The Bears Flex Their Muscles...

By: Mark McMillan | Wed, May 21, 2014
Print Email

5/21/2014 9:02:02 AM

Canaries react but...

Recommendation: Take no action.

Click here to access our stock market chat rooms today! For a limited time, try our chat room for free. No subscription necessary to give it a try.

Stock Market Trends:

Stock Market Trends Table

- ETF Positions indicated as Green are Long ETF positions and those indicated as Red are short positions.

- The State of the stock market is used to determine how you should trade. A trending market can ignore support and resistance levels and maintain its direction longer than most traders think it will.

- The BIAS is used to determine how aggressive or defensive you should be with an ETF position. If the BIAS is Bullish but the stock market is in a Trading state, you might enter a short trade to take advantage of a reversal off of resistance. The BIAS tells you to exit that ETF trade on "weaker" signals than you might otherwise trade on as the stock market is predisposed to move in the direction of BIAS.

- At Risk is generally neutral represented by "-". When it is "Bullish" or "Bearish" it warns of a potential change in the BIAS.

- The Moving Averages are noted as they are important signposts used by the Chartists community in determining the relative health of the markets.

Best ETFs to buy now (current positions):

Long DIA at $161.48 as of December 19, 2013
Long QQQ at $85.99 as of December 19, 2013
Long SPY at $181.19 as of December 19, 2013

Click here to learn more about my services and for our ETF Trend Trading.

Value Portfolio:

Long SDRL at $33.90 on June 15, 2012 (Shares were put to us when options expired. We were paid $1.10 per share when we sold those options and bought shares for $35.00 each). We have collected dividends: March 5, 2014 $0.98, December 3, 2013 $0.95, September 5, 2013 $0.91, June 5, 2013 $0.88, $1.70 Dec 4, 2012, $0.84 Sep 4, 2012. Total = $5.28 in dividend payments.
Short FXE at $124.19 on August 24, 2012
Long UUP at $22.43 on August 24, 2012
Short FXE at $134.48 on October 4, 2013
Long SDRL at $35.43 on Feb 18, 2014
Long SDRL at $33.50 on March 21, 2014 (Shares were put to us when options expired. We were paid $1.50 per share when we sold those options and bought the shares for $35.00 each.

We publish new reports to our free newsletter every month. If you're not a member, sign up by clicking here: Free Stock Market Newsletter

Equities saw a gap down open followed by immediate selling action. That selling was strong and lasted for a half hour followed by buying for an hour which was not able to reach the level of the open before selling began anew. That selling would take things down to lows that were higher than seen on Monday for the NASDAQ-100 but both the Dow and S&P-500 broke below Monday's lows. With a bit more than two hours remaining, the bulls began buying. The buying was interrupted in the final half hour with all three major indexes logging fractional losses. It is worth noting that the NASDAQ-100 closed above its 20-, 50-, and 200-Day Moving Averages (DMAs) while the S&P-500 closed below its 20-DMA and the Dow closed below its 20- and 50-DMAs. Clearly the NASDAQ-100 has shown greater relative strength of late. That story is repeated across the other leading indexes with the Dow Jones Transports (IYT 140.34 -1.35) and the Semiconductor Index (SOX 578.57 -3.48) both closing above their respective 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs. Of course, the Russell-2000 (IWM 109.06 -1.69) is one of our canaries that we have followed to gauge the markets overall direction. Although it was slammed lower and closed below its 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs, it did not shift from its trading state to a downtrend state. It maintains a BEARISH BIAS. The Bank Index (KBE 31.26 -0.19) and the Regional Bank Index (KRE 37.51 -0.39) both remain below their respective 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs but maintained trading states and maintain a BEARISH BIAS. The Finance Sector ETF (XLF 21.73 -0.13) continues to hover below its 20- and 50-DMAs but above its 200-DMA. Longer Term Bonds (TLT 112.95 +0.25) was little changed and we believe it has topped, which we suggested three sessions ago. It saw a modest gap down open with modest buying following. It maintains a trading state. It sits above its 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs. Trading volume remained light with 648M shares traded on the NYSE. Trading volume on the NASDAQ was also light with 1.756B shares traded.

