September 21, 2010 at 8:44 am | | Comments 0

Are Sellers Looking for a Catalyst?

Anytime we see market streaks emerge, we know someone’s been caught on the wrong side.

Monday’s session marked the 12th advance in the previous 13 trading sessions for the NAZ, including nine straight. Breakouts happened across the board, with the summer highs being cleared on solid volume. It almost feels like stocks may never decline again – and that’s a dangerous way to think.

The market will humble traders of all kinds, including bulls who become overconfident. It may not be a life-altering lesson, but in a tape like this, it could be one slip that brings a sudden pullback – even if it’s a brief one.

The technical picture is positive, there’s no doubt about it. We just established higher lows in August relative to July, and we just made higher highs. That’s a shift of trend, not only in the short term of the past couple weeks, but in the intermediate term of the past few months. The bulls are sitting

Things start to get really tricky though when momentum begins to run a little too hot, which is where we are right now. All news has been good news of late, and the buyers have dumped cash into this market relentlessly since the start of September. It’s been an impressive run, no matter how you slice it.

For a reality check, however, it’s safe to say that all the easy money has been made for this run. The pace is unsustainable, plain and simple. We could push higher from here, there’s no rule to prevent that from happening, but it’s far more likely that we’ll see some profit-taking kick in sooner rather than later. Those who are sitting on profits will be quick to lock them in at the first sign of weakness.

When it comes to excuses, the market is excellent at finding them. Right now, my hunch is that the bulls are needing an excuse to satisfy their urge to lock in at least some of their gains. And with a few key events on the horizon, it’s important that you and I stay on our toes.

Today’s FOMC meeting may be the first possible excuse for some profit-taking. It may not even matter what the Fed does or says – what matters is how the market responds to the news. And if it isn’t today, then there’s plenty of economic news slated for this week which could prove to be a market-mover.

So, I’m on the watch for a possible pullback. If I were predicting, I’d already be short – and I’m not. Instead, I’m watching carefully to see if some selling kicks in, which would then set up a favorable risk/reward scenario for a little round of selling. Here’s my game plan:

The QQQQ has rallied big, not only in recent weeks, but on the intraday chart as well. We have steep uptrend lines on both the daily and intraday charts, and I’m watching them both for downside breaks. First, let’s take a look at the intraday chart. Monday’s advance was smooth, and a break of the rising trend line at $48.70 would likely spark some selling. I’ll go short there with a stop in the $49 area, just above yesterday’s high.


Chart courtesy of Worden

On the daily chart, there’s also a steep rising trend line. A break of that wouldn’t necessarily mean price goes straight down, but it may be a worthwhile short for the nimble to catch the first move. The rising trend line currently stands around $48.30, and a break of that level could bring into play a multi-day pullback. Traders watching the daily chart should keep that level front and center today, and it will climb daily should this market happen to continue advancing. Once it’s broken though, the move could be a swift one to the downside for a quick trade.


Chart courtesy of Worden

Trade Like a Bandit!

Jeff White

Producer of The Bandit Broadcast

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