Daily Commentary: January 18, 2024

Auto Post1Option Commentary

These Are the “Tells” To Watch For

Posted by Pete Stolcers on January 18

Is this gap up real or it is a head fake? This is how we will know and how we will trade.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS THURSDAY – The market is trying to work off some of the supply at the 2023 high. Traders who caught the year-end move at the beginning of November are happy to lock in some gains. That selling pressure has been met by longer-term Asset Managers who are adding to equities. The strength of the rally during the last two months of the year tells us that buyers are in control. This process is referred to as “digesting gains”. A compression forms because buyers and sellers are in agreement. Eventually, long-term buyers exhaust the supply and they have to get more aggressive. They raise bids and the market breaks out. Traders who took profits reload on the breakout. Shorts that thought this was a “double top” have to cover at a loss. This buying fuels the next leg higher.

Right now the market is “digesting gains”. With each passing day buyers will get more aggressive as mega cap tech earnings approach.

There hasn’t been any news to push the market higher. If you read the headlines, it seems like the world is coming to an end and you would think that the S&P 500 is 200 points off of its 2023 high. Gloom and doom is cast everywhere. These old recycled headlines will make you doubt yourself and your bullish swings. Ignore that BS and stay the course!

In two weeks we will get the FOMC statement, major earnings releases from tech companies and a major round of economic news. These events have fueled the rally. The market is close to an all-time high because the Fed is not raising rates and they might consider a rate cut in Q1. Inflation is easing, job growth has been strong, economic activity has been strong and earnings have been excellent. Projections are for 12% earnings growth in 2024 and UBS is expecting mega cap tech companies to do particularly well. This is the news that sparked the market rally.

Europe rebounded nicely and Asia is recovering some of the losses from Wednesday.

The market is gapping up this morning. That will feel nice, but there is no reason to chase. 1OP will start at a peak. It will roll over soon. Let’s see what the bearish cycle produces. If the pullback during that cycle is brief and SPY can hold the gap, that is a bullish sign. It means that buyers are supporting the gap up and that the next bullish cycle will produce a new high for the day. If we see stacked red candles instantly into the gap up, we know that this move will be challenged and that there is still selling pressure. A gradual drift lower into the gap will tell us that buyers are interested, but cautious. We want half of the gap (or more) preserved. Mixed overlapping candles will tell us that the selling pressure is not that great. These are the “tells” to watch for. They will determine our game plan. After 45 minutes of trading, we will have the market information we need and that time will reveal the stocks that want to run.

Support is at AVWAPQ and resistance is at the high from Tuesday.

Live Trading

Open an Account

Paper Trading