Monday, July 25, 2011

Markets continue to whip as debt negotiations stall

By this point it is cliched, but also accurate, to say that US debt ceiling negotiations are driving the markets. Events in the European Union, such as Greece's downgrade by Moody's last night, are now merely an afterthought to global traders--at least for the time being.

This morning the S&P 500 opened sharply lower as "bi-partisan" negotiations seemingly broke down over the weekend. But within 20 minutes of the opening bell, the S&P 500 easily started its climb back up to Friday's close at approximately 1345 on the SPX.

Market whips continue on the SPY 10 min chart

The day's rally lasted until midday, when the market topped at the gap-fill and started to decline, this time accelerated as US Republicans and Democrats traded barbs and publicly rejected each other's proposal. The drop continued for the rest of the session, with the SPX closing at 1337.43--more or less flat on the day.

Right now, the pattern on the daily SPX chart is the beginnings of bullish consolidation--a move up followed by several days of sideways trading within the range of the initial up-move. The longer we see sideways trading, the more likely that we eventually trade higher and approach the daily double top at 1370. This pattern confirms my suspicion that if a a debt resolution manages to pass the House and the Senate, the markets will rally as a sign of relief. And please note that the market does not care if it's a Republican or Democratic plan that passes, as long as this uncertainty comes to a timely end.

I have every confidence that a deal will pass by the deadline--to do otherwise without a contingency plan would be political suicide for all parties involved, not to mention the collateral damage to financial markets.

Going into the rest of the week, continue to follow the charts and consider news events only as a means of understanding the intraday whips of the market. We're still in an uptrend, though admittedly extended on the charts, and will remain so until we either hit resistance on the way up or break back to the downside. In the meantime, expect the whips and saws to continue until there is some sort of resolution.

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