Thursday, November 29, 2012
The market has become quite an interesting beast as of late with wild swings on every press conference DC makes. First Boehner’s comments sent the Dow down 50 points in a split second only to recover after Reid and Schumer respond. Nancy Pelosi was kind enough to wait for the market close to make her comments, but at the end of the day the market has moved higher again. According to Bloomberg volume was lower across the board and continues to be light overall. We are still operating without a true follow-through day, but despite the overbought conditions the short-term trend is higher. After the bell we got word the Democrats proposal would like to raise over 1.6 trillion in taxes and immediately raise spending by 50 billion. Republicans on the other hand are ready to concede the tax issue, but not the spending. For anyone to think a reasonable deal will be struck is crazy. Collecting less than 18% of GDP and spending 25% of GDP is not a sustainable model. You simply cannot overspend what you take in to eternity. It is not sustainable. We can argue over tax rates and where we should or should not cut spending, but if you can’t agree to pay only what you take in then no real solution will be had. We are now in extreme overbought territory and it would be good for the market to take a rest over the next few days. Even one day of a pull back on light volume would do this market some good. We only need to see a few days of this market taking a rest. Distribution would not be welcomed at all and we must avoid any serious price decline. If stocks are hitting buy points take the signal and have an exit plan. Hopefully tomorrow we can avoid seeing any more press conferences by any congressional member! Get out and enjoy the weekend.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
For the second day in a row the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and the NYSE Composite posted another day of distribution. It is an ominous sign for a newly developed rally to post back to back days of distribution after a follow-through day. Positive economic news from Durable goods to housing did very little to help this market today. Sellers jumped aboard just before the 10am hour, but were held back by another intraday rally like Monday’s session. It appeared as if the NASDAQ and others were ready to bolt to higher ground before Harry Reid and Mitch McConnel spoke about the Fiscal Cliff talks. The market couldn’t rebound and ended near the lows of the session as volume jumped. This rally has a negative tint to it and the next move on volume will spell out the direction we’ll head in the short-term. Friday’s supposed follow-through day kicked off a new rally and the one thing you do not want to see is distribution within the first few days after the follow-through day. Unfortunately for this new rally is we have had back-to-back days of distribution. Monday’s intraday action was bullish, but still put the NYSE composite, S&P 500, and Dow into distribution camp. Today’s action was clear distribution and is not questionable. Distribution following a new confirmed market rally spells trouble for the rally attempt. I’d expect to see this rally fail shortly and we’ll be on the hunt for a new uptrend. If we move higher on strong move we’ll change our tune, but for now distribution is spelling trouble for this rally attempt. Financials rolled over today with the XLF rejected at its 50 day moving average. Retail (XRT) still is having trouble with its 50 day moving average despite the media’s attention on how good Black Friday sales were. Oil and Gas was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 followed by financials. A sign the market is on shaky ground is from the only sector higher on the session being the Utilities. If we don’t see the market improve here look for utilities to show strength while the rest of the market heads lower. If you jumped into the market yesterday or today remember to have an exit strategy. It will mean the difference when it comes down to your returns! Buying is the easy part.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
The Big Wave Trading Portfolio switched from a successful SELL signal back to a NEUTRAL signal the past week as the DJIA, SP500, and Russell 2000 retook their 200 day moving averages. The Nasdaq remains below its respective 200 day moving average but that is due to AAPL and we took notice of last Friday’s very bullish intraday reversal on AAPL coming from very oversold conditions. Overall, we see it as constructive price action in the overall market. While volume declined each day the past week, due to the holiday, it really doesn’t matter. This market has already proven that volume or no volume when the Fed is printing money and manipulating interest rates it simply doesn’t matter. Higher volume selloffs followed by lower volume rallies have been the norm since 2009. Until the ZIRP policy is abolished, we do not believe this will change any time soon. The biggest problem with the low volume rallies is that prior to 2009 low volume rallies would not cause the model to switch like it does now. This unfortunately means that there will be more false signals and thus more times when we will have to cut our losses. Instead of watching the model switch 5-15 times in a year it is now switching around 20-30 switches per year the past two years. This simply would not happen in a normal market environment where the Fed basically lets asset prices rise and fall based on where the market expects fair value. In the intermediate term we are in a seasonal uptrend cycle as we head into the final month of the year. Like always, January will be more-than-likely be the real tell to the trend of December. But being that it is December and that we are refusing to sell off after leading CANSLIM stocks have cracked across the board it means that the odds are in favor of prices rising going into the end of the year. However, if you think we have any positions based on that assumption, you are 100% incorrect. All signals are price based. If prices break higher, we go long. If prices break lower, we go short. If we are wrong, we cut our losses immediately. There is no deviation from this model based on any indiscretions we may reserve about future market prices. