Oil Divergence From Copper Points To Coming Contraction

The most recent post was a video on how commodities were leading the market lower and how oil had remained buoyant considering the volatility in the overall equity market.

Charted below is a divergence between the price of copper and the price of oil. Oil may be getting close to an area that will put pressure on both the consumer and the producer should copper prices remain weak.

Oil began diverging from copper at the beginning of October when all markets made a YTD low. It took oil just 3 weeks to eclipse the September highs while copper lagged both commodities and equities. At the end of the month, oil made another thrust higher that lasted throughout November. That month, copper was down 2%.

For the month of December, oil is flat and copper is slightly lower though copper is in a much weaker technical position and like the economy, copper is directly vulnerable to headwinds such further elevation of oil prices.

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SPX Negates Tuesday’s 400 Point Opening Gap

The S&P reversed yesterday afternoon and today was a continuation of the selling as the market lost all gains from Tuesday’s gap higher. The market looks weak and is in a weak technical position after the evening star reversal that had played out today. This reversal should indicate more downside for tomorrow. Copper lead the market lower losing nearly 7% and this is yet another reason why I’ve remained short.

Markets Limp Into The Weekend After EUR/USD Collapses

The EUR/USD collapsed in the shortened holiday week of trading as the dollar index may finally be close to strengthening in the manner that I had originally predicted it would earlier this year. The stock market performed poorly on Friday and did not hold onto to gains made in the beginning of the week. Currently I am almost completely in cash and I have a very neutral stance though things continue to get worse in Europe which gives me a slight bearish bias.

The dollar index is finally beginning to make moves versus the Euro which I had believed to be the fundamentally correct course of action for a while though until now, that scenario had not been the case price-wise. I have previously expressed that the dollar has remained suppressed (particularly over the last 5 months) due to Chinese GSE’s but also because of institutions like Goldman Sachs who have publicly stated that they are increasing long positions in the Euro and short positions in the dollar. It is in their interest to keep the dollar suppressed in order to maintain the illusion of recovery. However, now fresh shorts are already well underwater as the dollar pierced through the 200 MA with conviction this past Friday and a short squeeze could be in play after the dollar consolidates here as the $77 area is a major resistance level.

The 200 MA is obvious resistance, but there is also a pivot low from February at $76.88 which was also pierced and if you use the weekly chart, you will notice that the weekly 50 MA coincides with the 200 MA on the daily. Furthermore, $77.10 is a 50% retrace from the January 2011 high ($81.32) and the May 2011 low ($72.70). Last but not least, $77 is major resistance because the DXY did not consolidate before piercing the level and instead gapped higher in a very short period of time, indicating an overbought condition. Keep in mind though that the dollar was oversold (and suppressed) for a long period of time so despite this short-term overbought condition, any news out of Europe can causes short to cover and the dollar to rip higher yet again.

The bear flag on the SPX has all but broken down though support still remains at the lower trendline. This pattern is not valid until the market can confirm below the support trend and at that point it may be safe to short stocks that are still elevated in price, though I am personally not at all pressured to participate given the increased risk of volatility. The target for this bear flag is 1010, or the June 2010 lows.

If copper decisively closes below $3.99 tomorrow, that would indicate a technical breakdown of the bear flag and the pattern would then be in play. In other words, this chart is indicating a very bearish outlook over the next week to two weeks but again, there are other reasons to not take this as law and short the market.

One of those reasons is because oil held up well on Friday. There is the possibility that oil did not collapse because of the traveling that took place on Labor Day weekend and that it will begin to sell off next week, but that assumption leaves too much in question to base investment decisions on.

Another reason is that the financials have surprisingly held up, relative to the lows put in during the end of August. The pattern on the chart is beginning to look like a potential inverse head and shoulders or perhaps a W-V reversal. The entire situation that we’re in now has everything to do with the financial sector so the fate of financials is tied to the fate of the overall market and additionally, financials are a leading indicator of the market’s performance.

Again, there is no reason to leverage into excessive short positions at this point based on the news. We know Europe is bad, we know financials are a disaster. Every time the media mentions this, the short side looks less and less appealing. Today I saw that Forbes posted a chart of the bear flag on the SPX that I have pictured above. This tells me that retail investors may be looking to short the market. I never want to be on that side of the trade. In any case, be sure to look for oil and financials to confirm the other charts like the SPX, DXY, and Copper before beginning to go short, or long for that matter.

I may take short or long positions next week based on short term momentum but currently I don’t have much of a bias regarding permanent direction. If you do have your mind set on shorting the market in fear of missing the move, use a fractional position to buy November-January out of the money puts that coincide with the strike prices of the June 2010 lows. The small amount of capital committed to the option would not require high risk, and the distance away from the current strike could give you a high reward, regardless of the small capital commitment.

