Is the economy recovering? Nowhere is there more confusion on this topic than in the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Anyone scanning just the headlines might think we’re on the cusp of a solid rebound: retail sales are up, home sales are starting to move, and the Fed chairman thinks the worst is behind us. It is only when one burrows into the newspaper, particularly the op-ed pages, that a more sobering picture emerges. The facts well behind » Read the full article
In after-hours trading, the futures appeared to be struggling to reach the 1062.75 midpoint of a minor corrective pattern projecting as low as 1056.50. Either of these Hidden Pivots can be bottom-fished with a stop-loss as tight as 1.00 point, but if the trend reverses Thursday night or Friday morning, hitting 1070.00 before 1063.75, bears had better get out of the way. My immediate target thereupon would be 1073.00, but with a good shot at 1085.00 if it’s exceeded by more than 1.00 point. [Note: The interpolated over/under numbers for the December contract are, respectively, 1065.25 and 1059.00.] ______ UPDATE (10:14 a.m.): The futures have rallied from an overnight low the fell in-between the two levels of corrections targets given above. The move was impulsive, so that the pullback now in progress must be viewed as such rather than as the start of a significant downtrend. It would take a 1047.50 print to reverse bulls on the hourly chart.
The futures look pretty neutral right now. Notice in the chart how yesterday’s downtrend played out to within a single tick of a crystal-clear target on the 3-minute chart. Now, if the recovery rally hits or exceeds its target, bulls would be back in charge. _______ UPDATE (10:22 a.m.): Gold’s rally stalled a single tick above the 1019.40 target shown in the chart, and although I had said this would put bulls back in charge, I jumped the gun. In fact, Gold needed to have exceeded the Hidden Pivot — exceeded it by more than a single tick, anyway — to suggest there’s enough buying enthusiasm to take the futures to a new threshold.
Apple’s “story” has dimmed slightly with the recent announcement of dramatic price cuts for the firm’s high-capacity iPods. The news would probably be easily absorbed if the stock were trading at half its current price, but the rally in fact has looked like it needed a rest for the last 50 points. Accordingly, we’ll use a Hidden Pivot target not far above, at 193.87, to try and get short. We’ll have a better idea of whether the stock will actually reach that number once we’ve seen how far it pulls back from yesterday’s high. Anything exceeding 182.82 would indicate possible trouble. _______ UPDATE: 188.90 is as high as buyers could muster on the last rally peak. The target is still valid in theory, but we’ll put this trade aside for now, since it can only distract.
The midpoint pivot at 101.28 that I’d flagged yesterday in the chat room as a place to try bottom-fishing appears to have served subscribers well. Several subscribers have reported getting long at that price ahead of the so-far 88-cent rally that has ensued. This morning’s low never exceeded the pivot by more than eight cents, and the rally since could have produced a gain of as much as $800 per contract for anyone who was aboard. Because of the fills that were reported, I’m going to establish a tracking position for your further guidance. Assuming four contracts were entered initially, you should take partial profits on half now if you haven’t done so already. For tracking purposes, I’ll assume an exit at 101.80, a dime below where the futures are currently trading.
I’ll further suggest using an impulse leg-based stop on the 30-minute chart. This implies that a swoon now to 101.19 would take one out of the position. The stop-out price will rise to 101.45 if the current bar’s low, 101.72, becomes a point C low (where A=101.46 at 9:00 a.m. ET). _______ UPDATE (10:40 a.m. ET): A very nasty downdraft has erased most of the rally in a single bar on the 30-minute chart. Stick to the 101.19 stop for now, but use a breakeven stop if you held only one contract.
