Momentum Monday – Volatility Is Back

The charts on Momentum Monday are powered by MarketSmith

The euphoria we saw the previous week was quickly replaced by cautiousness and outright fear. The best buying opportunities in a bull markets are after a multi-day pullback. We just got one. There is always a chance that a minor 4-5% pullback is followed by something unexpected that turns the pullback into a full-blown 10-20% correction but the odds for the latter are slim.

There are four major warning signs in the current tape:

  1. The major index ETFs are not trading below their declining 20-day EMAs. In addition, their 10-day EMA is about to cross below their 20-day EMA.
  2. Some of the major companies have given up their earnings gaps after strong reports – AAPL, FB, even GOOGL. AMZN gapped down and kept going down which is unusual. In a strong bull markets, such downside gaps are usually quickly bought.
  3. The momentum leaders are starting to crack. Some are already below their 50-day moving averages. Others were hit hard after their last earnings reports. Thirds cannot hold their earnings gap. Momentum stocks are leaders for a reason. They lead on the way up and are the first ones to break out after a correction. They are often among the first ones to break down before a market correction. The last time, the major indexes had a 5-10 pullback was in May. During that time, many momentum stocks just went sideways and build a new base above their 50-day moving average. That wasn’t the case in October 2018 when many broke below their 200-day moving average.
  4. The trade war between the U.S. and China seems to be escalating. The Chinese Yuan is at 10-year lows against the U.S. Dollar.

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