$ES_F : 1518-1528 : Market Recap

Round II bulls got on the chin. Bull-1 Bear-1: Consolidation range forming 1495-1525

This is classic topping pattern/consolidation. The bias has again shifted to down side. Breakout from range to give resolution.

Blame the Italian's or Fiscal Cliff Nonsense Part II or growling bears but today was exact opposite of what happened on Friday. You will see from the chart, on Friday my chart had my projected high of the day as 1510 and market trading significantly above it so much so that projected low of the day is not even visible. Today you have my projected low of the day 1518 and market trading well below it. Same pattern, mirror image. But overall this is a good development. From my experience, this flip-flop signal going from bear to bull to bear imply significant pause points for the market and possibly a reversal signal. We now have a well defined range 1495-1525 and breakout from the range will provide a good trade with stop above the range. Volatility has improved and touching 17. Volumes are returning to the market. Somehow it feels it is no longer the one-way slow grind up market any more. Here is 5 minute chart of today's day session.

I came in the day cautiously confused as per this trade plan. Overnight the markets were very bullish and had broken the line in sand for the bears at 1518. It was increasingly looking as if the markets would break 1530 today. After opening strongly on good volume, I went a probe long first green arrow (small position to test the market with tight stops) and I could manage to exit it immediately after day session high was printed second red arrow. I was not expecting for my trade plan orders to be filled but pretty soon market started dropping and filled my orders on a quick reaction (next 4 green arrows). I was expecting a move up to 1514 for gap fill. There were two high volume bars in that area marked with grey oval. This kind of told me that may be I got the low of the day and I can hold my positions. I was expecting a quick move up to VWAP but the markets reaction was not consistent with rejection of the low. After it failed to reach VWAP even after 30 minutes and started stalling near 1516, I decided to sell at minor loss last red arrow.

$ES_F : 1518 - 1528: Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Oh Dear, Goldilocks is eating the bears. 

The only running measured move short set-up is broken in pre-market. If bulls can hold, we are back in game on upside.

This market's strength is frightening as well as charming. Continuing rally without any meaningful correction is dangerous but if this is what market gives, this is what we need to take. Moody's downgrade for UK's credit rating simply sent the UK markets higher and GBP sharply lower which I guess these days is taken as sign of perpetual prosperity at least for the stock markets. Overnight Japan made noises about bringing in a doveish central bank governor and their markets are up 2% as well. Even the damp news of lower Chinese PMI brought in a mere few points dips in the sentiments. Looks like the party is well under way and carrying on. Bring on the champagnes!

1495 was well defended support area and is now a line in sand for bulls. It appears bulls might make an attempt at all time high for S&P before giving up any of their positions. With that in mind, I would expect support to be found at 1518-1515 area today leading to a move up to 1528-30 (which can also trigger some stops above 1530).

We might have some reactions to political comments related to The fiscal cliff nonsense version II  . Italian election results should be coming towards close and might have an impact on tomorrow's trading. I will update the comments section as the day develops. If you are subscribed by email to comments, you can follow the discussion.


$ES_F : 1510 - 1490 : Market Recap

In round I bears have been shaken a bit today. Bull-1 Bear-0

Short set-up is not broken but it is not looking great for bears. Caution required on both sides.

Well on the face of it, you will need to give it to bulls. They have defended 1495 clearly and after that, they have broken some intra day short set-ups. The main short set-up for last 2 days drop is still in play but if the performance tomorrow is as good as today, that is not likely to hold for much longer. Volumes were missing today however and only came in the end possibly to squeeze new shorts. Here is 5 minute chart of today's day session.

I came in the day cautiously bearish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were bullish but were within the main short set-up and I was expecting that once the run up from 1495 is exhausted, we should get new sellers in. Markets opened gap up but was looking vulnerable on highs and I was expecting a gap fill move at least. I went short at first red arrow and there was immediate reaction to down side. However rally started stalling near 1504 making me suspicious. I was trailing mental stops near VWAP and after market broke above it first time, I took exit at second green arrow. From hindsight it looks bit early but I was cautious today. Market proceeded to make a new low at 1503.25 but I was expecting lower level, at least 1501-1500 so I did not go long. In hindsight, it was a mistake as there were signals that market has changed control to bulls.

$ES_F : 1510-1490 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Cautiously bearish. Two competing set-up in play. 1500 is key area. Bullish above, bearish below.

