There are so many trading maxims it’s often hard to ignore them, but there are two that spring to mind considering the daily chart for the Emini NQ this morning. The first is ‘sell in May and go away’, and the second is the old stock market term, ‘climbing the wall of worry’. Whilst the first certainly failed to deliver on this occasion, with the NQ having risen over 400 points since the start of the summer, the second certainly describes the price action for August, which is almost perfect in every way, describing an elegant and symmetrical arc of constantly narrowing spreads and tighter price action each day. If ever a market was climbing the wall of worry, then this has to be it, with the symmetry of the price action, matched with the symmetry of the volume. Picture perfect!
For volume traders this is an interesting combination, with rising prices and falling volumes, suggesting, at the very least, a market that is running out of steam, exhausted after rising steadily for so many days. Indeed in many ways, the price action is representative of an escalator, which has now arrived at the floor above, so perhaps it’s time to step off, and wait for the next phase of price action to develop. However, before the big short bears all start to emerge from their hiding places once again, there is nothing to suggest in this timeframe, that we have reached the top just yet, either in terms of the price action, or the volume. We have seen no selling climax, so once again this is likely to be a simple pause and reversal, as we come to the end of the summer on thin trading volumes and ahead of Labor day next week.
A look at the weekly chart reveals a similar picture, with the index moving firmly higher, but with falling volumes, so a pullback looks likely, but again, there is no selling climax here, merely a market that is moving higher in the summer months on low volumes, something we can expect given the time of year. What will be interesting will be the pick up in volume as we move into Q4 of 2014, and the associated price action, and at this point, we may well see the wall of worry take centre stage. In the short term the index looks weak after the bullish trend of the last few months, with the Dow and the S &P painting a similar picture.
The interesting number for today is of course the preliminary GDP data due for release later, with a forecast of 3.9% against 4.0% last time around. The significance of this figure cannot be underestimated with the ramifications for the economy, the US dollar, and the QE program, and given its importance, it’s no wonder the markets are now pausing and waiting. Whilst we can all argue that the data is flawed and out of date, it is the ‘big one’ both for the FED and for the markets. Given that the escalator has now reached the next floor, perhaps the markets know something we don’t!
By Anna Coulling