That humming sound you hear is not the collective buzzing of bees enjoying the warming spring weather it is the groaning of traders trying to gain an edge in a directionless and very choppy market dominated by algo programs that hunt for stops.
Whether calling for a move above 1,900 or a correction, so far, all our collective voices have been forced to be patient and flexible:
There has been much action under the surface in small caps and tech, yet the major indices remain stuck:
Oddly enough the bias remains to the buy side as every single breakdown of price remains fake and is bought as sellers dry up and buy programs are launched. Yet as volumes make clear there are no organic buyers of the upside action, and the $SPY hasn’t really moved in the past 2 months as volume has noticeably dropped off in the past two weeks in particular:
The good news for bulls is that nothing has broken for the $SPX and the weekly trends are firmly intact despite negative divergences:
Yet the risk/reward continues to point toward further weakness to come. While Yellen and Draghi did their best to jawbone markets higher yet again this week, it really didn’t happen. And the reality remains: Small caps and high beta tech, the poster children of QE, are suffering and the withdrawal of such QE is leaving its mark on the monthly charts. And these charts point toward a coming re-alignment of some sort as historic divergences have a way of balancing themselves out:
And as we are rapidly approaching June the question every trader has to ask themselves is this: Does history apply or not? Is it different this time or not, and if so, why? Two charts in particular are demanding an answer: The weekly $XLU and the weekly $VIX. The $XLU just closed the week with a performance indicative of a similar change as the correction that occurred in 2013:
And the weekly $VIX? Well, the historic trend is extremely self-evident, yet it got crushed again into a 12 handle on Friday’s close. Nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Markets are always right, but as we can clearly see from the chart below: Markets can also change their minds with lightening speed.
Monthly OPEX is upon us and they tend to have a positive bias. We shall see. But as my momma used to tell me: Flat tops result in fast drops. Well she really didn’t say that. But she did have a good sense of history.