Options Trading Insights: The NASDAQ Has Successfully Pulled The Market Higher…… Now What?

The NASDAQ has successfully pulled the market higher…… now what?

Markets continue to rocket higher, putting in a solid week of performance with the Russell 2000 leading the way up 3.68% for the week. Although the NASDAQ underperformed relative to its peers, it still put in a respectable 1.90% .  

The mild pullback that we had bounced right off the 20-day moving average and continues to drift higher (see below). As the summer goes on, we may continue to see a drift higher until our professional money manager hedge fund friends are back from their Hamptons getaways.

For now, as a trend Trader who follows my basket approach, I have no other choice but to be reluctantly bullish until the charts tell me otherwise. With positive economic data last week as well as the breadth of the overall market improving, there is no shortage of bullish-looking charts out there to choose from. One name I like in particular is Google, as it has slowly started to show signs of life and has room to run on the upside (see below).

Google just completed a nice pull back to the 50-day moving average and seems to have some upward momentum along with the rest of the market. As I teach my students, I wouldn’t necessarily expect it to soar off to space, but keeping a realistic target and creating a vertical debit spread is the best way to play something like this. 

I teach in my class something called “T.E.S.T.S.”   It’s an acronym I always use to help set up every single trade regardless of style. For every single trade you do, before you execute, you need a target, entry, stop, timeframe, and sizing otherwise you’re just guessing!

As we look at the week ahead there are two things that stand out that I have my eye on that could potentially cause another pullback.  I’m bullish overall, but if this happens any pull back we get I will be a buyer of.  

First is ISM manufacturing tomorrow. This growth gauge is currently below 50, and if it continues to decline it will show weakness in the economy. However, if we get an unexpected reading, say above 50, it can cause markets to move much higher.

Second and more importantly is the bond market, particularly the 10-year treasury yield (see below). if we get another move close to 4% or higher, that can cause equities to sell off across the board depending how sharp of a rise occurs.

Markets are used to higher rates but any quick and fast spike can put a damper on the rally. Other than that, it looks like smooth sailing this week as we drift higher into the summer weeks.

Although I am bullish, I can’t help but to think what will happen at the end of the summer when the professional money managers are back from vacation, they are up over 20% on the year and in September and October they’ll have to start making some important decisions as they get into year-end.

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