Time For A Breather

I see a lot of guesswork in the comment section and it’s time to take you guys out of your misery. Many of you are feeling bullish right now and after last week’s drop the odds for a bounce here are good but not guaranteed – we are literally sitting on the edge of a sell off. Which is often where some of the best setups happen – but we have to remain nimble and not jump to conclusions. So let’s try to shed a bit more light on what’s going on:


Exhibit number one – the BB configuration on the daily chart supports at least an obligatory bounce here. Because if we drop further from here we are not stopping until 1800 or lower – so the bulls have a vested interest in holding this level. Not saying it can’t happen but we’re talking odds here – a bounce would relive some of the oversold conditions and perhaps prepare us for a stab lower.


The Zero shows us almost non-existing participation down here. You can interpret that as a lack of buying pressure – yes – but what’s more important on the way down is whether or not there is selling pressure and I see none here.


See what I mean? Complete flat line – the bears aren’t interested down here and this gives the bulls a chance to catch a breath and wait for further instructions.


On the VIX we’re also pretty extended – I don’t think we proceed directly to 25 or 30 from here. We haven’t seen volatility like that all year and there will be pushback.
More crucial evidence looming below the fold – please step into my lair:

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¡Ave, Mercatus, Morituri Te Salutant!

In principle all financial market operate in two alternating operational modes, both of which are aimed at evoking a reaction among active participants. It’s basic human psychology 101 exploiting the fact that the reptilian brain of us mere mortals responds to these two basic stimuli in a same fashion:

  1. If you chase something it will elude you. Also, evasion instinctively triggers a hunting response of varying degree (depending on personality type).
  2. Intellectualization is used as a defense mechanism for avoidance of pain. Self preservation is the mother of all rationalization.

The first one is a lesson especially men (mostly) learn the hard way during their teenage years and into young adulthood. And yes, I am talking about meeting and attracting the other sex - we all know how it works. The second one is a bit more complicated but a similarly basic human response. It all boils down to removing one’s self, emotionally, from stressful or painful events. Intellectualization comes in many many ways and it’s an extensive topic – in regards to the behavior of market participants we are specifically talking about evoking irrational/fearful acts in response to either an unfavorable/unexpected event or a lack of information/context which lures people into inventing reasons to resolve their emotional stress/pain by acting against their system rules or contrary to objective system goals.


I know – all that is quite a mouthful. But you’re in luck as this week has been a great opportunity to drill into this topic, so let me demonstrate this via the NYUD chart shown above. We see both modi operandi in action right there:

  1. Evasion.
  2. Luring the prey.

Very simply put – the market either runs away from you or attempts to lure you into taking (unfavorable) positions. It will pretend, it will lie – it will fake you out. There are exceptions of course and there are times when the odds are in our favor. The rite of passage for any trader is to identify those rare moments and act upon them.

Nevertheless without understanding how the game is played many fledgling traders may often find themselves unable to take action due to a recent thrashing, inverse exposure combined with wishful thinking, a strong personal opinion, the list is long. But the fact remains that the market very rarely give you perfect opportunities to get positioned. Yesterday was such an exceptional day and although a good entry does not guarantee success you must be ready to take action when it presents itself.

The vast remainder of market activity however falls into the two categories above – luring and evasion. In both cases it is aimed at evoking a reaction. For instance Monday and early Tuesday being short was a very scary thing and the tape was intentionally attempting to lure participants into abandoning short positions and acquiring long positions. Today however the opposite holds true – if you took a short position earlier this week then you are most likely feeling doubts and a host of other unpleasant emotions right now. To which of course there is only one answer:


Exactly – emotions are irrelevant. If you yield to them as a trader you will constantly face emotional pain and self doubt. NOT a way to pass one’s short existence on this mortal coil. You should NOT care whether or not this campaign is going to succeed or what you could have done earlier this morning to avoid giving up your ill gained paper profits. The only thing that does matter is that you snagged a good entry and that your stop has been set. You didn’t seriously expect a setup in equities (the most manipulated market of all) to move unidirectionally? If you want clean trends then please forget about equities and visit us in the Forex or futures lair.


