Sunday, April 26, 2009

S&P500 Weekly Commentary - April 26, 2009

*Skip to Summary at the bottom to see forecast

Week 8 of the bear market rally: Which way will the trend trade? Will next week be a down week (lower low), an up week (a higher high), or will it be neutral...

Summary of Performance for week 7:

I would like to point out the 870 resistance I have been calling for the past two weeks now. It appears to be much stronger in the short term as the past two weeks failed to break above the resistance level (870). Friday's intraday showed highs of reaching above 870 however the close was well below this. This level has been tested twice and is holding as a strong psychological level. Overall, Monday showed that negative sentiment carried over from the previous week as the day turned out a large dowwn day. Also the key level of support at 835 was broken, which questions the strength of this rally.

Overall I'm quite surprised with my past week's analysis, as I thought I was going to be totally wrong after seeing Monday and Wednesdays drops. However it seems that the end of the week did show a return to bullish sentiment, however leaving the overall week uncertain.

My forecast from last week was that i expected an up week, however this did not occur. Though I may have been wrong in that respect a weaker bullish wave did indeed occur.

My other call:

"As I said in my analysis I expect prices to dip early in the week (Wednesday or before), and will be looking at 835 as a key support level to maintain bullish stance for this week. "

was a much better call, as early week (monday and wednesday) were both down days (though I was a bit shocked to see right off on monday that 835 support was broken). I had made adjustments to my view during the week as I had no time which was the right move. If I had read too much into the break on 835 support I would have missed the possible retest at the 870 level.

Charts to consider for this week:

Chart 1: Here is chart that should be viewed in the longer term. It is a weekly chart of the S&P500, and shows bullish and bearish indications (read analysis for explanation).

Chart 2: Another weekly chart presenting a more bearish case:

Analysis: Let us consider the bullish scenario and bearish scenario to see which arguement may be stronger to forecast next weeks price movements.

The Bullish Scenario:

Looking to chart 1 shows some of the evidence to see week 8 of this bear market rally to be neutral to bullish.

The Technical:

I will use the 20 SMA, RSI and MACD as evidence to show that there is room for this week to end on a bullish day or possibly above resistance.

20 SMA:

I retested 20 SMA retested looking at where prices crossed above and under the average. Currently, prices would have to get a few good closes below this 20 SMA for this to be bearish. However volume may not be significant enough for this occur for the week (other sentiment indicators will be used to see if there enough bearish sentiment to push prices below the average). So with mild volume (look to pink line on chart 2) this support for a bullish scenario.


Looking at the RSI at the top of chart 1: it shows that for the past year and 4 months the RSI has not trended above the 50 level. Though in May 08 levels above 50 were maintained for more than a month or so before the huge drops in price came. This may indicate room for prices to continue upward in the short term (over next week), as the index is neither oversold or overbought.


The MACD is showing similar possible signs on chart 1 (remember this is the weekly chart). There is room for the averages to converge throughout the week as they are near each other for a cross over. Though, once the longer term crosses over the shorter term average, this will of course be bearish. Though overall, they have yet to converge at this point.

I will leave Volume out of the analysis as it can be spun to be neutral/bearish.

Fundamental View:

Economic Health:
Last week's economic data was nothing the financial markets were rallying for. I won't bother going into the details of the data such as for housing and unemployment... all just stinky.


Though the only thing that can further support this rally in the short term would be earnings. And I emphasize short term as ridiculous "surprise" earnings from citi, are not substantial improvements from a fundamental standpoint. When expectations are so low and the amount of money the government is throwing on them it really should be no surprise that earnings would "surprise" if you can catch my drift...

The point being for earnings is that, if we get some big blue chip getting more "surprised" earnings, I'm sure we will see some people jumping on the temporary bull train upwards.

Small Cap, vs Mid Cap, Large cap S&P500? :

I was considering at looking at the difference between the different S&P benchmarks between the smallcap 600 vs. midcap 400 vs. the largecap 500. I haven't done much thinking on this, but I wonder if there can be some clues that can be found to support a bullish or bearish move. As I stated before on the S&P500 you have key resistence at 870, there is similar resistence found on the mid cap and small cap (530 and 250). Both these resistence levels have been broken. However it seems that he largecap S&P500 is having a hard time breaking resistence. As the small and midcap progess higher above resistence, perhaps this may indicate that the larcap will also be able to follow suit? We shall see...


