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Monday, September 27, 2010

Flash crash Du Jour

Today's candle, along with the lack of volume, makes it look like a quiet day, but it was anything but. We did have a nice little mid-day rally which put us a little on the plus side, but in the last half hour there was a nasty drop of about 9 points. It came so furiously you would have to suspect the HFT boys (as you will see at the end of this post, they were in top form today). 1150 is now looking like big resistance here, 1130 is support (so far), and we are right about in the middle. One thing I noticed here that might or might not mean anything:
CMF has a lower peak than  than it had just before the August swoon. it could be that this rally has not had the backing of the big money boys,

 I have been complaining about the weakness of the Nasdaq, but the price relative line is going nearly straight up. If that continues, so will this rally. CMF here is also at a lower peak, but on a relative basis much better than the SPX.

 The price relative on the Dow industrials is trending down, but hanging in there. In a normal rally you want to see it going down, because these move much slower than the other indexes (both up and down). CMF here looks about the same as the SPX.

 I try not to make too much of the volume on index tracking ETFs, but boy, the CMF really sucks here. Price relative is trending up, but not nearly as strongly as the Nasdaq.  This is also the only major index to yet break out, and until it does, this market is going to have some trouble.

 Here is PGN, a moderately traded, up trending utility, a pretty safe investment, right? Let's say you were long this, has a stop loss somewhere between 5 and 15% from where it was. In the space of less than a minute, everyone who has stop loss orders above 5 sere stopped out, and some predatory algo came in and picked up the shares.

 Here is what it looked like on my quote screen. That is a 10 minute chart; the arrows are pointing to the high and low for the day (as you can see, this was captured a couple of hours after the incident. Zero Hedge caught it which brought it to my attention). This happened so fast, you could not take advantage unless you knew it was coming. These are blatant, "I double dare you to stop me" type of crap that you would expect from someone who is convinced that the authorities either don't have the ability, or the desire, to stop him. What this shows is that stop loss orders, the most valuable tool in managing risk, are now turning into weapons to be used against us. In other words, we are damned if we use them, or damned if we don't.

I will have the new highs update shortly.

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