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Aloha and have a great upcoming week. Top Current Holdings – Date of Purchase – Signal Date AVD long – 129% – 1/10/12 NTE long – 111% – 8/17/12 VRNM short – 54% – 4/10/12 CAMP long – 51% – 4/26/12 ASTM short – 40% – 7/17/12 CSU long – 37% – 9/4/12 MAGS short – 25% – 4/18/12
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Continued positive data from the housing market helped boost the market in the early going. However, the focus would quickly turn to Ben Bernanke’s speech at 12:15. Prior to his speech this headline appeared: BN 12:15 *BERNANKE SAYS FISCAL CLIFF WOULD POSE `SUBSTANTIAL THREAT. And during his speech he stated the Federal Reserve would be unable to assist if Congress did not avert the fiscal cliff. The market did not like the sound of this and sold off as volume picked up the pace. It wasn’t before long before buyers stepped up and supported the market pushing the major averages back to flat line at the close. Volume slid on the day, but with the Thanksgiving Holiday upon us light trading is to be expected. It is hard to ignore the support we saw today and we’ll be looking for a confirmation day to switch to buy mode. The market will get initial claims tomorrow, but attention will be drawn to the European summit and black Friday sales figures by retailers. This year more roughly 45% of Americans say they would like to forgo Christmas all together this year. One would conclude with an improving economy should produce consumers willing to purchase more. Perhaps we are seeing the effects of declining real wages due to inflation caused by a Federal Reserve printing at warp speed. Will opening earlier help sales? Time will tell, but looking from the outside it does appear sales have the potential of coming in on the low side of things. Then again, the market may ignore this and move higher. Price rules above all else. A couple of big technology stocks got hit hard today. HPQ and INTC both sunk to new lows as both stocks appear to be heading into the single digits. HPQ simply cannot turn itself around in a consumer dominated commodity business. INTC announced its CEO is departing in May and the news did not sit well with the market. We know CAPEX is falling and these stocks are certainly feeling the effects of decrease spending. We await a confirmation day for this rally attempt. It may be difficult to see one with Thanksgiving on Thursday, but we have seen stranger things.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Better than expected housing expectations and existing home sales helped boost the market’s rally off of Friday’s reversal. Volume on the day was lower and below average, but we have expected that with the Thanksgiving Holiday. AAPL was the star of the session rising 7% on the day. At one point the stock accounted for more than half of the day’s gains. At the Friday low we were quite oversold and when our fearless leaders expressed optimism we saw the market rally. Given the conditions of the market last week a relief rally is not out of the question. Day two of an attempted rally looks to be okay except for we are lacking the quality setups we normally see. We remain in sell mode, but we’ll obey the market if we get strong price and volume action. The VIX closed at its lows of the session as fear continues to evade this market. It is quite interesting to see the fear index where it is when we have AAII sentiment very bearish last week at 48.82%. Bulls weren’t seen at lows, but did come in at 28.82. We could debate as to why the VIX is so low and for us to have a meaningful bottom we need to see capitulation with some fear. Friday’s low might have appeared to be capitulation we didn’t see the surge of volume we’d normally see (excluding options ex volume). Perhaps this time things are “different” and the VIX will head into the single digits. We live in a QE dominated ZIRP world where anything is possible. The big story of the day was the move in AAPL stock rising more than 7% on the day. Last week the stock simply could not find any footing until Friday’s low. At this point a move back to the 50 day (629.65 currently) wouldn’t be out of the question given its big decline from September highs. The rally would likely bring on a “death-cross” where the 50 day undercuts the 200 day moving average. The last time this occurred was during the 2008 market meltdown. We aren’t predicting a similar situation, but with the stock severely over-owned and loved anything is possible. Day two of a new attempted rally after an extremely oversold condition is not out of the question. Given the low volume for the holiday we can see this market continue to push higher. Tomorrow we’ll get some more housing data along with Ben Bernanke speaking at 12:15 pm EST. Stay disciplined and do not try and be a hero here picking a market bottom.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
