Friday, July 22, 2011

More gains possible Friday

Well the indecision reflected in yesterday's doji was resolved today in no uncertain terms with an awesome 152 point gain in the Dow on increased volume.  I clearly erred by taking my XIV play off the table yesterday.  Today it gained more than I realized the day before.  Oh well.

I guess I let my thinking be influenced by the previous run of short rallies we had back in May and early June where they'd get cut short just when things started looking good.  I'm still net long, so I did make some decent money today.  I bought a bit of Ford (F) at 13.23 this afternoon; it ended at 13.33.  We'll see how far I can drive this one.

Anyway, today's rally brought us to 12,724 which happens to be a resistance level from earlier this month.  If we can clear that, then the next stop is the upper Bollinger band at 12,879 and then the 12,990 region representing the YTD high at the start of May.  So there's some decent room to run between today's close and the next resistance.  Can we get there?

The ES futures tonight would seem to suggest so.  All three market futures are up nearly a quarter percent at 1:40 AM EDT.  ES at 1346 is now well above its daily pivot of 1333.67 and it has no resistance until 1353.  It's beginning to show overbought on RSI, but that always seems to cut in early.  There's no topping sign from either momentum, money flow, or the short stochastic just yet.

Finally, the VIX sliced down through its 200 day MA today like buttah and its indicators are still not at oversold levels.  The most recent two times this happened, it went lower still the next day.  And it's still only in the middle of its Bollinger bands.  Since I'm out of my XIV trade, I'm now going to wait for the VIX to bottom, then I'll take a TVIX position.  That should be sometime early next week.

But until then, I'm keeping my long hat on.  J-Trader's system is also holding long tonight and it's been turning in quite a stellar performance lately.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Failure to follow through worrisome

Last night I was thinking that we'd get more upside action today largely based on the technicals.  Today's 15 point drop in the Dow formed a spinning top indicating indecision in the market.  The failure to follow through today on yesterday's big gains has me worried.

I've gone back to 2008 in the Dow looking for instances where a big up day was followed by a tiny range day.  Most often, the next day is also a small range day.  The fact that we are nowhere near the upper Bollinger band of the Dow is somewhat encouraging.  And the indicators are also all somewhere in the middle of their cycle from oversold to overbought.  So there's nothing particularly bearish there.

Turning to the VIX, we see that it took a gap down day but ended by putting in a green candle, close to its 200 day MA.  Since the VIX is now in the middle of its Bollinger bands, I decided to take my profits on my XIV play this afternoon.  I know I'm risking leaving money on the table, but I'd rather do that than see my profits evaporate should the VIX turn higher tomorrow.  And we've seen it do that from a similar position a number of times this year so far.

Meanwhile, both ES and YM are higher by about 0.2% tonight at 1 AM EDT, but NQ is off by about the same amount.  So all in all, the crystal ball is a bit cloudy tonight.  There are some more jobs numbers coming out tomorrow morning and they may move the market.  J-Trader seems to believe that this may be just a consolidation and is remaining 100% long even though the issue he tracks, TNA, declined 0.63% today.

I'm not so sure.  I think once again the pivots will be key.  ES just now broke over its new daily pivot at 1323.42.  We will need to stay above this number to send the market higher tomorrow.  Similarly, the Dow closed at 12,572, just over its own pivot of 12,527.  Tomorrow's pivot should be higher.  Watch for any cross below that as a bearish signal.My best guess is that we'll see another small range day in the Dow, possibly weakly bullish.  But that assumes no real negative jobs numbers come out.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let it ride

Yesterday I called for a higher close today and boy we sure got it, to the tune of a monster 202 point jump in the Dow.  The technicals all worked to perfection, Colin Twiggs' money flow hit a bull's eye, J-Trader's Buy/Sell model buy call was spot on, and my XIV trade panned out nicely with a 5.4% gain today.

And I don't think it's over yet.  Even after today's big gain, the indicators are still only just coming off oversold levels.  We're now well above both the Dow daily pivot at 12,386 and the ES daily pivot which for Wednesday is 1315.25.  Today ES ended outside its July 8th descending regression trend channel and that's a bullish setup.  With another 0.15% gain right now at 1:45 AM EDT, that will be a bullish trigger unless we fall below 1308, something that's not looking too likely right now.