The only sentiment argument I can think that would help this bullish scenario is positive earnings, unfortunately my expertise does not go that far... In addition, the VIX index call/put ratio is still relative bullish, though on monday and wednesday, the down days of last week the ratio was almost = 1 (neutral). Currently it is more bullish at .68.

Summary of Bullish Argument:

The premise of the bullish argument lies in that there is enough sentiment to carry on a bullish move in the short term, despite the increasingly bearish indicators. Due to this bullish prediction, it would have to indicate a solid break on 870 resistance. This level is significant in that it was tested twice and failed, so if it can close strong above it it shows the strength of bulls. Hence this would confirm the bullish scenario presented above. However this move would have to happen early in the week.


The Technicals:

I will consider Resistance, the 50 and 140 SMA, volume, and possibly the RSI.


I know I've been harping on this for awhile, but here it is again. As the levels were tested twice it is not probable that prices will retest for a third time. I know a many who do not believe in triple bottoms or triple tops. Though the later can be argued for it is unlikely. EVEN if 870 is broken, real support may lie at 877 ( I will refer to economic reports and sentiment as evidence that will not allow for such a move).


The SMA's for the 50 and 140 remain above prices indicating continued downward pressure. This is part of the reason why I am still bearish for the year 2009 on the S&P500 (long term).


On the weekly chart this is more significant vs the daily chart in the same time frame. However, it is still not that considerable, though one can argue there is a break in downward volume trend, along with a higher down day volume spike (this is not significant as it is not much larger than previous down days despite a break volume trend).


As the RSI approaches the the 50 level mark, some will be questioning like me whether this is indicating to be bearish or bullish, over the longer term a few weeks, this is definitely more bearish, however, if sentiment is more bearish we can see a downturn on the RSI earlier along with prices as well.

With that in mind, lets turn to Sentiment:


As stated in the bullish argument so it may weaken this RSI argument for the bearish scenario this week. However, I will point to last week with economic data. It was possible that economic data may have not been priced in hence we saw drops on Monday and Wednesday. Considering this, investors maybe looking at a variety of indicators next week, from FOMC meeting, GDP, Jobless claims, farm prices, factor orders.. etc... If any of these are not priced in the market it possible another lower low will be sparked.

Summary of the Bearish View:

The Bearish View hinges on resistance at 870 and 877 holding. If resistance is not broken I will be important to look to volume any any down days. If next week is a down week (with a lower low) then this is just a continuation seen from the 140 and 50 SMA.


As a higher high and a higher low was failed in the previous week, one has to seriously consider the bearish argument. Though Voulme is not very convincing, the end of a week may revisit levels in the 830's (I will maintain this as my forecast). What is very risky to this bearish scenario is priced in sentiment along with bullish indicators listed above. However, as 870 resistance was tested twice I do not think the bullish trend will break resistance for this up coming week.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

S&P500 Weekly Commentary April 19, 2009

*Skip to bottom to see summary forecast of week 7 of this bear market rally.

Summary Performance of Week 6 Bear Market Rally:

For week six I was correct in that it was going to be another up week. I would also like to point out that 870 resistance held quite nicely. To be very specific, resistance could be argued at 869.89 while the close of last week was at 869.60. I was also correct in saying that earlier in the week would experience down days as there was lingering negative sentiment from week 5.

Overall, my analysis for week 6, though not perfect, was much better than week 5's.


Charts and data I am considering this week (taken from and blogs I follow):
(Short term is for the performance of the week and long term is in terms of weeks and months)

Chart 1: Long Term Trend


Chart 2: Resistance on daily chart


Chart 3: Forecast and Short term trend


The circles are on opening of the week day, and of the close of the week day (red down days blue are up days).

Chart 4: Short term trend


Table 1:

Here is an interesting Blog entry I found on TraderFeed to complement some analysis where I am lacking:




Technical View:

Last week resistance at 870 held beautifully. This week I noticed while fiddling around on a possibly higher resistance level at 877. With these two key levels in mind, I will be looking to see if the S&P500 can get a strong full close above 870 and would expect another up week if prices can close strongly above 877 as well ( see chart 2).

