Stocks sold off sharply on Wednesday amidst brisk trade. Stocks were under pressure from the opening bell and were unable to gain traction at any time during the session. Four of the five major indices closed down more than 1% with the Nasdaq being the sole holdout. The small-cap Russell 2000 took a significant beating as it closed down by 2%. The S&P 500 and the S&P MidCap 400 both slid 1.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by just over 1%. The Nasdaq lost 0.9% on the session.
In an abrupt reversal of Tuesday's action, market internals turned decidedly bearish. Volume was up across the board as the market tumbled. Declining volume took firm command as institutions were eager to liquidate. The ratio of declining volume to advancing volume ended the day at 5.9 to 1 on the NYSE and 2.7 to 1 on the Nasdaq. Total volume on the Nasdaq finished higher by 11.6%. Turnover was up by almost 16% on the NYSE. Given the breadth of the selling and the pick-up in volume, Wednesday would be considered a distribution day for the market.
Due to yesterday's brisk selling, we made a judgment call to sell our position in PWV before it hit our stop. We didn't like the abrupt nature of the reversal and felt it was prudent to liquidate the position with a small loss.
Since late February the First Trust Materials AlphaDEX ETF (FXZ) has been setting a sequence of higher lows as it has been testing resistance at $26.15. Notice that each pullback has become smaller as FXZ consolidates. This type of price action is considered bullish. Should this ETF hold support near the current uptrend line its next test of the $26.15 resistance level could very well result in a breakout move to new highs. We will continue to monitor FXZ for a possible long entry.
Since losing support in mid March the iShares MSCI Japan Index ETF (EWJ) has fought its way back above the 20, 50 and 200 day moving averages. Over the past ten trading days EWJ has stalled at this level and has tested support at $10.38 three times. A volume fueled move below this key mark could provide a shorting opportunity in this ETF.
Commodities resumed their downward trek yesterday. Silver, Oil, Agriculture and emerging markets took the brunt of Wednesday's punishment. The market appears locked in a "discussion" between bears and bulls with the outcome yet to be determined. For the moment we remain in an uptrend but the recent crack in commodities appears to be weighing on the market.
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Deron Wagner is the head trader of Morpheus Capital Hedge Fund and founder of Morpheus Trading Group (morpheustrading.com), which he launched in 2001. Wagner appears on his best-selling video, Sector Trading Strategies (Marketplace Books, June 2002), and is co-author of both The Long-Term Day Trader (Career Press, April 2000) and The After-Hours Trader (McGraw Hill, August 2000). Past television appearances include CNBC, ABC, and Yahoo! FinanceVision. He is also a frequent guest speaker at various trading and financial conferences around the world. Wagner is currently working on this third book, scheduled for publication in early 2008.For a free trial to the full version of The Wagner Daily above, which includes detailed ETF trade setups and daily position updates, or to learn about our other newsletters, visit morpheustrading.com or send an e-mail to email@example.com