Today is day of struggle between new shorts v/s new longs

After 2 days of drops, markets are enjoying a rally in pre-market. However the current ongoing set-up is a short set-up. 1495-1490 were intermediate term support zone for longs. In that light, today is a difficult day to call, specially given it is last day of week and close below 1508.5 would turn the weekly trend down. At the same time close above 1517 will make it 8th consecutive green week. As can be imagined each side has something to offer in this struggle and can be cause of all the choppiness we might witness today. The last 2 days drop has done some shake up in recent bulls and possibly brought in some new bears. Now one side will have to prove they have muscle. All in all it is possibly a day of caution and mainly watching for set-up confirmation.

The reaction started from overbought territory which still remains the case. The fiscal cliff nonsense version II has started by various sides starting to make noises. Italy is going through election during weekend and that can bring some caution. I had been cautious on the highs, mainly trading on day trade basis only. I am also equally cautious here and not going short all the way in. Remember, so far only the long set-ups are broken. We need need a short set-up to hold. However tempting it looks, we need a confirmation for big short positions. So far I have two set-ups. 1500-1515 or 1510-1490. The key is to watch the reaction in 1500 area. At the same time 1518 remain key level for shorts. I will update the comments section as the day develops.


$ES_F : 1495 - 1509 : Market Recap

Bears have confirmed the trend change.

2 Days have erased 2.5 weeks of gains. These were the reasons to be cautious on bullish side.

Finally and after a long wait, bears have managed to control the market for two full sessions in a row and in the process erased all gains from 4th Feb 2013 in just 2 days. The markets were vulnerable to this correction for a long time and even for a longer term bullish case, such a correction was needed to shake out weak hands. Now the question which every one must be asking - is this the end of the bull market since 2003 or is this just a correction. And the the answer my friend is blowing in the winds. Just like bull markets require confirmations and consolidation, bear markets require periods of confirmation and congestions. The markets are a constant battle between bulls and bears and only pigs get slaughtered. Here is 5 minute chart of today's day session.

I came in the day cautiously bullish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were bearish and still digesting the fed news driven drop. Market was susceptible to shaking out recent buyers. Markets opened gap down and weak and continued to drop but without clear energy on down side. Mainly it was dancing around the VWAP indicating a tug of war. Eventually markets traded to the expected low of the day 1495 to the tick and immediately started going up, providing some short term intra day long opportunity to take profits at VWAP (Green and Red arrow). Since this was counter trend trade, quick profit were warranted though market continued to move higher after that. Market still failed to touch day session high and eventually rolled to end near VWAP - indicating people are still selling rallies.

$ES_F : 1509-1495 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

First sign of bear claws. Fed spoils the party.

A clear bearish reversals sets up a short set-up. Now time for follow through.

I was late yesterday so did not have time for a blog post but what a day. Fed came and spoiled the party by "hinting" no more free money and market traded to levels last seen on 7th Feb wiping nearly 2 weeks of gains. Well that, my dear friends, is the power of bears, the ride up is grinding but crash is quick. That is one reason I love to trade bear markets.

The markets were in key overbought territory and this is first sign of a correction. Please do not mistake it for a signal to outright short. I had been cautious on the highs, mainly trading on day trade basis only. I am also equally cautious here and not going short all the way in. Remember, so far only the long set-ups are broken. We need need a short set-up to hold. However tempting it looks, we need a confirmation for big short positions. Key levels for me to watch are 1488-1470 area for support in medium term. So far the feel from yesterday's correction was similar to 4th Feb 2013. Then the markets quickly reversed next day and made new high. We need to be watchful of that pattern repeating. Since 1510-1522 range is broken (first on upside as fake out and then on downside with good volume), that should act as resistance. Today I would expect resistance in 1509-1512 area. I will update the comments section as the day develops.


$ES_F : 1516-1525 : Market Recap

Another New High 1528.75.

Bullish set-up continues.

Markets made a strong start after holiday and right from open. Even Obama speaking caused only couple of points drop. Looks like this market has discounted every bearish indicator. Here is the 5 min day session chart for E-Mini.

I came in the day cautiously bullish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were bullish and acting in line with long set-up. Markets opened strongly and did not fill gap and kept moving higher from open on good volume. It was clear stops above 1422 were triggered evident from on high volume and soon NYSE TICK registered high tick along with then high of the market at 1424.75. Usually such activity typically creates a small pull back and I was expecting the gap to be filled along with drop to expected support level. Once market started stalling near the highs, I took a cautious short (first red arrow) towards support via this comment. Market gave me first warning that I was wrong by making new high at 1425. Eventually market dropped below VWAP but found support and I exited this position at second green arrow as mentioned here. Market eventually made new highs at 1528.75 and has been trading above day session mid, indicating a strong bullish set-up. Even the customary gravitation to VWAP did not happen in the day session.

