Friday, April 1, 2011

Market No Longer Has a Middle Ground

Looking back at the market since August 2008 when The Bernank explicitly added "pushing up asset prices" as the Fed's 3rd mandate there has been no middle ground in the market.  We are either in a V shaped non stop rally mode OR a very short term, but swift 6-7% type of correction that only comes about due to an exogenous event - Ireland in Nov 2010, and Japan/Libya a few weeks ago.  If there is no exogenous event, there is no stopping the V shape rally.  There is no longer the typical "rally for 2 months, then consolidate the move" action that used to be the norm. Until the pattern changes, traders will continue to play it... it will work until it no longer works.

The S&P 500 has smashed through any form of resistance the past few weeks (much of it in the overnight session of course), and the only thing that stands in its way now is yearly highs in the mid 1340s.   Once that double top is cleared, off to the races we go again as technicians will pounce on that pattern. 

Today is yet another example of how the market has done little during the day, but the entire gain was in the overnight session (with 50 minutes to go in the session).   Therefore, to capture much of the gains you no longer can avoid overnight risk but embrace it or see your returns lag.  In this 12 session rally, 7 days have been led with gap up opens - many of substantial manner.  And many where the market did nothing (or fell) during normal market hours.  I am still scratching my head to see a market bottom on a gap up open (two weeks ago Thursday) -  another atypical event we need to file under "new paradigm market action".


Speaking of April Fool's, it appears the SEC has pulled one on me.  It's now been over three weeks since they verbally committed sending our review letter 'next week'.  Three 'next weeks' have passed and still we twist in the wind.  I must have been filed in the 'purgatory' basket on someone's desk.

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