The leaps have been opportunistic, powered by short-covering whenever the mood is right. Most of the time these days, however, the futures are taking mincing steps in both directions, creating a challenging environment for profit-seekers in the middle hours of the day. One thing to notice, however, is that the rallies, particularly in this vehicle, and whether weak or powerful, seldom proceed from the first signaled entry point. Instead, the ‘money trades’ launch from a second or third point-C lows of ABCD patterns, and they do it with such repetitious reliability that one can practically discard the first signaled entry opportunities routinely. This is the kind of price action we might expect when ‘everyone’ thinks that stocks will move higher on a given day. ‘Everyone’ can be right, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can make money easily. For your interest today, I am including a chart that shows a modest rally target at 1895.00. I’m guessing it will be easier to get short there with a tight stop than to get long for the ride to it. However, because the futures will be in record territory at that point, we shouldn’t want to impede their progress too aggressively.
Since March 20, when GDXJ was trading for around $40, I have been looking for a potentially important low at 34.00. More recently, I revised that target to exactly 33.76, a ‘Hidden Pivot support’. Yesterday it came within a single penny of nailing the exact low of a vicious swoon. The low may or may not prove to be the last gasp of a correction that has been in progress for the last five weeks, but it stood to be an opportune place to try bottom-fishing. In that regard, quite a few subscribers reported getting aboard at or near the low, and so I’ve established a tracking position for their further guidance. It consists of 200 shares with a cost basis of 33.58. The price takes into account an initial purchase of 400 shares for 33.79, then the taking of a partial profit on half the position at 34.00. The bounce so far has hit 34.90, meaning GDXJ has trampolined $1.14 cents since hitting my three-week-old target. For now, traders should stop themselves out of the position if GDXJ breaches two prior lows on the 5-minute chart without an upward correction. As of this moment, that would imply placing the stop at 34.37 (and remember: it must be exceeded by an unbroken, downtrending leg). You should also offer a round lot (or half of the remaining position, whichever is greater) to close for 36.80, good-till-canceled. _______ UPDATE (11:38 p.m. ET): The herky-jerky spasms in the first 90 minutes altered our stop-loss so that it would have taken a 34.07 print to stop us out — 23 cents beneath the actual low. I’ll now suggest raising the bar by using an impulse leg-based stop-loss on the 30-minute chart. That would imply a fall today touching 34.29. Please note, however, that the stop could change if zig-zag action early in the session creates any distinctive new lows on the intraday charts. Our target for the next profit-taking interval is still 36.80. _______ UPDATE (April 23, 1:38 p.m. ET): A powerful surge today has hit a so-far high of 36.89, allowing anyone who was long to take a partial profit at 36.80, as suggested. For tracking purposes, I’ll assume 100 shares with a profit-adjusted cost basis of 30.36. In practice, you should still be holding 25% of whatever position you acquired initially, with a 30.36 cost basis. For now, use no stop-loss.
We don’t pay much attention to this vehicle other than at key turning points, but the short-term pattern shown looks like a lay-up for traders who see futures contracts as no more than bouncing dots on a chart, waiting to be exploited. There are actually two trade possibilities here: 1) a ‘camouflage’ short as USM slips below the 132^13 midpoint; 2) and a very tightly stopped long from within a tick or two of the 131^17 target. Good luck! Please report any fills in the chat room so that I can establish a tracking position for your further guidance. ______ UPDATE (3:17 p.m. ET): The short was tricky to initiate, but once aboard, your reward came quickly with a drop to a so-far low at 131^26. As noted above, the short should be covered and reversed near 131^17. ______ UPDATE (April 6, 3:57 p.m.): The low of Friday’s violent price swings was 131^21 — not quite close enough to have gotten you long easily. Although this could prove to be an important low for the short- to intermediate term, under the circumstances I’ll assume no subscribers were filled. _______ UPDATE (April 11, 1:03 a.m.): Next important stop on the way higher: 135^17. _______ UPDATE (April 20, 11:10 p.m. ET): Last week’s fleeting stab to 135^10 came within less than a quarter-point of my target — close enough for us to consider it fulfilled. It took the futures more than a month to get there, so we should expect this correction-or-worse to last for at least a week or so before bulls attempt to push T-Bonds to new recovery highs.
A heads-up: TBT is approaching a bearish Hidden Pivot target at 43.39 that would offer a back-up-the-truck buying opportunity if it is reached. This would of course imply that the price of the underlying long bond is approaching an important top.