$ES_F : 1516-1525 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Cautiously bullish on this volume less trade.

Market is still in the grip of bulls even though volumes are plunging and bearish divergences emerging. 

Hope my friends in US had a happy and relaxed extended weekend. Things have not changed much on this side of the pond. Some well planned crooks managed to steal a huge haul of diamonds from Brussels airport. With all the drama our governments do at airports in the name of security, these incidents show that a determined person would not necessarily take the route via the metal detectors and frisky hands of security personnel. In other news Paris police are weighing up to spend 1 million to determine a criminal or let the matter go in the name of austerity. HLF should be active overnight once again when the company, stuck in the ego of major wall street big shots, announces earnings. This was an important lesson in reacting to news for traders. Once 13D was announced, there was a panic in the overnight market, expecting a short squeeze and massacre, all of which turned out a damp squib. A patient trader would work on targets and bank some money. It would be interesting how far Icahn (I am always tempted to write his name as iCahn for some strange reason) would push this saga.

Coming back to our S&P it seems clear that not much has changed. Overnight the markets looked slightly bullish with no major movement. The market is still within 1510-1522 trading range, and still trading within previous day range. Possible expected break out from this range is on the up-side. On economic announcement front there is not much action today. Today I would expect support in 1516-1514 area. I will update the comments section as the day develops.


$ES_F : 1515-1525 : Market Recap

Choppy Pre Holiday session

Market in no-men's land. 

All fireworks I was expecting from HLF turned out to be damp squib. It would seem Icahn should focus on Ackman instead of opening his mouth on TV - that act alone shaved some 3$ from the share price and as I write this post HLF is close to yesterday's close giving up nearly 10$ of over night market gains. I am glad I took advantage of the after hour trading madness to exit at 46 and to get into a risk free trade. The close shave with meteor also did not produce any fireworks. And even though our market made violent moves today downwards, it is still stuck neither here nor there. Looks like S&P will paint another green week close - 7th in a row. Here is the 5 min day session chart for E-Mini.

I came in the day cautiously bullish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were bullish and acting in line with long set-up however due to option expiration I was expecting a choppy day. Markets opened strongly and after gap fill, kept moving higher on high volume and mainly traded around the VWAP for most of the early part of the day. I was beginning think I will not get entry to my anticipated support zone. After making high of the day at 1521.75, there was reaction to the down side near European close. Market traded just a tick above 1515 expected low of the day and I got just one fill at 1516 in my 1516-14 support zone marked by first arrow. So far the things were according to plan but I was suspicious of the reaction from the support zone mentioned in this comment.

$ES_F : 1515-1525: Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Cautiously bullish on this volume less holiday weekend trade.

Options Expiry today expecting choppy day.

It is a Friday and it seems there is so much agenda for the day and weekend. At 19:25 GMT we are going to get the closest visit from a heavenly body of the size of a swimming pool, I do hope it does not come too close or I would not have time to write up the Market Recap :-). Before that in preparation another not so friendly visitor shattered some windows and injured on-lookers in Russian Ural mountains. It appears the heavens are making up for the excitement lacking in the volume less slowly grinding markets. Overnight Icahn beat up Ackman with a 13D disclosure that he is going to steal the lunch money from a playground cry baby and that shot HLF up to crazy heights in after hours trade. This well orchestrated short squeeze is going to be painful as nearly 34 mln shares - a good part of free float - are short. The problem would be if the stock lenders start calling in loaned stock in light of possible tender offer - a threat Icahn made explicitly and Ackman dared him on. Any one remember what happened at VW in Europe when Porsche announced similar stake and accompanied short squeeze?

Coming back to our boring S&P500 on options expiry day ahead of holiday weekend, it seems clear that not much is going to happen today. Overnight the markets looked direction less, trading within previous day range. On economic announcement front there is not much action today. Today I would expect support in 1516-1514 area. I will update the comments section as the day develops.


$ES_F : 1507-1517 : Market Recap

Oh Dear! Will it Ever End

Good attempt by short but no follow through

Whatever happens in the world, this market seems to be discounting it all. This is sign of tremendous strength of the bullish sentiment. Volumes are missing from these markets so a warning sign BUT so far there is no sign of chink in the armour of bulls. Today started with an overload of bad news on GDP front but these all all bad news of economy is good news of stock market because the participants expect more money printing and more bailouts. Here is the 5 min day session chart for E-Mini.

I came in the day cautiously bearish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were weak and completed a full short set-up (albeit on small time frame). The news from Europe was not great. Coupled with the flirting with resistance levels, it seemed may be just may be bears will have time to show their claws this time. Markets opened gap down and immediately made low of the day at 1510.75 with high volume and lowest tick reading for the day. This is first arrow on the chart. That it self was a sign of "worry" for bears but it is easier to say that in hind sight. May be a a lesson for future.

