US stock futures are sharply higher Wednesday morning as world markets push the Cyprus drama off to the side. S&P futures continue to push higher in the pre-market and are now up 9-10 handles. We woke up with green arrows around world markets this morning as China rips almost 2.6%. European markets are also up on average about a half of a percent.
This morning's pre-market strength is somewhat surprising given some of the weakness we saw under the hood of the market yesterday. While the S&P registered only small losses and the Dow actually eked out a gain, we saw some aggressive selling in the middle of the day and some leading stocks and sectors started to weaken. The S&P did hold the 21-day moving average yesterday and now looks set to open up back above the 8-day this morning. S&P support is 1545 with yesterday's low at 1538. Pivot resistance is 1557, and a 60-minute close above that level could bring 1563 into play quickly.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks today, but it appears the FOMC is likely to maintain the status quo. Traders will be looking for buzz words like "pace of purchase" of QE for the rest of the year, and perhaps more testimony about the state of the economy.
Over the last few days we have seen some breakout failures from momentum stocks that had previously been leading the market.
Netflix (NFLX) has been range-trading for a few weeks and couldn't find momentum above the top of the range at around $193 level. It's been selling off for four sessions and is back at the bottom of the range. NFLX briefly breached its 21-day yesterday. It needs to hold $176 to keep bullish composure intact.
Linkedin (LNKD) started to show some weakness last Friday after the push-through failure at highs, then the stock broke below its 8-day moving average on Monday, and struggled to recover the loss on Tuesday as the 8-day continued to put pressure on this stock. A break below yesterday's low of $171.38 could bring out more sellers.
Amazon (AMZN) was highlighted as a weakening stock in our Morning Call yesterday, and selling pressure intensified during the trading session as it broke the 100-day MA. The stock tried to rally in the afternoon to pare some losses but still closed the day down 0.5%. AMZN also broke its intermediate support level of $255. After four consecutive down days the stock has broken some key levels and there is little reason to be long on a short-term basis. Use yesterday's low of $252.62 as the new point of reference.
Google (GOOG) saw a nice gap up at the open yesterday after give consecutive down days, but couldn't muster much momentum as the stock gave back all of its overnight gains. It's trying to find some support at the 21-day moving average after breaking below its 8-day, but it still feels a bit slippery here. Monday's low of $801.47 could act as short-term support, and below that we have $795.
In addition to weakness in previously leading tech stocks, we are seeing several other charts weaken considerably around the market.
Last week it looked like some money might be starting to rotate into the Oil Service Sector ETF (OIH), but uncertainty in Europe weighed on oil yesterday as OIH slipped 2.2%. The ETF broke below its 50-day MA with a big red bar that engulfed all of its gains from the last few weeks. The damage was contained at the $41.43 intermediate support level but a break below this could send the stock down to its 100-day at $40.59.
Schlumberger (SLB), the largest component of the OIH, was even weaker than the sector ETF. The stock saw an ugly big red candle that sent it below the 100-day yesterday after previously breaking the 50-day on Monday. SLB is now back at January's resistance level. The chart looks broken and needs time to repair.
Expedia (EXPE) gave some selling signals when it broke the short-term uptrend support on Monday, then the stock was met by more sellers yesterday as it retraced almost 3% back to its 100-day moving average. The last time it saw its 100-day moving average was in October 2012. Could it find some support here? Or could selling pressure continue? Yesterday's low of $61.43 is the line in the sand for this stock.
Bank of America (BAC) saw a nice gap up but faded all the way back to $12.59 level as it couldn't find momentum above $13. Yesterday's push-through failure sent out some sell signals. The stock needs to hold its key support at $12.45 from the prior breakout level to stay out of trouble, in my opinion.
We are seeing a lot of divergences in individual stocks at this stage, so a stock specific approach is particularly prudent.
Apple (AAPL), after the nice rally on Monday, took a break yesterday as it quickly closed the bullish gap at the open and then retraced back to $448.50 level before bouncing back a bit into the close. The stock finished the day down a small 0.27%, and this recent bounce looks like it has more upside in store. The stock does has some resistance from the 50-day, but if it catches a bid to break above that moving average today, it could lead to additional momentum.
The banks are particularly sensitive to news about the European debt crisis, and within the sector Goldman Sachs (GS) is among the most sensitive to that genre of news. The bank led the market down as it broke its uptrend support, resolving the upper level wedge to the downside. GS dropped 2% on the day and is sitting on its 50-day MA, which lines up with an important support at $147ish. A break below this level could send the stock lower.
Facebook (FB) was greeted by buyers right off the open yesterday but got some pressure from the broader market and slipped lower midday. The stock faded until it caught a bid at $26.30 level to sneak into positive territory into the close. The stock stills feel a bit heavy, but managed to close in green with 0.23% gain -£ could it see some more buyers today?
Gold (GLD) finished in the green as a bit of fear is back in the market. GLD regained the support of its 8- and 21-day MA and reached a pivot resistance level of $156.58 from Feb 15's gap. A break above this could take us to the 50-day at $158.
If you are looking for more hands-on education, take a free trial to one of our private mentoring rooms.
*DISCLOSURES: Scott Redler is long FSLR, AAPL, S, FB, MGM, YHOO, BAC, AAPL call spread. Short SPY.