Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good news, for the short term at least, out of Europe and China caught market players by surprise and it was off to the races as skeptical bulls scrambled to find new buys. The fact that we ramped up even more in the final 30 minutes of trading was a sign that market players are underinvested and felt they had no choice but to chase things that had already made huge moves.

Obviously, it was a sea of green today with huge point moves and very strong breadth. Volume was relatively light given the magnitude of the point move, but picked up at the close on what looked like buy programs. As soon as we hit the day's highs in the final hour of trading, the momentum-chasing algorithms were triggered.

The S&P 500 is up 7.52% so far this week but 87% of that gain occurred overnight. In other words, if you weren't loaded up long at the close, you missed the great bulk of the move. That caused much consternation for day traders and position traders who have been waiting for better charts to develop. They never had much of a chance to buy either.

The big issue now is whether this momentum continues. This market has had a strong tendency to run even higher after moves like this. It becomes overbought and just keeps going. We saw it happen in October, after we hit the lows of the year, and when we went straight up from the beginning of December 2010 through February 2011. We stayed overbought for weeks and had very few pullbacks along the way.