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1450, from James Sogi

December 19, 2007 |

1450A few months ago I counted how many times S&P crossed 1450. Yesterday adds two more. A few years ago I studied whether gaps tend to get filled as trader's lore has it. Not much there then. The large gaps in this regime are different than the typical small gaps of the past and today was a better example of trader's lore as the 11/28 gap got filled. It had been there nagging for weeks. Tests last year of round numbers were also inconclusive, and it's problematic defining the test. From my point of view, however, these two phenomena combined today in an elephant stampede in and out, effectively shaking out the last remaining shreds of hope of the prior night, and when the last hope was gone, allowing a huge rally back to the starting point. Typical of the market to scare the living daylights so violently only to end up near the start. I read recently that the NYSE specialists' job is to provide some sort of continuity in price and avoid huge gaps. With the Japanese, then the Germans, tag-teaming the US at night, and the ECB's jamming the thermostat full tilt, the bathtub is sloshing over. The recent average gap is over 10 points, as opposed to a normal mean of four. In the Logic of Failure, one of the side effects of this kind of out of control hysteresis creates is cynicism. In a contrarian way, that might be good. To give an example of this last point, "Contrarian" brings up 1.6 million Google hits. "Trend following" brings up over 6.6 million.

Anatoly Veltman remarks:

Talking contrarian: everyone believes the seasonal patterns favor a December rally, a January rally, or both. I was bullish and eager to exploit this tendency myself — until my trend indicators turned down 12/11. That includes SP, DJ, NQ, Russell, DJT; even Goldman Sachs (GS) and gold stocks (but not gold itself) fell into my down-trend designation last week. Only oil and utility stocks remained in up-trends; plus a few individual issues, like AAPL, MO, MCD. I'd venture and say, that the next crossing of 1450 to the down has a lot of potential to not retrace.


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