$SPX Daily, 04/25/2014: No trend, no entry.

SP:SPX   S&P 500 Index
373 14 4
This just isn't looking good. We have no trend and remain stuck in a 4-months long consolidation. Except for a small position I took in TQQQ             the other day, I am mostly in cash. What do I do? Go long. Why? Go short. Why? I don't see an edge for either case. Every time it looks like we're going higher, we fail, and every time it looks like we're headed into the abyss, we stall and reverse. For traders, this is a great environment but for everyone else we do not have an answer to the question, "Which way from here?"

Here's what we know: We have closed within 1-2pts of 1863 eight times since January 1st. $SPX             is down 1.45pts on the week & 8.94pts on the months and is up a whopping 0.8% for the year. The Cyclicals Index, one of the strongest indexes out there having climbed nearly 100% since 2012 & up close to 550% since the March 2009 lows, got slammed very hard Friday, dropping 1.54%. It's not something you often see happen to this staid index. And the Transportation Index, which put in new highs this past Tuesday & again this past Wednesday, got slammed Friday dropping 1.63%. If you follow the transports, you will often see this kind of volatility , but this is uncharacteristic for the Cyclicals. Any further uncharacteristic selling in the Cyclicals will weigh on the other majors. Part of the reason the Cyclicals sold off so hard on Friday was because of F so maybe buyers will rush in to scoop up Ford at what is perceived as a bargain basement price. Maybe not.

We also know that, based on the the two bull markets of 2003-2207 and 2009 to present, the market has dropped 50% of the time in May as the "Sell in May and go away" strategy comes into play. Yes, there's a 50% chance that May will end in the green but those are high risk odds. Normally traders want to see a risk:reward ratio of at least 3:1 before entering a trade, risk $1.00 to gain $3.00 so 50/50 just doesn't cut it, IMHO.

We also know that while equities and indexes are struggling that the bond market is up 10% for the year. Flight to safety, flight to quality? Hmmm.

Here's what we don't know: Is the current market situation a major distribution phase, are the large players keeping the market propped up so they can exit huge positions that include millions of shares of individual stocks. When the large players exit, they have to do so slowly because if they dumped millions of excess shares into the market all at once, the market would not be able to absorb all those excess shares and the market would drop like a rock. And why would the large players being exiting now? Could it be fear over taper, interest rate increases in 2015? Could it have anything to do with the massive amount of margin debt that has grown to bubble levels?

All I can say now is that cash is a position and until there is clarity I do not see any reason to put my cash at risk.

ES 4 hour chart:

Be careful & GL in the week ahead.
Wow this is still in play...we are getting squezzed
Regarding the first paragraph, it is not that good as just sideways - no new highs and new lows means the trend for now is aiming downwards even if it does rebound occasionally.

But reading your comment, i have nothing to add frankly. Year started badly, its a mid-election year, and large cap popular stocks getting haircuts heavily
Dear Curt, You know I respect your opinion and analysis. This year I have banged out the Down in January, nailed the up that followed when the crowd remained in sell mode... remember C ?... although I did NOT expect that powerful a rally in the general market... I predicted the Down wave that followed that in C, and you know I bought TNA near the bottom of the last $rut selloff. My lines work. Here again, I am saying DOWN on DIA and SPX will follow too. You guys want a one sided trend and you better look at models from 2000... cause that may very well be what you get. My algo lines NAVIGATE the waves markets make under these conditions... they cannot tell HOW much the move has... but does signal a short term trend change, My weekly lines DID prove noteworthy the last days.... as the market could not and did not breach them when everybody said market to 1900... I knew this weeks close had to be a sell off. You know what I was screaming for the last 2 weeks. Prepare yourselves for moves down, then, up in a manner that is probably harder to measure using the indicators you have on your chart. DIA and DJIA Both blew IMPORTANT algo lines on daily and you know about my Weekly... expect the small caps and tech to get beat up more as Dow stuff catches up on sum sum selling. Then, when max pain is reached on tech... the BIG DAWG buyers will come in as the late sheep sellers scream for relief. for now....SHORT DIA, SHORT XLB, SHORT EWP - EWG - EWI ... too europe gonna drop Remember I stated this on 4/27/2014 Have a great weekend@!
CurtisM stockSMASH

