No doubt about it, this market is as dull as dishwater. Stalking the technical setups on my watch list has been about as exciting as watching the grass grow. In fact, according to the Trader's Almanac the recent 7-week stretch of very tight market action -- a 1.7% day to day range maximum on the S&P -- which only broke last week with a downside move, was the tightest range-bound market for the longest stretch since the late 1920's. Wow!
The problem here is that there are too many competing influences vying for their share of the market pie. Competing vectors tend to cancel each other out, yielding indecisiveness among market participants and hence, you guessed, it, trendless, range-bound, dull and boring market action.
Consider the reasons why this market should be moving higher:
Now consider the reasons why this market should be moving lower:
None of the items on either list are going to be resolved within the next 2 months, and most will continue to be a factor far into 2017. Hence, the bull-bear battle looks likely to continue for some time yet, at least until the November election. The Fed has 2 meetings before then, and odds favor no hike in rates until December, at least. But with every Fed speech we will continue to see a great deal of confusion about what the Fed is signalling to investors.
It is best, then, to prepare for more choppy trading of the type we are seeing today...and saw last week, and for the 7 weeks before that. Market action like this that we've seen so far today:
Given this envionment, here are some tips to playing the markets safely and profitably:
All the best. Happy trading, TC
Dr. Thomas K. Carr (aka "Dr. Stoxx")
Founder, CEO of DrStoxx.com and IXTHYSLetter.com