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The Standard and Poors 500 index (SPX) hit resistance at the 200-day moving average (dma) on Tuesday and steadily declined to close today at 4228, down one percent for the week. However, the S&P 500’s trading volume remained below the 50 dma all week. Today’s decline triggered a small increase in trading volume.

VIX, the volatility index for the S&P 500 options, opened the week at 20.7%, declined a bit but then rose today to close the week at 20.6%. It may be a minor observation, but VIX peaked at 21.3% today and pulled back a bit to close the week. Closing at the low of the day for a stock or index is often worrisome while pulling back from an intraday low is encouraging. In the same way, VIX is most concerning when it spikes and closes at its high for the day.

I track the Russell 2000 index with the IWM ETF. IWM gapped open lower this morning and closed down 2.2% at 194.65. Historically, the small to mid-cap stocks lead both market rallies and bearish pull backs and that certainly played out this week with a strong decline for IWM.

The NASDAQ Composite index gapped open lower this morning and closed at 12,705, down 260 points or two percent for the day and down 2.2% for the week. NASDAQ broke another resistance level on Friday around 12,985 that was established back in early May. NASDAQ’s trading volume declined all week.

The bullish trend triggered by the FOMC announcement two weeks ago hit resistance this week and began a modest decline. The Russell 2000 broke out above its 200 dma and then pulled back. The S&P 500 index bounced off its 200 dma, but NASDAQ did not even approach its 200 dma before pulling back.
Trading volume remained weak and generally below the 50 dma during this entire bullish streak. Above average trading volume accompanying a bullish or bearish trend is always a strong endorsement of the trend.

I will be maintaining a cautious stance this week, but I guess that is nothing new for me.