it's true that I would love to get in on a trending market but it's clear that's not happening now. No idea when that might change as this consolidation has gone on longer than I first suspected. Do note that in the first paragraph I did say that this is a great environment for traders and basically all others need not apply. One thing that is very important in my analysis is the color of this month's candle. If it's red by even the slightest amount, then what we're dealing with here starts to look more and more like the 1999/2000 & 2007 tops. There's an old saying on Wall Street that goes something like, if you can't take it up, then you take it down so I continue to watch for signs that we are indeed headed down. Please keep me posted on what those weekly algos are doing.
9pin CurtisM
Curt & Biff.. If it indeed is MM's running from POMO then I'll agree all bets are off and we're looking at potentially a serious correction. Although, sense is this is getting baked in too.

Problem with the idea that MM's are exiting is that there is no real evidence of this, yet. Three phases to every bull market, the accumulation phase, the markup phase, and the distribution phase. Bull markets don't last forever and this one is pretty long in the tooth so it could end any time. Read an article at the first of the year, wish I could remember where, that explained how bull markets end with a lot of thrashing about, big drops followed by big rallies but markets go nowhere until they finally start to drop. Maybe the market will give us a better idea of what it really intends to do by the end of this week, or famous last words.
2use stockSMASH
These are strong statements - whats wrong with euro? Just following US indices?
Curtis - I have given up trying to predict market movement in the short term since we are still in a consolidation chop since end of last year. The SPX mid-year upper channel is 2000 so there should be a decent rally eventually.

If the COMP and RUT do not resume their leadership position then we could be seeing a market top forming this year. At that point I would expect the DJIA and SPX to significantly outperform other indices,..., a classic end of bull market pattern. If COMP and RUT resume their leadership position I would position for another 2 years of this bull. Either way, we are getting late in the game.

Ultimately, I believe we are probably in a secular bull market that will need a significant correction (~20%) before starting that relentless march to potentially double current levels through the end of this decade, and into next. Caution is definitely in the air.
CurtisM SimGlenn
Glenn, agree. Trying to figure out market direction over the past 4 months has been very difficult. Short term swing trading strategies are working best in this environment. With stocks like PCLN, NFLX, TSLA, AMZN, ISRG, even GOOGL, getting whacked since March, I just don't see much chance for the $COMPQ or $RUT moving back into a leadership position for a while and without these indexes the rest will continue to struggle.

Here is some stuff about POMO and why it is so important and why its taper and withdrawal is also so important. QE began in March of 2009 not coincidently right at the market bottom. This was not an advertised program at the time and it took a couple of months for someone to figure what was going on and then to out the Fed, at which time the Fed called it quantitative easing or QE. How much of an impact has QE had on the markets? There are a lot of numbers out there and lots of arguments both ways with some saying that if you add the points gained on POMO days this will account for as much as 70% of all the points gained since 2009. That's huge so taper certainly can't be ignored and the large players, knowing all this and figuring that the bull can't be sustained without the Fed's free money program, may be locking in profits now just to be safe. Just theory at this point.
9pin SimGlenn
SimG, great post thxs! ... clear, succinct and imho correct. I agree. In the very near term, (a guess) against the thesis: sell-in-may and go-away, market meltdown due to Russia, market decline as a return to mean/we're over-extended in the advance. Are we setting up for ...better numbers on the economy, upside surprise through the summer (as the economy rebounds from the tough winter), better earnings, the situation with Ukraine being "effectively managed" resulting in (once again) the Bears over-playing their cards. Like you suggest COMP & RUT performance will likely be the tell, and this..
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