19 October 2009

S&P500 Soothguessing

(Also posted at International Stock Forums.)

As we head into the new week, once again I pull out my crystal ball (which I'm thinking of sending back for a refund) and look for signs of a top in this market. Ahhhh life is so tough for bearish prognosticators. Once again I'm going to have a look at those leading indicators than markets are so adept at ignoring.

Firstly, VIX. As I said in a previous post, I have no challenge with technical analysis on the VIX, so long as it is about creating boundaries of proof and disproof. My thesis was that VIX had bottomed for now at ~23%. This has now been disproved with Friday's close at around 21.4%. VIX watchers are postulating that it is now oversold on whatever their favourite basis is for such opinions. I'm inclined to agree.

Even if we get a mean reverting bounce in the VIX via a retracement in the Spooz, you'd have to think there is generally lower levels in the VIX's cards as the market grinds upwards.

My old favourite, the 20dma of the put/call ratio is still dragging its ass along some of the lowest levels of the past three years. Clicking down a couple of gears to the 5dma of the put/cat ratio and we are at new lows as of Friday's close.

Nobody wants to hedge their portfolio any more.

This gives us a picture of complacency and this is generally regarded as a contrarian signal. It should be noted however, that complacency can last for some time.

The case for resistance can be made by the monthly pivots. These have shown areas of interest in the past few months and as we are at R1, I'm looking for some genuine signs of resistance. We've had a bit of a pause there during the latter part of last week, but I've yet to be convinced we don't grind higher. Markets have opened up a tick or two as I write, so waiting to see definitive signs of direction for this week.

Good luck

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