Notice: To view this week’s big picture outlook, click here.
What Happened: Alongside a rise in cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus that could delay the pending economic recovery, U.S. index futures backed off their all-time highs during weekend trade.
What Does It Mean: Last week’s long-liquidation and subsequent recovery left the market with minimal excess (i.e., a proper end to discovery) at the highs, and a strong close, taking out the overnight stat at $3,817.75 (which had low odds of remaining, given that overnight all-time highs rarely end the upside discovery process).
Noting: Excess forms after an auction has traveled too far in a particular direction and portends a sustained reversal. The absence of excess, in the case of a high, suggests not enough conviction; in such case participants will liquidate (i.e., back off the high) and strengthen the market, before following through.
What To Expect: Monday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) will likely open on a gap, in prior-balance and -range, implying higher volatility at the open.
Noting: In most cases, a break-out (i.e., gap) from balance is usually the start of a short-term auction. Therefore, placing trades in the direction of the gap is the normal course of action. Further, gaps tend to fill within the first half-hour of regular trade (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET). The longer a gap holds, however, the higher odds of continuation. Should responsive buyers auction through the entire gap, then conditions have changed.
Two major dynamics to note:
- For numerous sessions, profile structures denoted the presence of short-covering, the result of old, weak-handed business emotionally buying to cover short positions, causing swift movement followed by a stalled advance, or two-sided intraday trade.
- The week ending January 8 established a v-pattern recovery, a price sequence that ought to be followed by further price discovery, as high as the 100% price projection, which happens to be near the multi-month upside breakout target at $4,000.
Given the above dynamics, the go/no-go level for upside in the S&P 500 is the $3,824.25 regular trade high. The go/no-go level for downside is the regular trade low at $3,775.25.
In the best case, the S&P 500 remains above its $3,762.25 high-volume node (HVNode). Expectations thereafter include continued balance or a response followed by initiative buying to take out the price extension at $3,847.75.
In the worst case, the S&P 500 initiates below its $3,762.25 HVNode. Expectations thereafter include a test of the minimal excess low near $3,732.75 (a LVNode).
As of now, all broad-market indices are in an uptrend, evidenced by higher prices and value. A break of Monday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM ET) low would jeopardize the bullish thesis.
Levels Of Interest: $3,762.25 HVNode, $3,732.75 LVNode, $3,824.25 rally high, as well as the $3,847.75 price extension.