And the VIX dove 8.3% today with a gap-down red candle, completing a bearish shooting star.  That is a powerful reversal pattern.  I think the VIX still has lower to go on Wednesday.  It's just now coming off highly overbought levels and it has no meaningful support until its 200 day MA at 18.44.  Today's drop also brings the VIX out of its ascending RTC which is a bearish trigger.  Lower VIX, higher stocks.  I intend to let my XIV trade (which profits from a drop in the VIX) ride tomorrow.

Finally, I note that J-Trader "expects more upside" on Wednesday and I completely agree.  His system has been working amazingly well in a choppy environment.   So tonight I'm seeing lots of reasons to hold 'em and no reasons to fold 'em.  That's all she wrote.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gains likely Tuesday

Last night I said we might see some higher action today, but I was concerned about the futures being lower.  I also noted that any gains today hinged on the ES pivot and the Dow pivot.  As it turns out, we never got near either one and the results were predictable with the Dow losing 95 points.

So with the Dow in yo-yo mode, alternating between up and down for the last five sessions, which way tomorrow (Tuesday)?

Let's take a look at the Dow daily chart, but tonight it's not mine. Here is the chart from Colin Twiggs' Trading Diary weekly email newsletter (click the chart for a larger version). The interesting thing about this chart is his "Twiggs Money Flow" oscillator, which is his own version of money flow.

While I use money flow as one of the indicators on my charts, I find that Mr. Twiggs' oscillator is much more informative. And tonight it bounced off the 0% level. While it is still early to call tomorrow higher on that basis alone, this version of MF seems to be announcing at least the possibility.

You can learn more about this at  This site is well worth a look and Twiggs' newsletter is great - I highly recommend it.  Many thanks to Mr. Twiggs for kindly allowing me to reprint this chart here.

Another bullish sign is that despite today's losses, the Dow has now exited the July 7th descending regression trend channel. In addition, J-Trader's Buy/Sell model gave another buy signal today and is now 100% long.

Meanwhile, all three market futures (ES, NQ, and YM) are up at 1:20 AM by about a third of a percent and have actually been trending higher since 1 o'clock this afternoon. In addition, ES at 1304.25 is now above its new daily pivot of 1302.17. And both the ES daily RSI and momentum have now bottomed from oversold levels and hooked upwards. Those are all bullish signs.

Finally we come to the VIX, which today put in something between en evening star and a gravestone doji, both of which are bearish reversal patterns. And this candle just missed touching the VIX's upper Bollinger band.  Lower VIX, higher stocks.

So all in all, I'm not seeing much in the way of warning signs for tomorrow and I am seeing enough positive indications to have me putting on my long hat. I don't know if this will start a new trend, but at least things are looking up for Tuesday.

Playing the VIX

I talk a lot about the VIX here. Well I recently discovered that you can play the VIX just like a stock using TVIX, VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX Short Term ETN and its inverse, XIV VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short Term ETN.

TVIX ("Trade the VIX") tracks the movement of the VIX and XIV ("VIX" spelled backwards, get it?) tracks the inverse of the VIX. If you believe the VIX is going up, you can buy TVIX. If you think it's going lower, buy XIV. Today I picked up some XIV at the end of the day at 16.10.  We'll see if this trade pans out tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday higher possible, rest of week uncertain

Last Thursday night, I was weakly bearish on the market for Friday.  Turns out the Dow posted a 43 point gain after wandering around the flat line most of the day.  So I was wrong and J-Trader was right by sticking with his buy signal from the day before.

Now we're at an interesting juncture.  Friday's gain came on significantly increased volume and the Dow is now rather oversold.  The VIX also fell on Friday for the first time in five sessions and its indicators have now peaked from overbought levels.  The VIX looks ready to go lower still tomorrow (Monday) which would imply higher stocks.

However, the weekly Dow chart doesn't look good at all.  In fact, it's almost the opposite of the daily chart.  On the weekly, the indicators are looking overbought and last week's big loss formed a nasty looking bearish engulfing pattern.

So all in all, I'd say that an advance might be possible tomorrow but the rest of the week's not looking so hot.  For that matter, all three market futures are actually lower right now by nearly half a percent.  That's the main negative point I'm seeing right now and it's worth keeping in mind.

Key numbers to watch on Monday: 1310.33, the ES daily pivot.  At 1:30 AM EDT we're sitting just below that at 1309.50.  If we can break above this before the open, that strengthens the outlook for the day considerably.  If not, look for a lower close.  Friday's Dow daily pivot was 12,478 (I don't have Monday's number yet but it should be pretty close to this).  We closed just barely above that at 12,480.  If the Dow opens up and stays above its pivot, again that would be bullish.  It's not guaranteed by any means though.  We'll see.