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Stock Market Commentary

The following Market Commentary is an abbreviated version of the commentary featured in The Option Strategist Newsletter.

On Tuesday of this week, $SPX broke out strongly to the upside. This was a clear sign that the bulls are in control, and -- despite some divergences and overbought conditions -- this market is just plain strong right now. The upside breakout left a very well-confirmed support area in its wake: 1130-1150.

Stock Market Commentary

The following Market Commentary is an abbreviated version of the commentary featured in The Option Strategist Newsletter.

First, let's review the intermediate-term indicators, for longer- term traders may want to stick primarily with them. The $SPX chart is in an uptrend, and will remain so as long as the index is above its rising 20-day moving average.

The equity-only put-call ratios remain solidly on buy signals.

Market breadth is back on buy signals again and only modestly overbought.

Hail to the Chief - September may be the bottom of the 'Presidential Cycle'

The following article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter double issue 19:10-11 and has since been featured on MarketWatch.com.

The "Presidential Cycle" is a seasonal tendency that has a strong track record. Simply stated, the Presidential Cycle includes a major market bottom in the mid-year between presidential elections -- which is this year.

The Option Strategist wins financial newsletter award

Hooray! We are very proud to announce that Lawrence G. McMillan’s The Option Strategist Newsletter has received the National Association of Active Investment Managers (NAAIM) President’s Award for Excellence in Financial Newsletter Writing.

As a recipient of the award, our newsletter has been listed on NAAIM’s website (http://naaim.org/newsletterawards.aspx) where visitors can download a sample copy.

Who's buying all those S&P 500 put options?

The following article has been featured on MarketWatch.com.

Traders are paying huge premiums for Standard & Poor's 500 Index options expiring in September, October and November.

It is not unusual to see traders worry about what might happen to the market in the typically nasty September-October time frame, but this year, they're really getting carried away.

It's time to protect stock portfolios now

The following article has been featured on MarketWatch.com.

Options have many uses, but are primarily used as a hedge by a number of investors and traders to take some uncertainty out of the market. This is well-known to professional traders, but less so for the novice option trader or, even worse, the investor who doesn't use options because he considers them to be strictly a speculative vehicle.

Macro protection for stock portfolios

The following article has been featured on MarketWatch.com.

One way to handle uncertainty in the markets is to use broad-based options to protect a portfolio of stocks. Ironically, we produced an extensive white paper on the topic of Modern Portfolio Protection in July 2007, which we tried to market to institutional investors.

Our premise was that protection was cheap, and with the market on a very non-volatile four-year run, it was time to take some defensive action for stock portfolios.

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