Thursday, June 11, 2009

Narrowing Participation Keeps Range Trade Alive

We made a stab at new highs in the S&P 500 Index e-mini futures (June contract shown) today before selling off late in the session, bringing us back into a multi-day trading range.

As noted in the intraday Tweet (follow here), the move toward highs was accompanied by considerable non-confirmation. Today we registered 1540 new 20-day highs in the NYSE, NASDAQ, and ASE stock universe, against 285 lows. By contrast, June 1st saw 2732 new 20-day highs against 248 lows.

Until we see a significant expansion of 20-day lows, it is premature to turn outright bearish on this market. To sustain an uptrend, however, we need to see broadening participation, not a narrowing of the trend's base.