July 16, 2021 – Options Day

3:48 pm

VIX has produced a buy (SPX sell) signal.  This is not unexpected.  SPX may not recovery on such short notice,  so it is time to put in your short positions.  We may see abounce on Monday, but the damage appears to have been done.


1:52 pm

While SPX may still bounce back to 4370.00 as indicated this morning, there is also a risk of failure which may set off a firestorm of selling.  Short-term support lies at 4342.00, below which the bears may take over.   While the existing retracement has been quick, it has already made the 61.8% Fibonacci level.  Max Pain is at 4300.00 and there may not be enough time to rally a second time to end the day.

Hedge funds and dealers may be eyeing their exposure to the market.

ZeroHedge comments, “Last August, in the middle of the low-volume summer doldrums, tech names exploded higher for several weeks in a move which stumped traders only for it to be reveled (on this website first) that the action was due to an attempt by SoftBank’s brand new public equity trading desk to ramp gamma higher in tech names.

The start of July witnessed an almost identical move, as FAAMG names soared higher driven by a surge in call buying. And, while we doubt SoftBank is behind the latest move the sharp increase in options trading activity to start July – July 2nd recorded the highest day of single stock options trading in history – has driven month-to-date average daily notional traded to all-time-highs.”


7:20 am

Good Morning!

NDX futures are testing the 2-month trendline just above 14800.00.  Due to the shallow decline thus far and trendline resistance, NDX may decline to Short-term support at 14624.80 today before revisiting the trendline again.  NDX is on a chart formation sell signal.  However, it is short-term oversold with limited options to affect it either way.   The NDX hi-Lo Index closed at -132.00, suggesting more downside this morning before a significant bounce.

QQQ (360.52), on the other hand, has a massive number of puts expiring at 355.00, so this options expiration may be tightly controlled to inflict maximum pain.


.SPX futures are mildly positive, as options expiration approach.  SPX is net gamma positive at 4300.00 and above, with nearly 3000 more  calls than puts at 4370.00 and a massive 8600 net calls at 4400.00.  The dealers must keep SPX between 4300.00 and 4370 for maximum pain to both bulls and bears.  That implies a further decline to 4300.00 this morning with a possible end of day rally back to 4370.00.

Market breadth has been poor.  The NYSE Hi-Lo Index closed at 48.00 yesterday.  Normally, that would indicate a sell signal for the SPX, but the Hi-Lo has declined to zero in the recent past and subsequently gone to new highs.  It appears that we must see a negative close to confirm the sell signal for the NYSE/SPX.

ZeroHedge explains, “US equity futures rebounded from yesterday’s slide and losses of as much as -0.3% overnight on dismal volumes, as 10Y yields rose up to 1.335% and the dollar pushed higher. At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 51 points, or 0.14%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.75 points, or 0.17%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 34 points, or 0.23%.

Volatility shrank, but with today’s op-ex seeing a third of SPX gamma expiring, there is a chance volatility may spike, and with the vol trigger level just below spot, there may be some market turbulence today.”


VIX futures declined to 16.56 in the overnight session, keeping it beneath the 50-day trigger at 17.95 for the time being.  Should the SPX decline further today, we may see the VIX rise above the 50-day for the next buy signal.  Truth to tell, today would be a good day to accumulate VIX options, futures or ETFs at any level.


BKX continues to hover above its Head & Shoulders neckline at 118.70 despite the less than stellar earnings reports.  While unable to move to new highs, the BKX still controls the narrative thus far.


USD futures rose to 92.74 this morning as it consolidates its gains.  The Cycles Model suggests a week-long decline to follow options expiration.  The probable target appears to be mid-Cycle support at 91.30.


TNX rose to a morning high of 13.36 after bouncing yesterday from mid-Cycle support at 12.98.  The Cycles Model calls for approximately three weeks of rally into strength starting this weekend.  .


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