Saturday, July 24, 2010

Volatility, Volume and Economic News

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It looks like the summary I posted last week in my "Leading and Lagging Indicators" post (on July 18, 2010) was confirmed by positive trading week. In that post I stated "Overall, by summarizing all of the above, I would say that if I would be in short, I would think about closing short position or at least about setting a stop-loss to protect profit. I would not rush into a long trade (majority of indicators are still bearish) and I would monitor index charts closely for possibility of changes in the sentiment toward bullish trading.". Already on Monday (July 19) some technical indicators started to generate bullish signals an already on Tuesday majority of them became Bullish.

Taking a look back at the past week I cannot say that this is that kind of up-move I expected. As a rule, an up-move is less volatile than down move, yet, past week's price advance is an exception. If you take a look at volatility indicators on daily chart (1 bar = 1 day) you will see that volatility went up. From technical analysis prospective, this is not good sign for bullish trend. Another negative sign (on my opinion) is that the past week's up-move was supported by increase in volume which was especially clear in the Nasdaq market. This is not like healthy up-move looks like. Even the stock market moved up as I expected last week, because of the volume and volatility, I do not believe in a strong recovery toward April’s highs.

Another point that makes me cautious is the reaction of stock market on the economic news and reports. I do not analyze economic reports and I do not base my trading decision on the economic reports. However, I monitor how stock market reacts on them. The last week has been enriched by good quarterly profit reports as well as by other economic news. The market did not react strongly positively on these reports, yet it did not miss smaller bad news. This would not be a characteristic of a healthy up-trend as well.

In summary, because of the increase in volatility and volume as well as because of the weak stock market reaction on positive economic reports, I would stay on alert about further up-move. Of course, if I see further advance which would be supported by decline in volatility and volume then I may change my opinion. Yet, so far, results of my technical analysis suggest that the stock market (Nasdaq 100, DJI and S&P 500 indexes) is quite weak, unstable which and may reverse into another down turn.

It does not mean that I am rushing into short position. The indexes are still on their up-side and there is a good possibility that we may see further advance. However, I would monitor charts closely for changes in the sentiment. When volatility is high changes could be fast.

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