The major US indexes posted fractional gains to start the week, and while the very broad NYSE Composite ($NYA.X) 10,099.60 0.24% closed at an all-time high, with the very broad NASDAQ Composite ($COMPX) 2,670.02 0.13% and its narrower large cap issues in the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,989.20 0.04% set achieved new multi-year highs, it was Dow components Boeing (NYSE:BA) $99.90 1.03%, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) $62.72 0.04% and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) $42.36 1.68% atop today's equity story list.
Stocks got off to a mixed start when August Crude Oil futures (cl07q) jumped to a 10-month high, trading as high as $73.00 before their floor session. Early gains were fueled largely by geopolitical news, with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari saying Turkey had massed 140,000 soldiers on its border with Iraq.
Dow Jones reported Turkish military officials saying they had no comment to remarks made by Zebari, and it was unclear where Mr. Zebari got his figures.
Zebari said "Turkey is building up forces on the border. There are 140,000 soldiers fully armed on the border. We are against any military interference or violation of Iraqi sovereignty."
Zebari noted that "The Iraqi government is trying to diffuse the situation," (Turkish action against the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party in norther Iraq), but added that "The perfect solution is the withdrawal of the Turkish forces from the borders."
Exacerbating oil's early session rise was news out of Nigeria that two Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) $85.34 0.18% workers had been taken hostage on Sunday.
As the session wore on, August Crude Oil futures (cl07q) eased and finished down $0.62, or -0.85% at $72.19. It was the first decline in the August contract after seven (7) consecutive sessions of gains.
U.S. Market Watch - 07/09/07 Close
Two, OK three Dow stocks are worthy of mentioning today.
With the Dow Industrials (INDU) and its "tracker" the Dow Diamonds (AMEX:DIA) $136.48 0.25% pressing their June 1st all-time highs and short interest having built to a whopping 22.3 million shares as of June 15 (from 17.8 million on May 15) this market looks prime for a short squeeze.
Let's take a quick look at the DIA, with volume turned on, as the DIA presses key levels of technical resistance.
In today's Market Monitor at OptionInvestor.com, I labeled this chart as this week's "Pivot Trader's Chart of the Week." At tonight's close, I'd probably have to label it as "This Week's Key Major Index Chart of the Week."
While just 30 stocks, the Dow Industrials is probably the most-quoted index of all major equity indexes around the world, and its gyrations can have great impact on market psychology.
Dow Diamonds (AMEX:DIA) - Daily Intervals
I say two (2) levels of key technical resistance have been challenged in today's trade. One (1) is the June 1 "doji" close of $136.61, and the other (2) is the institutionally traded MONTHLY R1 ($136.56).
What strikes me as this being a VERY key level of resistance is the above chart, which I captured early this afternoon at around 02:35 PM EDT.
While I'm not a big focuser on the MACD oscillator, I get very BULLISH when it has approached zero (O), kicks higher, with MACD (blue) moving above its Signal (red). Its an oscillator of momentum (Moving Average Convergence/Divergence). However, in just the last 100-minutes of trade (DIA closes at 04:15 PM EDT), I would note that both MACD and its Signal are once again FLAT, but just below zero (O) at respective -0.167 and -0.206 measures.
With the DIA we can also "turn on the volume." Bears have been voicing the "light volume rally" in recent sessions. Yes, volume is light, prices are rising. Lack of buyers, or lack of sellers? That's the 14,000, or $140 question, which I think will resolve to the UPSIDE.
Now let's move on to our two, maybe three "key stocks."
Boeing (BA) - $1 and $2 Box Scale
Let's start with Boeing (NYSE:BA) $99.90 1.03% as it is the 2nd-most heavily weighted stock behind International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) $108.97 -0.05% in the price-weighted Dow Industrials (INDU)/DIA $99.90 1.03%, and after being the lone Dow component to give a reversing lower double bottom sell signal at $95.00, and a trade at $94.00, a "shake out" pattern has developed as the stock has whipped back higher.
Boeing's (BA) shares traded as high as $101.32 today after Jefferies analyst Howard Rubel said Boeing has "stimulated" the market to replace older planes with the 787 Dreamliner. Boeing has "solid" bookings for 677 orders for 47 carriers, but Mr. Rubel thinks the company could book as many as 1,000 orders by next year.
