Sunday, December 6, 2009

Still Locked in Range, But Some Possible Churning Going On

Hi traders - here's some weekend thoughts. First of all, I had very few interesting setups show up on my scans in terms of individual stocks - so few in fact that it isn't worth posting them. Perhaps the lack of setups makes sense as we continue to just chop around on the overall market. As I look at the indices, I see some possible churning going on here. For three straight days now, the market has attempted to break to new highs only to close back in the middle of its range. Friday's heavy volume along with very little price progress has me thinking churning, which is typically something seen during topping processes. Add another log on the bearish fire.

S&P 500

Nasdaq looks like it could be churning as well. Of course, a close at new highs would negate those concerns.

The U.S. dollar was very strong Friday and with the amount of people short the dollar I can imagine a lot of short covering if a bounce finally sticks. As you look at this chart, certainly Friday was a bullish day for the dollar but as always, follow-through remains a key. Watch this - if the dollar does follow-through, I would expect the market to test at least the bottom of its recent range and its 50 day moving averages.

U.S. Dollar

On the bullish side, there are a few charts that should make bulls a bit optimistic - small caps outpeformed on Friday and transports broke out. These are both positives.

Russell 2000
All Charts from Telechart Courtesy of Worden Brothers, Inc.

All in all, my guess is that this will remain a difficult market to trade as breakdown attempts continue to fail at support and breakout attempts continue to fail at resistance. Since there aren't too many individual setups out there, I think I will likely be taking it easy yet again this week and not make any big moves. I need those setups to trade- we had some last week, but I just don't see many right now. There are times to make big moves in the market and times to sit on your hands, and as boring as it is, I think sitting on your hands is the smart thing to do right now.

The bearish signs remain present and a pullback would make sense here, but we know how little sense this market has made, so as always, be ready for anything. Maybe the fourth time will be the charm sometime this week for breakout attempts and the market can get going on a new leg to the upside. Take care and best of luck in the week ahead.

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