After starting the day slightly higher, stocks chopped around near their previous day’s lows before closing modestly lower. The Nasdaq Composite slipped just 0.1%, as both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.6%. Showing relative weakness, the small-cap Russell 2000 closed 1.9% lower, but the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index conversely gained 0.4%. The S&P Midcap 400 declined 0.7%. Most of the main stock market indexes finished near the bottom quarter of their intraday ranges.
Turnover was mixed. Total volume in the NYSE declined 4% below the previous day’s level, while volume in the Nasdaq ticked 4% higher. Trading in both exchanges has remained at higher than average levels for the past several weeks. Specifically, institutions have been actively participating on the sell side ever since the Dow broke down to a fresh 11-year low, back on February 19.
One ETF that may be in play today is U.S. Gasoline Fund (UGA). While other energy commodity ETFs, such as crude oil, have been hanging out near their lows, UGA has been consolidating above its 50-day moving average. Recently, it undercut support of its 50-day moving average, but jumped back above it last week. Since then, UGA has been forming a “bull flag” pattern, right above support of its 20-day exponential moving average. On the shorter-term hourly chart, UGA appears to be forming the “cup” of a bullish “cup and handle” pattern. Check out the daily and hourly charts below:
If the “bull flag” pattern follows through to the upside, UGA could be bought above the two-day high of $22.80, with a stop below support of the 50-day moving average, presently at $21.24. Another nice thing to consider about UGA is that it has practically no correlation to the direction of the actual stock market.
In yesterday’s commentary, we spoke of some of the traits that typically mark “capitulation,” the point at which a downtrending market eventually puts in a bottom. Based on recent price action and the lack of a massive volume spike at the lows, we’ve not yet seen any signs that indicate a significant bottom is forming (bear in mind “capitulation” is more of a process than a one-time event). Nevertheless, our scans conducted at mid-day yesterday turned up approximately 70 bullish “hammer” formations on the hourly charts. These included individual stock tickers such as GS, POT, CP, THOR, ISRG, ADM, and UBB, just to name a few. Alongside of a late-day sell-off in the broad market, most of these patterns subsequently failed in the afternoon. Still, it was certainly the greatest number of short-term reversal bars we have seen in quite a while.
If the lows of the past two sessions hold up, those “hammers” we discussed could lead the broad market to a small bounce in the coming days. However, if attempting to play the quick momentum from such a bounce, consider taking profits quickly because there is a ton of overhead supply the stock market must contend with. This is shown on the daily chart of the S&P 500 below:
One of the most basic tenets of technical analysis is that a prior level of support becomes the new level of resistance, after that support is broken. As such, the prior lows from November 2008, which the S&P 500 sliced through a couple of days ago, will become the first significant level of resistance the index will need to deal with on any rally attempt. If the index manages to surge right through that resistance level, the 20-day exponential moving average and “swing high” from last week will provide substantial resistance at the 775 – 780 area.
When stocks enter into a countertrend bounce off the lows, they rarely stop right at the actual resistance levels. Instead, they usually probe above the actual resistance level, squeezing out the short sellers in the process, before heading back down. Use caution over the next several days if you’re still short. Further, short positions should be managed with very tight stops right now, along with the intention to possibly re-enter them after we see how far any bounce could take the market from “oversold” levels.
iShares Silver Trust (SLV)
Shares = 400
Trigger = 13.15 (above the Feb. 2 high and 20/200 MA convergence)
Stop = 11.39 (below the 50-day MA)
Target = 16.35
Dividend Date = n/a
Notes = See March 3 commentary for explanation of the setup, which is a continuation of dominant uptrend on a pullback reversal.
In addition to SLV, we’re considering an entry into UGA as well. If we “officially” enter UGA, we’ll promptly send an Intraday Trade Alert with details.
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):
- While most of the trades in this newsletter are “trend trades,” such as DGP or SLV, we sometimes supplement our style with the occasional momentum trade — many of which are very quick, counter-trend bounces or declines. As such, we sent an Intraday Trade Alert to buy QQQQ yesterday afternoon. As per the commentary above, our rationale for entry was based on the large number of reversal bars we saw on the hourly charts. However, because of the vast amount of overhead resistance levels, we only entered QQQQ as a quick, counter-trend bounce that we plan to sell into resistance in a few days. Our target area is a bounce into resistance of the 50-day MA, at which point we’ll re-assess conditions to consider whether or not to re-enter the short side of the market.
- No trigger on SLV yet, but it remains on our watchlist going into 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.
QQQQ long (600 shares from March 3 entry) – bought 27.00, stop 26.29, target 28.60, unrealized points = (0.38), unrealized P/L = ($228)
DGP long (200 shares from Feb. 26 entry) – bought 20.90, stop 18.32, target new high (will trail stop), unrealized points = (1.24), unrealized P/L = ($248)
Closed positions (since last report):
Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):
Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and