Daily Commentary: February 14, 2024

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Don’t Trust This Bounce

Posted by Pete Stolcers on February 14

Traders will look at the drop and bounce from January 31st and try to scoop this dip. The context is different and a gap reversal is very likely.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS WEDNESDAY – Yesterday the market pulled back from the all-time high as the CPI came in slightly “hotter” than expected (.3% vs .2% expected). The reason for the drop was not because inflation is spiking. The market has been pricing in a Q1 rate cut and the Powell said not to expect it until summer (at earliest). The slight up tick in CPI served as confirmation. After healthy gains the last 3 months, there was some profit taking. This morning the S&P 500 is trading 20 points higher and it is in the gap from yesterday. Overseas markets were higher overnight and that is providing a small tailwind.

If you look at the D1 chart you will spot a similar drop on January 31st and an instant rebound to a new all-time high. Some traders will be looking for a similar pattern, but the context is not the same. That move came on the FOMC statement, mega cap tech earnings and a strong jobs report. The news this week is light and we don’t have any of those influences to fuel a bounce.

Today’s price action will be very telling. Bull markets die hard so I expected the bounce today. This is where we will be able to gauge how aggressive buyers are. A gap and go would pave the way for us to challenge the all-time high. I feel this scenario is unlikely. Bonds are falling and the TLT broke key horizontal support. It is just above the 100-day MA and I feel that will be tested. VXX spiked yesterday on very heavy volume and that reflects uncertainty. After the FOMC statement and pullback, VXX retraced and the volume was not as heavy. A few weeks ago, our bearish searches were empty and for the last week we have been seeing good candidates.

I believe that the market will try to advance this morning and once the initial move runs out of steam we will see selling. The profit takers from yesterday are going to be able to reduce risk at favorable prices this morning. During the January 31st drop, short sellers had to tread cautiously. There was major economic and earnings news pending. They don’t have to worry about those events and they will be more aggressive than they were then.

I believe that the market is going to try to challenge the high and that we are going to see selling pressure. That will confirm resistance and we will get the compression or the dip we have been expecting.

Tread very cautiously this morning. We don’t chase gaps up and this one has a very high likelihood of reversing. At minimum I would need to see a pullback and a higher low with most of the overnight gap providing support before I try longs. This could take well over an hour to play out. I also believe that after the initial bounce, we are likely to see a good shorting opportunity this morning (for day trading pros only).  

Support is at SPY $495.85 and $492. Resistance is at $500 and the all-time high.

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