19 March 2010

Quad Witching Expiration and a Pullback from the Back-Kiss on the Long Term Trend

The front month on the SP futures has now switched from March to June as a part of the Quad Witching Expiration. (Technically it switched last week, but for charting purposes I made the switch last night.) The June Futures have essentially the same formations as did March, its just that the earlier months have few trades to mark them.

This is the first serious test for US equities since mid-February, as it has been on a spectacular rally streak, no doubt fueled by excess liquidity applied to a selling exhaustion in the funds. Curiously not among corporate insiders who were selling at a rate of 57 to 1 in this latest rally, no doubt for diversification purposes

The extent of this correction will be determined on the amount of actual selling that starts to occur. For now what we are seeing is more of a trading correction in response to an outsized rise in price, or as the Street likes to say, the market was getting ahead of itself.

Key levels to watch are 1135 and 1120. If we break those I would look for a consolidation around the 1080-1100 level.

This news is weighing on US stocks today, but they were overripe for a correction at least.

U.S. Stocks Erase Advance as India Unexpectedly Raises Rates
By Rita Nazareth

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks erased their advance after India’s central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates for the first time since July 2008 after inflation accelerated to a 16-month high.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,165.46 at 9:46 a.m. in New York. It had advanced 0.3 percent before India’s decision.

“Keep an eye on the punch bowl,” Larry Kantor, head of research at Barclays Plc, told Bloomberg Radio. “The major risk going forward for markets is not budget deficits, it’s the fact that policy makers have put so much into the economy to get things going that they’re going to be withdrawing that stimulus. That’s actually the big risk.”

“Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows”

Leonard Cohen, “Everybody Knows”