Currently, I think that the fact 870 held so well is reflective of its significance as a psychological level (obviously this would be proven wrong depending how fast prices can close above 870.

One can look to sentiment to see if 870 will be broken during the week. I will say that investors are entering this week cautiously which will make forecast much harder this week. The CBOE index and volume call/put ratio is showing investors turning a bit more bearish from Thursday to Friday last week despite higher highs. However, the majority of headlines I'm seeing in the news tend to be bearish (hmm maybe this might be a good reason to go contrarian).

If one were to look at volume on the higher high on Friday, it coincides with the downward trend of volume (see chart 3). So it is possible that we will see another down day earlier in this week.

Reading the candle on Friday last week tends to be slightly bullish/neutral as upper and lower shadows are about equal and the open and close are not considerably far apart (though skewed towards the bulls).

It would seem that we have a conflict of perceived sentiment (the media) and the technical sentiment.

Another Key level that I will be looking at is very short term support at 835. If prices get a good strong close below this, I will have to re-analyze to see the possibility of a trend change away from this bear market rally.

I would like to cite chart 4 as possible evidence for a continuation in the short term for a bullish argument. I do not think that the BB is a good indicator for trend changes however it can be used to indicate a continuation of a general trend. Prices at the close of the week are not as near the upper 2nd BB as price levels that lead to trend changes. This may indicate more room for prices to get closer to the upper 2nd BB>

In addition,

Technical Summary:

Overall, given the fact that:

1. Volume maybe weaker with higher highs, I see further movement in high prices as there is room on the RSI to be a bit more oversold.
2. Trend channel shows more room to narrow further.
3. short term support on 50 SMA (the 50 SMA crossing under prices in late march)
4. a possible strong break on 870 resistence

It is possible we will see another up week. Overall, I do have to say though that this bear market rally is showing many indications that it is loosing its steam. Serious consideration must be made here since if indeed week 7 of this bear market rally is and up week, prices will definitely have to close above 870, which means the speed at which 877 is reached must also be considered.

As is, as long as 835 support holds this week, there is reason to believe that week 7 will be an up week, however if prices can not get a strong close above 877, I would be more bearish for week 8.

Fundamental semi bottom up approach:

Looking to Table 1.

It looks as if earnings are coming in to support the fundamentals for this bear market rally. Many of the sectors of the S&P500 are continued to be bullish (even the worst of them all the "financial sector" is bullish). This would give support to this week being an up week.

The only risk to this fundamental evidence is the semi-uncertain sentiment. Sentiment being undecided may drag the S&P500 lower as the fundamentals from the economy may not be ignored anymore. Looking at the economic calendar for this week it is very possible that if sentiment really is uncertain that some economic reports will move markets. For example, if jobless claims comes in lower with uncertain sentiment, its possible to drag the S&P500 lower. However, if sentiment is not uncertain the market will ignore this economic data as it has done over the past few weeks, which would indicate possible week 8 to be an up week as well.


Summary and Forecast:

All in all the short term trend (this week) will probably allow for further moves to the upside ending in an up week (this is my expectations as well), as with confirmation from some technical indicators given in the technical summary above. I will have to say perceived sentiment, that could possibly discount poor economic data would support this.

If prices can close strongly above resistance of 877, I would expect higher highs and higher lows into may (though I may want to re-evaluate resistance levels and possible other factors that would allow for a trend change between resistance levels).

As I said in my analysis I expect prices to dip early in the week (Wednesday or before), and will be looking at 835 as a key support level to maintain bullish stance for this week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Currency Update - April 12

Let see where prices are from my Quarter 1 review:

The general theme presented for for Quarter 2 was dollar weakness:

If you have not read it yet


Prices at the time as listed (beginning Quarter 1):
GDP/USD: 1.42
EUR/USD: 1.32
AUD/USD: .69
USD/CAD: 1.23

Current Prices taken from the spot:

GDP/USD: 1.464
EUR/USD: 1.315
AUD/USD: .72
USD/CAD: 1.225



I would have to say indeed overall we are seeing this dollar weakness trend unfolding. I wonder how correlated this can be with the equity strength in the US markets (if there is any correlation I should definitely worried as i just predicted this bear market rally not continue to the end of the second quarter).

