Daily Commentary: July 12, 2023

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Don’t Chase the Opening Gap Up

Posted by Peter Stolcers on July 12

This new relative high for the market will lure in bullish speculators. That is not a group you want to “hang” with. Here’s how to approach the day.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS WEDNESDAY – The CPI came out and the S&P 500 rallied 25 points to a new relative high. The number was lighter than expected.

Let’s keep our perspective this morning. It is easy to get excited about a breakout when we have been trapped in a light volume range.

1. Core inflation is coming down, but VERY slowly. This is not going to prompt the Fed to take their foot off of the brake.

2. The probability of a rate hike in two weeks has dropped from 88% to 86%. That means we can still expect a 25 basis point rate hike. This is likely to decrease the chances for a rate hike in September, but that is a long time from now with many data points in the meantime.

3. Buyers and sellers have been active. The market has been searching for direction and both sides have been engaged. Sellers are not just going to abandon ship.

4. Gaps up to a new relative high have often been faded. How the @#$% do we know that? Just look at all of the relative highs on the D1 chart where you see a red candle. The market opened on the high and it closed on the low… that is why the candle is red.

5. Our worst case scenario from a day trading perspective is a “Gap and Go” rally. Why? Because much of the gain has already happened on the opening move. The upside is fairly contained and at best we see a gradual grind higher. At worst, the rug gets pulled out and we have our ass handed to us.

Our game plan should be to take gains on our swing longs near the open. This market is not going to run away and you will have a chance to reload if the breakout is legitimate. As far as new trades, this is one of those times where you do not want to chase stocks on the open. Our best case scenario is that we get a wimpy pullback that preserves most of the gap. Look for mixed overlapping candles. We want to see the previous high of $444 preserved during the bearish cycle. When support forms, we can buy knowing that we are joining the longer term up trend and that the breakout is holding. YOU MUST BE WILLING TO LET A GAP AND GO RUN WITHOUT YOU!!! If we see consecutive long red candles stacked in the first 30 minutes on heavy volume, we are likely to have a gap fill and possibly a bearish trend day. I suggest that only professional traders attempt shorting and I would not encourage any swing shorts.

Some of you are going to ignore my advice and buy the open. Good luck with that.

Support is at SPY $444 and at yesterday’s close.  

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