Advance-Decline

Beware "Extreme Volatility" Ahead Of Quad-Witching Friday: BMO

Quadruple witching weeks tend to be extremely volatile as large derivative positions are rolled over. Since 1990 the average weekly spread between the high and low for the S&P 500 during December quadruple witching weeks is 2.98%. Using Friday’s closing data, this would result in a potential range of 2326 on the high side and 2189 on the low side for the S&P 500 this week.

Bullish Or Bearish: The Illusion Of Permanent Liquidity

Could the markets rocket up to 2200, 2300 or 2400 as some analysts currently expect? It is quite possible given the ongoing interventions by global Central Banks. The reality, of course, is that while the markets could reward you with 250 points of upside, there is a risk of 600 points of downside just to retest the previous breakout of 2007 highs. Those are odds that Las Vegas would just love to give you.

The Economy, The Stock Market, & The Fed

Currently no-one expects the Fed to hike today and it probably won’t. It is definitely possible though that the FOMC statement will contain a strong hint regarding a likely rate hike in November or December, since the Fed for some reason no longer wants to surprise markets. Such an announcement could well have the same effect on the markets as an actual hike though.

A Fully Automated Stock Market Blow-Off?

About one month ago we read that risk parity and volatility targeting funds had record exposure to US equities. It seems unlikely that this has changed – what is likely though is that the exposure of CTAs has in the meantime increased as well, as the recent breakout to new highs should be delivering the required technical signals. All these strategies are more or less automated (essentially they are simply quantitative and/or technical strategies relying on inter-market correlations, volatility measures, and/or momentum). We believe this is an inherently very dangerous situation.

Still Looks Like A Trap

“If the weather forecast suggests it might rain, wouldn’t you carry an umbrella?

Standing At The Crossroads

The market is standing at the proverbial “crossroads” of bull and bear. From a “fundamental” perspective there is not much good news. The past week we saw numerous companies beating extremely beaten down estimates. However, while JPM and C got a boost to their stock price, the actual earnings, revenue and profits trends were clearly negative. But that is the new normal. We live in an environment where Central Banking has taken control of financial markets by leaving investors “no option” for a return on cash. Therefore, the “hope” remains that asset prices can remain detached from underlying fundamentals long enough for them to catch up.

What The Charts Say: 15 "Risks" To The Recent Rally

The stock surge from February is at risk, warns BofAML's Stephen Suttmeier as a plethora of bearish divergences could cap further gains from here. 2044-2022 are key nearby S&P 500 support for April, but a loss of 2022 is required to break the last higher low from 3/24 and suggest a deeper decline for the S&P 500. The following 15 risk-factors - from VIX term structure steepness to Dow Theory Sell signals - all point to a retest of the recent 1810-1820 lows.

"Everything Is Rolling Over" - BofA Watches The Carnage

"Should the S&P 500 “The Generals” follow the weakness in the Value Line, NYSE, Russell 2000, and S&P Midcap 400 “The Troops”, there is risk below 1812-1810 toward 1730 (38.2% of 2011-2015 rally) and then 1600- 1575."