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A Failed Stock Market Rally...

Stock-Markets / Stock Markets 2010 Sep 24, 2010 - 08:45 AM GMT

By: Mark_McMillan


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAfter a gap down open, the bulls decided to try to take the NASDAQ-100 to new highs but failed at the critical instant...

Recommendation: Sell shares of DIA to close the long position at the open.

If the price of DIA, QQQQ, and SPY is higher at the close than the open, Sell share of all three short to open short positions.

Daily Trend Indications:

- Positions indicated as Green are Long positions and those indicated as Red are short positions.

- The State of the Market is used to determine how you should trade. A trending market can ignore support and resistance levels and maintain its direction longer than most traders think it will.

- The BIAS is used to determine how aggressive or defensive you should be with a position. If the BIAS is Bullish but the market is in a Trading state, you might enter a short trade to take advantage of a reversal off of resistance. The BIAS tells you to exit that trade on "weaker" signals than you might otherwise trade on as the market is predisposed to move in the direction of BIAS.

- At Risk is generally neutral represented by "-". When it is "Bullish" or "Bearish" it warns of a potential change in the BIAS.

- The Moving Averages are noted as they are important signposts used by the Chartists community in determining the relative health of the markets.

Current ETF positions are:

Long at DIA $102.80

We are long Oct $106 DIA puts at $185 per contract ($1.85 per share) on Friday, Sept 17th.
We are long Oct $48 QQQQ puts at $94 per contract ($0.94 per share) on Friday, Sept 17th.
We are long Oct $113 SPY puts at $231 per contract ($2.31 per share) on Friday, Sept 17th.

Daily Trading Action

The major index ETFs opened lower and immediately began to move higher reaching their zeniths shortly before 11:30am EDT. From there, the indexes hung up in the general vicinity through the lunch hour and early afternoon. At 2:30pm, the bears began their assault and drove the major indexes to their lows by 3:45pm. The major indexes recovered in the final fifteen minutes to close with losses, although the NASDAQ-100 loss was diminimus. The Russell-2000 (IWM 64.88 -0.96) lost about 1.5% while the Semiconductor Index (SOX 332.83 +2.38) actually posted a gain of about two thirds of one percent. The Bank Index (KBE 22.63 -0.41) lost two percent while the Regional Bank Index (KRE 22.04 -0.15) only posted a fractional loss. The 20+ Yr Bonds (TLT 104.91 +0.30) posted a fractional gain and now sits above all moving averages we regularly report on as volume dropped back to average. NYSE volume was average with 942B shares traded. NASDAQ volume was average with 1.912B shares traded.

There were four economic reports of interest released:

  • Initial Jobless Claims for last week came in at 465K versus an expected 450K
  • Continuing Jobless Claims came in at 4.489M versus the 4.450M expected
  • Existing Homes Sales (Aug) came in at 4.13M versus an expected 4.10M
  • Leading Economic Indicators (Aug) surprised +0.3% higher versus an expected +0.1%

The first two reports were released an hour before the open while the latter two reports were released a half hour into the session.

Lower than expected PMI readings in Europe (mainly Germany) caused futures to mimic European bourses. The lower open was immediately met by buyers but the bulls were stymied as the NASADQ-100 approached its recent (Tuesday) intraday high. It failed a tiny fraction short of that intraday high mark and that rejection (from a technical standpoint) was considered a successful test and the bears took the Dow and S&P-500 back down to the lower open levels. The NASDAQ-100 was able to close nearly unchanged which was one percent below its intraday high water mark.

Nine out of ten economic sectors in the S&P-500 moved lower led by Financials (-2.0%). Tech was unchanged.

Implied volatility for the S&P-500 (VIX 23.87 +1.36) rose six percent and implied volatility for the NASDAQ-100 (VXN 24.26 +0.63) rose most of three percent. The VIX sits above its 200-Day Moving Average (DMA) and VXN is on its 200-DMA.

The yield for the 10-year note rose four basis points to close at 2.59. The price of the near term futures contract for a barrel of crude oil rose forty-seven cents to close at $75.18.

Market internals were negative with decliners leading advancers 7:3 on the NYSE and by 2:1 on the NASDAQ. Down volume led up volume 3:1 on the NYSE and by 3:2 on the NASDAQ. The index put/call ratio rose 0.23 to close at 1.52. The equity put/call ratio fell 0.08 to close at 0.64.


Thursday's trading saw average volume but a significant move higher in implied volatility as the market actually showed some fear (not a lot yet) instead of the recent complacency. The S&P-500 has moved into a trading state. That leaves the Dow and NASDAQ-100 on the edge of leaving their uptrend states and the other equity indexes are all in trading states. The long-term bond ETF (TLT) is in an uptrend state and above all the moving averages we regularly report on, so the stage is finally set for a move down for the major indexes.

We exited our QQQQ position yesterday at the close when QQQQs closed higher than their open. We now believe the markets still have an opportunity for one last rally attempt here but we believe it will fail and we will move to short positions when the S&P-500 attempts to reach a new high. We will be satisfied to enter short positions on a close above a higher open on Friday with a conditional order.

Our DIA position actually closed two cents above its lower open but that move higher was only in the final seconds. Technically, if you had placed a limit order at one penny above the open price you may have been filled at the close, but we don't place this level of effort on our subscribers and will close the position at the open on Friday.

We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the McMillan portfolio. You may send comments to

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By Mark McMillan

Important Disclosure
Futures, Options, Mutual Fund, ETF and Equity trading have large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in these markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose. This is neither a solicitation nor an offer to buy/sell Futures, Options, Mutual Funds or Equities. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this Web site. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results.
Performance results are hypothetical. Hypothetical or simulated performance results have certain inherent limitations. Unlike an actual performance record, simulated results do not represent actual trading. Also, since the trades have not actually been executed, the results may have under- or over-compensated for the impact, if any, of certain market factors, such as a lack of liquidity. Simulated trading programs in general are also subject to the fact that they are designed with the benefit of hindsight. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown.
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Investment Research Group (IRG), as a publisher of a financial newsletter of general and regular circulation, cannot tender individual investment advice. Only a registered broker or investment adviser may advise you individually on the suitability and performance of your portfolio or specific investments.
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© 2010 Copyright Mark McMillan - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

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