Stocks followed up Monday’s decline with another round of losses yesterday, causing the major indices to give back the rest of their November 7 gains. After opening significantly lower, the main stock market indexes drifted sideways to down throughout the first half of the day. Later in the afternoon, a sudden rally reversed most of the day’s losses and lifted the major indices to new intraday highs. However, bullish enthusiasm fizzled out into the close, causing stocks to fall back down. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 2.0%, as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite registered identical losses of 2.2%. The small-cap Russell 2000 and S&P Midcap 400 indices shed 2.2% and 2.4% respectively. Acting erratically and showing indecision in the final hour of trading, the main stock market indexes closed between the bottom third to middle of their intraday ranges.
Total volume in the NYSE increased 7% above the previous day’s level, while volume in the Nasdaq ticked 14% higher. The losses on higher volume caused both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite to register a bearish “distribution day.” It was the third such day of institutional selling in the S&P 500 in recent weeks, and the second in the Nasdaq. When a fledgling rally attempt is under way, the presence of four or more days of higher volume selling in a three to four week period is typically enough to knock out any developing uptrends. But despite yesterday’s higher volume losses, it’s notable to point out yesterday’s trading activity remained well below average levels.
Although we’re already long iShares Corporate Bond (LQD), we noticed many other bond ETFs are now positioned to move higher as well. iShares 7-10 year T-bond (IEF) is about to break out above resistance of a downtrend line that has been in place for the past two months. If it does, IEF should rally to test its 52-week high. As shown on the weekly chart below, a move above this week’s high of $89.37 will cause IEF to break out:
As we recently mentioned, remember an added benefit of using technical analysis to trade the fixed-income (bond) ETFs is the regular dividend distributions they provide to shareholders. On November 3, 2008, for example, IEF paid a dividend of 32 cents per share. Even though the share price is adjusted to reflect the dividend distributions, the bullish chart patterns still provide a good chance of realizing capital gains, as well as dividends.
Yesterday, we discussed a potential ETF trade setup that involved buying or selling short one of the broad-based ETFs on a breakout above short-term resistance or breakdown below short-term support. But because several of the main stock market indexes gapped down to open right at support of their three-day lows, we held off on selling short. Our concern was the major indices would dip below the obvious resistance levels, then rapidly reverse to fill their downside gaps. We were right about the “fakeout” probe below support of the short-term range, but the bullish reversal didn’t come until later in the afternoon. After passing on a short entry into the opening weakness, we instead initiated a new long position in Ultra Russell 2000 ProShares (UWM), right after the stock market started to move higher in the afternoon. With a tight protective stop just below yesterday’s low, the entry provided a very positive reward-risk ratio if bullish momentum started to return.
Another reason we were inclined to “dip a toe in the water” on the long side of the market, during the afternoon rally, is the daily chart pattern of UWM. Presently, UWM is forming the right shoulder of a bullish “inverse head and shoulders” pattern on its daily chart. Due to the wild volatility in early October, the left shoulder is a bit funky looking, and the neckline is descending, but the bullish pattern is definitely distinguishable:
Whenever we spot an inverse head and shoulders pattern, we place our initial buy near the bottom of the right shoulder, then add to the position if the price subsequently follows through to rally above the neckline. Scaling into the trade in this manner provides a good reward-risk ratio on the initial entry, then allows for more profit to be realized as additional price confirmation becomes available. With UWM, that equates to an initial buy entry near current levels, with an add above the $27 area. However, in this case, the descending neckline of UWM converges with the 20-day exponential moving average (the beige line). As such, a convincing breakout above the $25 area is nearly as low-risk as waiting for the $27 area to add.
You may be encouraged to know that several of the major indices, quite a few industry sectors, and a plethora of individual stocks are also forming the right shoulders of inverse head & shoulders patterns right now. IF the patterns follow through, we can expect to see solid bullish momentum in the short to intermediate-term. Still, let’s not forget the major indices remain stuck near the middle of a choppy, month-long consolidation. Fakeout breakouts and breakdowns are to be expected in such conditions, so don’t be surprised if it takes several attempts for the technical chart patterns to “do their thing.” That’s why we continue to trade with reduced share size.
As we already have five open positions, there are no new setups in the pre-market today. Instead, we’ll focus on closely managing our open positions, and will send any necessary changes to stops or target prices via Intraday Trade Alert.
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.
Open positions (coming into today):
- Per Intraday Trade Alert, we bought UWM after the market started to reverse sharply yesterday afternoon. Subsequent action was very erratic and indecisive, but we made a judgement call to hold UWM overnight because it looked as though it would close right around our entry point. We also took small size and a tight stop, so that our risk is limited to around $300 for the trade (less than half the usual risk). UWM is intended to be a short-term trade based on a failed breakdown of the three-day range and subsequent reversal.
- 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.
LQD long (200 shares from November 4 entry) –
bought 88.95, stop 85.72, target 96.30, unrealized points = + 1.61, unrealized P/L = + $322
FXY long (250 shares from November 5 entry) –
bought 100.85, stop 97.89, target new high (will trail stop), unrealized points = + 1.15, unrealized P/L = + $288
DGP long (350 shares from October 24 entry) –
bought 13.39, stop 11.48, target 17.28, unrealized points = (0.39), unrealized P/L = ($137)
UWM long (300 shares from November 11 entry) –
bought 21.22, stop 20.13, no target (short-term trade; will trail stop), unrealized points = (0.48), unrealized P/L = ($144)
IBB long (200 shares from November 5 entry) –
bought 71.29, stop 67.88, target 77.80, unrealized points = (2.12), unrealized P/L = ($424)
Closed positions (since last report):
Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):
Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and