The Big Wave Trading Portfolio remains under a SELL signal on all indexes. However, we do take note of the positive price action and strong volume (even though it was options expiration related) on the indexes and more importantly on the oversold beloved-stock named Apple (AAPL). Volume on AAPL was the highest since March and comes on an excellent intraday reversal. We call that positive price action. However, there is no way, based on Friday alone, to know if this is the end of the downtrend or just an oversold bounce. Some of the positives going for the market is the fact it is very oversold on the short term, the crowd is increasingly becoming more bearish, and AAPL’s price and volume move on Friday. Some of the negatives are that there is still no obvious rotation from old leading stocks into new leading stocks, most recent strong sectors (IBB XHB ITB) are starting to crack on heavy volume, and despite sentiment growing more bearish there was absolutely zero fear in the most recent pullback. Everyone truly believes Ben will save us from every big bad market decline. The only way we see it at Big Wave Trading is that you must keep an open mind to everything and anything in this new QE-fed world. There is only one two ways to trade this market: trend following signals and value investing. The old momentum methodologies that made position traders like me wealthy during our early career have been missing since the 2008/2009 stock market bottom. This is a direct correlation of a QE/ZIRP policy. So, even though it seems the market is not done selling off, you must keep an open mind in the regards that Ben will indeed come to the markets rescue any time it even attempts to move lower. We have taken notice of some stocks that made very strong moves on Friday. However, we will need to see further positive price action next week or the week after to know if it is more than a one day options expiration wonder. The social networking site FB sure has been putting in some impressive price and volume action lately. That stock is definitely a stock that should be on all trend following wizards radar. It is too much of a cult stock and has so much volume that it is mandatory active and inactive traders watch this stock for trend following signals. Overall, we remain extremely heavy cash at Big Wave Trading due to the inability to trust price and volume action in the current choppy tape. Without any spike in the VIX, it is hard to believe a real bottom is here and while we are short some index ETFs we will be ready to reverse those positions ASAP if we continue to see further price appreciation. At the same time we do know another 2010 and 2011 pullback is more than likely to happen sooner or later and we will be ready to act accordingly when the time does come calling. And come calling it will one day. You can not keep an artificial economy up forever. Can you? Maybe you can. It’s a much different world than it was before QE. Get used to it. I doubt it changes any time soon. I doubt it changes any time not too soon (4 years at least). On that chipper note, have a great weekend everyone. Surf is up on the north shore and the sun is shining. Aloha!! Top Current Holdings – Percent Gain – Date of Signal AVD long – 112% – 1/10/12 NTE long – 102% – 8/17/12 VRNM short – 58% – 4/10/12 CAMP long – 47% – 4/26/12 ASTM short – 37% – 7/17/12 CSU long – 33% – 9/4/12
Thursday, November 15, 2012
A late day push helped the market from closing near the lows of the session. Disappointing bottom callers the market was couldn’t rally and close into positive territory. Volume dropped from Wednesday’s level, but at this point we’ll need to see a heavy volume reversal to signal any sort of bottom. Financials helped the S&P 500 from sliding further as the XLF found support at its 200 day moving average. Despite the help from financials the market could not overcome the pressure put on by sellers. Our sell signal has been a big winner for us and we remain in our sell mode. Tomorrow’s option expiry should bring in volume, but it will be interesting to see how the VIX reacts to options expiring. At this point we have yet to see the VIX jump showing fear has crept into the market. Given we have yet to see capitulation it is hard to fathom we saw any sort of bottom today in the market. It was nice to see financials rally, but it was only one group to rally while the rest of leading stocks took a beating. We could be just around the corner from a bottom, but the real question will be is when we do bottom how deep will it be? Why trend following works very well is you do not need to know how deep or how high a market can go as an investment decision. A disciplined approach is how we are able to take advantage of the markets. Defined entries and exits takes the guess work out of deciding whether or not if you get in or out of a position. Guessing a bottom in the market is just silly and has yet to prove fruitful. The allure of catching a bottom is simply too much for some, but you’ll notice they never make it long term. Stick with a disciplined approach and Big Wave Trading. Have a great weekend and remember to cut those losses short.