The recent broad description of market action has not changed: it is led by the Dow, dragged down by NASDAQ, and it remains volatile. $SPX is caught in the middle.
Despite some very negative days (especially Tuesday, March 23rd), $SPX has not broken down. It probed below that 3870 level on Thursday, and then all of the markets rebounded. That intraday move on Thursday reached down to 3853, so perhaps we should say that support is roughly 3850 3870.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 2, No. 10 on May 27, 1993.
We often refer to the put-call ratio in our Sentiment Indicators section. However, judging by questions we have received from subscribers, it might be beneficial to expand on the concept. We will cover the subject both generally and then specifically, in regard to the way we prefer to interpret the ratio. The put-call ratio is simply the number of puts traded, divided by the number of calls traded. It can be computed daily, weekly, or over any other time period. It can be computed for stock options, index options, or futures options.
At face value, it appears that the bulls may be having trouble holding onto the gains from the upside breakout to new highs by $SPX. But a closer look shows the glaring discrepancy between the Dow ($DJX) and the NASDAQ-100 ($NDX; QQQ). The Dow was the first of the major indices to register a new all-time buy $NDX has lagged badly behind, having last made a new all-time high in mid-February. $SPX is caught somewhere in the middle, because it has all the Dow stocks in it and most of the $NDX stocks as well.
This article was originally published in The Option Strategist Newsletter Volume 9, No. 13 on July 13, 2000.
Most option traders – even fairly novice ones – understand that options can be used to protect a stock holding against loss. However, when one delves into the specifics of establishing such protection, he usually forsakes the protection, often due to apparently high costs. In this article, we’re going to re-visit a subject that we’ve discussed before (protection), but try to bring some facts to light that might not be understood by many stock owners. The reason that we think this might be an apropos topic now is that it’s July, and July has marked a peak for the market in each of the last two years. There is some evidence (page 5) that a similar scenario might be unfolding again this year.
Bulls took charge this past week with a furious rally on strong volume -- what turned out to be one of the strongest 5- day periods on record. This market clearly still belongs to the bulls, and the only confirmation left is a close above 3950 to set off the next leg higher.
Equity-only put-call ratios continue to move higher, despite the broad market's big rally. These indicators are thus on sell signals and will continue to be as long as they are rising.
The heavy resistance in the 3870-3950 area has repelled several recent rally attempts. This past week, there was one day with a monster rally of over 125 points from one day's low to the next (trading) day's high. However, the last three days have wiped out that rally, and more. That remains as a formidable resistance area. Meanwhile, it seems likely that support at 3700 and perhaps 3630 will be tested. As long as those hold, one could contend that $SPX is trading in a very volatile manner within a relatively wide trading range, from 3630 to 3950, at the edges.