Friday, November 19, 2010

Reversing Course Stocks End the Day off the Highs but with Big Gains

Better than expected jobless claim figures and a big jump in Philadelphia Fed index pushed stocks higher. Volume rose across the board as traders rushed to get back into stocks. Late day selling did knock stocks off their highs of the day, but gains were plentiful and solid. Today’s action does go a long way in to bring back the current uptrend. Given the gains and volume it is highly probable the rally will continue.

The index I focus on is the NASDAQ and second would be the S&P 500. Outside of these indexes there really isn’t any other index I want to pay attention to. The Dow Jones Industrial average is an ancient index and using this index to put the market in correction is not something I would put much stock into. Recently, the Dow had 6 distribution days yet the NASDAQ had only suffered 3 days worth while the S&P 500 had 4. The leading indexes, NASDAQ and S&P 500 didn’t have the heavy distribution you normally see at a market top. If we do see distribution over the next few days it would signal major weakness, but for now the uptrend still lives.

Many are comparing our recent market with the April highs. Why not, it is recent history and we all tend to think history repeats itself. The major difference is the February through April run came off a 3 week 8% decline in the market. Our recent uptrend came off the back of a longer and deeper correction. Thus, the probability of a 5% pullback and the uptrend remaining intact is high. Perhaps we do roll back over, but until we get full sell signals in our stocks and the NASDAQ/S&P 500 pile on the distribution this uptrend will continue.

Well, my McClellan is still in oversold territory, but that will hardly mean anything if distribution creeps back into the market. One index did see a 17 point drop was the AAII Bull index while the index dropped to 40% while the bears jumped to 33%. Sentiment took a big hit and it isn’t out of the ordinary for a market to shakeout nervous bulls. Especially if sentiment gets out of hand like we saw over the past few weeks. The drop in Bulls does not guarantee we will rip higher over the next few days, but it is a good sign the shakeout over the last few trading days has cut down sentiment.

Tomorrow is an option expiry Friday where volume will be exaggerated in the early going. It’ll be important to see who the market reacts throughout the entire day as well as leading stocks. The most important thing would be to cut your losses short.

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