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Despite CSCO and ANF gapping higher the market could not overcome selling. Once again volume jumped on the day as Institutional Investors dumped stock on the market. We did see some movement from the VIX, but the fear index remains tame under 20. Selling picked up steam as Obama stepped up to the microphone after meeting with numerous CEOs. The market clearly didn’t appreciate what he had to say nor what came from the FOMC meeting minutes. More asset purchases were discussed for next year due as if the first three easing programs worked. Our sell signals remains and has kept us on the right side of the market despite the oversold conditions. There isn’t much this market hasn’t taken to the woodshed. Homebuilders and Financials were the two groups holding up and now they are under tremendous pressure. BAC had been holding up, but it too could not hold up under the tremendous selling pressure. XLF is now just above its 200 day, but all we see is heavy volume selling. It will take some time before XLF will repair itself. XHB sliced through its 50 day today and appears to be headed to its 200 day. We may be oversold, but there isn’t much signaling a short-term bottom. We could bounce into next week, but we aren’t seeing anything ready to support a significant move higher. Perhaps we get a Grand Bargain the market likes, but what we heard from Obama this is simply a pipe dream. Given the oversold nature of the market it wouldn’t surprise us to see the market try to bounce at these levels. We do not have a crystal ball, but given what we have seen from the market and with a tame VIX it is hard to believe we have found a floor. The June bottom came when the VIX nearly hit 30, but lead to a choppy bottom before we headed higher. Until we get capitulation and a VIX jumping it is very likely we’ll continue lower. Do not be a hero and try to pick a bottom. Leave that to Jim Cramer.
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Another day of selling hits the markets, but at least we did not see the high volume Wednesday ushered in. The NASDAQ dove below its 200 day moving average yesterday and the S&P 500 joined the club today. While both indexes appear to be in free fall mode the VIX index closed lower on the day. Fear seems to have sidestepped this market despite the back to back days of big selling. AAPL had an epic day of selling as more than 37.5 million shares were trading with the stock closing just off the lows of the session. This type of action occurs when you have an over-owned stock being sold and it never ends well. Stocks are hinting at worse things to come and despite QE from the Federal Reserve sellers are ruling the day. Talk over the fiscal cliff is just talk as we’ll likely see the proverbial can kicked down the road. This is what politicians do best is kicking the can down the road. The issue really is how much taxes will rise. You can bet regardless of your income levels you will be paying higher taxes next year. At this point the market is simply trying to price the affect of the fiscal cliff. Spending cuts in the bill are roughly 10% of the budget deficit and not likely to be as devastating as the rise in taxes. We talk about not going over the fiscal cliff, but at some point we’ll have to pay for our debts and the longer we put it off the worse it will be. It is no surprise to us we remain in a sell signal even if we think a fiscal deal will be struck. Price and volume action remain the key in this market. We aren’t about to stick our necks out and try and pick a bottom. Yesterday’s dip buyers were hit hard today and losses are not something we enjoy seeing. Judging by the McClellan Oscillator we are in extreme oversold territory with a reading -147 for the entire market. It is not THAT extreme, but in an area where the market is capable of snapping back. A bounce here would not surprise us in the least. However, if we are to bounce we’ll need to see this market confirm a new market rally before we operate on the long side. Guessing when the market will turn would not be a disciplined approach. Perhaps a rumor of a fiscal deal would reverse the trend here, but it is anyone’s guess. We’ll continue to operate in sell mode and stay patient. Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
The market along with the rest of the world awaits the outcome of today’s Presidential Election. Mid-Day stocks enjoyed a nice pop with volume exploding higher, but it would be all for nothing. Friday’s highs would be a big point of resistance for the market and sellers began to take over. At the end of the day the NASDAQ and S&P 500 had closed in the green but well off their best levels. Coinciding with the market rally the VIX or Fear index fell hard as investors rushed back to a “risk on trade.” The Dow Jones Industrial average lead all major market indexes with 133 point gain or up 1.02% gain. Volume was solid for gains, but the lack of ability to close near the best levels put another stain on what would have been considered a solid day. We at Big Wave Trading remain in sell mode and continue to see nothing from the market that would get us to move into buy mode. Perhaps a push above the 50 day for the S&P 500 with volume would change our tune. At this point we simply do not have enough evidence to push higher. Gold and silver along with other commodities jumped along stocks, but commodities as a whole have been beaten up so badly recently the relief rally isn’t unexpected. Two economic figures were released today, but weren’t covered by the media for obvious reasons. Coverage for most of the day was regarding the election and possible outcomes. No one person or anyone knows the future and it is entertaining to see folks continue to predict what will or won’t happen. Both economic figures were disappointing with the JOLTs Job Openings lower than expected and the ISM New York index show a contraction with a reading of 45.9. Prior reading for the ISM New York was 52.9 and when you layer on top Hurricane Sandy things will likely be worse in the coming weeks/months. At 5pm East Coast time we’ll begin to see exit polls and there will be no doubt bets made on InTrade who will win the election. Polls will close staring at 6pm and throughout the night. Let the fun begin!
