The Wagner Daily


Stocks followed through on the previous day’s bearish reversal, as the major indices gapped lower on the open, then trended south throughout most of the day. Buying interest in the final hour of trading enabled stocks to finish off their worst levels of the day, but losses were still rather sizeable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.5%, the S&P 500 1.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite 1.9%. The small-cap Russell 2000 declined 1.6%, as the S&P Midcap 400 shed 1.8%. The main stock market indexes closed just below the middle of their intraday ranges.

Turnover eased across the board, allowing the S&P and Nasdaq to avert what could have been a second straight “distribution day.” Total volume in the NYSE was 11% lighter than the previous day’s level, while volume in the Nasdaq ticked 1% lower. In both exchanges, it was the sixth consecutive day of lighter than average volume. Since today’s session precedes a three-day holiday weekend, trading will likely remain below average until at least next week.

Over the past several days, we’ve been discussing the importance of the 20-day exponential moving averages (EMAs) of the major indices as pivotal levels of short-term support. Yesterday’s price action proved many other traders have been focused on the same levels. On an intraday basis, the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all dipped well below their 20-day EMAs on an intraday basis, but support of last week’s lows gave an excuse for the bulls to subsequently step in. Curiously, all three indexes closed practically right on support of their 20-day EMAs, adding an extra ounce of wonder as to the short-term direction of stocks. This is illustrated on the daily charts of the three major indices below:

Because the main stock market indexes closed just a few points below their 20-day EMAs, after trading well below those moving averages earlier in the session, the bulls apparently worked hard at the end of the day to try to push the major indices to close above that pivotal level of support. Since the 20-day EMAs have perfectly provided price support on numerous occasions since the current uptrend began, the bulls are aware of the implication that a closing break of the 20-day EMAs could spark a wave of selling, at least in the short-term. Therefore, going into today, just keep an eye on yesterday’s lows in the broad-based indexes. We would be concerned about holding long positions over the holiday weekend if the S&P, Dow, or Nasdaq closes below yesterday’s low.

Because today’s session precedes a long, holiday weekend, we expect trading to be light, especially in the afternoon. As such, it’s probably not a good idea to initiate new position on either side of the market. Light volume days are notorious for being choppy and indecisive, so it may be better to hold off on any new trade ideas until next week. At that time, we’ll take an updated look at which sectors and ETFs have showed the most relative strength during the market’s recent pullback, as well as those that could continue lower, even if the market finds support.

The U.S. stock markets are closed on Monday, May 25, in honor of Memorial Day holiday. As such, The Wagner Daily will not be published that day, but regular publication will resume the following day. Enjoy the long weekend!

Today’s Watchlist:

There are no new setups ahead of the three-day weekend. Instead, we’ll focus on managing existing winning positions for maximum profitability.

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):

      SLV long (900 shares total – 700 from May 4, 200 from May 19 entry) –
      bought 13.01 (avg.), stop 13.06, target 15.12, unrealized points = + 1.33, unrealized P/L = + $1,197

      FXY long (250 shares from April 24 entry) – bought 102.41, stop 100.80, target 112.20, unrealized points = + 3.14, unrealized P/L = + $785

      SKF long (150 shares from May 20 entry) – bought 43.90, stop 41.40, no target (will trail stop), unrealized points = +1.35, unrealized P/L = + $203

    Closed positions (since last report):

      TAN long (400 shares from May 13 entry) – bought 8.16, sold 9.32, points = + 1.16, net P/L = + $456

      UNG long (600 shares total – 400 from May 6, 200 from May 19 entry) –
      bought 15.12 (avg.), sold 14.13, points = (0.99), net P/L = ($606)

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



    • TAN hit our trailing stop in the morning, as it was still trading below our stop after the first five minutes of trading.
    • UNG swiftly sliced through major support of its 20 and 50-day moving averages after a report showed natural gas inventory to be larger than expected. This caused UNG to hit its stop, which we adjusted a few cents lower to give it some wiggle room after the first plunge down. Nevertheless, despite the shares we added to the winning position on its recent pullback, the UNG loss remained only average because our stop had already been raised.
    • 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.

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Edited by Deron Wagner,
MTG Founder and
Head Trader