Daily Brief For July 23, 2021

Daily commentary for U.S. broad market indices.

Market Commentary

Equity index futures trade higher as breadth weakens. Commodities are mixed and yields are higher, also.

  • Earnings balance COVID danger.
  • Ahead is PMI and some earnings.
  • Participants look to all-time highs.

What Happened: U.S. stock index futures auctioned higher overnight alongside positive developments with respect to earnings offsetting the negatives of a COVID-19 coronavirus resurgence. 

“One of the most under-appreciated things about the equity markets right now is just how much these earnings have risen, and how much analysts have had to revise their earnings estimates up,” said Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

Ahead is PMI for services and manufacturing as well as few earnings releases. 

Graphic updated 6:45 AM ET. Sentiment Risk-On if expected /ES open is above the prior day’s range. See here for more on the Dark Pool Index and Gamma. A positive Dark Pool Index reading is bullish. At the same time, the higher (lower) the gamma, the less (more) volatility. SHIFT Search data used for options activity. Note that options flow is sorted by the call premium spent; if green and more (less) positive then more (less) was spent on call options. Breadth reflects a reading of the prior day’s Advance/Decline indicator.

What To Expect: As of 6:45 AM ET, Friday’s regular session (9:30 AM – 4:00 PM EST) in the S&P 500 will likely open outside of prior-range and -value, suggesting a potential for immediate directional opportunity.

Gap Scenario: Gaps ought to fill quickly. Should they not, that’s a signal of strength; do not fade. Leaving value behind on a gap-fill or failing to fill a gap (i.e., remaining outside of the prior session’s range) is a go-with indicator.

Auctioning and spending at least 1-hour of trade back in the prior range suggests a lack of conviction; in such a case, do not follow the direction of the most recent initiative activity.

Adding, during the prior day’s regular trade, the best case outcome occurred, evidenced by trade that later moved participants into a balance area, above the $4,357.75 low volume area (LVNode). This is significant because the initial breakdown, from that area, signaled a clear transition from two-time frame trade, or balance, to one-time frame trade, or trend.

Volume Areas: A structurally sound market will build on past areas of high volume. Should the market trend for long periods of time, it will lack sound structure (identified as a low volume area which denotes directional conviction and ought to offer support on any test). 

If participants were to auction and find acceptance into areas of prior low volume, then future discovery ought to be volatile and quick as participants look to areas of high volume for favorable entry or exit.

Coming into Thursday’s session, markets were positioned for higher. Increased acceptance at higher prices moved the micro-composite Point of Control (MCPOC) up to $4,341.75, breadth was fantastic, and dynamics with respect to market liquidity, and the derivatives market, were confirmations. 

POCs: POCs are valuable as they denote areas where two-sided trade was most prevalent. Participants will respond to future tests of value as they offer favorable entry and exit.

Coming into Friday’s session, conditions are less favorable.

Yesterday, the so-called other timeframes (OTFs) – those larger participants that have the wherewithal to move price – were not far apart in their views. The S&P 500 was rangebound between the $4,341.75 MCPOC and $4,357.75 LVNode – key levels highlighted in the morning commentary – as participants worked off the near-vertical price from day’s prior, positioning themselves for new information. 

In the face of that balancing activity, the market was not supported, internally; among other factors, breadth, measured by the Advance/Decline indicator, was divergent. 

Graphic: Equity index leaders rose in price as internal divergences – like the ratio of advancers to decliners – grew. Noting a bigger divergence in internals tracking Nasdaq issues. 

So, with that, despite the path of least resistance being higher, participants are to limit their expectations for future trade. Certain mechanics are likely to quell upside volatility, leading to a stall or slower advance. 

For today, participants can trade from the following frameworks. 

In the best case, the S&P 500 trades sideways or higher; activity above the $4,317.25 high volume area (HVNode) puts in play the $4,384.50 minimal excess, regular trade high (RTH High). Initiative trade beyond the RTH High could reach as high as the Fibonacci-derived price targets at $4,393.75 and $4,413.75.

Excess: A proper end to price discovery; the market travels too far while advertising prices. Responsive, other-timeframe (OTF) participants aggressively enter the market, leaving tails or gaps which denote unfair prices.

In the worst case, the S&P 500 trades lower; activity below the $4,371.25 HVNode puts in play the low end of the balance or the $4,357.75 LVNode. Initiative trade beyond the LVNode could reach as low as the $4,341.75 MCPOC and $4,315.25 HVNode.

It is important to note also that the last two key levels correspond with key Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) levels, a metric highly regarded by chief investment officers, among other participants, for quality of trade. Additionally, liquidity algorithms are benchmarked and programmed to buy and sell around VWAPs.

Graphic: 65-minute profile chart of the Micro E-mini S&P 500 Futures. Graphic updated 6:45 AM ET.

News And Analysis

Pfizer shot halts severe illness, allows infection in Israel. (BBG)

Delinquencies fall below the pre-great recession average. (MND)

Analysis: Case for stablecoins being new shadow banks. (BBG)

Study: Sharp dip in antibody levels after first Pfizer dose. (REU)

Fed seen speeding taper of MBS in early-2022 pullback. (BBG)

Digital euro poses disintermediation risks to Euro banks. (Moody’s)

Car chip shortage to abate, smartphones probably next. (REU)

U.K.’s growth slows sharply in July amid COVID’s return. (REU)

What People Are Saying


After years of self-education, strategy development, and trial-and-error, Renato Leonard Capelj began trading full-time and founded Physik Invest to detail his methods, research, and performance in the markets. Additionally, Capelj is a finance and technology reporter. Some of his biggest works include interviews with leaders such as John Chambers, founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures, Kevin O’Leary, businessman and Shark Tank host, Catherine Wood, CEO and CIO, ARK Invest, among others.


At this time, Physik Invest does not manage outside capital and is not licensed. In no way should the materials herein be construed as advice. Derivatives carry a substantial risk of loss. All content is for informational purposes only.

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