Home Finance Opinion: As S&P 500 hits 2023 highs, it’s all systems go for stock market bulls

Opinion: As S&P 500 hits 2023 highs, it’s all systems go for stock market bulls

by CoinNews

The stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index
SPX,
-0.10%,
is now racing to new 2023 highs. We continue to recommend holding a “core” bullish position. 

There is stronger resistance at 4630 but beyond that, the next resistance area is the all-time high just above 4800. As for downside support, look to 4330. If the 4300 level were to be violated, the chart would take a slightly negative turn, and a “core” bullish position would no longer be warranted. Even so, there is also support at 4200 — the area that was resistance for so long, until the breakout in early June.

The only bearish signal that we have amongst our indicators right now is the McMillan Volatility Band (MVB) sell signal. It would be stopped out if SPX were to close above the +4σ “modified Bollinger Band.”  That Band is currently at 4520 and rising.

The equity-only put-call ratios continue to edge lower. That means they are still on buy signals and will continue to be as long as they are declining. The fact that they are so low on their charts indicates that they are quite overbought, but that is not a sell signal. A sell signal will only be confirmed when these ratios roll over and begin to trend higher.

Breadth has continued its pattern of swinging wildly back and forth with market movements, not really being a predictor, but a follower. At this time, both breadth oscillators are on buy signals and are in overbought territory after four straight days of advances dominating declines. Given the frequent whipsaws by these oscillators in recent months, we are not holding a position based on breadth at the moment. 

A potential highly bullish indicator is cumulative advance-decline volume (CUMAD), which is nearing a new all-time high. It still has a short way to go but could conceivably make a new all-time high within a few days. If it makes a new all-time high, SPX normally follows to a new all-time high of its own.

New 52-week highs on the NYSE have expanded strongly this week (there were more than 200 new highs yesterday). This indicator remains on a buy signal as well.

VIX
VIX,
-1.98%
probed higher with the market decline last week, but never closed much above 15. It is now back into its recent 13-15 range. It’s probably not going to go much lower, because a lot of larger traders are still wary of market dangers. In any case, the trend of VIX buy signal remains in place. The only worry would be if VIX were to quickly rise 3.0 points or more in three days or less (using closing prices).

The construct of volatility derivatives remains bullish for stocks. The term structures of the VIX futures and of the CBOE Volatility Indices continue to slope upward.

Overall, the indicators are overwhelmingly bullish, and thus we are maintaining a “core” bullish position. However, since the market is also overbought, we recommend tightening trailing stops and rolling long calls up to higher strikes when they become deeply in-the-money. We will eventually trade other confirmed signals around this “core” position.

New recommendation: Cronos Group (CRON)

Cronus
CRON,
-7.28%
has been on our unusual volume list for four days in a row, and that is the only reason we are recommending these calls. There are rumors that the company has received unsolicited indications of interest. Stock volume patterns have not improved, which is a negative, but with low-priced stocks, the calculations regarding the pattern of stock volume can sometimes be distorted. Under the guise of the old adage of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” we are recommending a small position here. We will hold these calls without a stop initially, while the takeover rumors play out. 

Buy 8 CRON Aug (18th) 2 calls at a price of 0.25 or less.

New recommendation: Oric Pharmaceuticals (ORIC)

Oric Pharmaceuticals
ORIC,
-0.76%
stock broke out in late June on news of a private placement. It consolidated some and is now moving higher again. Stock and option volume patterns are extremely strong.

Buy 6 ORIC Aug (18th) 7.5 calls at a price of 1.20 or less.

The option markets are wide here, so be sure to use a limit when buying the calls. If bought, use a trailing closing stop at 7.40.

Follow-up action: 

All stops are mental closing stops unless otherwise noted.

We are using a “standard” rolling procedure for our SPY
SPY,
-0.06%
spreads: in any vertical bull or bear spread, if the underlying hits the short strike, then roll the entire spread. That would be roll up in the case of a call bull spread, or roll down in the case of a bear put spread. Stay in the same expiration and keep the distance between the strikes the same unless otherwise instructed. 

Long 0 AMAM
AMAM,
+5.67%
July (21st) 12.5 calls: Stopped out on July 11th

Long 800 KOPN
KOPN,
-9.09%
:  The stop remains at 1.70.

Long 2 SPY July (21st) 439 calls: This is our “core” bullish position. Stop out of this trade if SPX closes below 4330. The position was rolled twice. Roll up every time your long SPY option is at least 6 points in-the-money.

Long 1 SPY July (21st) 439 call: Bought in line with the “New Highs vs. New Lows” buy signal. Stop out of this trade if, on the NYSE, New Lows outnumber New Highs for two consecutive days. The position was rolled up twice. Roll up every time your long SPY option is at least 6 points in-the-money.

Long 2 PFG
PFG,
-0.95%
July (21st) 70 calls: roll up to the July (21st) 75 calls. We will hold this position as long as the weighted put-call ratio remains on a buy signal.

Long 1 SPY Aug (18th) 434 put and Short 1 SPY Aug (18th) 404 put: Tis position was established in line with the MVB sell signal of June 23rd, when SPX closed below 4151. We will hold it until SPX trades at the -4σ Band (the profit “target”) or trades above the +4σ Band, which would stop out the trade.

Long 10 VTRS
VTRS,
-1.26%
August (18th) 10 calls: We will hold this position as long as the weighted put-call ratio for VTRS is on a buy signal. 

Long 5 CCL
CCL,
-2.93%
Aug (18th) 17 calls: Raise the stop to 16.80.

Long 2 PRU
PRU,
-1.36%
Aug (18th) 87.5 calls: We will continue to hold these calls as long as the weighted put-call ratio remains on a buy signal.

Send questions to: lmcmillan@optionstrategist.com.

Lawrence G. McMillan is president of McMillan Analysis, a registered investment and commodity trading advisor. McMillan may hold positions in securities recommended in this report, both personally and in client accounts. He is an experienced trader and money manager and is the author of “Options as a Strategic Investment.” www.optionstrategist.com

©McMillan Analysis Corporation is registered with the SEC as an investment advisor and with the CFTC as a commodity trading advisor. The information in this newsletter has been carefully compiled from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. The officers or directors of McMillan Analysis Corporation, or accounts managed by such persons may have positions in the securities recommended in the advisory. 

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