The Nasdaq wrapped up last week with another session of losses, as Thursday’s breakdown to a new 9-month low sparked further downward momentum. The Nasdaq fell 0.8%, the S&P 500 0.5%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 1.0%. The small-cap Russell 2000 Index slid 0.9% and the S&P Midcap 400 shed 0.7%. Since forming its intermediate-term peak on July 3, the Nasdaq has plummeted 6.9% and closed lower in six of the eight subsequent sessions. Friday’s losses concluded a nasty week that saw the Nasdaq Composite lose 4.4% and the S&P 500 2.3%.
Turnover declined a bit last Friday, helping to somewhat soften the blow of the stock market’s losses. Total volume in the NYSE declined by 3%, while volume in the Nasdaq came in 12% below the previous day’s level. The lighter volume losses tells us that stocks dodged another day of institutional selling, but most of the market’s losses this month have been on higher volume. Conversely, the only session of accumulation was quickly wiped out the following day. Market internals were negative last Friday, but were an improvement over recent measurements. In the NYSE, declining volume exceeded advancing volume by approximately 5 to 2. The Nasdaq’s ratio was negative by only 2 to 1.
In the July 14 issue of The Wagner Daily, we illustrated how not only the Nasdaq broke down to a new 9-month low, but also how the other indices broke below support of their intermediate-term uptrend lines. The prior lows from June 14 are clearly the areas of support to watch for both the S&P and Dow, while resistance has become those prior uptrend lines. Notice how the Dow Jones Industrial Average quickly dropped to support of that June low after breaking its uptrend line:
Going into today’s session, that June low around 10,700 remains a key support level to watch. As you know, the Nasdaq has already broken below its June low, but the S&P and Dow are, so far, still holding those levels. Support of the June low in the S&P 500 is at 1,219, which is 1.4% below Friday’s closing price.
When the market began to fall apart in mid-May, we entered several ETF positions on the short side that worked out well. We then tested the water on the long side when stocks retraced off their lows in the latter half of June, but the bounce was too short-lived to hold positions for more than a week. Now, most industries have already fallen back down to their June lows or lower. If there was anything really positive happening in the stock market, we would be pleased to bring it to your attention. But the reality is that the price action of the past week was ugly and spanned across nearly every industry sector.
Long-term subscribers of this letter know that we simply focus on trading the exchange traded funds with the best chart patterns and most relative strength or weakness to the overall broad market. Whether or not we buy or sell short depends, of course, on the market direction. We keep things simple by following the trends as long as they are intact. Clearly, this is not the time to be long. Oil-related stocks and ETFs are about the only sector that looks good on the long side, and even that sector can be tricky based on speculation of the situation in the Middle East. One might assume that oil would continue to climb because of the current turmoil, but there is a good chance it is already factored into the price. The spot gold commodity (and GLD) has been doing well, but the gold stocks themselves have been curiously lagging behind.
As for entering new short positions, the market has dropped a bit too far, too fast in order to have a positive risk-reward ratio. If, however, you are already short, consider staying short and trailing stops to maximize profits. With our MDY short position, we are using the hourly downtrend line as a basis for resistance in which to trail the stop. We have our eyes on a few other ETFs to sell short, but we need to see a bounce into resistance first. Last week’s drop happened so quickly that it was difficult to enter new short positions unless you got them as the market was breaking down. While this can be done, there is always a better risk-reward to wait for the inevitable bounce that follows. Just be sure you are thinking in terms of selling the bounce short as opposed to trying to pick a bottom for buying stocks. Also, don’t forget that we are smack in the middle of earnings season.
There are no new setups for today, as we need to patiently await a proper bounce to enter new short positions into strength. If the bounce comes, we are prepared with a list of potential short entries. But if stocks continue lower without a bounce, we will simply ride the profits on our MDY short position. As always, we will send an intraday e-mail alert if/when we enter any new trades.
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):
MDY short (200 shares from July 7 and 10 entries) –
sold short 137.69 (avg.), stop 136.38, target 130.40, unrealized points = + 5.19, unrealized P/L = + $1,038
Closed positions (since last report):
Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):
We lowered the stop to just above the hourly downtrend line on the remaining shares of the MDY short position. We will continue trailing the stop lower as we are able.
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Click here to view MTG’s past performance results (updated monthly).
Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and