Daily Commentary: June 18, 2024

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Triple Witching Fuels the Rally

Posted by Pete Stolcers on June 18

Institutions unwound and rolled positions ahead of Friday and trading programs “goosed” the market to a new all-time high.

PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS TUESDAY – The market has been floating higher on relatively light volume so we need to be careful at these levels. Watch for a rally to a new all-time high that reverses. The candle could be a bearish hammer, but a bearish engulfing candle is more likely. Gaps up to a new high will be vulnerable to profit taking.

The news cycle is very light this week. Retail sales came in a little light at .1% and that was lighter than the .3% that was expected. Tomorrow is a national holiday. We had a big day yesterday and that would normally result in a day of rest the next day. Combine that with a holiday tomorrow and the odds of a dull day today are high.

Proprietary trading companies have complex baskets of futures, stocks and options and they are adjusting all of those positions. They are arbitrage plays (risk free) and they are able to leg out and make more if the price action is trending and stable. Once the momentum is established, this feeds on itself. We knew that we were going to get a big day this week and we got it.

I am not interested in chasing the market higher. This feels like a buying climax and the volume has been light. By the way, the volume will increase this week just because of triple witching and end of quarter window dressing.

Buy dips and add on confirmation of support. Ride the bounce. When the candle bodies are tiny and the volume is light, take gains. Watch for bearish engulfing candles or bearish hammers. If those patterns appear and the volume is heavy, you should be sidelined waiting for the dip. Many of you won’t do that. You are overloaded with longs right now and you are vulnerable. The move will come quickly, you will get caught flat-footed and you will give back most if not all of what you’ve made recently. Then you will ask me, “What went wrong?” You got greedy and you were not paying attention. That’s what went wrong.

If the market continues to melt-up, you will get frustrated. You will think about the money you could have made so you will get lured in. Then the rug will get pulled out. You have to be willing to let the market run without you. Here’s the other thing that will happen. I want you to remember how badly you want to be long right now. Engrain this into your brain. The market is going to dip and when it does… you will get cold feet. You will tell yourself that this dip looks scary and that perhaps the market won’t bounce this time. You won’t buy the bounce. Go back and look at your positions on April 19th and 20th. Were you in cash waiting for the bounce? When we got it did you start scaling into longs?

Five stocks in the S&P 500 have accounted for 60% of the gains this year. Valuations are getting stretched at this level. Asset Managers are not going to aggressively buy at the all-time high with this backdrop.

The best advice I can give you is to be in cash and to wait for signs that the market is topping out. Stick with day trades. There will be some good shorts on the dip and I am seeing nice shorts now. You can trade small and make some money during the dip, but don’t lose sight of the prize. You want to buy aggressively when that dip finds support. That will be your best trade this summer.

Support is the low from Monday and resistance is the all-time high.

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