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Just Four More Days
9:41:19 PM| 12/28/2015
By Jim Brown | Just four trading days until 2016 and hopefully a market direction will appear. Santa is missing in action but fund managers may fill in for him this week.
Santa Rally?
10:30:50 PM| 12/21/2015
By Jim Brown | Will the last seasonal December trend prove true or false? The rest of the December trends failed horribly.
Glad We Waited
12:13:42 AM| 12/15/2015
By Jim Brown | The second week of December turned out to be miserable for option sellers unless you were short calls.
Lightning Strike
10:19:14 PM| 12/7/2015
By Jim Brown | Sometimes you are just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time and bolt of lightning suddenly appears to knock you on your rear end.
January Already?
12:12:52 AM| 12/1/2015
By Jim Brown | I am reaching out to January for added premium after a lackluster market over the last week reduced the remaining December premiums to almost nothing.
Ready for the Seasonal Trend
11:48:35 PM| 11/23/2015
By Jim Brown | November and December are the best two months of the year according to market statisticians. Let's hope this is the year that conforms to the seasonal norms.
Market Volatility Returns
11:33:28 PM| 11/16/2015
By Jim Brown | The combination of window undressing and a serious smack down in the retail sector knocked the markets to a four-week low.
Buying Opportunity
10:31:03 PM| 11/9/2015
By Jim Brown | Monday was the first real dip we have had since late September. After six weeks of gains we were due and this should be a buying opportunity.
Gift Horse Gazing
11:22:40 PM| 11/2/2015
By Jim Brown | As investors, we should not look questionably at gift horses regardless of how unexpected the gift.
Dodging Raindrops
10:28:21 PM| 10/26/2015
By Jim Brown | Picking plays in the middle of the earnings cycle is about as hard as dodging raindrops. Eighty-five percent of companies report earnings in this four-week period.
Low Expectations
9:25:16 PM| 10/19/2015
By Jim Brown | So far, the S&P 500 companies are beating earnings expectations by a wide margin. That is not what analysts had expected. There are still a few random disasters but overall earnings are positive.
That Time Again
9:35:02 PM| 10/12/2015
By Jim Brown | It is that time of the quarter again where the vast majority of stocks report earnings over the next four weeks. That gives the market something to digest and volatility increases.
Rough Week
10:35:57 PM| 10/5/2015
By Jim Brown | For traders trying to find a nice quiet option trade with no volatility it was not a good week. Early week declines turned into late week short squeezes with the Dow rebounding +831 points from the Tuesday lows.
August Retest
8:52:04 PM| 9/28/2015
By Jim Brown | The September rebound has failed and we appear to be headed back to retest the August lows. Many analysts are now expecting those lows to be broken.
Another Night, another Futures Drop
9:43:55 PM| 9/21/2015
By Jim Brown | After the Dow gave up a +194 point gain intraday and the biotech sector was rocked by news of possible price controls on drugs, the S&P futures are down hard tonight.
Flat Lining
10:01:43 PM| 9/14/2015
By Jim Brown | Fear of the Fed is weighing on the markets and volatility is evaporating. The intraday range on the Dow was the slimmest since August 18th.
Going for a Ride
8:14:35 PM| 9/7/2015
By Jim Brown | The Asian markets failed to meltdown on Sunday night and the S&P futures are up strongly. Anyone still short could wake up on Tuesday to a real headache.
Suicide Prevention
9:48:58 PM| 8/31/2015
By Jim Brown | With market volatility continuing the best way to avoid suicidal thoughts is not to have a lot of money at risk in the market. Selling premium in hopes of it expiring worthless is not a strategy for triple digit moves in the market.
Watching and Waiting
10:37:25 PM| 8/24/2015
By Jim Brown | The market swings have been unbelievable and they are not over yet. The 1,089 intraday decline on the Dow is going to be followed by a triple digit short squeeze.
Market Surprise
11:12:08 PM| 8/17/2015
By Jim Brown | The indexes recovered from an ugly start on Monday after economic news turned decidedly negative. Analysts made up excuses for the NY Manufacturing Survey and investors bought the dip.
