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It's Do or Die for the S&P


It will be interesting to see the response of the tape to Apple and's earnings on Thursday given the Do or Die position of the S&P.

Run, run my last race
Take my place
Have this number
of mine...
Ride My See-Saw (Moody Blues)

Profits are a great indicator, but they are a look backward, not necessarily a look forward.

One can not predict the market by following fundamentals or the economy because Mr. Market typically leads the data points.

To wit, the run up of Apple (AAPL) and (BIDU) this month going into their earnings reports after the close on Wednesday. Hence the adage "Buy the rumor, sell the fact".

The thing is that stocks many times outlive their logic: crowd behavior finds justification in self-fulfilling momentum. Growth that has been priced into the cake is extrapolated into the future, giving an extension on top of an extension. Kinda like a party girl popping out of a cake at a stag party, it's close to climactic.

Stocks (and markets) can do bizarre things for bizarre reasons and many times they do so near turning points. Such was the hysteria as the S&P exploded two hundred points in one month in March 2000.

Such may be the case (or the tail end of the case) with the post-close reaction to the earnings on Wednesday in both AAPL and BIDU.

AAPL initially tanked off seven points to 130 before exploding to 150. BIDU ramped 44 points on earnings before easing back to settle up 34 points in the after market glow.

I promise I won't do this again but let me ask you to reread this: profits are a great indicator, but they are a look backward and not necessarily a look forward.

If AAPL holds 144-145 it projects to 169. And, no, that does not mean on Thursday. But, I understand why you would ask.

If BIDU holds 215 it projects (according to the Square of Nine Chart) to 245.

Interestingly, both 169 on Apple and 245 on Baidu represent moves of 1080 degrees (or three price cycles of 360 degrees) up from their last significant swing lows. If reached, these targets could signify buying climaxes. So heads up, momentum players.

The important thing to remember is to trade strongly trending stocks according to their own position rather than juxtaposing the action of the broad market onto the stock.

Poor market tone may affect a locomotive of a stock but that does not necessarily translate into derailment, especially if the indices, although jagged and with meager internals, have not registered a confirmed sell signal.

Note that the recent drop in BIDU was the first pullback. First pullbacks in strongly trending names are almost always buying opportunities.

It will be interesting to see the response of the tape to AAPL and BIDU's earnings on Thursday given the Do or Die position of the S&P.

Why Do or Die? After two real distribution days---last Friday and then again on Tuesday--- the S&P is at an inflection point. It needs to convert its overhead 50 day moving average at 1521 or trace out a bearish third lower high. Recently I mentioned the third lower high in Goldman Sachs (GS) and you can see how the stock waterfalled.

Click here to enlarge.

Moreover, 50% of the range of the past two months (1556 to 1484) is 1520. Folks, you can't make this stuff up. As an hourly chart shows, the S&P has traced out three swings to a test of its closing weekly low for the last two months--- 1503, which was the closing low for the week ending June 29th. This is a potentially bullish set up. However, the index must recapture 1521 or all bets are off. Anything short of impulsive price action from here is bearish from where I sit.

Click here to enlarge.

A move above 1521 could see a quick spurt to 1530ish which coincides with an overhead downtrend line and the level where the weekly swing chart last turned down.

Drifting price action from here would be bearish and carve out a possible third lower high which sets up downside acceleration and a probe of the June lows.
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