By Paul Cherney
Under the current conditions, the markets can have short bursts of price movement without necessarily generating a trend of more than a couple of days.
I still do not think that the indexes can generate a significant run higher (a trend) at this time because, so far in the lift from the late August lows, I have not seen the combination of indicators and thresholds that bolsters my confidence to call for a trend higher. These measures do not signal every trend, they are not absolutely right all the time, but they do boost my confidence when they are in their proper configurations and they simply are not there right now. There is one event would be a dramatic wake-up call to me: an opening gap higher in prices and closes above Nasdaq 2185.91 or S&P 500 1242.62
Still valid: The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are at key levels of resistance and this would be a natural place for a stall in the advance. I cannot write that my short-term momentum measures have changed, they remain positive, but they are trend following measures and the markets can turn lower before these measures will.
The "key" levels of resistance I am referring to are Nasdaq 2177-2185.91 and S&P 500 1238-1242.62. I refer to them as "key levels" because like a key in a lock, movement past these levels on a closing basis can unlock the upside and force a buying wave. These are my interpretations of the chart. One of the most bullish things that can happen is a gap above the key resistance levels and a close above those levels. An event like this can ignite buying that creates a trend that no one believes. If the Nasdaq produces a close above 2185.91, if the S&P 500 produces a close above 1242.62, another extension higher would be expected.
I do not expect a break above key resistances right now. Some sideways price action might unfold for a few trading days as the markets exercise a little caution ahead of the earnings warning season. On a purely technical basis, a positive short-term condition remains in place, but a stall (like a consolidation) in the price advance can easily unfold.
• The Nasdaq has resistance 2165-2185.91, resistance gets thick 2177.85-2185.91. Resistances are stacked, the next layer of chart significance is 2201-2249. Resistance thickens 2211-2233.
• S&P 500 resistance is formidable at 1229-1239.76. A combination of several intraday plateaus creates a focus of resistance at 1238-1242.62, but resistance runs all the way 1245.81. The next focus of resistance above 1245 is 1249.23-1267.
• Nasdaq intraday support is a thick shelf at 2163-2158.61, the next intraday support is a gap at 2147.31-2141 (intraday charts).
• Nasdaq support is 2158-2140 and 2138.46-2130. stacked at 2128-1212. Next meaningful support for the Nasdaq is 2106-2039 with a focus of support 2106-2076 (very strong and should hold). Has not been tested.
• The S&P 500 has support 1228.96-1218, overlapped at 1219-1215. Next support 1206-1165 with a focus of support 1206-1183. This is a very strong layer of support and if it were tested, I would still expect it to hold.
Cherney is president of Cherney Market Analysis