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Weekly Commentary 8/19/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The $SPX chart is perhaps the most negative technical indicator of all.  The pattern of lower highs and lower lows persists.  How far can this next down leg carry?  1100 is the intraday low from last week; 1077 is the overnight low for the futures; and some technical targets suggest a decline to the 1040-1060 area, which was support from the summer of 2010.      

High-volatility standoff

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The panic of a week ago has subsided, but the market remains nervous and volatile — not as volatile as last week, but far more volatile than it has been in the past year or so.  The oversold conditions, massive as they were, have spurred a rally that is still in progress.  However, upside progress has stalled, and the bulls and the bears are locked in combat at or near current levels.

$SPX 1178: The Line in the Sand

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The market opened stronger, after some economic data was released, and that rally lasted for less than a half hour. Since then, its been a slow decline, but a large one, and the support at 1180 is in danger of giving way. This would not be good. Specifically, a close below 1178 would spell then official end of this short-term oversold rally that has been underway for the last few days. Thus, the $SPX chart remains in a negative downtrend.

Weekly Commentary 8/12/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

This decline has been one of the swiftest on record, coming from a period of relative calm and even somewhat positive technical indicators.  The selling that has taken place in the last two weeks can only be described as panic selling, for the most part.      

$SPX declined sharply below its 20-day moving average (see feature article), and as such is quite oversold.      

So far, there is support on $SPX at 1100 to 1120 -- the daily lows of this week.      

Daily Commentary 8/10/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The market, after some nasty downside fakeouts, finally staged the oversold rally that we – and many others – had been expecting.  In slightly less than an hour and a half, $SPX rallied roughly 80 points!  Earlier in the day, a rally had been underway also, but it was a nervous one as the market awaited the comments from the Fed after the FOMC meeting.

Weekly Commentary 8/5/2011

By Lawrence G. MCMillan

It is almost unfathomable to think that, exactly a mere two weeks ago, $SPX was at 1345 and there were thoughts that an upside breakout was possible.  Now, two weeks later, in a move that can only be described as panic, $SPX is at 1200 with no floor in sight.  Oversold conditions have ballooned to near-historic levels in some cases, but as the last few trading days have shown, "oversold" does not mean "buy."      

Theoretically, there is $SPX chart support in the 1180-1200 area from last November.      

Waiting on the VIX

By Lawrence G. McMillan

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (MarketWatch) — Heading into Tuesday, I didn’t think the market could act any worse, but it did. It’s almost impossible to fathom that the market was rising with improving technicals eight trading sessions ago.

The Basics of VIX Options

By Lawrence G. McMillan

With the current uncertainty in the stock market, the $VIX index has once again received a lot of financial media coverage.  Last week we recommended the purchase of $VIX calls as a hedge for your portfolio.  We received numerous comments from people who took our advice but didn't seem to understand how $VIX options price.

Weekly Commentary 7/29/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Suddenly, the stock market started to develop "religion" about the U.S. debt situation, and sold off sharply this week.      

In one sense, this is like any other "event" -- an FDA hearing or a potentially volatile earnings report: the underlying has trouble moving decisively in either direction until the event has passed.