Monday, November 05, 2012
Tomorrow’s Presidential and Local elections have been the dominating headline for much of the day as US Voters are set to usher in new and old leaders. The market on Friday sold the jobs report as the majority of the market closed just off the worse levels of the session. Friday’s session was quite bearish given what was to be perceived as a positive jobs report. At Friday’s close the market was in borderline oversold territory and today’s bounce appears to be a reaction to the heavy selling on Friday. Light volume ahead of tomorrow’s election is to be expected with bets not willing to be made prior to exit polling. We remain in sell mode and will continue to remain in sell mode until this market can find stable ground. Economic data was on the light side today with the ISM Non-manufacturing index was released. The service sector did expand, but at a slower pace than expected. Logically thinking would have had the market move lower, but we rallied on the news. It wasn’t until the end of the day where buyers showed up. It was on the light side as volume was well below Friday’s levels. Today’s action while in the green was not very bullish considering volume was so light. Tomorrow’s session will prove to be volatile if we begin to see exit polling contradicting the polls we have been seeing up until this point. In the end it will depend on who will come out and vote. Will it be the Democrats who outnumbered Republicans last election? Or will we see Republicans dominate the turnout? The question is why are we only stuck on a two party system? Cut your losses! Ride the trend.
Sunday, November 04, 2012
Friday’s action was quite bearish for the market, or was it? It is not a good thing to see the market gap higher then fall flat on its face. We’ll take a look at the QQQs to see what happens when the ETF stages an outside reversal day. Friday’s Chart: Crunching the numbers here is what stands out: The average return following the outside reversal: 1 Day – (.23%) 5 Day – .00% 20 Day – .68% 30 Day – .44% Comment: Things aren’t all that bad, right? The Best Performance: 1 Day – 10.42% 5 Day – 16.63% 20 Day – 12.12% 30 Day – 28.25% Comment: As you can see, if you go short this signal you best cut your losses REALLY FAST. The Worse Performance: 1 Day – (8.21%) 5 Day – (13.63%) 20 Day – (10.38%) 30 Day – (58.28%) Comment: When it gets bad, it can get real bad! Final Thoughts: The odds of this pattern working (short side) across the four time frames is 43%. I wouldn’t be all that excited, but remind you this analysis does not take into consideration if the QQQs was in an existing downtrend or any other special situation. This analysis is the 50,000 foot view of what happens when the market notches an outside reversal.
