Conventional wisdom holds that October is a bear killer. That is, the market starts to head south in September, accelerates in early October, and then bottoms some time in October. From there it rallies. So the decline – while sometimes very steep in early October – is terminated in October. Hence the term “bear killer.”
Heavy selling continues to engulf the market on most days. The next support level appears to be roughly in the 2580-2600 area, which is the closing lows of February and April earlier this year.
There is resistance at 2820, which is where last week's oversold rally stalled out -- far short of even the most basic target: the declining 20-day moving average. Another resistance point now looms as well: the 200-day Moving Average.
Market shocks can come in a variety of forms. Sometimes the market is wary that a correction might occur. Sometimes it is blissfully unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.
After two horrendous days on October 10th and 11th, the market experienced a solid oversold bounce. Some buy signals were even generated from that bounce, but now it seems to be failing again without having fulfilled even the most basic target of an oversold rally -- the declining 20-day moving average of $SPX. That may still happen, of course, but for now there is resistance at 2820 (the highs of this week). Support is at 2710.
For the second time this year, the stock market has suffered a severe decline in an unusually short period of time. Declines like this used to take weeks, and now they occur in a couple of days. Nearly every indicator is now in some sort of oversold state, but "oversold does not mean buy." One must wait for confirmed buy signals, and even then the early ones are often stopped out in a market like this.
For the first time since late June, $SPX had a serious down day in hand, but the bears let some of it slip away as prices rallied strongly in the last two hours of the day. Even so, there are some very interesting technical indicators in play at this time.
This market is becoming truly divergent as the number of negative indicators and their strength is increasing, but $SPX prices (and those of other indices) have not broken down, nor has volatility ($VIX) increased. The latter ($SPX and $VIX) are more important than the former -- at least for now.
$SPX pulled back to its still-rising 20-day moving average, which was at about 2870 and that was been about the extent of the correction. As a result, the chart of $SPX remains bullish, as the Index is still in an upward-sloping channel and no important support levels have been broken.
The negative seasonality of September seems to be weighing on the stock market. This has caused $SPX to pull back towards support at 2860-2870. So far, that support has held.
A close below 2860 would be of more concern, but even then there is further support at 2840 and then major support at 2800.
The breadth oscillators are now on sell signals. And now $VIX is probing the 15 level. a close above 15 would be bearish for stocks.