For those not familiar with the currency markets prices are quoted by .0001 as one pip leveraged at 200:1 for standard lots (100,000 units)(equivalent to a basis point). As you can see I am significantly up on some of my positions.

I am up about 3% for the pound, down around -0.4 on the EUR, up around 4.3% on the Aussie, and last but not least up about .4 percent on the loonie.

The most puzzling thing I would have to say is the EUR, I'm surprised it is not keeping pace with the pound, this may be reflecting poorer fundamentals in the EURO zone. Another interesting note, would be the Aussie, I wonder what is driving this strong Aussie dollar besides paused interest rates, I wonder if there is any underlying fundamental driver for this cause (maybe a return to carry trade significance?).

Either way I doubt I will have time to do a meaningful analysis; as finals approach so soon.

*on a personal note: at the rate the pound is recovering it looks like ill be back on a fish and chips diet :*(

S&P 500 this week and end of 2nd quarter - April 12

** Skip to summary to see forecast
Ok Lets state the purpose of this blog entry for this week:

I will review my past coverage of the S&P500 last week and discuss what I did wrong and where I can improve. I will make a prediction for the following week and make a call for the end of the second quarter for the S&P500. I will then do a brief update on my currency positions in a separate post.

*a warning for my followers: I primarily have better knowledge in currency markets and have a better track record in long term analysis. For the S&P500 I will primarily use technical analysis and sentiment along with fundamental economic support to determine price movements (a macro top down approach - which probably explains my past poor performance in equities; as a fundamental bottom up approach would have been more appropriate for the past 3 years and arguably still very relevant for today's equity markets)

Charts for next week and end of 2nd quarter forecast:

Chart 1:

Chart 2:


Chart 3:



I've been considering of reorganizing my portfolio so I decided to take up and analyze the S&P500; as it is a better indicator of the total financial markets vs the DOW which would probably a better indicator of sentiment.

At any rate lets see what I did wrong last week:

1. Getting chart time frames mixed up:
Apparently, I made a call that this monthly trend would pause or reverse based of daily price information. Considering the weekly bullish trend has not changed, it would have been more appropriate to extend my bearishness within the time frame of a few days. Though within technical analysis, reversal patterns can indicate trend changes, its very important to place it within the context of the current trend.

I would say that based of the volume trend from mid march along with the strong higher highs and higher lows pattern indicated a bullish weekly trend, however based off my candle stick reading for the 5th week my bearish analysis should have only extend to a few days.

** simple backtesting for the month of march would have shown that candlestick readings, if showing a bullish sign, did indeed have bullish price movements extend only a few days before before having a down day at the end of the week.

2. Reading literal support:
(Look to Chart 1)

I called that if prices pierced below 830 we would see the S&P500 hit 810. The problem was that actually support was 810, but most dow theorist will tell you that actually support rarely hits, hence as we saw prices bounced off 815.

Overall: admitting defeat:

I would have to say last week was a pretty crappy half hearted analysis (as i was attempting to do this after 10 hours of studies for final exams at 4 am). Keeping these mistakes in mind let us consider price movements for next week.


Forecast for 3rd week of April:

Overall looking at chart 2, I will have to say that this bear market rally will continue for week 6. However, there are tell tale signs popping up indicating that this bear market rally will a.) whipsaw to the downside if you are a bull b.) reverse to a continued down trend if you are a bear.

Considering the weekly trends I will say week 5 of the bear market rally did not disappoint with another higher high and higher low. I will point to 3 things why I think week 6 will be another up week.

1. the bullish step pattern (higher highs higher lows)
2. the volume trend (see the line I drew for volume)
3. Continued Trend channel (i did not draw it but one could imagine it from march until present)

Although, I expect this week upcoming week to be bullish again, I present risks to the model I just presented


We had a longer weekend as markets were not open on Friday the 10 (as it was good Friday). This allows for bearish sentiment to build. I will point to the many negative headlines I have been noticing, though more substantially the CBOE index/volume call/put ratio. Since April second, each day has been consistently bearish.

Looking at the end week candle we see indecision in the markets: as there is no distinct upper or lower tale, roughly equal bulls and bears for the close of the week. Given the latter two indicators, its possible that we will see a change in trend. ! however ! I will not make the same mistake as last week. IF the bullish scenario I gave for the 6th week is indeed correct, I expect to see something similar to last week (week 5; the early week to be down and with end of the week to be higher).