In my technical opinion, BA had been a "drag" on the INDU/DIA in June, (blue 6 is early June to blue 7 early July) and with the #2-weighted stock in the INDU/DIA showing strength, I think most traders can begin to tie BA $102 as only helping the DIA get above its MONTHLY Pivot.
CONVERSELY, BA not showing strength above $102, ties relatively well with DIA resistance.
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Here we have a HEAVY WEIGHT reestablishing longer-term strength and demand (X) eating up supply (O).
Note: The Bot, Med, Top on the above Point and Figure chart are Dorsey/Wright's 10-week trading bands. These are similar to "bollinger" bands that bar chartists will utilize and they usually move with PRICE. Stocks can EASILY exceed the bot/top areas, but are utilized for helping determine position size and field position for entry/exit.
Now, I didn't see, or have Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) $62.72 0.95% as being anywhere close to a "key stock" until today news, and technical review.
But after Caterpillar's (CAT) $79.83 1.29% action from mid-February ($67.62) when it announced a $7.5 billion stock repurchase plan, today's $10 billion share repurchase program gets my attention and is still the 9th-most heavily weighted component in the INDU/DIA.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - $1 box chart
Late last year, JNJ showed a nice gain from July 26 into late October (blue A early October), but year-over-year the stock has done little to help, or hurt the INDU/DIA.
One interesting "tidbit" from JNJ's stock-repurchase program was that the company said it had already completed a $5 billion stock-repurchase program in Q4 2006, and that the new program would utilize a combination of available cash on hand and DEBT!
Debt? That suggests to me that JNJ's board feels the shares are UNDERVALUED if they're willing to utilize DEBT.
The Prime Rate is currently 8.25%, while the Federal Discount Rate is currently 6.25%.
When looking at two (2) of the thirty (30) Dow components, but two of the "Top 10 Weighted," we see some different dynamics.
BA challenges all-time highs and threatens another triple top buy signal, similar to that found in April.
JNJ, which has done "nothing" year-over-year announces a rather hefty $10 billion stock-repurchase program, just above the March, 2006 lows of $60.
If market participants get these two heavyweights going in the same direction (up or down) a big move in the INDU/DIA could be found.
Do you see it? Do you feel it?
"Bam, bam, ugh... bam, bam, ugh!"
Dow Industrials (INDU) - 50-point box
One of the great things I like about Point and Figure charts is the way they measure supply (O) and demand (X) without much respect to TIME like a conventional bar chart does.
See the IMPACT of BA's price from early April (4) to late May, or early June (6) as the stock rocketed higher from $92 to $100 for the INDU?
Meanwhile, JNJ did NOTHING. Again, BA is carries a bigger weighting as #2, but with a $10 billion stock-repurchase program adding on to a recently completed $5 billion stock-repurchase program, I'd think there is still some type of demand coming for JNJ.
And while Alcoa (NYSE:AA) $42.36 1.68% closed at a new 52-week high today, it is "just" the 21st-most heavily weighted of the Dow components.
Still, it may set the important tone as it is the FIRST component to report quarterly earnings.
Shares of the aluminum giant ticked fractionally higher at $42.49 in this evening's extended session after the company said second-quarter profits slipped 4% as outage costs at two smelters weighed on results. Net income came in at $715 million, or $0.81/share on revenue of $8.1 billion. Consensus among analysts was for the company to earn $0.81/share (9 analysts) on revenue of $8.34 billion (5 analysts).
Options Trader's Note: Higher options volatilities/premiums (VIX, VXN, VXO) are making it "tough" on call/put option traders.
For those that have been following my initial bullish Dow Diamonds (DIA) DIA Aug $135 Call (DAW-HE) entry at the offer of $3.30 when the DIA itself was trading $135.62, that option has risen $0.30 to the current bid, even as the DIA itself has risen $0.86 during the same period of time (July 5th).
I've been strongly suggesting that option traders for CALLS keep focusing IN-THE-MONEY, or AT-THE-MONEY as a MINIMUM. Even as volatility stay's relatively high (MONTHLY Pivot 15.87 for VIX), OUT-THE-MONEY calls are doing very little even as price rises!
