The broad market followed-up Tuesday’s break of support in the S&P 500 with a modest bounce yesterday, but the recovery attempt lacked power. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.2% higher, but the S&P 500 only managed a 0.1% gain. The small-cap Russell 2000 rallied 0.8%, while the S&P Midcap 400 gained 0.3%. All of the major indices’ gains were the result of minor strength on the open, after which stocks traded in a very narrow, sideways range throughout the entire day.
Although the market temporarily put the brakes on Tuesday’s slide, much lower volume levels showed that yesterday’s rally lacked institutional buying interest. Total volume in the NYSE declined by 15%, while volume in the Nasdaq was 27% lower than the previous day’s level. Considering that volume surged in the prior day’s selloff, it would have been positive if turnover increased even more to match yesterday’s gains, but that wasn’t to be. Part of the reason for the lackluster trading activity could have been tied to the Jewish holiday of Passover, which began last evening. With the markets closed for the Good Friday holiday tomorrow, it’s possible that stocks will remain in a holding pattern until next week. Wall Street often cuts out early ahead of three-day holiday weekends.
Overall, yesterday’s minimal gains did little to change the current technical picture of the broad market. Given that the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.2% in three straight down days from April 7 through 11, it was not surprising to see a small upside correction yesterday. Even the Russell’s 0.8% gain was no surprising considering that the index had dropped 3.1% over the course of the three prior days. If anything, we view yesterday’s bounce as a chance to non-aggressively sell short the broad-based ETFs if you missed the first drop. If the April 11 lows are subsequently broken, we would feel more comfortable about adding to any short positions.
As for stops on any broad-based short positions, consider using Fibonacci retracement levels because the downtrends since the April 7 highs have been pretty smooth. As of now, each of the major indices remain well below even the first major Fibonacci retracement level of 38.2%, which would indicate the short-term downtrend is presently in no danger of reversing. Using Fibonacci, you could place your stops just above the 61.8% retracement levels, as a rally above that level often completely reverses a downtrend. With SPY (S&P 500 SPDR), for example, you can see that it remains well below its 61.8% retracement of the downtrend:
Because we expect another session of light turnover today, we’ll wait until the beginning of next week to take an updated look at the daily charts of the major indices. Based on the current situation, our near-term bias remains cautiously bearish due to the S&P’s failed breakout from a four-week consolidation and a drop below its six-month uptrend line. But the big question is whether or not the S&P 500, and a handful of other indices, will hold at support of its 50-day moving average this time around.
NOTE: The U.S. stock markets will be closed tomorrow due to the Good Friday holiday. As such, The Wagner Daily will not be published tomorrow, but regular publication will resume on Monday, April 17. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!
SPY – S&P 500 Index SPDR
Trigger = below 128.51 (below yesterday’s low)
Target = 125.35 (near support of Feb. low)
Stop = 130.21 (above 61.8% Fibo retracement)
Shares = 250
Notes = Based on what we have seen thus far, the S&P’s bounce off the 50-day moving average has been feeble. We feel the break of support of the six-month uptrend line, combined with the overhead supply created from the break of the four-week trading range, is more significant than the 50-day MA this time. As such, we expect a resumption of the downtrend that started on April 7. Notice, however, that we are only shorting PARTIAL share size on this first entry because we expect light turnover today. If it triggers today, we will consider adding to the position next week, depending on market conditions.
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):
DIA short (500 shares from April 11 entry) –
sold short 110.67, stop 112.35, target 107.40, unrealized points = (0.62), unrealized P/L = ($310)
Closed positions (since last report):
Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):
No changes to open positions.
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Click here to view MTG’s past performance results (updated monthly).
Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and