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Stocks Rock as Apple Earnings Loom


On Turnaround Tuesday, can the bulls break the bears' technical grip?

Editor's Note: Todd posts his vibes in real time each day on our Buzz & Banter.

Turnaround Tuesday has arrived and the bulls are trying to run for the roses.

Following last week's Bear Scare, they know that a slew of technical damage has been done to the tape and they're looking to reverse the curse. With earnings coming fast and furious (Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) will highlight a busy afternoon), they've got the ammo to push the bears back into hibernation. The question, of course, is whether they'll be able to do so.

Consistent with my missives yesterday and late last week, I've attempted to use higher prices to my advantage rather than cover up small losses. The wisdom of that (departure from my hit-it-to-quit-it) stylistic approach will show itself in the session(s) ahead; at the end of the day, price is the ultimate arbiter of variant financial views.

With three or four areas of resistance converging in and around S&P (INDEXSP:.INX) 1575, we'll know shortly if I'll soon swallow one of those patented doses of humility that the market likes to deliver in spades. While my risk is defined, the reward very much remains to be seen.

Check the chart below and you'll see the back-test of the trend line that's been in place since November, the downtrend that connects the series of lower highs (since April 11) and the top of the left shoulder that is trying to form a right shoulder. IF (and this is the biggest "if" out there) the tape reverses lower, a break of S&P 1540 would "work" to S&P 1480 through a pure technical lens.

Europe is trending positive, the stateside stocks jumped higher out of the gate, and my P&L has a decidedly red hue, at least in the early innings of today's session. I will be updating my risk in real time, as I do every session, over on the Buzz & Banter, along with numerous folks who are much smarter than I am. Click here for a free two-week trial, and I'll see you on the other side of the fire wall!

Random Thoughts
  • If Apple ticks toward $360-and few foresee such a move given the decline to date and the field position into earnings- I'll likely nibble for a trade.
  • The German DAX (INDEXDB:DAX) has rallied of late…all the way back to the flat line. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up almost 12%, the S&P is up 10% and the Nasdaq (INDEXNDX:.IXIC) is up 8%.
  • There was a stretch last week-let's call it four of five sessions in a row-when I felt like I could see the seams on the ball as they rotated toward home plate. As soon as that thought crystallized, my swing turned rustier than a nail. Uncanny.
  • Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is a real-time example that you cannot short stocks "on price"; it remains to be seen if Apple demonstrates that point the other way this evening.
  • I will be deep in the throes of HSS (Hospital for Special Surgery) tomorrow from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and that's just the pre-op. The real surgery will take place a week from next Tuesday and I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to finally flip this hip. I'm not talking about running, tennis, or working out; it's the little things that matter most: walking without a limp, picking up my daughter without wincing, and having a catch with my kids Gavin and Mug. This has been a long time coming-and by a long time, I mean 43 years!
  • Good luck today and remember that profitability begins within.

Twitter: @todd_harrison

Follow Todd and over 30 professional traders as they share their ideas in real-time with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter.
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