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Signals Point to Further Gains

By Paul Cherney This is the week of the Triple Witch, when the monthly stock and index option expirations coincide with the quarterly expiration of futures contracts. There can be some volatility as these contracts wind to a close and this week in particular might be susceptible to some jagged trading due to the recently frayed nerves concerning corporate morality and the big questions surrounding the validity of the earnings numbers so many count on to value a company's worth.

I think downside is limited (which means I expect more upside than downside action), but I certainly can't guess that everyday this week will be a gaining session.

Monday's session did not see huge volume, and that's OK -- Mondays lately have been lower volume days.

I have intermediate-term indicators which are in positions which are usually followed by gains. If the VIX index (a measure of volatility) can close below its 20 day exponential moving average, (roughly 25.63) then odds would increase for a 3 to 5 day "net positive" run.

The chances of a protracted, "never look back" move higher are not great. The memory of the decline from March until this past Friday's retest of the September trading ranges is fresh in many people's minds. From the last trade day in March until the last trade day in May, the S&P 500 lost 6.99%. I looked back at June performances from the 10th trading day of the month until the last trading of the month. (Friday, 06/14 was the 10th trading day for this year's June) and found that historically, in the years when the S&P 500 had lost more than 5.00% from the end of March to the end of May, the odds were 4 in 5 that the S&P 500 would close lower on the last trade day of June (Friday's close was 1007.27).

A move lower in the VIX would signal odds have increased for short-term (maybe longer) gains, but in respect of this historical study about price performance for the S&P 500 in the second half of June, a solid run of 3 or 5 trade days might not find convincing follow-through and prices might have to retrace for a retest of this past Friday's price range. First thing first, sometime in the next few trade days I expect to see the VIX close below its 20 day exponential moving average and I think that should be bullish short-term.

Some follow-through higher should be seen in Tuesday's session.

The Nasdaq ended Monday's session in a test of immediate resistance which is 1554-1595. There is a focus of resistance at 1560-1570. The next thick resistance is 1620-1654.

The S&P 500 finished Monday's session inside a small focus of resistance at 1032-1037.80. There is thick price traffic at 1039-1047. The next resistance is 1065-1088.

Immediate Nasdaq support is 1526-1498. There was a gap opening on Monday, and if there is a retracement in Tuesday or Wednesday's session, a visit into the price gap could unfold; the price gap is 1519.26-1507.

Immediate intraday support for the S&P 500 is 1024-1009. Cherney is market analyst for Standard & Poor's

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