Stocks posted solid gains on Thursday and closed near the session highs. However, trade was light across the board. The market was directionless in early trade, but at 11:15 am buyers entered and remained in the market into the close. The advance was led by the small-cap Russell 2000 and the S&P MidCap 500. Both finished the day higher by 1.0%. The Nasdaq, NYSE and Dow Jones Industrial Average posted gains of 0.8%, 0.6% and 0.4% respectively. The Dow continued to struggle with the 11,500 mark, but given the heavy volume selling in Visa, the Dow held up surprisingly well.
Internals were mixed in Thursday’s action. Volume was light on both indices. For the second consecutive day volume on the Nasdaq was down. It dropped by just over 7% on the day. Volume on the NYSE fell by 5.3% day over day. Despite the light volume, the ratio of advancing volume to declining volume was a favorable 3.3 to 1 on the Nasdaq and 2.8 to 1 on the NYSE. Although all five major indices advanced on Thursday, market internals provided no evidence of institutional involvement.
Yesterday, our “tightened” stop was hit in EPU and we exited the trade with a small gain. All other positions are intact, but UNG sold off briskly yesterday on high volume. It seems likely that the stop for UNG will be trigged tomorrow.
Our position in the United States Oil Fund ETF (USO), has performed well. Over the past nine trading days this ETF has formed a bullish pennant-like formation (see daily chart). A move above the four day high of $38.36 on increasing volume should propel USO to a new 7 month high. However, USO does face serious resistance at the 20-month EMA (see monthly chart). The resistance coincides very closely with our target for USO. In the event that USO rallies above this key moving average, we may look to sell it into strength rather than wait for it to hit our target. We will send an intraday alert should we decide to exit this position early.
The iShares GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (GSG), has been forming a pennant-like consolidation pattern just below its 12 month high. A break above the December 7th high of $33.44 on increasing volume should carry this ETF to higher ground. We are placing GSG on the watchlist. For our members, trade details can be found in the watchlist segment of the newsletter.
With triple witching options expiration upon us, it will be interesting to see if today’s action can shake the market loose from five consecutive days of consolidation. Overall, market activity has been noticeably light for an options expiration week.
Shares = 350
Trigger = 33.52
Stop = 31.84
Target = 36.70
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
EPU triggered our stop and we are out with a small gain.
The stop in UNG will either be the original stop of 5.47 OR 5 cents below the low of the first 20 minutes, whichever is lower.
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Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and