Due to gains takers along with bearish sentiment I would expect the first half the week to be bearish and then resume a bullish trend to make a higher higher and higher low for the week.

THOUGH, if I am wrong, sentiment can produce a lower low which would question the strength of this bull market rally.

2. The risk of the speed of higher high and higher low.

If prices to do reach a higher high early next week, this may cause psychological problems in the S&P500 as Chart 2 points to resistance at 870. Given prices move to fast there would have to be a significant full candle stick close above resistance of 870 for the bull market rally to continue. If indeed this could happen I could possible see this rally continue until the end of April and into May.

However , in terms of the 3rd quarter or 4th quarter I doubt the rally will be able be sustained that much; as evidence i point to chart 3 with multiple levels of resistance going all the way back to Nov. 2008. Keeping time frame in mind, I don't think this rally could have enough strength to break through such strong resistance.

Lastly, ( this argument maybe hard to follow)

I would like to point out to the interesting pattern we are seeing on the weekly chart (see chart 2). I would say much strength of the bull market rally was rooted in that you have strong opens during the week and a lower high at the end of the week for the first two weeks of the rally ( see the red circles). However, for the third week and fourth week we are seeing a pattern change. We see bearish sentiment kicking in at the beginning of the week for the third week (first two days are down), and we see bulls winning at the end of the 4th week instead of having a lower high (bulls win on Friday but with lots of bearish movements), and finally in the 5th week week we see something like a mix between the 3rd and 4th week where we have a bearish opening for the week and a bullish indecisive end.

For some people this shifts in pattern may mean nothing, but with this much uncertainty bouncing around this maybe indicative of a trend change. This is supported in conjunction with resistance at 870. What would really confirm this is if we see STRONG volume with a down day day early in the week.


With my analysis completed let me give you my summarized forecast:

If prices don't manage to reach 870 too quick I would expect another up week. If you get a strong close above 870 I would expect this rally to go longer than I had expected (into may). However, I really do not think that would happen considering the overall down trend of the S&P500 and the really poor fundamentals from the economy (though I express strongly, I am not saying economic health = financial market health).

With this in mind. Considering that 870 Resistance will hold, I do not think that this rally will continue to the end of second quarter. This 6th week definitely has room for another up week, though further than that is pushing it and I really do not think current sentiment would sustain the rally much further than that.

I would put a cautionary sign to those investing long term to be wary of media saying the bottom has occurred, honestly there are too many poor economic fundamentals to warrant any strong sustained growth in financial markets.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

S&P500 Forecast 4/4/09

Here is an interesting chart of S&P500 Down Swings from the early beginnings of these "crises" taken from the chartstore ( I swear Rizholtz blog is just trying getting people to buy stuff, not much more different than cnbc or any other big media these days; either way I will observe the data as given)



My Main Analysis will revolve around a S&P500 2009 to date chart:



This chart will be put in the bigger context of a chart that goes all the way back to the early write downs of "subprime."




Firstly let me state the goal of this entry:

Despite some horrid calls I have made in equities (read some old entries back from 06/07) I will be considering where the S&P500 will be heading taking into consideration this bear market rally we experienced over the past 4 weeks. The idea is to use more sentiment to find direct for the upcoming week and maybe examining performance for the second quarter as well. Same rules apply for my currency trades first quarter (In regards to quarter performance, short term is price movements within a month, and long term will be the whole quarter into the 3rd quarter; otherwise short term will be what happens in the next few weeks).

Once again Skip Summary to gauge current performance if you don't care to see the supporting evidence:


As long sticks out to me as to why I should be a bear or a bull I will consider both arguments and see the better of the two.

Bearish Argument:

Technical View:

Looking on the Max chart of the S&P (not shown above) there is not a single up quarter from July 2, 2007 till present day, though second quarter 2009 holds promise for its current trend. One part of the bearish argument lies in the fact that though the second quarter is an up quarter for the first month, it has yet to pierce many resistance levels; February 2009 level of around 850-860, and January 2009 levels of 930 or so. If you even want to be more bearish, you can talk about resistance levels of 1000 from 4th quarter 2008. I would have to say if prices cannot pierce 860 levels I will maintain a bearish stance overall for Quarter 2(subject to changes of course).

