The S&P 500’s “line in the sand”


Stocks were unable to follow through on the higher open, as the main averages stalled out around 11 am before quickly rolling over to a new intraday low. Once the averages broke their opening hourly range lows they steadily pushed lower all session long. Stocks did manage to find some traction late in the session, but more selling into the close allowed the averages to finish in the bottom 10% of the day’s range. The S&P Midcap 400 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both closed 0.7% lower. The S&P 500 and small-cap Russell 2000 were right behind with matching losses of 0.8%. The Nasdaq Composite gave back 1.1%.

Turnover eased across the board yesterday. Nasdaq volume fell 11% off the prior day’s pace, while NYSE volume decreased by 10%. Although volume was lighter, the pace did pick up during the afternoon selloff. This was reflected in the market internals, which reversed from a positive 3 to 1 on the open to a negative 3 to 1 by the close on both exchanges.

Our existing long position in the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA) looks to be finding support once again at the 20-day exponential moving average. After Wednesday’s shakeout below the 20-day EMA, DBA closed back above the moving average yesterday. A move above the three-day high could produce enough momentum to break the short-term downtrend line (around 26.25) drawn on the daily chart below. Those who missed our initial entry and wish to get long could still do so with a slightly higher entry point above the three-day high at 26.00.

Aside from DBA, we continue to see a ton of relative strength out of the emerging market sector. The iShares MSCI Turkey Index (TUR) has formed a cup and handle pattern since pulling back off the April high, basically ignoring the summer selloff. The weekly chart below details the relative strength in TUR vs the S&P 500 (note how the relative strength line has already broken out to new highs well ahead of the price action).

TUR found support at the 10-week moving average (or 50-day MA on a daily chart) this past week. Longer-term traders may establish small size at or near these moving averages with the idea of adding to the position on strength (which could be a close above the 20-day EMA around 60.50).

Market Vectors Indonesia (IDX) is another emerging market ETF that is trading near its 52-week high. Like TUR, IDX also has great relative strength, as it has made a series of higher highs and higher lows while the broad market sold off. The breakout entry is rather obvious here, so we would prefer a lower-risk entry point on a pullback somewhere between the 20-day EMA and the 50-day MA (around 75.50 – 76.50). A touch of the rising 50-day MA is the ideal entry point if the retracement is that deep.

As mentioned is yesterday’s report, we felt there was a good possibility of the market trying to stage a short-term bounce and catch the bears off guard. If this plays out then we could see a low-risk buy entry develop in the iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETF (VXZ). Look for VXZ to test support at the converging 20-day and 50-day moving averages in the 89.50 – 90.00 area within the next few days. If the potential bounce in the market is short-lived, then the next leg down could produce a decent move in VXZ with a target around 100.00.

Today’s Watchlist:


iShares Silver Trust (SLV)

Shares = 600
Trigger = $18.31 Limit (pullback to that price or lower)
Stop = $17.31
Target = new high (will trail stop)
Dividend Date = n/a

Notes = See commentary above for explanation of the setup.

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 DailySubscriber Guide for important, automatic rules on trigger and stop prices

position summary

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  • No changes to our open positions today.
  • 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 Head Trader