U.S. stock futures are down 8-9 handles Friday morning on the last trading day of May on the heels of weakness European markets. The theme we have focused on this week is the building of an upper level wedge pattern in the S&P. The market has been very choppy this week, but hasn't gone anywhere as it digests recent volatility. The pattern is getting tighter, though, and we could get resolution in the next few sessions.
U.S. futures are actually off their pre-market lows while European markets are down about a 1% on some unemployment news. Japan bounced back 1.37% in the overnight session, which isn't so significant considering the 15%ish pullback off highs over the past two weeks. But in the context of the 2013's monster move in the Nikkei, a 15% pullback isn't the end of the world, to say the least. The index is still up 32.5% YTD.
Back to the wedge pattern. We now have three lower highs in place on the S&P: 1687, then 1674 and yesterday 1661. We also have well-defined support around 1635-1640.
For the past couple weeks, most down opens have been bought while several up opens have been faded. The question traders are asking this morning is: will today's down open be any different? At some point that more significant directional move will happen, but maybe not on the final trading day of the month.
Overall, the month of May has been very kind to investors as the S&P has risen about 4%. The "Sell in May, go away" did not ring true, but could the market be set for a summer swoon as interest rates start to rise to their highest levels in more than a year? I do think we could see SPY hit $161 before we make new highs, but we will need a close below $164 for my conviction to grow.
Banks were the strongest group by far yesterday and continue to show relative strength. The rising real interest rate environment is net positive for the sector, which could be fueling some of the rotation into the group. The conservative, high dividend yield sectors like Utilities (XLU), Consumer Staples (XLP) and Telecom that led the market for most of year are selling off as bond yields rise. If the banks remain strong it will make it harder for the market to pull back
Tech remains mixed with two-way opportunities across the board.
Apple (AAPL) tried to break out above $450 yesterday, putting in a high at $454.50. They might try to pin it at $450 today. Next week it should show its "true colors," and we will take hints from the action in early June.
Google (GOOG) is trying to find some lower support. The $864 level is now the spot to trade against, but GOOG needs some time to rest after a great start to the year.
Netflix (NFLX) held bigger support and bounced into the close. There has been some nice two-way action in this name. NFLX is building a new floor above $210ish that will be a key level to watch going forward.
LinkedIn (LNKD) has been a bit lethargic still as it's been grinding lower. The stock did hold a micro support level around $165, but all moving averages are now curling down. I think this one is headed lower after disappointing on its most recent earnings report. The $173-177 level is some bigger resistance if it does bounce.
Facebook (FB) actually sustained a bounce yesterday, but it still has a lot to prove. The investment bankers messed this stock up from the start, and it always now has trouble building on any strength. FB needs to hold $24ish to keep technical traders interested, while $25-25.50 is micro resistance.
Intel (INTC) has a very nice pattern. The stock is gapping up small this morning on news that the company's chips will be used in new Samsung Android tablets. I like this one for the drawer and have been talking about it since $22. If it can clear $24.57, I think it could get momentum again.
Research in Motion (BBRY) held the bottom of its range and was able to bounce yesterday. I did buy some as it did a RedDog Reversal at $14.16. It's opening higher today, see if it can build on that strength this morning.
Tesla (TSLA) has been a tremendous mover, and its CEO Elon Musk will be on CNBC with Cramer this morning at 10:30 a.m. ET. The stock has obviously been a better long than a short, but I think there will be tactical moments to play it in both directions on a short-term basis. I think it's run too far to put it in the drawer now. TSLA is building a new range above $99ish, see if that continues to hold. Resistance is at $110-114.75.
Metals actually sustained a bounce yesterday. The Gold ETF (GLD) broke above the lower double bottom pivot, and now needs to hold $136ish to keep some positive complexion.
*DISCLOSURES: Scott J. Redler is long AAPL, AAPL call spread, LVS, MGM, BBRY. Short SPY, long SPY puts.