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The Standard and Poors 500 index (SPX) closed today at 4132, down 156 points or 3.6%. SPX closed the week down 2.9%. If I put on my rose-colored glasses, I would point to Monday and Thursday’s moderately bullish trading sessions. The pessimist (or realist) might note that the market closed at or very near the lows for the day both on Tuesday and today. Why is that significant? When the market trades down strongly, buyers often come into the market to buy what they consider bargains. When that doesn’t happen, it is a dire warning. Adding to the negativity was increasing trading volume. SPX’s trading volume was above the 50-day moving average (dma) every day this week. Increased volume reinforces the observed trend, in this case, a bearish trend.

VIX, the volatility index for the S&P 500 options, opened Monday at 30% and closed today at 34%. These levels of volatility aren’t quite back to those of early March, but they are close. I track the Russell 2000 index with the IWM ETF. IWM closed today at 184.95, down 2.9%. IWM opened the week at 190.99, resulting in a loss of 3.2% for the week. IWM is trading at levels not seen since December 2020. IWM is down 22% this year.

The NASDAQ Composite index closed at 12,335 today, down 537 points or 
4.2%, and down 3.2% for the week. Trading volume ran below the 50 dma all week. Today’s close represents a 22% correction since the January highs for NASDAQ.

My rose-colored glasses are ruined. I was stomping on them today. It is difficult or impossible to put a positive spin on this market. The S&P companies have now hit corrections of 14% three times this year. NASDAQ and the Russell 2000 are now down 22%. Unfortunately, I don’t see any light in this tunnel. Inflation is setting records. The Fed is reducing the money supply and raising interest rates to fight inflation. Powell appears to be hinting at a half percent rate increase at the meeting next week. We just set our first negative GDP number for the first quarter. Economists label the economy as in a depression after two successive negative GDP declines.
I am largely in cash now, and plan to stay there or may even close more trades. I may be 100% in cash by the Fed meeting. The only exceptions are my index condor trades. They are doing well. My Flying With The Condor™ service is up 16% through April and the May and June positions both remain in the black. But even those positions may be adjusted next week.
I am going to have to see some solid market growth before venturing out with any new trades.