For those trading PUTS, just the opposite is true. With overhead supply VASTLY limited (major indexes pressing all-time/multi-year highs), speculation on a DECLINE (buyer of a put options) is seeing FASTER erosion for IN/AT-THE-MONEY, so traders might as well go OUT-THE-MONEY, look for a PRICE DECLINE, and further INCREASE in volatility/premium. This way you're at least RISKING LESS capital, and if a decline does come, volatility/premium should RISE.
Speaking of Weightings!
I was somewhat "shocked" last week to learn how much the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX) and its tracker the QQQQ have changed.
You might be too, as Microsoft (MSFT) $29.87 -0.33% is no longer the BIGGEST weighting. In fact, it has/had slipped to #2 in, with Apple Computer (AAPL) $130.33 -1.48% #1 with a staggering 9.21% weighting as of July 3rd!
Here's a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet screen capture I made on 07/04/07, where the "Top 10" components (per NASDAQ) comprise roughly 41% of the NDX/QQQQ weighting!
NASDAQ-100 Weightings - As of 07/03/07
It has been awhile since I even LOOKED at the WEIGHTINGS for the NDX/QQQQ as I had still been sorting them by my QCharts' "Market Cap" tabulations. However, NASDAQ did make some changes.
Suffice it to say I was surprised to see AAPL and QCOM as the #1 and #3 weighted components.
Of the 100 stocks that comprise the NASDAQ-100, it is notable that roughly 66% of its price action comes from just the top 1/3 weighted stocks!
Again ... Roughly one-third (1/3) of the NARROW NASDAQ-100 components account for roughly two-thirds (2/3) of its weighting.
As the VERY BROAD NASDAQ-Composite (COMX) 2,670.02 0.13% trades a multi-year high for a 4th-straight session, market participants are OBVIOUSLY focusing on LARGE CAP names.
Here, take a look at the NASDAQ Summation Index ($NASI), which measures more than 3,000 stock's daily advance/decline over time!
NASDAQ Comp. Summation Index ($NASI) - 20-point Box
"Bad breadth" is what this would be called for the VERY BROAD NASDAQ Composite (COMPX) 2,670.02 0.13.
What can, or SHOULD be worrisome to a "contrarian" that is, or continues to short the NARROWER NDX/QQQQ is that PRICE is moving against them. Heck, EVEN the VERY BROAD NASDAQ Composite price action is moving against a bear.
A contrarian often trades what they see as "opposite the MARKET." That can be painful if the MARKET continues doing what its doing.
One MAJOR MARKET bullish % change that should be noted tonight is that after the conclusion of Monday's trade (07/02/07), Dorsey/Wright's NASDAQ-100 Bullish % (BPNDX) did reverse back UP to "bear correction" status at 74% bullish, after falling to a low measure of 67% (68% on a 2-box chart).
At tonight's close, this narrow, but widely followed bullish % is at 75%. A measure of 76% is needed to achieve "bull confirmed" status.
Here too, a sign that market participants are focusing on larger-cap names.
A quick scan would show that it was shares of Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ:INFY) $54.25 3.15% that gave the reversing higher double top buy signal at $54.00.
Dollar steady, Hang Seng Hits New High!
I'm running late on my editor's deadline, but wanted to quickly updated a "no change" in the Dollar Index, but note a new high for the Hang Seng (Stockcharts.com symbol $HSI)
Global Equity Benchmarks / Currencies
Not much to mention here, but the Dollar Index (DXY) is little changed since Monday's Market Wrap.
The HansSeng leads Monday-to-Monday's list of percentage gainers.
One quick tidbit I did mention in today's OptionInvestor.com Market Monitor is some comments out of the Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck.
Having seen the euro hit a series of new highs against the yen in recent days, and nearing an all-time high against the dollar, Steinbrueck said "I'm not worried about the strong euro," and added that "I love the strong euro."
We'll see if the MARKETs agree with that.
Avery Dennison - AVY - cls: 67.31 chg: -0.01 stop: 64.90
It was a disappointing Monday for AVY. The stock under performed the market and failed to breakout over last week's high. Overall nothing has changed from our weekend commentary. Readers may want to tighten their stops. AVY's Point & Figure chart recently produced a new buy signal with an $80 target. Our target is the $69.75-70.00 range. We do not want to hold over the late July earnings report.
