Sunday, July 23               Published daily Receive a free trade each day
The Morning Line

Volatility Falls to a Key Support, then Lingers


VXX came down to within a hair of a key support at 11.27 on Wednesday, but if it fails, the next leg down could see VXX plunge to 10.24 in search of a durable bottom. That would be an enormous move percentage-wise, especially with VXX, a betting vehicle for short-term S&P volatility, already trading at record lows. Were the 10.24 target to be reached, the inescapable conclusion is that the S&P 500 and other broad averages would be trading at much higher levels. ________ UPDATE (Jul 21, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Sellers once again turned chicken, failing to seize the advantage after putting bulls on their heels in the early going.  Friday would be the right day for them to try again, but don’t expect any miracles.


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ESU17 – Sep E-Mini S&P (Last:2472.00)


A rally with 40 points of potential — equivalent to about 320 Dow points — looms if the futures are about to fulfill the 2512.00 Hidden Pivot target shown. However, the move through the midpoint pivot at 2457 was labored, implying that a quick ascent to 2512.00 is somewhat unlikely. Accordingly, we should be ready for a ‘surprise’ reversal, which would begin to look menacing if it exceeds 2448.00 to the downside.

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$+VXX – S&P VIX Short-Term (Last:11.44)


We hold four July 28 12 calls for 0.34 apiece, having acquired them when VXX fell to a targeted all-time low at 11.72 earlier in the week. VXX, an equity vehicle created to facilitate betting on volatility swings in the S&P 500, has now fallen to within a few ticks of an alternative target at 11.27. However, the drop from the first target to the second occurred so quickly that I am no longer advising the purchase of more calls. Indeed, if VXX is going to pop, it’s going to happen now, from precisely this level, presumably reviving our calls with a vengeance. If there’s no bounce, however, the chart (see inset) shows yet another bear market target at 10.24 that would become our new, minimum downside objective. If it were to be achieved, the implication is that the S&Ps and other stock averages would be trading quite a bit higher than current levels.

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$AMZN – Amazon (Last:1029.20)


With no help from the broad averages, AMZN, the locomotive of the global bull market, chugged higher on Tuesday, demolishing a Hidden Pivot resistance at 1018 with ease. This implies the stock will reach a minimum 1083 before it hits solid resistance. Because it will have taken AMZN at least 17 months to get there, we should expect a tradeable and perhaps very significant pullback. In the meantime. we should also expect the broad averages to move higher as AMZN drags them in its wake. If the stock reaches 1083 before the week ends it would be a blowoff worthy of the name. Your trading bias should remain bullish until such time as the target is reached or the stock generates a bearish impulse leg on the hourly chart._______ UPDATE (Jul 20, 12:01 a.m.): AMZN did in fact create a bearish impulse leg on the hourly chart, so the yellow flag is out.  This is the first negative sign we’ve seen on the ’60’ since the stock pushed into record-high territory earlier in the week.  If the selling continues, exceeding 1004.00 to the downside over the next 2-3 sessions, the recent all-time high at 1034.97  could take on new importance.

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$GCQ17 – August Gold (Last:1227.50)


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$+TLT – Lehman Bond ETF (Last:123.33)


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GCN17 – July Gold (Last:1216.30)


We’ve been using an 1194.40 correction target for a while, but today’s chart, a continuous daily, shows a bigger picture that is intended to ward off despair. First the bad news.  The red abc pattern projects to as low as 1100.60, a $116 drop from these levels. That is my worst-case scenario for the next 8-10 weeks, and the odds of this target being reached would shorten if the futures were to close below 1195 for three consecutive days.  The good news is that there is a much larger, bullish pattern that has so far prevented selloffs in 2017 from turning seriously ugly. The pattern projects to as high as 1452.60, but July Gold would need to rally decisively above 1288.30, a midpoint Hidden Pivot, to become an odds-on bet for a shot at that target.

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