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"90% down days" being worked off

By Lawrence G. McMillan

...The two back-to-back “90% down days” of last week need to be worked off, and that seems to be happening  at the current time.  So far, over the last six weeks or so, severe oversold or overbought readings aren’t just “worked  off” but rather are jumped on so hard that they completely reverse to the opposite condition.  Coming into today, the breadth oscillators are modestly oversold, and $VIX was in the midst of forming a spike peak.

Weekly Commentary 9/23/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The market has quickly become extremely oversold again, and thus short-lived rallies are possible.  In the bigger picture, bears see a break of the recent uptrend dating back to early August.  Bulls see a successful retest of the lows.  A move to new lows below 1100 will prove the bears right; otherwise, the bulls still have a chance to rescue the market.

The equity-only put-call ratios have been on buy signals for a few weeks but they are beginning to weaken now.

Nervous trading range

By Lawrence G. McMillan

A week ago Monday, the stock market survived a bout of heavy selling with a late-day reversal that eventually carried the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index from an intraday low just below 1,140 to recent highs near 1220.

Those numbers roughly identify the trading range that has contained the S&P 500 SPX -2.56%  since the early August lows. Volatility has remained high, so the index has been able to traverse the range swiftly and often. The large, swift moves tend to reflect the nervousness of both bullish and bearish traders.

Significant trading channel

By Lawrence G. McMillan

MORRISTOWN, N.J. (MarketWatch) — The broad stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is trading within a large, volatile range that should have significance when a breakout finally occurs. There is a generally bullish bias to the technical indicators right now, but that certainly doesn’t mean that a clear path has been laid out for a new bull market. We have not changed our outlook that another severe decline could easily loom on the horizon.

Weekly Commentary 9/16/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

For now, $SPX is working its way higher -- towards resistance at the 1240-1260 level.

Equity-only put-call ratios generated buy signals recently, and have generally been declining (bullish) ever since.

Breadth indicators are on buy signals, too.  They have reached modestly overbought levels now, after having been deeply oversold a week ago.

The Volatility of Volatility and other concerns for $VIX buyers

By Lawrence G. McMillan

One of the reasons that we favor $VIX derivatives as a portfolio, hedge rather than $SPX (or SPY) puts, is that $VIX is much more volatile.  Also, $VIX protection is more dynamic.  However, there can be some problems with the timing of a market’s breakdown and the convergence of $VIX derivatives with $VIX.  In this article, we’re going to look at the details behind these actions, so that those who buy $VIX derivatives for speculation or protection might better understand what the potential problems are.

In focus: Reprieve

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The stock market remains volatile, but it has generally been rising since establishing lows near 1,120 on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index nearly a month ago. The rise certainly hasn’t been uniform, though.

A move below $SPX 1140 would be very negative

By Lawrence G. McMillan

Today’s stock market action is very much like last Friday’s.  There is heavy selling, and it doesn’t appear that buyers have much desire to buy before the weekend.  Last week, there was a rally attempt at 3pm (Eastern time), but it eventually failed, and prices closed on the low of the day.  If you’ll recall, last week the selling continued on into the afternoon of the first trading day of the next week, before a strong rally surfaced.  That could well be the case again this week.

Weekly Commentary 9/9/2011

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The chart of $SPX has developed a very interesting characteristic: there is a rising channel -- called a "pennant"  on the chart.  A breakdown below the lower boundary of the channel creates a very negative technical formation.      

Equity-only put-call ratios, meanwhile, are quite bullish.  They rolled over to buy signals last week and continue to decline.      

Still volatile and dangerous

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The stock market has been swinging back and forth in wide ranges, moving from deeply oversold to deeply overbought and back again with extreme moves.


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