Short Squeeze, Again
9:23:45 PM| 8/10/2015
By Jim Brown | Seriously oversold conditions were reversed on Monday with a decent short squeeze that lifted markets back to their recent resistance levels.
9:43:40 PM| 8/3/2015
By Jim Brown | The Dow has moved 1,323 points in the last two weeks and nearly 2,000 in the last three weeks. Unfortunately, the moves were not all in the same direction.
Fortune Cookie
10:57:07 PM| 7/27/2015
By Jim Brown | Our fortune this week was not exciting. It was not guaranteed Lotto numbers or news that some relative was pregnant. Our fortune from last week was ugly and we should have left the cookie alone.
Unfortunate Coincidence
8:25:49 PM| 7/21/2015
By Jim Brown | Expiration of the August crude futures caused a spike in oil prices and a minor rebound in some energy stocks. Time for a reload.
Worst Week of Earnings Cycle
10:18:34 PM| 7/20/2015
By Jim Brown | While the market may be setting new highs on earnings reports this is a really tough week for selling premium. More than 450 companies report earnings this week and more than 2,000 more over the next three weeks.
Another Greek Short Squeeze
10:19:46 PM| 7/13/2015
By Jim Brown | What will the market do when there are no more headlines from Greece? The markets have been driven by the news for weeks and we are finally down to the last stages of this ongoing disaster.
Five Long Years
10:09:16 PM| 7/6/2015
By Jim Brown | That is how long Greece has been in the headlines and causing volatility in the global equity markets. Granted there have been lulls in the process but it has been painful.
Penny for Your Thoughts
9:23:21 PM| 6/29/2015
By Jim Brown | There are a lot of opinions about market direction tonight. Analysts seem to be evenly divided over our chances for a rebound or a continued decline.
What Next?
11:21:09 PM| 6/22/2015
By Jim Brown | The market can't decide which direction it wants to go and the volatility index is heading back to 12. This is a wait and see market and everybody but the shorts are waiting patiently on the sideline.
Rocky Week Ahead
10:48:06 PM| 6/15/2015
By Jim Brown | The combination of Greece, the Federal Reserve and quadruple witching expiration could make this a rocky week for the markets. We need to pick our entries carefully and keep the positions small.
VIX Rising
11:08:59 PM| 6/8/2015
By Jim Brown | The Volatility Index may be rising but at a snail's pace. The market decline has pushed the VIX back up to 15 but that is hardly a reason to get excited.
Where to from Here?
11:46:27 PM| 6/1/2015
By Jim Brown | Monday may have been positive in the markets but what will the rest of the week bring? The indexes are still struggling at resistance after fading from their new highs the prior week. Volume is still very low.
What is Wrong with This Picture
8:52:25 PM| 5/25/2015
By Jim Brown | The market posted minor gains last week and could be poised to set new highs again next week. In the scary movies the audience is always worried about what may behind that next door. Should we be worried about next week?
Has a Direction Appeared?
11:21:44 PM| 5/18/2015
By Jim Brown | The Dow and S&P closed at new highs on Monday and above their recent congestion zone. Has a breakout from consolidation finally appeared?
Volatility Continues
11:48:52 PM| 5/11/2015
By Jim Brown | This has been a really bad month for picking a direction in the market because there has not been any direction. Triple digit declines are followed by triple digit gains which then reverse back into triple digit declines.
No Obvious Trend
9:47:31 PM| 5/4/2015
By Jim Brown | The S&P closed within 3 points of a new high but the markets are still showing no trend. We have entered the sell in May season but nobody is selling and very few traders are buying. Monday had the lowest volume in the last two weeks.
Which Way Did They Go?
10:59:59 PM| 4/27/2015
By Jim Brown | Stocks seem to have a bipolar personality as April progresses. The majority are declining with only a few leaders offsetting those declines. Sectors are rotating on a daily basis and small caps are no longer in favor. Everyone seems to be running in opposite directions.
Tough Week
12:41:16 AM| 4/21/2015
By Jim Brown | Alternating triple digit moves on the Dow and multiple sector downgrades makes it very hard to be bullish. Monday's rebound was only a short squeeze thanks to China's reserve rate cut. Resistance was untouched today.
