Daily Commentary: January 31, 2024

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Fed-Day Tread Cautiously

Posted by Pete Stolcers on January 31

Mega cap tech earnings reactions were soft and the market is priced for perfection. Here’s how we are going to play it.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS FED-DAY – The first round of earnings releases from mega cap tech companies (AMD, MSFT, GOOG) produced a negative reaction. The numbers were excellent, but the expectations were high and good news was priced in. I believe that the FOMC could have a similar impact today. If you have been following my advice, you pared back risk and you took profits into strength.

Mega cap tech earnings:

Thursday: AMZN, AAPL, META


Wednesday: ADP, FOMC

Thursday: ISM Manufacturing

Friday: Jobs Report

ADP reported that 107K jobs were created in the private sector during the month of January. That is considerably less than the 155K that was expected. Initial jobless claims have been steady and I am still expecting a good number Friday. The hourly wage component was a “hot” .4% last month and I suspect it could be elevated again this month. Many states increased the minimum wage starting January 1.   

Swing traders should have locked in gains and reduced exposure to levels they are comfortable with this week. Prepare for a normal pullback in a bull market that should not last more than two weeks. When the market finds support, the depth and duration of the drop will tell us how to proceed with swing trades. If we breach AVWAPQ and it lasts longer than two weeks, we will be more inclined to sell OTM bullish put spreads. IVs will be higher and we need to give ourselves more breathing room. If the pullback lasts less than a week and we stay above AVWAPQ we can get more aggressive and favor ITM longer-term calls with 3 months to expiration. That would be a sign that the market still has more upside.

Day traders should expect decent movement early today. The drop after AMD, GOOG and MSFT will have bullish speculators nervous and we could see more profit taking this morning. After three hours of trading the action will die down. Hari and I will be doing a live event on YouTube today and we will analyze the action.

China was weak overnight, but the rest of the overseas markets were up slightly.

Support is at SPY $485 and resistance is at $490.

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