Picked on June 11 at $ 66.05
BP Plc. - BP - close: 74.08 change: 0.58 stop: 68.75
BP continues to climb and shares pushed past the $74.00 level on Monday. Oil stocks ignored a pull back in crude oil prices today. However, we want to remind readers that BP looks short-term overbought and due for a dip. A dip back toward $72 and its rising 10-dma would be normal. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Readers may want to consider an early exit right now to lock in a gain. The P&F chart points to a $90 target. Our target is the $74.85-75.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher.
Picked on June 22 at $ 70.25
Deere Co - DE - close: 125.82 change: 2.11 stop: 116.90
DE continues to show relative strength. The stock posted a 1.7% gain and set a new all-time high. The move over $125 looks like a new entry point to buy calls. We have two targets. Our first target is the $129.50-130.00 range. Our second, more aggressive target is the $134.00-135.00 range.
Picked on June 20 at $123.55
GulfMark - GMRK - cls: 55.39 change: 1.34 stop: 52.45
GMRK turned in a bullish performance. Shares rose 2.4% and broke out past resistance on strong volume. Today's rally is also a bullish breakout from the two-month consolidation pattern, which looks like an inverse (bullish version) head-and-shoulders pattern. We were suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $55.05 so the play is now open. Our target is the $59.50-60.00 range. This is somewhat aggressive because time is growing short. We don't want to hold over the late July earnings report. FYI: In the news today GMRK announced plans to move its listing to the NYSE. The company expects to begin trading on the NYSE around July 20th with a new ticker symbol "GLF".
Picked on July 09 at $ 55.05
Russell 2000 iShares - IWM - cls: 85.74 chg: 0.94 stop: 81.35
Monday looks like a bullish session for the IWM with a 1.1% gain and a breakout to a new high. However, if you look at an intraday chart the IWM didn't trade past the $85.05 level and the big rally appears to have occurred just after the closing bell. So there seems to be some price quote errors in the system. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. Our target is the $86.50-87.50 range.
Picked on June 24 at $ 82.85
Joy Global - JOYG - cls: 60.94 chg: -0.02 stop: 57.99
We don't see any changes from our weekend comments on JOYG. More aggressive traders may want to jump in now. We are suggesting readers wait. There is some resistance at $62.00 so we're suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $62.05. If triggered our target is the $68.00-70.00 range. Our time frame is six to eight weeks. The Point & Figure chart is forecasting an $81 target.
Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Manpower - MAN - cls: 93.99 change: -0.27 stop: 89.90
We do not see any changes from our weekend comments. MAN is still struggling with resistance at the $95 level and the stock produced another failed-rally type pattern today. We are repeating our previous comments. More conservative traders may want to tighten their stops toward $91.00. Meanwhile readers may want to wait for a breakout over $95 before considering new positions. The P&F chart has a triple-top breakout buy signal with a $110 target. Currently our target is the $99.50-100.00 range.
Picked on June 20 at $ 94.15
Pacific Ethanol - PEIX - cls: 14.86 chg: 0.43 stop: 11.90
PEIX soared another 3% today with volume coming in above average on the gain but shares are still fighting with technical resistance at the 100-dma. We're not suggesting new positions at this time. The stock is up more than 15% and more conservative traders may want to exit early to lock in a gain. Our target is the $15.40-15.60 range. FYI: We cannot find a future earnings date for PEIX but suspect it will be in August or September.
Picked on June 24 at $ 12.83
Penn National Gaming - PENN - cls: 60.84 chg: 0.02 stop: n/a
There is no change from our previous comments on PENN. We are suggesting high-risk, speculative call positions on the gamble that a new suitor does show up and offer more than the current buy-out price. Thus far there hasn't been any news and PENN has less than 30 days to find another bidder. Shares of PENN hit some profit taking but found support near $60.00.
Picked on June 17 at $ 62.12
SanDisk - SNDK - cls: 51.24 change: 2.04 stop: 47.45*new*
SNDK soared more than 4% and broke through resistance at the $50.00 level on rising memory prices. The stock hit new multi-month highs on big volume and hit an intraday high of $51.90. We are raising our stop loss to $47.45. SNDK has already hit our conservative target in the $49.50-50.00 range. We're currently aiming for our aggressive target in the $52.50-55.00 range. We don't want to hold over the mid July earnings report.
