Stocks closed higher on Monday on improved volume. All five major indices ended the day higher with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the rally. The blue chip index posted a 0.8% gain on the session. The S&P 500, the S&P MidCap 400 and the small-cap Russell 2000 tacked on gains of 0.6%, 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The Nasdaq was the day’s laggard as the tech rich index closed barely in the black. The weakness in the Nasdaq was largely attributable to poor performance in the chip and networking sectors.
Market internals ended the day mixed. Volume rose on the Nasdaq and the NYSE by 8% and 16.7% day over day. However, given Monday’s weak volume, an increase could have been anticipated. Advancing volume outpaced declining volume on the NYSE by a ratio of 1.8 to 1. On the Nasdaq however, declining volume was slightly higher than advancing volume. The day ended with a ratio of 1.1 to 1 in favor of down volume.
The iShares MSCI Japan Index ETF (EWJ) provides an excellent example of why it is often difficult to trade in the wake of volatility. The chart of EWJ is quite similar to many charts that we have analyzed in our nightly research. Prior to last week’s sharp selloff, EWJ had broken out of a two week consolidation pattern to set a new 52 week high. Further, during this time period, volume in EWJ fell dramatically just before the breakout move. However, once this ETF reached its new high on February 18th, it fell off cliff the next day. EWJ then formed back to back reversal candlesticks (long legged doji stars). It then gapped up dramatically on February 25th and then again on February 28th. Getting short EWJ on February 18th in the hopes of a market selloff or getting long on February 24th in the hopes of a gap up, is in our view tantamount to throwing darts. In our opinion, when financial instruments begin acting this way en masse, it is better to go to cash than to chase the volatility (whipsaw moves/gaps).
In yesterday’s newsletter we mentioned that the iShares MSCI South Korea Index ETF (EWY) had recently broken its uptrend line that began in July of 2010. Further we stated that a rally back into resistance near the 20-day EMA could present a shorting opportunity in EWY. Yesterday, on a fairly strong day in the market, EWY gapped down and traded in a tight range for the session. Given yesterday’s price action in this ETF, two potential shorting opportunities exist. The first scenario was discussed in Monday’s newsletter, and the second scenario would be to short EWY below the February 24th low of $57.17. We continue to monitor EWJ as a potential short setup.
Given the inconsistency in the market over the past week we have chosen a conservative stance with respect to entering new trades. We would rather be flat than to get chopped up in the current market conditions. We are patiently waiting for quality setups that meet our technical standards.
There are no new official setups for today. We will send an Intraday Alert if any new trades are made.
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
- We have moved to a 100% cash position while waiting for quality setups to emerge.
- Reminder to subscribers – Intraday Trade Alerts to your e-mail and/or mobile phone are normally only sent to indicate a CHANGE to the pre-market plan that is detailed in each morning’s Wagner Daily. We sometimes send a courtesy alert just to confirm action that was already detailed in the pre-market newsletter, but this is not always the case. If no alert is received to the contrary, one should always assume we’re honoring all stops and trigger prices listed in each morning’s Wagner Daily. But whenever CHANGES to the pre-market stops or trigger prices are necessary, alerts are sent on an AS-NEEDED basis. Just a reminder of the purpose of Intraday Trade Alerts.
- For those of you whose ISPs occasionally deliver your e-mail with a delay, make sure you’re signed up to receive our free text message alerts sent to your mobile phone. This provides a great way to have redundancy on all Intraday Trade Alerts. Send your request to [email protected] if not already set up for this value-added feature we provide to subscribers.
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Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and