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Earnings Season Will Keep Buyers Engaged But Virus Concerns Will Keep A Lid On the Rally

Posted by Pete Stolcers on July 8

Posted 9:30 AM ET – PRE-OPEN MARKET COMMENTS WEDNESDAY – Yesterday the S&P 500 closed on its low of the day and it filled most of the gap up from Monday. The price action remains choppy with an upward bias and I expect that to continue for the next few weeks as earnings season approaches. There were not any incremental news events overnight and the market has not moved much before the open.

The Coronavirus continues to spread and the US reported a record single day spike of 60,000 new Coronavirus cases. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have accounted for nearly half of all of the new cases in the US. States that have postponed Phase 4 or that have gone back to Phase 3 account for 40% of domestic GDP. The economic recovery will take much longer than we hoped.

The economic releases from last week (ADP, ISM manufacturing, the Unemployment Report and ISM services) were all better-than-expected. There won’t be any major economic releases in the next two weeks.

Earnings season will kick off next week and the announcements will be concentrated in the financial sector. Tech giants report early in the earnings cycle and that sector has been leading the market higher. The QQQ is at an all-time high and buyers will remain engaged until Apple reports on July 30th.

Swing traders should selectively sell out of the money bullish put spreads. I still believe that we have another month of flat to upward price movement and this strategy will allow us to generate income while we distance ourselves from the action. We will be selling out of the money bullish put spreads on stocks that have relative strength and heavy volume and that have broken through horizontal resistance. Our goal is to sell bullish put spreads that expire in three weeks or less. Tonight I will release my Weekly Swing Trading Video and it will have four new candidates. We were only able to enter one bullish put spread last week and Walmart looks like a winner. Earnings releases will provide us with some opportunities over the next few weeks.

We should see profit taking towards the middle of August. I believe that the virus will impede the economic recovery and that credit concerns will surface. Politicians will be in recess as the problem grows. Fear will replace greed as the virus festers and as the economic recovery stalls. I expect to see profit taking in August and September.

Day traders need to wait for market direction this morning. We are in the summer doldrums and the news cycle is light. Use the first hour range as your guide. If we are above the first hour high, focus on the long side. If we are below the first hour low, focus on the short side. I consider this to be a low probability trading environment and I am trading half of my normal size in the morning and one quarter of my normal size in the afternoon.

Support is at SPY $311.50 and resistance is at $317.50.
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