New Highs Within Reach
11:37:56 PM| 4/13/2015
By Jim Brown | The Russell 2000 made a new intraday high at 1,271 on Monday but slipped back slightly to close at 1,265. That is one point below its historic high close. The NYSE touched 11,123 and a new high but slipped to close at 11,056. The market is trying to push higher but fear of earnings is holding it back.
Still No Rally
12:00:26 AM| 4/7/2015
By Jim Brown | The markets shook off the negative surprise from the Nonfarm Payrolls on Friday but there was no follow through. The indexes weakened at the close and the direction is still uncertain. With a minimum of economic reports this week and the earnings cycle starting next week, investors are undecided whether to buy or sell.
Volatility Returns
10:18:48 PM| 3/30/2015
By Jim Brown | After two days of calm the volatility came roaring back. The potential for a new stimulus program in China plus a very active merger Monday powered the Dow to a +263 point gain. Where do we go from here?
No Back to Back Gains
10:46:26 PM| 3/23/2015
By Jim Brown | Despite gaining nearly 400 points last week the Dow has been unable to post two consecutive days of gains since February. What does that say about market strength? Monday saw decent gains evaporate at the close and all the indexes to end in negative territory.
Tough Week to Sell Premium
11:50:07 PM| 3/16/2015
By Jim Brown | If you have been working nights for the last week you probably did not see the incredible volatility and triple digit moves in the Dow on 4 of the last 5 days. Unfortunately our positions were alive and well and in the middle of those crazy 250 point swings.
Better than a Root Canal
10:56:59 PM| 3/9/2015
By Jim Brown | Last week's market decline was better than a trip to the dentist but not by much. Previously bullish stocks reversed and many chart patterns were broken. Monday's rally gave traders hope but that was never a good trading strategy.
Running with the Bulls
10:34:31 PM| 3/2/2015
By Jim Brown | The market surged on no particular news on Monday other than the influx of month end retirement contributions and traders placing bets on Nasdaq 5000.
Pause to Refresh
9:44:55 PM| 2/23/2015
By Jim Brown | After closing at new highs on all the indexes on Friday the market paused ahead of the Greek proposal and Yellen's testimony on Tuesday. While neither is expected to actually impact the market there is always the possibility for a sell the news event.
Monday, Monday
12:18:43 AM| 2/17/2015
By Jim Brown | It seems like every Monday night for the last few weeks the S&P futures have been down hard and the outlook cloudy. Today is a carbon copy of prior Mondays.
Geopolitical Turmoil, Economic Weakness
11:24:05 PM| 2/9/2015
By Jim Brown | A looming deadline for Greece and weaker economics out of China roiled the markets on Monday but the damage was minimal after the big gains from the prior week.
Volatility Still Surging
10:41:17 PM| 2/2/2015
By Jim Brown | Monday was the poster child for volatility with a drop of -127 points at the open and a high of +205 points just before the close. The Dow was negative as late as 2:PM before a buy program triggered a short squeeze. The VIX traded as high as 22.81 before fading into the close.
Has the Tide Turned?
10:31:40 PM| 1/26/2015
By Jim Brown | We missed a great opportunity for a big sell off on Monday and futures are flat on Monday night. The earnings have been just good enough to keep traders interested and the buy the dip crowd is getting restless. Is it possible the tide has turned and January will go out with a bang?
Tough Week in the Market
11:41:26 PM| 1/19/2015
By Jim Brown | You could not tell it by looking at the indexes on Friday but it was a tough week. The +190 point rebound on the Dow means it only lost -225 points for the week. At its lows on Friday the Dow was down nearly -500 points for the week
As January Goes
9:20:35 PM| 1/12/2015
By Jim Brown | There is a saying in the market. "As January goes, so goes the year." So far we are not off to a good start and I certainly hope the next two weeks are going to reverse the opening trend.
January Profit Taking
10:13:03 PM| 1/5/2015
By Jim Brown | Fund managers dumped their year end window dressing with highly liquid blue chip stocks getting crushed in the largest Dow decline in months. Apparently managers were waiting for the calendar to turn over before taking profits and restructuring their portfolios. Year end tax selling was light but now in 2015 the dumping is in full swing.

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