SPX opened this morning at $2162, traded down to $2152, but then rebounded to close at $2171, up $11 on the day. Candlestick enthusiasts will note this as a long lower shadow, a classic clue that the bulls are strong, i.e., they saw that intraday low on SPX as a bargain and starting buying, driving the price higher. And this was on higher trading volume, with 2.2 billion shares of the S&P 500 trading today. Trading volume was up 16% on the NYSE and was 4% higher on NASDAQ.
But there was another significant clue of bullish strength today. The durable goods orders report came out today for August and was dead flat, 0.0% change. July was up 3.6%. The durable goods report is one of the fundamental measures of U.S. economic strength, and this was a terrible report. But the market shrugged it off and traded higher. Strong bull markets ignore bad news... until they don't.
Tomorrow brings the final estimate of the second quarter GDP growth rate. The last estimate was a paltry +1%, annualized. If the report tomorrow continues on that weak line, it will be a another test for the bulls.
In the meantime, the recent market behavior has been nearly ideal for delta neutral traders. My September SPX iron condor closed at a 16% gain. The SPX condor for October is up 21% and the November position is already up 6%, even though it has only been open for a couple of weeks.
The market clearly has a bullish bias, but be careful. It remains a nervous market.