Building on momentum from Wednesday’s breakout to new 2009 closing highs in the S&P and Nasdaq, stocks registered their fifth consecutive day of gains yesterday. Like the previous day, a late-day pullback temporarily threatened the market’s gains, but the resilient bulls again pushed stocks higher into the close. Not surprisingly, the Nasdaq Composite continued to show relative strength, gaining 1.2%. The S&P 500 rallied 1.0% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.8% higher. All the main stock market indexes finished at their intraday highs.

On Wednesday, the Nasdaq registered a bullish “accumulation day,” but turnover in the NYSE was lighter. Yesterday, the NYSE played “catch up,” as volume in the exchange rose 6% above the previous day’s level. Conversely, volume in the Nasdaq eased 3%. In both the NYSE and Nasdaq, advancing volume exceeded declining volume by a margin of 4 to 1, an improvement in the NYSE as well.

Yesterday, Market Vectors Steel (SLX) broke out above a key area of horizontal price resistance and the high of its recent consolidation. The S&P Materials SPDR (XLB), another ETF in the basic materials sector, is also poised to breakout. In the case of SLX, a slight pullback to just above its breakout level, around the $49.50 to $50 area, presents an ideal entry point. In the current environment, we like buying the first pullback that follows a breakout, rather than buying the actual breakout, as there is less risk of getting stuck in a “failed breakout.” Nevertheless, XLB could be bought just above the breakout of its three-day high. To protect against a failed breakout, a tight, intraday stop can be used. Below are daily charts of SLX and XLB:



Market Vectors Agribusiness (MOO), comprised of stocks related in some manner to the agriculture industry, has been consolidating in a tight range, near its recent highs, for the past six weeks. With the 20 and 50-day moving averages providing support below, MOO could be poised to break out in the near future. Take a look:


Ironically, PowerShares Agriculture Fund (DBA) recently broke down below a major level of support, and is now bouncing into new resistance of that prior support level. Unlike MOO, which is comprised of individual stocks pertaining to agriculture, the portfolio of DBA exclusively consists of agricultural commodity futures contracts (such as corn, wheat, and soybeans). The bearish pattern of DBA is shown below:


Yesterday, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rallied to close above the prior intraday highs from August, complementing Wednesday’s rally to just new closing highs. The Dow remains just a few points below its intraday highs from August. At this point, the potential “head and shoulders” pattern on the daily charts that we’ve recently discussed has essentially been invalidated. If a correction were to occur at current levels, it would more closely resemble a short-term “double top” pattern. But as long as this bullish momentum persists, there’s no reason to assume that will occur — then again, did you ever notice the biggest corrections tend to happen when the least number of market participants are expecting them? Stay alert out there and don’t be complacent with new and existing positions.

Open ETF positions:

Long – DGP, IBB
Short – FXI, DXD, RKH (DXD is an inversely correlated “short ETF” we’re long)

NOTE: Regular subscribers to The Wagner Daily receive daily updates on the open positions above, as well as new ETF trade setups, including trigger, stop, and target prices. Intraday Trade Alerts are also sent via e-mail and/or mobile phone text message on as-needed basis.

Deron Wagner is the head trader of Morpheus Capital Hedge Fund and founder of Morpheus Trading Group (, which he launched in 2001. Wagner’s new book, Trading ETFs: Gaining An Edge With Technical Analysis, was published by Bloomberg Press in August, 2008. Wagner also appears on his best-selling video, Sector Trading Strategies (Marketplace Books, June 2002), and is co-author of both The Long-Term Day Trader (Career Press, April 2000) and The After-Hours Trader (McGraw Hill, August 2000). Past television appearances include CNBC, ABC, and Yahoo! FinanceVision. He is also a frequent guest speaker at various trading and financial conferences around the world.

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