$ES_F : 1517-1507 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Overnight short set-up played in full.

Today is first day for shorts to follow through.

Looks like the market darling is not happy on this Valentine day. Japan remain mired in recession. Even in Eurozone French and German economies contracted. Currency War is on and everyone is trying to talk their currencies down. And eventually ES made overnight low of 1510 confirming one full run of the short set-up I had pointed out in my last night's market recap. Now it is follow through time. If the shorts can keep this market below 1519 and close near lows of 1507, we can possibly have first confirmed short set-up. Hence I am cautiously bearish today. Today I would expect resistance in 1517-1519 area. I will update the comments section as the day develops.

I have meanwhile start establishing my hypothetical stock portfolio. Please comment and discuss your views and suggest any additions there. I have added CSCO recently on long side. I am looking at some other positions to create a balanced portfolio.


$ES_F : 1515-1522 : Market Recap

1522 New High. Small Short Set-up in play.

ES at key resistance point. Rally target from 1266 met.

It has become a familiar one way street this trading lately. Markets open, dip a bit, grind higher all day and establish a new high in a dull narrow range trading day. Well today was slightly different. The volume was generally low but still there was a burst of activity at key points indicating something bigger at play. May be longs taking profit, may be trend is changing. So far no confirmation but there is a warning flag.

I came in the day bullish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were pointing higher and made new high at 1520. After opening with small gap up, the resulting dip was did not fill gap and instead made a low at 1517.25 and markets quickly made to the expected day session high at 1522 without any fills on long side. I was not prepared to fade the 1522 level on short side without a confirmed short set-up so mainly I ended up twiddling thumbs. However the rally started failing at 1522 and by mid day, markets dropped quickly to 1514.75 giving long positions in expected support zone. Now if the trade were to act as per script, I was expecting a slow grind follow through on the upside like a typical day. Indeed that was the case and markets visited the VWAP at 1518 allowing stops to be moved to break even and 50% profit opportunity. However at this point I noted a failure/stall in the rally and I exited remaining positions at 1517, noting a trend change which I mentioned in this comment.

$ES_F : 1515-1522 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Bullish set-up continues via Dull Trading

Resistance is futile. We are all assimilated now. 1520 target met overnight. 1540 in sight.

I was not well yesterday but looks like I have not missed much. Markets continued to head higher, make new highs and trade in low volume, narrow range grind up. Typical of a bull market. There have been enough noises on currency wars but not to a great outcome. Looks like world is chugging along. Tomorrow being Valentine Day, it seems difficult market will break anyone's heart. I have meanwhile start establishing my hypothetical stock portfolio. Please comment and discuss your views and suggest any additions there.

Today I would expect 1515-1512 as initial area of support. I will update the comments section as the day develops.


$ES_F : 1520-1512 : Market Recap

Shock! Horror! $DJI once again closed below 14,000

1517 new high in overnight. Otherwise a dull day.

During my recent visit to HK, I noted a clear change in our customer sentiments. Considering I travelled a long distance, typical meeting opener is "how are things here". Traditionally the Asian customers are very bullish. They would be boasting their business success. They would talk about their plans for coming days, weeks, years. This time it was bit subtle. All is well but ... In most conversations there was but. Business is good but we are on hiring freeze, or worse cutting down - down sizing as they call it euphemistically. We are doing good but we are not investing - the focus is on bottom line. Need to meet the numbers. Somehow it feels that all is not so well under the surface.

Anyway, I came in the day bullish as per this trade plan. Overnight markets were pointing higher and made new high at 1517. I was expecting the 1520 target to be met today. But markets had a tired note from open and pushed lower from open. Volume was good and VIX got crushed below 13 handle again. After opening close to unchanged, market quickly dropped into the 1512-1508 support area giving entries for long. The subsequent rally was not strong, 24 hour session midpoint 1513.5 provided opportunity to close 50% of positions, the remaining were left with Low of Day stop. However the failure to make any strong move up was warning that rally is fading so I could manage to close positions on mental stops/intra day set-ups. There was another attempt to rally near close but that too appears to be fizzled out.

$ES_F : 1520-1512 : Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Bull on full power.

Resistance is futile. We are all assimilated now.

I was away last week in HK, as evident from the silence on trading front and more on Jogging and Fun related posts. When I was leaving HK, China was getting ready to start Chinese New Year preparations. So first and foremost - Gong Xi Fa Chai. May the Snake bring all the good fortune and joy in the coming year to you and your family.


