Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trying to Think Like HAL9000 [Now Sold]

Well HAL did it again.  After taking the S&P 500 over a breakout level (double top at 1184/1185), "it" has reversed the market to just below that breakout level.  As I wrote earlier this has been the pattern over and over of late - very different than latter 2009 thru early 2010.  Traditionally HAL knows those of us who buy breakouts will shelve our trade as the breakout failed... and it seems to collect our sell orders... wait an hour or three..... or the next morning, and then ramp the market up.  Of course this leaves us puny humans with empty inventory and chasing the market at far poorer prices (higher).

This time around I am going to try something different and not stop out as S&P 1184/1185 is punctured.   (as I type we're in the 1183s).  Barring a big reversal this afternoon (obviously completely contingent on the U.S. dollar rallying - don't laugh)  I'll let it be and see if I can think 3 steps ahead of HAL.  With my luck, this would be the one time for the big reversal :)

(EDIT 11:40 AM - ok I sold 1/3rd of the position just so my "experiment" is not so expensive to the pocketbook - if 1180 is broken I'll be forced to get rid of the rest just to stick to my risk profile)

(EDIT 12:35 PM - I decided to sell the other 2/3rds as S&P dances with 1180... whatever the case the 'breakout' did not happen today.  I'll live to play another day)


Sidenote: if you want to laugh today please check out the weekly unemployment claims.  They "dropped" some 20K+ week over week, to the 450Ks level.  Which is strange because I distinctly remember 'celebrating' the weekly claims in the 450ks area  last week.    So what happened?  Oh, after the fact they revised LAST WEEK's claims up well over 20K (announced today) and by the magic of numbers can now say claims dropped 20K+.  So we get to ramp the market up both weeks on "good news" (isn't that convenient):  (a) last week's initial read of 450Kish ("better than expected").. and (b) this week's "drop of 20K+" to... (wait for it)  450Kish ("better than expected!" as well).

Initial weekly jobless claims for the week ended Oct. 16 came in at 452,000, down 23,000 from an 
upwardly revised 475,000 a week earlier and vs. expectations for 455,000, the Department of Labor 
reported Thursday.

You can't make this stuff up (unless you work in government I guess).  The only reason I caught this is I saw on a news feed that claims dropped 20K+ week over week, so I thought to myself "Finally! A print well below 450K... what was it? 432K? 434K?"   Then I discovered somehow it was still over 450K.

I am now attaching myself back to the Matrix.  Wake me up when Neo breaks the machine.


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