Thursday, May 10, 2007

Equity Index Update

Equity Index UpdateSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Brad Sullivan

Thus spoke the FED…and the market could not make up its mind in terms of what to
do with the new information. After the initial spike lower, the indices came roaring back to new intraday highs, followed by another push lower, then onto contract highs. After a nice consolidation period below intraday highs, the indices made a final push – and failed to gain higher ground. At the close of trading, longs (mostly of the day trading ilk) were selling out positions and this led to a respectable discount from fair value readings across the index board. This morning, the offer continues, with the SPM trading lower by -4.25 at 1511.25 and a full -6.00 from fair value. Asian trading was mixed to lower and Europe is trading moderately lower.

Today’s action should provide a solid litmus test for the indices as the FOMC
provided about what was anticipated. Is there enough fuel in that statement to push us higher? Or are the indices a bit tired and looking at a trading decline? Tomorrow’s PPI reading, next week’s CPI reading and option expiration should help provide the marketplace with a catalyst for our next directional move. In the meantime, it appears as though the indices are trading in a “capped” rally environment. If we look at the SPM contract, the inability to push through the resistance zone of 1515 to 1518.50 (for any extended period of time…as I know we traded up to 1519 yesterday) is a short term negative. We have now tested this zone each day this week and have yet to make a strong foothold at this zone. Accordingly, there seems a good chance that the index will make a push for the support zone between 1507 and 1504. And this is where it gets a little tricky. IF we get selling pressure in this zone, there is potential to push the contract back towards the 1491 level, creating a trading range scenario that could provide numerous buy and sell points over the ensuing weeks. However, the net change in that time frame would be negligible in the market. In fact, this scenario holds up pretty well with some of the extension readings we are seeing in various indices.

Now that I have put out a longer term scenario, let’s focus on today’s session. In the SPM contract…Resistance remains between 1515 and 1518.50; a 30 minute close above
this zone is CRITICAL for the upside to continue. However, as I wrote earlier in the
week, it is no place to chase ‘em. Wait for the market to forge into the 1521 to 1522 zone and look for afternoon buying pressure to build for a late pop towards 1526. On the flip side, given the weak close (relative to fair value) and the negative open – I suspect we will see the index make a push towards the key support zone between 1507 and 1504. IF this zone is taken out on a 30 minute closing basis it will shift the momentum to NEGATIVE and should lead to a trade around the 1500-1498.50 support zone. One should be careful on the timing of these trades as the potential for a 1502.50 print followed by a bounce to 1508 or so is certainly in the cards and it will be critical to focus on the closing prints at the 30 minute intervals to get the proper trade setup. Again…don’t chase ‘em at points that are too extended as we are still in a contained trade and in these sessions you must counter the moves at key support and resistance levels.

I have include a few charts today…the MIDCAP 400 extensions on both the 20 and
200 day MA readings is getting a little top heavy at current levels. In addition the DJIA 20 day MA extension is quite elevated. The final chart is one showing the volume in SPminis on a YTD, 5 day MA and yesterday basis. Notice the explosion after FOMC (and that is to be expected) and its subsequent failure to generate both volume and price at the key resistance zone in the late afternoon.

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