Investing Information

Preholiday Trading

The Light Crude Continuous Contract closed at $66.13 a barrel Friday, after hitting an all-time high at $67.95 a barrel earlier in the day. A week from Monday is Labor Day, which marks the end of the summer driving season. Consequently, I believe, oil hit a short-term top Friday or will top next week.

Recent economic data show persistently high oil prices, along with higher interest rates, are slowing U.S. economic growth. Durable Goods Orders fell about 5% last month, and Walmart announced sales will be lower than expected. However, business inventories are lean. A slower economy will lower demand for oil.

The SPX daily chart below shows an orderly pullback in August. Currently, SPX is oversold enough to bounce into the Labor Day holiday. Major support is around 1,200, i.e. the 200 day MA, and Price-by-Volume bar. There are several major resistance levels working together to create strong resistance, i.e. the 10, 20, and 50 day MAs, the Parabolic SAR sell signal (red dots), and the Price-by-Volume bar, all between 1,220 and 1,225.

There's typically a bullish bias the week before a holiday, and over the first few days of a new month. However, the market has been selling into weekends (and into rallies last week), which is bear market behavior, it's a seasonally weak period, and SPX has open gaps at 1,174, 1,143, and 1,138. Oil prices and economic data will continue to move the market.

There are many important economic reports next week, which should generate a great deal of volatility, in the seasonally low volume market: Mon: None, Tue: Factory Orders, Consumer Confidence, and FOMC Minutes, Wed: Revised Q2 GDP & GDP Chain Price Deflator, and Chicago PMI. Thu: Personal Income, Personal Spending, Unemployment Claims, Construction Spending, ISM Index, and Auto Sales. Fri: Non-Farm Payrolls, Unemployment Rate, and Hourly Earnings.

The Dow Industrials were hit hard by high oil prices recently, and closed below 10,400 Friday, while Nasdaq held up relatively well. If oil prices top next week, DIA calls (and puts on some oil stocks) may be buys on pullbacks. Also, there are several Dow components that were hit particularly hard recently.

Charts available at Forum Index Market Overview section.

Arthur Albert Eckart is the founder and owner of PeakTrader. Arthur has worked for commercial banks, e.g. Wells Fargo, Banc One, and First Commerce Technologies, during the 1980s and 1990s. He has also worked for Janus Funds from 1999-00. Arthur Eckart has a BA & MA in Economics from the University of Colorado. He has worked on options portfolio optimization since 1998.

Mr Eckart has developed a comprehensive trading methodology using economics, portfolio optimization, and technical analysis to maximize return and minimize risk at the same time. This methodology has resulted in excellent returns with low risk over the past four years.


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