“The first clue we were looking for last week was the close on Monday. The bears had won 3-straight Friday/ Monday’s but that streak was snapped as the Dow and S&P 500 were up 0.5%, on average, Monday. This past Friday was negative but the blue-chips were up and the VIX closed lower. The Monday win was only the second in 4 months for the bulls and if this Monday is negative then we can still use the closes as clues money is still moving out of the market.
Shares of Alcoa (AA, $9.09, up $0.02) were up for the week but we wanted to see a close past $9.20 as indication the company might report better-than-expected earnings. Alcoa has beaten Wall Street’s estimates the last 2 quarters, and they still might, but after opening higher, shares finished lower for the session back in July. They will confess on Tuesday after the bell.
As far as the overall 3Q earnings picture, the suit-and-ties are looking for quarterly earnings to decline by 2%. The biggest sectors that could drag down results are the oil and gas companies. Many of the pencil-pushers have said overall earnings would be up 2%, if not for their weaker-than-expected results. However, there were some big Tech names that have already warned which makes this a treacherous earnings season to trade.
In some cases, the bar has been lowered from the previous quarter so companies could surprise to the upside. There will also be a few high profile companies who didn’t warn over the past week or two that could miss by a penny or three. These companies could see their stock prices hammered if they miss estimates by a mile and investors’ wonder why they didn’t warn.
We have also said the Financial stocks needed to show some strength and over the past few weeks they have. JPMorgan Chase (JPM, $41.71, down $0.11) and Wells Fargo (WFC, $35.48, down $0.13) will report their numbers on Friday so watch how they trade this week.
The biggest development we saw on Friday was how Apple (AAPL, $652.59, down $14.21) traded. We profiled 2 sweet option trades for the Daily last week using Apple call options as we said to watch for the $650 level to hold last Tuesday. Shares made a run to $675 two days later which we said was resistance and where to close the trade at. The 2 call option trades made 100% and 50%, respectively, in 48 hours. We are thinking about playing Apple this week but we could be playing it to the downside if $650 doesn’t hold.
Apple is a big component of the market and any weakness trickles down to the major averages just like it does when shares are rallying. Apple shares make up 20% of the Nasdaq so a test back to $620 would spell trouble for Tech and the market, overall. If $650 holds and Apple announces the iPad mini this week like we have predicted then shares could push $675 or even $700 again. Monday could be a big swing day and we will be watching the stock like a hawk at the open.
Europe will be back in the news this week, specifically Greece and Spain. There were rumors Spain would ask for a bailout over the weekend but they will likely wait a couple of more weeks before doing so. Greece wants the European Central Bank (ECB) to give them more money or forgive more debt so this situation is only worsening and could be in the headlines this week.
The charts are bullish and if the bulls can hold or advance the flag to start the week, we could see a push towards our upper end price targets. The fundamentals do not support a further rally but we have to trade what is in front of us and respect the wall of worry. At the same time, we are preparing for some sort of pullback, perhaps major, and when we will get defensive.
We said last week to respect October’s history but we also know you can’t fight the trend or the Fed which is why we have done well with call options over the past couple of months. We still have some defensive positions open in our Daily for protection and if the market continues higher we should get called away from a few more trades in our Weekly.
There are still a number of headwinds, both positive and negative, facing the market but by the end of the week, we should see one side emerge from the current 3-week trading range. The bulls have shown strength all year long but the bears might growl once more before they go in hibernation for the rest of the year.” (from 10/7/2012 Weekly Wrap/ Monday Morning Outlook)…
The market had its worst week in nearly 5 months as the bears scored a -2+% win. The downside targets we set last week were all in play on Friday as the bulls held support for the most part. The pullback lasted all week long as the bears pulled a clean sweep to run their winning streak to 6-straight sessions. The question is will Wall Street buy the dip or will the bears’ growl grow louder as we head into the heart of 3Q earnings season.
If you are not a subscriber but would like to read more please click here. We are one of the fastest growing stock options trading advisors on the internet and we are doing well for 2012. We offer 2-3 powerful call or put option trades each week (depending on market conditions) aimed at triple-digit returns for our Daily newsletter and our Weekly Wrap Covered Call Portfolio strides for double-digit returns on a monthly basis and is 24-0. Together, we are 135-45 (75% win rate) for both newsletters and we doubt you will find a hotter options trading service.