The Big Wave Trading Portfolio remains under a SELL signal on the SP500, Nasdaq, Russell 2000, and DJIA. The NYSE switched to BUY signal yesterday and subsequently re-switched to a NEUTRAL signal by the close of today’s trading. Two words can sum up this week of trading: random, ugly. Another word many traders were using this week was confusing. While we remained under the 50 day moving average on all important (I would not consider the NYSE “important” per se) indexes, the action on Thursday had the type of move that signals a short-term low has been hit. The previous three to five sessions in the big indexes prior to Thursday indicated a market that wanted to continue to bounce. However, today completely put a wrench in that assumption. The worst part of this whipsaw move the past two days is that our short ETF positions gave a partial cover signal and our exposure was reduced at the open on the gap only to see the market sell off all day confirming the original signal. It is what it is. Now what? Well, technically, nobody knows. Still, with this kind of action in the indexes, following the already in motion sell off, it can be said that based on history the market should continue to sell off. However, based on the history of the past four years, the market should establish a low around here on very little volume and then rally to new highs on even lower volume. That has been the pathetic, but real, pattern the past four years. It’s outside of anything you can backtest on USA markets but it is what we have. Our current methodology has us in a very heavy cash position, with some current long positions still working, and a couple of hedged ETF shorts to counterbalance the longs. As these longs give final profit taking or cut loss exit signals, we will increasingly become more weighed to the short side via our ETF short positions. If we do find support here, our longs should continue to work and we will exit the ETF short positions. As for current trading opportunities we are finding very few. There are a couple of recent pumps that are in shortable positions but you can’t place large amounts of capital in these cheap pumps. There are very little to zero stocks setting up in current strong technical patterns, with proper volume characteristics, that lead to high percentage breakouts. On top of that, there continues to be no trend following signals via our trend following methodology in individual stocks. We have noticed strength in a few world stock markets, particularly singling out the South East area. It will be interesting to see if the money continues to flow into these advancing nations and out of declining nations like the United States. Follow the money. The money never lies. Price is the only truth, in a world full of professional and well-payed liars. We wish everyone a great weekend. Maybe next week we can get a more trend-friendly market. The current chop of the small trends that we do get make it nearly impossible to make any significant gains as we must position size accordingly. Aloha everyone! Top Current Holdings – Percent Return – Date of Signal AVD long – 120% – 1/10/12 NTE long – 59% – 8/17/12 VRNM short – 51% – 4/10/12 CAMP long – 48% – 4/26/12 MAGS short – 29% – 4/18/12 CSU long – 28% – 9/4/12 ASTM short – 25% – 7/17/12
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Day three of the NASDAQ’s most recent attempted rally ended on a solid note with the index gaining 1.44% on increased trade. Big Wave Trading’s model has moved into neutral territory as we did see the market make solid gains. Traders in QQQs and SPYs didn’t overwhelming support the move as the ETFs showed volume come in lower. However, volume in the ETFs hasn’t mattered in determining a new market rally and today did not diverge. Banks lead by BAC continue to act well in this market and continue to get support from the Fed. Diverging from the market rally were Gold and Silver closing the day lower. Tomorrow’s job report is the highlight of the week and surely be a big focus for market pundits. The NASDAQ put in an impressive move today. Suffering on the day was the VIX or fear index. Even during the decline fear never picked up to the point where you would say investors aren’t fearing any decline in the market. Volatility ETFs were once again slammed and continue to show themselves as a very difficult trading vehicle. But, now the market will have to deal with the jobs report tomorrow and election on Tuesday. In the after-hours session plenty of stocks are moving higher. MELI and FSLR weren’t as fortunate as PCLN, LNKD, FOSL, and SBUX. Many of these stocks have been beaten up since the summer time. LNKD continues to trade higher despite sporting a PE near 200! Remember, CSCO in the 90s had an astronomically high PE and was a huge winner. PE only matters on the way down and not when the stock is moving higher. Remember, price will dictate your actions not where the PE trades. Many growth stocks are given high PE ratios by traders. It is when supply and demand deteriorates to a point where the stocks falls hard. It is only then when the PE was too high. We’ll see what tomorrow brings for these stocks, but they are performing well in the after-hours session. We are no longer in oversold territory after today’s move. We are back to neutral in our model and will await a confirmation day. Friday represent day 4 of an attempted rally for the market. Remember, cut your losses. CORRECTION: WE REMAIN UNDER A HARD SELL SIGNAL ON THE DJIA/SP500 BUT ARE NEUTRAL ON THE NASDAQ, RUSSELL 2000, AND NYSE. OVERALL, WE ARE NEUTRAL, WITH A TINY HEDGE REMAINING IN THE SPY/DIA. WE WILL DELETE THIS SMALL REMAINING HEDGE IF WE SUBSEQUENTLY CLOSE HIGHER ON FRIDAY.