A short time ago, it seemed that the bullish mood of the market was being held in check by the prospect of another interest rate hike at this week's FOMC meeting. But the bears are taking control even in advance of the Fed announcement. SPX lost $17 or 0.8% today to close at $2079. Today's close was in the neighborhood of SPX's December high and just above the 50 dma at $2077. RUT closed down even more than SPX, down 1.1% at $1151. This breaks RUT's late December high and is just above the 50 dma at $1132.
Market volatility tells the story. The implied volatility on SPX, the VIX, closed today at 21%, up four points today alone. VIX opened last Thursday at 14%. From 14% to 21% in only three days is a big move. VIX rose last week as the SPX was still trading higher - a classic VIX divergence. This was the sign that weakness was imminent. Several of my iron condor positions were pressured on the top side last week, but I felt confident in not hedging those positions based on the VIX divergence.
Today's continued market weakness triggered IBD's Big Picture (Investors Business Daily) to move from Confirmed Uptrend to Uptrend Under Pressure.
No significant economic data were reported today. The big kahuna of economic data is the FOMC announcement Wednesday afternoon. Analysts are betting on the Fed delaying the next rate hike until later this year.
Let the Fed watch begin.