Options Expiration Tranquility


Equities closed higher on options expiration Friday but on mixed trade. Although all five major indices closed in positive territory they all finished lower for the week. The tech-rich Nasdaq showed the most strength as it gained 1.0% yesterday. The small-cap Russell 2000 posted a 0.9% gain while both the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P 500 improved by 0.6%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average posted a modest gain of just over 0.3%.

Market internals ended the session mixed. Volume rose by 15.2% on the Big Board but slipped 6.6% on the Nasdaq. Advancing volume edged out declining volume on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.3. On the Nasdaq the ratio fell in favor of advancing volume but by a wider margin of 2.9 to 1. The increase in volume combined with a positive spread ratio suggests institutional accumulation on the NYSE. The same cannot be said for the Nasdaq as volume fell on higher beta index.

A quick review of the 60-minute chart of both the S&P 500 ($SPX.X) and the Nasdaq ($COMPX) shows that we stabilized and rallied into the four day downtrend line on both indices on Friday. Both exchanges now have established support at the two day low and resistance at the three day high. A move above or below these key levels will likely determine the next significant move in the market. We will be watching the sixty minute chart carefully over the next several days.

The iShares MSCI South Korea Index ETF (EWY) has been consolidating for the past three days at support of the 20-day EMA and 50-day MA. A move back above the two day high of $66.06 could provide a long entry trigger for EWY. We are placing EWY on the watchlist. Trade details are available to our subscribers in the watchlist segment of the newsletter.

All in all, options expiration Friday was a lackluster day on Wall Street. Typically heavy volume follows options expiration but Friday provided an exception. For the past four sessions the S&P 500 has managed to undercut but nonetheless hold onto critical support of the 20 and 50 day moving averages. If the broad market can hold this key mark we expect to see a move higher early in the week.

Today’s Watchlist:


Shares = 300
Trigger = 66.14
Stop = 64.83
Target = New highs
Dividend Date = n/a

Notes = See commentary above

Daily Performance Report:

Below is an overview of all open positions, as well as a performance report on all positions that were closed only since the previous day’s newsletter. Net P/L figures are based on the $50,000 Wagner Daily model account size. Changes to open positions since the previous report are listed in red text below. Please review the Wagner Daily Subscriber Guide for important, automatic rules on trigger and stop prices

position summary

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  • No new trades were made.

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Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and Head Trader