We had another week of mostly sideways action again as upward momentum in the broad markets continues to wane. While we finished off on a weak note, the bigger picture remains neutral as we have mostly traded in the same range for several weeks now. We are now at the bottom of this near term range and a hold above these levels would be a big win for the bulls as we approach the typically bullish holiday season. However, price action has been weakening throughout the recent consolidation and needs to firm up in order for us to resume upwards.
Looking at a chart of the e-mini futures contract for the S&P 500, we can see the falling momentum clearly as this week’s close broke the upward trend we had maintained since breaking out of our late summer range. While the markets have shown impressive strength in holding above the key 1200 area as they digest the late October run, we are now below several key moving averages and on the wrong side of a short term trendline.
With momentum still on the decline as illustrated by both the declining stochastics readings as well as the red Momo Trend Bars, odds are that the bulls will be tested yet again next week as the bears desperately try to regain control and push price action back down to our previous range. If we pull back furthur, watch for the area around 1200 to 1800 to become a likely area for bulls to defend. If we fall and stay below that, it would likely signify a win by the bears and a return to the 1100 to 1180 mess we chopped around in from August to early October. If the bulls can regain control and push price back up, the first level that would need to be retested would be the 200 day moving average at about 1259. This would likely coincide with the top of our recently contracting wedge and would probably serve as a stalling point for the bulls.
As we approach the traditionally bullish holiday season, astute traders should continue to scan for strong setups that have begun to develop during our recent consolidation and patiently wait for momentum to turn back up and take price action with it.
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