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SPX 2/2/2024
By Lawrence G. McMillan

After roaring ahead after breaking out to new all-time highs a week ago, $SPX finally had a setback of sorts. Poor earnings from some of the high-fliers (AMD, GOOG, MSFT) and of course the FOMC meeting conclusion combined to produce a sharp 80-point selloff on Wednesday. Most of it was regained on Thursday, though. But the market is still battling its way through news-related cross-currents: on Friday, it was positive earnings from AMZN and META, but an Unemployment Report that was "too strong" (thereby dampening hopes of a rate cut). Throughout this, the $SPX chart is bullish. There is support at 4800, which extends down to 4680, and as long as that area holds, the $SPX chart is positive.

Equity-only put-call ratios are technically still on sell signals, according to the computer programs that we use to analyze these charts. However, this appears to be a neutral reading to me. It won't really be bearish until it is clearly rising. So, these put-call ratios are not giving a strong signal at this time.

Market breadth had been fairly strong since January 18th, so the breadth oscillators were on buy signals. However, the negative action this week briefly knocked the breadth oscillator back down to sell signals. So, I'd say breadth isn't giving a clear signal at this time, but another day or two of negative breadth will produce sell signals.

Meanwhile, $VIX continues to hover at low levels. It didn't even have much of a reaction to the 80-point down day by $SPX. As a result, the trend of $VIX buy signal remains in place. As we've stated many times before: a low $VIX is not a problem in and of itself. It's only when $VIX begins to rise sharply that the problem arises.

Overall, we are still maintaining a "core" bullish position as long as the $SPX chart is positive -- that is, as long as $SPX is above 4800. We will trade other confirmed signals around that "core," and we may be seeing sell signals soon from MVB, equity-only put-call ratios, or breadth. But right now, those are not confirmed.

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

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