Picked on June 17 at $ 46.40
Toro Co. - TTC - cls: 60.10 change: 0.25 stop: 57.95
TTC inched back above the $60.00 level and still looks poised to breakout higher. We are suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $60.75. If triggered our target is the $64.95-65.00 range. More aggressive traders may want to aim higher. The P&F chart points to a $77 target.
Picked on July xx at $ xx.xx <-- see TRIGGER
Allegheny Tech - ATI - cls: 107.56 chg: -0.16 stop: 110.15
ATI tried to rally this morning but shares produced another bearish failed rally pattern under resistance at the $110 level. This looks like another entry point to buy puts. However, there are two issues that might make you pause before launching new bearish plays. First is the market. The DJIA and S&P 500 are nearing new highs. If the market breaks out it could inspire more buying in ATI. Second, is Jim Cramer. In tonight's show Cramer defended ATI and said the market was wrong about the recent weakness. It might pay off to wait for a new decline under $106.25 before considering new positions. The stock has already hit our conservative target in the $100.50-100.00 range. We are adjusting our aggressive target to $97.00-96.00 to account for the rising 200-dma, which is likely to be support.
Picked on June 12 at $106.70
Gilead Sciences - GILD - cls: 39.12 chg: 0.14 stop: 40.15
Positive comments in Barron's magazine over the weekend fueled a gap higher on shares of GILD this morning. The stock opened at $40.00 and traded lower from there. The morning strength may have been enough to produce a new MACD buy signal on the daily chart. More conservative traders may want to exit early. More aggressive traders may want to leave their stop above the 50-dma near $40.60. Our post-split target is $37.62-36.25.
Picked on June 07 at $ 39.95 *split adjusted
Mettler Toledo - MTD - cls: 98.21 chg: 0.50 stop: 99.11
This is not looking good for the bears. MTD posted another 0.5% gain and broke through technical resistance at the 50-dma. Shares look poised to challenge the $99-100 zone soon. Aggressive traders may want to place their stop loss above $100. Considering the bullish market environment the last few days we're considering an early exit to cut our losses. More conservative traders may want to exit now.
Picked on June 19 at $ 96.75
QUALCOMM - QCOM - cls: 43.59 change: 0.01 stop: 44.05
There is no change from our previous comments on QCOM. We're not suggesting new positions and more conservative traders may want to exit early now to cut their losses.
Picked on June 10 at $ 41.87
(What is a strangle? It's when a trader buys an out-of-the-money (OTM) call and an OTM put on the same stock. The strategy is neutral. You do not care what direction the stock moves as long as the move is big enough to make your investment profitable.)
Chaparral Steel - CHAP - cls: 74.51 chg: -1.21 stop: n/a
CHAP spiked higher this morning but quickly reversed. Shares ended the day with a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern (bearish reversal). The trade back through $75.00 offered a great entry point for new strangle positions. We are suggesting positions in the $76.00-74.00 range and the closer to $75.00 the better. We're going to play the July options, which expire in two weeks, because we're looking for the quick post-earnings pop. Our suggested options were the July $80 calls (ZHQ-GP) and the July $70 puts (ZHQ-SN). Our estimated cost was $1.60. We will plan to sell if either option hits $3.20 or higher.
Picked on July 08 at $ 75.72
Genentech - DNA - cls: 75.76 change: 0.66 stop: n/a
There is no change from our weekend comments on DNA. We are suggesting strangle positions in the $76.00-74.00 range but the closer to $75.00 the better. We're going to play the July options, which expire in two weeks, because we're looking for the quick post-earnings pop. Earnings are due out on July 11th after the closing bell. We are suggesting the July $80 calls (DWN-GP) and the July $70 puts (DWN-SN). Our estimated cost is $0.45. We will plan to sell if either option hits $0.90 or higher.
Picked on July 08 at $ 75.10
Chevron Corp. - CVX - close: 89.50 chg: 1.82 stop: 81.59
Target achieved. CVX was a leader in the oil sector's rally today. The oil giant saw its shares rise another 2% and hit $89.80 intraday. Our target was the $89.00-90.00 range. We'll be watching for another entry point down the road. Right now shares look a bit short-term overbought.
Picked on June 18 at $ 83.75
Today's Newsletter Notes: Market Wrap by Jeff Bailey and all other plays and content by the Option Investor staff.
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