Another interesting piece of evidence for a continued bearish trend is looking at the RSI. Looking at the two largest crashes for the S&P500 the 2000 crash and the (current crash we are in), when in down trend the RSI has not hit higher than the 66. Right now the RSI is hovering at 61 (I will add in sentiment is questionable which I will discuss later). However if RSI surpasses 66, perhaps this may lend more evidence to a bullish trend development.

I would also point out chart 1: I would have been bullish after december 2008, however the latest down swing already is lower than the second to last one, and the current upswing (the 4 week bear market rally) has not reached same levels of the second to last upswing.

Fundamental View:

I guess it would be good to consider key sectors in the S&P500 which is where I will be lacking expertise, though lets see what evidence I can piece together. Overall considering the economic situation across the world, I would say lending is a key problem for the financial sector of the S&P500, though banks have recently headlined of bringing in profits, and there have been headlines in the etf and hedgefund industry of fresh capital, Overall lending has not changed. I recently spoke to my mom who does retail banking in Wachovia, she hasn't made a loan in 7 months! We are talking about middle class America in average town from average Joes. This definitely should be troubling, as this has greater implications to growth as firms will not be able to get money to grow business.

Where is the support for this? Anyone see the recent job's report? Not so beautiful (some how markets discounted that horrible economic report - talk about a blow for you fundamentalists).

At this point it probably be good to look at key sectors that are prone to more weakness, or looking at sectors that may spur continued growth due to its potential to get capital despite market/economic conditions. I will leave this out for now due to time constraints and return to it if possible...


At this point the main question is if this 4 week bull rally indicates a trend change or a bottoming of prices, or is it just a temporary whipsaw. It is in this context that I will discuss the possibility of a bullish trend.


Firstly I decided to look for support to see if this trend could be sustained. Unfortunately but most interesting support can not be found within the time period of this crises (cannot see it in chart 3). I believed there to be shared true support at 650. What I mean by this is that after the crash 2000, prices bounced off around 830, however below 830 probably exist different levels of psychological support. The main one I am looking to right now is 650. If prices break below 600 I will be be a very big bear and expect prices to fall to 450. However, granted that prices are supported at 650, this would be good evidence for this trend to continue.

More evidence that could help a bullish trend would be the RSI if it could pierce 66 (see RSI argument for bears).

In addition, taking a look at chart 3, considering the large amounts of volume for the second quarter 2009 is support for a continued bullish trend. During 2008 the high amounts of volumes on down days have not been surpassed or matched, however the volume of the recent bear market rally seems to be on par of volume seen in September and October.


Considering the economic situation, I see very little support. As stated before probably a bottom up approach (sector by sector) analysis would be appropriate here.


I will have to say that overall the S&P500 is still in overall trend, though the bullish argument may leave room for possible change in trend.


Let me look at Chart 2 now examining sentiment within the context of chart 1 and 3:

Looking at Chart 2: It is very clear from March 1 we see the start of the bear market rally. For the first 3 weeks we see that each end of the week ended on as a down day. For those who are into reading candles, there are very clear signs indicating this. The beginning of the rally saw a high upper shadow, which is indicative of a bullish fighting hard that day despite it being a down date. What ensued was bullish higher highs and higher lows for 4 straight weeks.

An interesting note I would like thing i noticed at the end of the 4th week was that it wasn't a down date. Looking at the candle it had a long lower shadow and no upper shadow, this maybe indicating sentiment is bearish for the upcoming week. Though one can look to futures markets to confirm this, but one can look at CBOE sentiment indicators such as index put/call ratios. on the S&P500, it seems that the first week showed somewhat bearish sentiment, that went quite bullish as the rally continued, returned back to more bearish. There is a significant turn from April 2 to April 3rd from bullish to bearish. A similar move is seen in reverse at the start of the rally from bearish to bullish.


Based in the larger context of an overall down trend, added with many people who will be taking covering gains, along with a change in sentiment, I expect this the 5th week of this rally to pause or go in reverse.

So if sentiment does really go in reverse this week, If support doesn't hold at 830, I would expect prices to go to 810.
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