Weekly Stock Market Commentary 12/22/17

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The stock market euphorically gapped to new all-time highs on Monday, after the Tax Bill had been passed over the weekend. Pessimists might say that a gap to a new all-time high, on "the news," is a selling opportunity. They might be right, but it's really to soon to tell. One would have to see $SPX break some support areas before that could be confirmed. The bottom line is that the intermediate- term trend of $SPX is still up.

Equity-only put-call ratios have moved sharply lower over the past month or so, reflecting the ongoing bull market, which has been accompanied by heavy call buying. Hence they are overbought, but are NOT on sell signals at this time.

The Santa Claus Rally 2017 - 2018

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The idea of a seasonal pattern called The Santa Claus rally came from Yale Hirsch more than 50 years ago.  Simply stated, it says that the market generally rallies over the period including the last five trading days of one year and the first two trading days of the next year.  On average, the rally has been about a 1% move – nothing great, but certainly worth trading.  The seasonal period has just begun for this year: at the close of trading yesterday, Thursday, December 21st. 

Put Call Ratios at 7 Year Lows

By Lawrence G. McMillan

...Both the equity only and standard put-call ratios plunged to historic lows on Monday as the market gapped to new all-time hights and held on to the gains. 

Put buying was heavy enough on Tuesday and Wednesday that a small upward “curl” appeared on both of the equity-only put-call charts and the Total put-call ratio chart. This by itself is not meaningful, but if these ratios begin to trend higher, that would represent confirmed sell signals for the stock market...

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 12/15/2017

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The most important technical indicator -- the chart of the S&P 500 Index ($SPX) -- remains steadfastly bullish. It has continued to rise, establishing a myriad of support levels while doing so. Since August 28th, there has only been one day that this Index has even closed below its rising 20-day moving average. That is a strong uptrend.

The equity-only put-call ratios are all making new multi-year lows. Not only does this mean they are very overbought, it also means that they are on buy signals. As long as they continue to decline, that is bullish for stocks.

Long-term Put-Call Ratio Charts (Preview)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

We have been repeatedly noting that the equity-only put-call ratio charts are at multi-year lows.  The charts on the right show visual evidence of this.  

These are very long-term put-call ratio charts, extending back 25 years in the case of the standard ratio (upper chart) and 20 years in the case of the weighted ratio (lower chart).  

Bitcoin Futures on the CBOE Futures Exchange ($XBT)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The CBOE will begin trading Bitcoin Futures with Sunday night’s trading (December 10th). These are the basic facts about the contract, as taken from the website (the CME futures begin trading on Dec 18th).

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 12/8/2017

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Despite some selling early in the week (that seemed to be more of a reaction to a short-term overbought condition than to any real change of trend) $SPX still remains well above its rising 20-day moving average. It has closed above that MA every day except one since August 28th! As I've said before, that is impressive. So the trend of the $SPX chart is bullish, and that is the best intermediate-term indicator that we have.

The two equity-only put-call ratios are diverging once again. The standard ratio is still bullish, but the weighted ratio has generated a a new sell signal.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 12/1/2017

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The post-Thanksgiving seasonal period got off to a rousing start perhaps too rousing. The $SPX chart remains positive as long as it holds above support. The first support level is at 2600, which is the recent highs and also near today's (Friday's) lows.

Call buying has been particularly heavy in the past two weeks, on the latest leg upward in this ongoing bull market. That has forced the equity-only put-call ratios down to multi-year lows. Simply stated, these ratios are in extremely overbought territory, but they are still on buy signals as long as they are declining.

Can the market go up and $VIX rise as well?

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Traders are abuzz with the seemingly absurd fact that $VIX is up strongly today (and up for four days in a row), even though the market has risen strongly over that time – and is blasting explosively higher today.  

Forget why this is happening.  Can this be sustained?  The simple is answer is “yes,” of course.  Anything can happen – and probably will – is an old adage on Wall Street (and in life).  But has this ever happened over a lengthy period of time?  It certainly has.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 11/27/17

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The stock market has signaled that whatever was holding it back for the past couple of weeks ("correction" would be too strong of a word) is over. $SPX and all the other major indices have broken out to new closing and intraday all-time highs. This includes the previously-lagging Russell 2000 Index ($RUT, IWM).

For the record, there is support on the $SPX chart at 2560 (last week's lows), 2545 (the late October lows), and 2510, the breakout level back in September. Since this latest upward leg in the market started, with that breakout over 2510 in late September, $SPX has closed below its rising 20-day moving average exactly once!

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