As so happened, the mighty Chinese juggernaut kept chugging along and overtaken US for the first time as biggest trading nation. I think the time will be near when I will actually be trading on Shanghai Mercantile Exchange instead of CME but until then, let us see what our markets have been up to.

The bullish story continued unabated through out last week with just one minor wobble from a European sneeze and it would seem ES is expected to reach its 1520 target now and possibly extend it. The next upside target is 1540 area and then all time high.
Today I would expect 1512-1508 as initial area of support. I will update the comments section as the day develops.

Jogging at Bowen Road HK.

Something new to do in Hong Kong

Hidden gem in Hong Kong

Central Hong Kong is a congested city with narrow footpaths and roads filled with cars. Not a place for jogging given uneven surfaces and pollution. But hidden in City's heart are some places which will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city and rekindle your energy levels. I have been to HK several times but most of the times my idea of fun has been to spend a crazy night in LKF and get up next morning with a headache only to find that hotel breakfast is served until 10:00 and it is nearly lunch time. Well this trip was different. Lately I have taken up running long distances at leisurely pace (jogging at 10-15 minute per mile) and like a tiger looking to mark its territory I have also taken up the desire to run in each new place I go. This also ends up being the best way to know a city and its residents.

This post is about my latest jog at Bowen Road in Hong Kong. Close to Central with 8-10 miles run engulfed in nature enjoying great views over the Central and Wan Chai area from a vista point you can barely imagine in Hong Kong.

My Hypothetical Stocks Portfolio

Tracking performance of my views on various popular stocks.

I do not trade stock in general and instead I prefer bigger markets like S&P 500 index future, Treasury Bonds futures or foreign exchange which suits better to my macro driven approach to trading. However it is no secret that majority of investing and trading population discusses, trades and loves to talk about stocks. Some stocks tend to build up enough following so as to behave like a macro indicator for general market. My interest in trading stocks began after I started following and shorting AAPL. More than the trade I enjoyed the resulting discussions with my friends and colleagues in investment and trading circle. Hence I thought about creating a collection of my current views on various stocks and also keep a track of those views. Just for a light hearted investment track record.

Please provide your comments and discussions. Also if you wish you discuss a particular stock please mention in the comments and who knows, I might take a hypothetical position in that :-)

My Hypothetical Stock Portfolio Table


Super Bowl and S&P $SPY

Sitting at the airport after a cancelled flight here is an interesting statistics for super bowl to munch as food for thought. h/t to FT financial times .The only business news paper I care to read and trust.

Last 2 times S&P was above 1500, next year after Super Bowl it fell by a combined total of both team's score. Going by this massive correlation :-) it would seem the American investors and possibly word would hope and pray for the best outcome of 0-0 tie. For entertainment watch Beyonce who is claimed to be well rehearsed and won't do a Milli Vanilli this time.


$ES_F : 1496-1506 : Market Recap

Longs still in charge. DOW 14000 headline coming in print tomorrow every where.

1510.5 new high. No end in sight for the rally. Expect 1520-1528.

I came in the day undecided as per this trade plan. Yesterday markets failed to close lower enough indicating the underlying strength of the long side and today morning the only prevailing short set-up was under attack again and was decidedly broken in pre-market after NPF numbers which came a little below expectation but markets ignored the news. It would seem any bad news for the economy is good news for markets because they would expect fed to continue pouring money. Volume also improve a bit and VIX got crushed again after reclaiming 14 handle it is now back showing 12 handle and hovering just above new lows. Market opened bullish and the with a wide gap which was not expected to be filled. They traded no where near my expected 1496-94 area, not even 1498 where I would have taken a small probe long. After trading at 1500 markets headed higher without looking back after ISM news put the rocket under the market. I was expecting high of day at 1507.50 via this comment but eventually that too was overtaken.

$ES_F : 1496-1506 Expected Day Session Range for EMINI

Undecided. Will SPX end the rally or end the 5th consecutive week in green.

No rush picking tops but caution required on long side.

Markets ended the month end in the choppy area as I pointed in this post. For the short set-up to be active, the markets should have closed bit lower. Overall SPX ended the month on bullish note and optimistic start of new year. As of today, two competing set-ups are in play. Short from 1500 is still not broken in day session and measured move long from 1496-94 is also in play. Target area of 1520 and unployment/NFP numbers are broadly in line but unemployment rate ticked up slightly. So far SPX has reacted in bullish fashion.

I am undecided today in terms of trading. Today I would expect 1496-94 as initial area of support. I will update the comments section as the day develops. Factors affecting the rally are: