What Happened: During last week’s trade, U.S. index futures auctioned to new all-time highs, before moving back into balance.
What Does It Mean: After participants established an all-time rally high during Wednesday’s overnight session, the S&P 500 liquidated in regular trading, down to the micro-composite high-volume node near $3,667.75, a price level where participants spent a large amount of time in the past. The session ended in prior balance and range with poor profile structure denoting the presence of directional conviction.
For the remainder of the week, participants accepted lower prices until Friday’s session established minimal excess lows, broke into prior poor structure, and ended the technical downtrend.
Given the mechanical trade (i.e., minimal excess at Friday’s lows) and poor structure (e.g., low-volume areas), it’s very likely that the selling range extension was the result of weak-handed, short-term momentum buyers liquidating positions in panic.
What To Expect: Friday’s session found responsive buyers surface at a key technical level (i.e., the high-volume node near $3,630.00 and 20-day simple moving average). The fact that there was a response at a technical reference confirms that participation in the market is overwhelmingly short-term; in other words, institutions (e.g, funds) tend not to transact at exact technical levels.
Given that the higher-time frame breakout remains intact, participants will come into Monday’s session knowing the following:
- Both sentiment and positioning are historically stretched while the market has entered a short-gamma environment; in such cases, dealers hedge their derivatives exposure by buying into strength and selling into weakness. This, alongside the presence of short-term traders in U.S. equities, will exacerbate volatility in the coming week.
- Looking to 2021, the decline in realized correlation due to factor and sector rotation, as well as the return of systematic option selling strategies should push the long-gamma narrative in which volatility is suppressed and the market pins or slowly rises in a range-bound fashion.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) strategist Marko Kolanovic suggests equities will rally short-term with the S&P 500 auctioning as high as $4,000 on the basis of low rates, improved fundamentals, buybacks, as well as systematic and hedge fund strategies.
- Despite high CAPE ratios, stock-market valuations aren’t that absurd.
- Prior trade points to the non-presence of committed selling; after Friday’s session saw a failure to range extend and establish excess, the technical down-trend was broken.
Therefore, the following frameworks for next week’s trade apply.
In the best case, buyers surface at the $3,654.75 low-volume node and extend range up to the high-volume node at $3,667.75. High-volume areas denote value and should slow prices allowing participants enough time to enter and exit trades. An initiative drive through this area would portend a test of the $3,690.75 high-volume node, and then the prior all-time rally high.
In the worst case, if the S&P 500 auctions below $3,630.00, participants would look to repair the poor structure just shy of $3,625.00. Finding acceptance (i.e., spending more than one half-hour of regular trade) below Friday’s range would be the most negative outcome.
Conclusion: Though sentiment and positioning imply limited potential for further upside, the S&P 500’s higher-time frame breakout remains intact.
Levels Of Interest: $3,720.00 extension, $3,715.00 all-time rally high, the micro-composite HVNode at $3,690.75, $3,667.75, and $3,630.00, as well as the $3,654.75 LVNode and poor structure near $3,625.00.
Bonus: Here is a look at some of the opportunities unfolding.
Spotify Technology SA (NYSE: SPOT) – Acceptance after higher-time frame balance-breakout. Potential remains for a push to the balance-area projection.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) – Acceptance after higher-time frame balance-breakout. Potential scenarios include (1) continued rotation, (2) upside continuation, or (3) failed breakout and a return to balance.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (NASDAQ: AMD) – Acceptance after higher-time frame balance-breakout. Potential for upside continuation or failed breakout and return to balance.
Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP) – Balance just shy of channel boundary. Potential for upside breakout and continuation.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc (NYSE: CMG) – Just shy of balance-area high. Potential for upside breakout and continuation.
Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) – Rejected prior week’s balance-area. Likelihood of continuation up to S&P 500 index inclusion intact on surging call volumes, dealer accumulation. $700 strike is the high-OI strike of interest.
Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ: ZM) – Just shy of long-term trend, anchored VWAP. Potential for responsive buying.
Summit Materials Inc (NYSE: SUM) – Failed breakout, but speculative call volumes surfaced on the return into balance. Potential exists for another attempt higher.
Nasdaq-100 (INDEXNASDAQ: NDX) – Retest of balance-area high. Higher time-frame breakout remains intact.
Cover photo by SpaceX from Pexels.