Pre-Market Outlook – 12/8/2021

Pre-Market Outlook – 12/8/2021

Navigator™ Swing Strategy – Buy on Dips to the 5-Day Line / Navigator™ Day Trading Strategy – Bias is Long – Looking for a Partial Gap Fill

It turns out my uber-aggressive long position was THE bottom last Friday afternoon. And I continue to regret not keeping my call debit spread position beyond Monday. Sure, 60 points were great, but 160 would have been better. Let there be no doubt that I am human – the fear infects me sometimes (even with my Crystal Ball).

Yesterday went as predicted. 15-minutes into the gap, the market pinned. The Gap and Go trade per Rules #2 and #4 was successful but rendered fewer gains than would have been the case without the overnight burglary. And there was a hell of a lot of merciless, painful short-covering yesterday. All of us have been there at least once in our career, and it hurts badly.

That reminds me of an important point. Two-thirds of yesterday’s gains occurred in the overnight session on negligible volume. That leaves a lot of white space on any invasion of the gap, something that usually follows in a few days. It will be an unpleasant visit into the gap zone without a parachute, as is typically the case.

Moreover, the evidence suggests that yesterday was primarily short-covering. There were also a lot of corporate buybacks last week. But retail traders were scarce, as were the institutions. We need follow-through “real buying” on good volume to ensure that the institutions are as foolish as the rest of us running into this House of Cards.

There are still those China Real Estate Collapse, Consumer Confidence, Flattening Yield Curve, Taiwan, and Ukraine things, lest you get too happy about yesterday. Those risks don’t even account for the severe damage and broken stocks under the hood.

And that reminds me, President Biden says he yelled at Putin yesterday. Biden threatened to cut Putin off from U.S. banking if Putin invaded Ukraine. Putin likely thought to himself, “I will keep my gold rather than your worthless paper money system, thank you.”

My theory of the macro case remains a trading range, if not new all-time highs. But the Elliott folks still have a “2” wave up argument here, with a “3” wave down ahead. The 78% retracement is the usual line in the sand, and we did stall there yesterday. I don’t completely discount the argument – and it would fool most people betting on new highs.

Tinfoil Hat Traders

Sure, we were expecting Santa Claus soon. But one could argue that the Fed is juicing the markets into next week’s meeting so that they can introduce a faster taper of QE Infinity and carpet bomb the markets.

It goes back to my Orange County/John Wayne Airport takeoff analogy. They are full throttle at the Fed’s Plunge Protection Team before shutting the engines down and the jet stalls.

Fed buying might also be the explanation for the Junk Bond jump yesterday. How much junk do you want at 4% interest? Other than short covering, only the Fed wants to be under-compensated for that kind of sizable risk.

Swing Traders

When the smoke clears, the market did exactly what it should do to retain the uptrend. It came down and tested the November breakout and pivoted higher. Nothing to see here, as the bull market is very much intact.

Unbelievably, we are short-term overbought in a single day but still closer to structurally oversold in the bigger picture. With the Navigator™ now on a long signal, I am looking to add positions on pivots connecting from the five-day line (about 4640 today).

The market is at 4687 at this writing. There is a coincident group of support lines between 4620 and 4640 for a good, long entry on a pivot. Refer to yesterday’s discussion of the zone, and it would be lucky for us to get the opportunity.

Unfortunately, the market triggered the Navigator™ signal line overnight, so we were not awake to execute. That is why we are looking for an entry point. Note that traders could be fighting the market makers on any longs above the Weekly Expected Move high at 4675 until Friday’s close.

I will give the buy signal when it presents. Otherwise, we would be chasing the market here in the short term and could very well regret it. Heaven help you if you did not cover your short positions on Monday morning’s initial weakness as I counseled.

Day Traders

We made a slight new high overnight, and inventory is net long. So we have a 70% chance of a counter auction at the open. Other than that, there is little to guide us except to recognize that we are short-term overbought with a lot of resistance above us and the Weekly Expected Move high below us at 4675 to draw us lower into Friday’s expiration.

Market makers will fight hard to bring the market down to 4675 or below to flatten their weekly expiration risk. They could not have expected us to blow through the WEM high in a million years, having already doubled the usual volatility range.

With the VIX still above 20, watch position size. We have been experiencing wide daily swings in the indexes.

The WEM high ar 4675 or so could form a center to trade around the rest of this week. The opinion assumes the shorts have finished covering their positions. Expected moves can be less reliable in this kind of volatility.

Also, note the 4700 roundie above us. It could not hold this level as hard as the market fought for several weeks going into the decline.

With all of this in mind, your initial playground today should be between 4700 and the WEM high at 4675.

Traders should treat any move above 4694 with suspicion given the 4700 roundie and all the trading/resistance there since October. With the magnet of the WEM high at 4675 below. It would be an excellent short to the WEM high on a pivot lower from the resistance zone.

There likely will be buyers (or more short-covering) below the WEM high. See if you can project a 30-minute clearing breach trade and target double the range. Also, look to the 4620 to 4640 area to cover shorts or go long – if we are fortunate enough to get there. All the lines I mentioned Monday coincide in that zone. Buyers are likely to congregate there.

Everything today depends on whether the shorts are done covering their positions. There were a ton of them short into the hole on Friday – more than we have seen in a year.

A.F. Thornton

AF Thornton


A.F. "Arthur" Thornton is an expert in logic, risk/reward quantification, market fractals, pattern recognition and asset class behavioral analysis with 34 years devoted to developing algorithmic and quantitative trading systems. In addition to trading his own capital, Mr. Thornton designs custom algorithmic and quantitative trading systems for a small and exclusive group of exceptionally qualified traders.


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