The realities on the equities side are as such: The bulls are in trouble and will remain to be until SPX 1960 at minimum and they’re not back in control until about 1970. Today’s jump higher is an attempt to regain the weekly NLSL which must by all means be recovered before Friday. Maybe they’ll succeed and maybe they will not. What matters is that you took the entry when it represented itself. The ES campaign on Thor already has its stop at break-even – nothing else left to talk about.


Here’s the daily ES chart – all I’m seeing are lower lows and lower highs. Yes, we could be done here – I don’t have a crystal ball and there is no context nearby to suggest that a major low has been produced. Now if we push back above 1970 then the dynamics start shifting but until that happens we stick with what we have – which is short positions in equities and their respective stops.


The NQ is the big exception – that 100-day SMA touch could signal that we it’s done here and it’s the perfect chance for the bulls to stage a counter rally. However I do caution you from chasing the market here – remember that’s modus operandi numero uno and it never ends well (for us). So if you want to be long – wait for a better opportunity.

Now let’s talk setups – we have a few juicy goodies waiting below the fold:

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Are The Wheels Back On?

Massive reversal today and frankly quite a bit more forceful than I had anticipated. So it seems the Mole got played on this one. I had it right on target regarding the bounce - our P&F pointed at SPX 1920 as its bearish price objective and our monthly NLSL sits at 1930. The SPX dropped right in between those two and our current low stands at 1926 and change. From there a bounce was to be expected but today’s rip higher is rather bullish and we could see continuation higher here.


I posted this chart for my subs in yesterday’s long term update – the area I had highlighted in green was 1960, which is where I expected a low pole reversal warning to kick in. And that’s exactly what happened today – the odds were preeeettty tiny for this to happen. And it certainly took a few market participants by surprise. Fortunately I had no dog in this fight (except for the Thor campaign – see below) and thus escaped this little trap unscathed.


If you are a bear this is a very ugly chart. Only a drop back below the ES 1960 mark (and better below the SPX 1960 mark) gives the bears another shot at some autumn fun. Not saying it won’t happen but it has to happen soon and in addition the tape must not breach back above the 25-day SMA.


The weekly panel actually had triggered a double sell signal yesterday and a close below it would have locked in a major blemish for the bulls as this would have been our first official medium term sell signal. But both were reversed today and this is a big kick in the nuts for the bears.


As you can see on our NYSE UVOL signal – since the lows this has been one concerted short squeeze. It would be a mistake to cling to yesterday’s picture and not consider that the bulls can drive this higher. Yes, it could be one last spike higher but we get to that…


More bullish ammunition – the VIX is most likely going to complete a bonafide equities buy signal. And potentially plenty of space below…


Now to the bearish evidence, which is why I don’t count them out completely just yet. The Zero signal is completely flat and this supports the previous chart in that this drive higher does not enjoy wide participation and could just be a bot driven squeeze which may fizzle out next week.


I am not seeing any confirmation at all on our old Forex correlation pairs – neither on cable…


..nor on  the EUR/JPY. This is highly suspicious but the Dollar has been pushing hard today (who-hoo!) and this correlation has weakened somewhat recently.

Bottom line:  The bears are now officially on notice across the board and the onus is now on the bulls to drive this higher. Should the bulls fail to do so then the jig is up and the wheels will come off next week. However, simply holding SPX 1960 for a session or two will send any remaining grizzlies back to the sidelines – old habits die hard and the bulls still enjoy home turf advantage. Until proven otherwise they are effectively back behind the wheel. Inflection point: ES 1960 – below it the bears stand a chance – above it the bulls will probably bury them once again.


First up apologies for not deploying Thor earlier this week. I kept running into little things to fix – you know how it goes but it will be ready for Sunday night and (barring any major problem) that’s a promise. Here’s the GBP/USD which currently has earned us ~1R.


The ES bounce still left us with 1.25R as Thor took 50% off our units off the top near the lows.


Gold also in good shape and our stop is now at break-even. Let’s see if we see continuation lower – this is a great start.

One setup below for my intrepid subs – sorry, all I could dig up today but it’s a good one:

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Alright, I think I’ve done enough damage this week – see you guys on Monday morning.



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    1. Mad Monday Morning Briefing
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