Weekly Stock Market Commentary 3/9/18

By Lawrence G. McMillan

The $SPX chart has improved greatly. The 20-day moving average and the "modified Bollinger Bands" have curled upwards. That is a very positive development, for that aspect of the chart is no longer in a downtrend. Now it must overcome resistance at 2790.

A major intermediate-term bullish development is that the equity- only put-call ratios have rolled over to buy signals. This happened in just the last two or three days, so these are fresh signals.

Market breadth has improved over the past week, and both breadth oscillators have risen into modestly overbought territory. That places them on buy signals, canceling out any previous sell signals.

Volatility indices have generally continued to decline, although there seems to be some demand for protection which keeps $VIX from collapsing altogether. There are short-term positive signals from the volatility indices.

In summary, the technical picture is improving. The $SPX chart no longer slopes downward, and the index has overcome short-term resistance. The put-call ratios are now on buy signals, as are the breadth oscillators and short-term $VIX indicators. What remains, though, is for $SPX and $VIX to clearly reverse their bearish trends ($SPX closing above 2790 and $VIX closing below 15 would accomplish that), and for the volatility construct to improve. Overall, this is the most positive set of indicators we've seen since the breakdown in late January.

This Market Commentary is an abbreviated version of the commentary featured in The Option Strategist Newsletter.

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