The pace of the market's advance has slowed from the torrid run that it had between March 26th and April 16th, but $SPX is still making new all-time highs almost every day.
$SPX has three major support levels, all noted with horizontal red lines on the chart in Figure 1: 4120 (which is the daily lows of several days during April), 4000 (which was the March high), and 3850-3870 (which is the area from which the current leg of this bull market rally emanated on March 26th.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 10, No. 23 on December 13, 2001.
This strategy was mentioned in the “Striking Price” column in Barron’s last Sunday, and we have received several questions from subscribers asking about the strategy. The strategy has been around for a long time – since the inception of index options, actually – but it is something of a professional strategy, so it’s not widely know. However, it is gaining more popularity lately, so it is the subject of this week’s feature article.
After reaching new all-time highs a week ago, the market has stumbled a bit this week. The overbought conditions are beginning to take a toll, but the overall trend is still bullish at this point.
There is support at this week's lows roughly 4120, with stronger support just below 4000 (the March highs), and the major support at 3850-3870. If 4000 is penetrated that would be a short- term negative, and if 3870 is penetrated that would be a major change of trend.
This market is still akin to a runaway freight train. The momentum is strong and positive, and there are no confirmed sell signals at this time. This has made the market "overbought" in a general sense, but subscribers know that "overbought does not mean sell." Only confirmed sell signals mean "sell."
We occasionally publish the composite chart of $VIX dating back to near its inception. For these purposes, we use the original $VIX – $VXO – since it has the longest price history. That history is shown in the chart on the below. It has generally been the case that $VIX rises early in the year, peaks in the spring, declines into the late summer, and then begins a rapid acceleration in October, before finally tailing off towards the end of the year.