There were no economic reports of interest released and none are schedule until Wednesday.

We are watching gold for a potential reversal in the Gold Miners Index (GDX 23.39 -0.02) was essentially unchanged as was the price of Gold (GLD 124.69 +0.09). Both closed below their 20-, 50-, and 200-DMAs.

Apple (AAPL 604.71 +0.12) was essentially unchanged. AAPL constitutes about 20 percent of the NASDAQ-100 and nearly five percent of the S&P-500.

Seadrill Limited (SDRL 35.68 +0.15) added a fractional gain. It remains above the support of its 20- and 50-DMAs with the 20-DMA crossing up through the 50-DMA last Thursday. We sold March 2014 $35.00 put contracts for $150 at the open on Feb 18th and bought shares at $35.43. The stock is now trading ex-dividend for $0.98. The shares were put to us at $35.00 less the $1.50 per share we were paid for the puts, so we have an effective price of $33.50.

The U.S. dollar rose a twentieth of one percent while the Euro moved the same amount in the opposite direction.

The yield for the 10-year treasuries fell four basis points to close at 2.51. The price of a barrel of crude oil fell twenty-eight cents to close at $102.33.

The implied volatility for the S&P-500 (VIX 12.96 +0.54) rose four percent remaining well below its 200-DMA. The implied volatility for the NASDAQ-100 (VXN 15.34 +0.24) rose most of two percent but remains below its 200-DMA.

Market internals were bearish with decliners leading advancers 2:1 on the NYSE and by 3:1 on the NASDAQ. Down volume led up volume 4:1 on the NYSE and by 3:1 on the NASDAQ. The index put/call ratio fell -0.15 to close at 1.00. The equity put/call ratio rose +0.12 to close at 0.66.


Tuesday saw the bears flex their muscles but they came up short of really dominating the bulls. All three canaries (IWM, KBE, KRE) moved lower but none of them retested their recent lows but IWM was able to break below Monday's low briefly. One thing of note is all three canaries maintained their trading states. That means the bears have not regained the downside momentum they had and we are likely to see bounces off of support and resistance. As we stated, we were not confident of a bullish day on Tuesday, and we certainly didn't get one. With that said, we believe the bulls will push their case on Wednesday with the 200-DMAs still looming above as the biggest obstacle for the canaries to overcome. We will maintain our long positions for now.


We hope you have enjoyed this edition of the McMillan portfolio. You may send comments to



Mark McMillan

Author: Mark McMillan

Mark McMillan
The McMillan Portfolio

Mark McMillan

Important Disclosure: Futures, Options, Mutual Fund, ETF and Equity trading have large potential rewards, but also large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in these markets. Don't trade with money you can't afford to lose. This is neither a solicitation nor an offer to buy/sell Futures, Options, Mutual Funds or Equities. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed on this Web site. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Performance results are hypothetical. Hypothetical or simulated performance results have certain inherent limitations. Unlike an actual performance record, simulated results do not represent actual trading. Also, since the trades have not actually been executed, the results may have under- or over-compensated for the impact, if any, of certain market factors, such as a lack of liquidity. Simulated trading programs in general are also subject to the fact that they are designed with the benefit of hindsight. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those shown.

Investment Research Group and all individuals affiliated with Investment Research Group assume no responsibilities for your trading and investment results.

Investment Research Group (IRG), as a publisher of a financial newsletter of general and regular circulation, cannot tender individual investment advice. Only a registered broker or investment adviser may advise you individually on the suitability and performance of your portfolio or specific investments.

In making any investment decision, you will rely solely on your own review and examination of the fact and records relating to such investments. Past performance of our recommendations is not an indication of future performance. The publisher shall have no liability of whatever nature in respect of any claims, damages, loss, or expense arising out of or in connection with the reliance by you on the contents of our Web site, any promotion, published material, alert, or update.

For a complete understanding of the risks associated with trading, see our Risk Disclosure.

Copyright © 2008-2014 Mark McMillan

All Images, XHTML Renderings, and Source Code Copyright ©