts.
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Feb. 16, 2018 – We now are fairly sure what the cause of the recent market swoon.  An over bought market in the background, many people in the “safe” selling volatility trade (i.e. short the VIX).  Couple this with the end of the month ETF VIX contract “roll forward” and all it took was 3 days of weakness, followed by panic.  It happened quickly with a spike down and will (likely) recover with a “V” shape back up.  (Note chart below)

Since this market was over brought, it will take time to recover back to those levels.  My continued concern is the susptability to “bad news”.  While the Money & Volume Flow indicators are recovering, but not back to positive, my very short term Price Strength indicator is back to a modest plus / long status.  For this reason I’ve removed my hedges and will slowly look for high potential stocks to buy.  I am happy that I never fully exited this market.

We can also see just how well the market has recovered in a week from the pie chart below, which shows the percent of stocks in the S&P 1500 index that have Strong or Weak price structures.

That it for this week.  Be patient for the right stock and the right sector, but it looks like they will be coming to you.  Have a good week.      ……….  Tom  ……….

Selling Begets Selling February 10, 2018

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Feb. 9, 2018 – A week ago Friday was just the beginning, and then came this past week.  That’s when the wheels came off and the computer “algo” selling programs kicked in.  The swiftness of all of this was the surprise, and not that it happened.  This market was well over bought.  Note the chart below that the short term trend channel is standing up compared to the long term channel.  Now we’ve corrected back to the bottom of the long term channel, and that may be a good place to pause and consolidate.

Both price support level were violated as were both the Money Flow and Volume Flow indicators.  I’ve added one additional indicator, that of (short term) Price Strength.  My goal was to provide an early warning indicator.  It oscillates from neutral, moderate, to very strong status.  Something to watch in the future; since this is new, I’ll do some back testing with it.

No surprises about the overall market strength.  The percentage of stocks in the S&P 1500 Index are shown in the pie charts below.

Price Strength –

Accumulation / Distribution –

There’s a lot of red up there, the damage has been done.  I’ll wait for a base to form and then a show of strength before I drop my hedged position (i.e. cash neutral).  I’ve liquidated 90% of my sector rotation positions (only high risk shorts are showing now; I’ll pass).  Truly weak stocks were sold and the remaining positions are hedged out.  Watch out for Monday morning retail selling though.  We need buyer not seller in the coming days, and the pro will lead the way.

I really thing that volatility is back and the time frames are shortened by computer trading.  It’s getting hard to NOT to get caught with your “pants down”, but we try.  Have a good week.        ………..  Tom  ……….

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

Along The Watch Tower February 3, 2018

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Feb. 2, 2018 – The big question on everyone’s mind this weekend is whether or not “this” is the beginning of the long awaited correction.  I’ll cut to the bottom line:  Yes, it certainly could be.  First let’s look at how weak this market is:

SP 1500 Price Strength

The pie chart above shows the percent of stocks within the broad S&P 1500 Index (1500 of them) that are in a short term (20 day) trend.  Obviously, more than half are “weak” with only a small amount that are considered “strong” (i.e. green).

The chart of the NASDAQ Composite Index (another broad index) is shown below:

NSADAQ

I note that the first level of price support at 7332 has been broken and the next level is 7111.  The significance of these price levels is derived from what Wyckoff called “significant weekly bars”.  That is the low price of the week where significant buying came into the market.  The other way to look at it is this is where money started to flow into the market, thus it’s low price is important.  Also in the chart above are the Money and Volume Flow indicators, which confirm price and volume “outflows”.  Sentiment is neutral.

OK, back to the correction question.  Is this the start?  We’ll know more early next week.  Will buyers come in and “buy the dip” or will additional selling happen?  Right now, no one knows.  But we do know that investors cash levels are at an all time low; and who will be the next incremental buyer to push prices higher?  The market has been over extended by being at the upper trend channel, so a pause / minor correction is not unusual.  Time to shake the market out?  Looks like it.

What is “the cause”?  Fear of higher interest rates?  Problems at the Trump Whitehouse?  Does it really matter?  Since the volume on Friday was only slightly higher, it really looks like “lack of buyers” and “extra sellers”.  That is a position of caution, thus not to get overly concerned about it just yet.

Overall, the S&P 1500 stocks look more like this:

SP 1500 A-D

With those in Accumulation and Distribution about equal (though this indicator is a slow to react one).

Let’s watch both the price and volume action on Monday and perhaps on Tuesday for indications about the seriousness of this (so far) 3 day event.  Corrections are OK, as long as we don’t get whip sawed by them.  I lighted up on just about everything on Friday afternoon, but if it gets ugly, I’ll buy a Bear Fund to hedge positions.  That gives me time to make an orderly withdrawal should that become necessary.

Have a good week.       ………..  Tom  …………

Price chart by MetaStock; pie chart & table by http://www.HighGrowthStock.com. Used with permission.

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