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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6/2/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The market finally looks like it is breaking out on the upside. After numerous failed attempts to exceed and hold above 4200, $SPX seems to be on the way to doing just that. If it closes above 4210 today (June 2nd), that will be confirmation of an upside breakout.

The next target and resistance is the 4300 level the highs of last August. If that can be overcome, then the picture is quite bullish, with only 4650 (the highs of March 2022) and 4800 (the all- time highs) as obvious resistance areas.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/26/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The trading range environment for $SPX is still in place. The horizontal lines on the chart in Figure 1 depict the extent of the three most prominent ranges that are in place right now. Most recently, the tightest range is 4100-4200. A slightly wider range, 4050-4200, exists if one extends back into April. Then the larger range, roughly 3800-4200 encompasses all of 2023 and even the last part of 2022. Of course, 4200 is the top of all of these ranges. One can be sure that aggressive traders have been and will continue to short the market at 4200. If it eventually breaks out to the upside, there will likely be some heavy short covering to accompany that move.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/19/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Once the market perceived that the "debt ceiling crisis" might not be a crisis after all, it began to rise again. $SPX is right at the top of the trading range and is attempting to break out. Those are very positive things. But before we jump on board with both feet, remember that 1) politicians can't be trusted, and 2) there have been some rather severe false upside breakouts by $SPX in the last couple of years.

Weekly Stock Market Commentary 5/12/2023

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Stocks have hunkered down into an even narrower trading range this week, although intraday volatility has seen some large moves. As a result, $SPX is still in the confines of the 4050-4200 trading range in the short term, and from a longer-term perspective is in the trading range it's been in all year: 3760-3850 on the downside to 4200 on the upside.

$VIX Composite Chart 1989-2022 (Preview)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Here’s a chart that we haven’t revisited in a while. It shows the composite value of $VIX (actually, $VXO in the early years) from 1989 through 2022. In reality, the CBOE backdated the original $VIX data to 1986, but including 1987 in the chart just distorts things too much. As it is, the inclusion of the March 2020 $VIX explosion has changed the chart a little.

Some Initial Observations about $VIX1D (Preview)

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Everyone seems enamored with zero day to expiration (0DTE) options. Trading volume has been huge, and no one exactly seems to know why. The conventional wisdom is that market makers are sellers of these same-day options, while institutional and retail traders are buyers. There have been several articles written on that subject, and certain podcasts have dealt with it as well. The reason that “institutional” and “retail” are lumped together is that institutional traders using bot trading algorithms are easily able to split large orders into many small pieces, to disguise their real size and to make it look like retail. However, since hundreds of thousands of contracts are trading in a single day, there is almost certain to be a large institutional presence among that volume. Regardless, we want to see for ourselves what is going on.