Thursday, May 31, 2007

Equity Index Update

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Brad Sullivan

The index markets reversed overnight worries from a Chinese decline and pushed significantly higher. In fact, the SPX joined the All-Time High Club as the index finally pushed through the 1527ish previous high close registered in March of 2000. Now the index has the intraday highs of 1552 and change in its sights. Without question yesterday’s sharp move caught many traders flat-footed. Given the China news, and the fact that this time there was a catalyst for the decline (raising the stamp tax on stock transactions from 0.1 to 0.3%) it should have come as no surprise that the indices were not going back down the Feb. 27th path. However, to predict new highs across much of the board was not something many were thinking when the SPM was trading around 1516.

And there lies the proverbial rub of the index trade in our current climate. By most measures we are overvalued/stretched and should be looking for a moderate decline. However, the indices keep on chugging higher and for those fighting the tape it has been a painful experience both psychologically and financially. As I pointed out last week in a couple of comments, the indices were stretched on a variety of readings…normally this plays out 1 of 2 ways: either a sharp decline or a moderate decline followed by sideways action. Neither of these scenarios is playing out. The decline was shallow, but only a couple of sessions of range oriented action followed. This leaves me with a scenario that rarely comes into play and that is the blow-off rally. Simply put, the DJIA and SPX have POTENTIAL to stretch this rally significantly higher throughout the summer. There are now 3 options on the board and it should make for some very interesting trading over the next 6 to 8 weeks.

For today’s session here are the levels in SPM I am focusing on: The first area of resistance should be found between 1535.50 and 1537.50…above this look for a push towards 1541. I would be looking for the zone between 1540.50 and 1542.50 to establish a moderate short line. Above 1545 on a 30 minute close, the white flag is waived on this transaction.

On the downside, support should be found in our old resistance zone of the low 1530’s…essentially look for support between 1533.50 to 1531. If this zone fails to hold, look for selling to accelerate towards 1528. Support is found within the 1529 to 1527 zone and again from 1525 to 1524. Clearly any move towards this area would leave many scratching heads.

All told, with the month end and tomorrow’s employment report, I would asses the odds of a significant move higher or lower as remote. Keep it close to the vest, but be ready to play if something changes during the session.

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