The Wagner Daily


The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite broke their seven-day winning streaks, as traders and investors returned from last week’s holiday in selling mode. After opening the session slightly higher, the major indices trended steadily lower throughout the entire day and finished at their intraday lows. The small cap Russell 2000 Index showed relative weakness by sliding 1.8% yesterday, while the S&P Midcap 400 Index similarly fell 1.6%. The Nasdaq Composite lost 1.0%, the S&P 500 0.9%, and the Dow Jones Industrials 0.4%.

Obviously, volume was much higher than it was during last Friday’s holiday-shortened session, but turnover was still significantly higher even if you account for the reduced trading hours. Total volume in the NYSE was 176% higher, while volume in the Nasdaq rose 146% over the previous day’s level. As of 1:00 pm EST yesterday, the same time the markets closed on Friday, volume in the NYSE was 48% higher than the previous day and volume in the Nasdaq was 38% higher. This technically makes yesterday a bearish “distribution day,” but it’s not totally accurate to compare yesterday’s volume to a holiday session. More significantly, perhaps, is that volume in both exchanges came in below their 50-day average levels. Conversely, volume during most of this month’s “up” days has been above average levels. The price to volume relationship of the next few days should give us a more clear indication of institutions’ real intentions.

Yesterday’s selloff was broad-based, as nearly every industry sector we track on a daily basis closed with a loss. The one oddball exception was the Disk Drive Index ($DDX), which gained more than 1%. Although the Gold Mining Index ($GOX) closed a bit lower, Spot Gold itself rallied to once again close at a new 17-year high, pulling our long position in GLD (Gold Trust) along with it. Subscribers, however, will notice we are now using a very tight stop to protect gains on the significant profit in this ETF. The Oil Service Index ($OSX) dropped more than 3% yesterday and appears to be failing to hold at its recent breakout to a new 52-week high. As such, we will be stalking OIH (Oil Services HOLDR) for a potential short entry if it begins to break support on its daily chart.

Now that the markets have begun at least a short-term correction, let’s take an updated look at where the key support levels are in a few of the major broad-based ETFs. The most basic tenet of technical analysis states that a prior resistance level becomes the new support level after the resistance is broken. Therefore, we would expect the prior highs in each of the major indices to now act as support on any subsequent retracement in the markets. Looking at the chart of SPY (S&P 500 Index) below, notice the blue horizontal line at the 124.74 level that marks the prior highs from August and September. This co-incides with 1,245 as support on the S&P 500 Index itself:

To see support of the prior highs on QQQQ (Nasdaq 100 Index), we need to look at a longer-term weekly chart. The first area of major support comes from the highs of December 2004, while more recent resistance (which is now support) is found at the prior high from August. Both of these areas of horizontal price support are illustrated by the horizontal blue lines on the chart below:

Interestingly, IWM (small-cap Russell 2000 Index) has lagged this month’s broad market recovery. IWM and DIA (Dow Jones Industrials) are the only major broad-based ETFs that are not trading at new 52-week highs. This, of course, means that both the Russell 2000 and the Dow Jones Industrials have been showing relative weakness. As such, they are likely to be the first indices to fall when the broad market does and the last to rally when most stocks do. The charts of IWM and DIA below illustrate their support and resistance levels:

As you can see, both IWM and DIA have begun to correct after running into resistance of their 52-week highs. Obviously, this could act as a drag on the broad market. However, it is too early to declare whether or not a “double top” will form on those indices.

Now that you have an idea of where the major indices should find support, the key is to wait patiently to see how well stocks act on the correction. If there is an orderly drop to near the support levels outlined above, we would consider entering some of these ETFs on the long side, particularly QQQQ or SPY. However, we do not advise buying DIA or IWM on a pullback because both of those ETFs still have overhead resistance from their prior highs. As we discussed extensively last week, stocks and ETFs at new 52-week highs can easily continue higher, but those with recent price resistance always have a more difficult time. Just as water flowing down a hill will follow the path of least resistance, stocks and ETFs will do the same. Therefore, you should focus on buying only the most solid looking chart setups that are showing relative weakness. Short sales, conversely, remain risky unless the major indices bounce from here and then set “lower lows.”

Today’s Watchlist:

As mentioned yesterday, we are still stalking both SMH and BBH for potential long entries. However, we want to see consolidation in SMH before buying it. BBH is nearing our buy point, but needs to recover above its hourly downtrend line first. We are also watching OIH for a potential short entry. As always, we will send an intraday e-mail alert to inform you of the details of any new ETF trade entries today.

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:

    Open positions (coming into today):

      GLD long (500 shares from Nov. 11 and 16 entries) –
      bought 46.98 (avg.), stop 49.12, target new high (will trail stop), unrealized points = + 2.76, unrealized P/L = + $1,380

      TLT long (500 shares from Nov. 16 entry) –
      bought 89.87, stop 90.15, target 92.15, unrealized points = + 1.09, unrealized P/L = + $545

    Closed positions (since last report):


    Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):



      We have again raised the stop on the remaining shares of GLD, as well as TLT.

    for glossary and explanation of terms used in The Wagner Daily

    Click here to view MTG’s past performance results (updated monthly).

    Edited by Deron Wagner,
    MTG Founder and
    Head Trader