August 17, 2020
Posted 9:30 AM ET - The S&P 500 is within striking distance of the all-time high. Resistance is stiff and the trading range during the last week has been extremely tight. We are in a news vacuum and volume is decreasing. I feel that the upside rewards are smaller than the downside risks. Earnings season is behind us and the economic releases are minor. Politicians are returning to Washington DC to discuss post office cutbacks. The market would've liked it if they were negotiating a stimulus bill. These are the dog days of summer. The Coronavirus destroyed profits in Q2 (down over 30% on average) and the second wave will negatively impact Q3 earnings. Stocks are trading near their all-time high and there is plenty of room for disappointment. The PPP stimulus for small businesses will run out and they will be forced to lay off workers. I will be watching weekly initial jobless claims. New unemployment applications in the range of one million will weigh on the market. It's possible (but not likely) that the market can tread water until the election. Stocks need time to grow into current valuations and a robust economic recovery needs to surface. We don’t have the recovery (or a stimulus bill) and a more likely scenario is a market pullback. My comments will be brief the next few weeks. Swing traders who can't watch the market during the day should be in cash. Option implied volatilities are declining and credit spreaders will have to sell bullish put spreads close to the money. One market whiff will put these spreads in harm's way. Option buyers will be fighting a flat market and time decay. This is a low probability trading environment. I'm confident that we will have a better entry point and better clarity for longer-term swing trades in the next month. Day traders should expect tight intraday ranges. Support is at SPY $332 and resistances at $338. If we are in the prior days range you should expect a range and intraday reversals. When the market reaches one end of the range, look for opportunities the other way. I still prefer to buy dips because the market is within striking distance of the all-time high. We are using the 1OP indicator to time market moves and we are using Option Stalker searches to find the best stocks. This is hand-to-hand combat. I'm trading half of my normal size in the morning and I'm trading a quarter of my normal size in the afternoon. I plan to take some time off and I suggest that you do the same. There was not any incremental news over the weekend and I believe this will be a quiet day. . .
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