Whippy Action After Fed Meeting Playing Out As Expected

On Wednesday I suggested that the market would sell today but not make a new low and that would turn out to be a buying opportunity. So far the market fell after Bernanke vote of no stimulus but has surged back to the flatline and then some. Lorillard (LO) is one of the stronger plays out there that I am watching for a bounce next week.

Market To Sell Into Fed Announcement?

With today’s flat open and steady rally throughout the day, the major market indices have begun to form what could play out as a bear flag going into the Fed announcement. Yesterday I said that we could see some short covering going into the Jackson Hole conference. It’s 11 am and the SPY is trading on fairly low volume so far (at least in comparison with the recent trend) which could mean that shorts are covering but there really aren’t many new buyers either. I think that this is likely to be the case. Neither side feels comfortable holding into Friday given the amount of volatility that we have seen which will only increase on Friday.

My prediction for the market’s reaction to the conference is the market will sell off sharply when Bernanke disappoints everyone by not hinting enough easing measures. This selloff will precede a rally into and possibly a little past Labor Day. The rally has the potential to be 1000 points or more though I don’t specifically expect that to happen.

Like I mentioned above, the market is starting to set itself up for a selloff into the Fed announcement. The bear flag on the SPY should take the market back to the pivot low of $110 where it may find double bottom support. This pattern can be negated with a close above Thursday’s open of $116.50.

The bear flag on the DIA is very similar to the one on the SPY albeit the fact that the Dow has outperformed the SPY. The DIA should find support at $106 and the pennant can be negated with a confirmation above $111.60.

QQQ is the weakest of the three which is normal because the NDX usually outperforms during bullish phases and underperforms during bearish ones. It is important to note that QQQ can take out the recent low and fall to $48-$49 without signaling another leg down in the overall market.

The reason I show the three charts and include the possibility of QQQ falling further than the others is because they need to confirm each other and QQQ has a lot of support in the $48-$49 area. So yes, I’m including a bit of Dow Theory in this analysis, but this appears to be the way this market is about to play out. If the SPY and DIA reach $110 and $106 respectively on a breakdown after the Fed meeting and QQQ reaches $49 at the same time, I will be a buyer of the market. Also, if the market trades in a tight range tomorrow and stays inside of Friday’s candle, I’ll short the market for the move down.

SPX Breaks Higher But Rally Is Showing Weakness

The SPY closed above Tuesday’s highs which were made during the rally after the Fed minutes. This is a key level for the market as it is now above that 700 point reversal and has a chance to rebound. However, today’s action was extremely weak considering the 6 point rally in the S&P as the market gapped higher on lower than average volume and failed to sustain the highs of the day. For this reason, I have sold F, HBC, and C as the market may yet again flush out weak hands and make yet another move lower.

The SPY is currently set up for an evening star reversal and I think that there is a high probability that we’ll see a gap down on Monday followed by slightly more downside on Tuesday. However, it is very important to keep in mind that I do not believe we’ll make a new low, though if we do, the market essentially goes back to sqaure one and may not bounce again until it reaches 1000 on the SPX. Remember what I mentioned in the most recent video analysis, the institutions will fake out amatuers with moves and by promoting media hype. I successfully called confirmation of Tuesday’s bottom when I saw the market plunge on Wednesday but not make a new low. If the SPY does not close positive on Monday, then today’s action is still not confirmed and the market will likely consolidate further before fully rebounding.

One big positive for the market is the weekly chart. There is a blatantly obvious bottoming tail on the weekly chart of the SPX and this week’s action should lead into a rebound. However, often times a bottoming tail is followed by another down day that does not make a new low. Case and point, the daily chart of TBT over the past week.

Ultimately, I think we’ll see some consolidation next week that most will mistake for another selloff and will miss out on being long for the rally that will follow. I think the best course of action is to wait in cash here and look for longs should the market pullback next week but fail to make new lows.

As stated earlier, I have liquidated my longs however I still maintain my position in TBT as it is one of the strongest chart patterns in the market. Again I hear news of treasuries “surging” yet an accomplished market technician will tell you that this is simply the beginning of an inside bar pullback on the daily chart of TBT. TBT is holding up well and after consolidating it should shoot higher to $29.

As a side note, above I mentioned how bottoming tails are typically followed by another down day that does not make a new low and cited TBT as an example. Note how on Monday the tail made on the chart was large as the ETF closed back near the highs. Then the following day it sold off again but stayed within the tail made on the previous day. For this reason I opened my TBT long since the news was pumping the upside in bonds and the downside in equities yet the charts were failing to make new lows or highs respectively.

Be smart, the market is still volatile. I am mostly in cash outside of TBT and though I do believe we’ll see some selling Monday, I probably won’t look for shorts in the market. Instead, I’ll most likely be looking for long opportunities on any consolidation next week.

Bottom Holds As Equities Surge

Despite yesterday’s downtalk, the market surged for a huge gain as gold and treasuries dived.