A famous saying on the Street is the market will do whatever causes the most pain to the most people. With dip buyers relentlessly using every 20-minute selloff as a chance to buy stock in egregious fashion (once more again this morning), I am trying to think of how this move finally relents. If this were any other year than 2009-2010, during which low volume V-shaped moves have crippled any historical analysis, I would have the easy answer. But since the way the market now acts is completely foreign to me, I feel like a guy without sight... in a dark cave no less.
But, I would speculate that in the market of 1996-2007 (ex. 1999) the move that would cause the most pain is a move over S&P 1150. This would crush the spirit of any last remaining holdouts. It would cause them to toss up their hands, and say "fine, I'm going to join the party too; here is a breakout, new highs for the year, etc, etc." At that point, it would appear that everyone would be on the same side of the trade as the "market can only go up" and "there are no dips to be found." So, as buyers rush in, perhaps we get an extra 5-10-15 S&P points, and then we would finally reverse as there would be no one left to buy. That's how the old market would work in my opinion. (Click to enlarge)
In this market, I have no clue since there always seems to be a buyer to be had... with his invisible hand.
It seems far too convenient to stop right at 1150 and reverse, creating a "double top," because, well... it's too obvious. So, either we fall short of 1150 (I find this unlikely) or go right through it. But let's see how it works out. It should be especially interesting with options expirations coming next week and the quarterly "mark up" games that happen at month end March, as institutions rush en masse into their favorites a few days before the end of the quarter.
For those keeping track at home, we are about 6% above the gap at S&P 1078. Much like we saw in mid-January, when the time comes I expect it to come fast and furious. The only question is from what level we'll begin that retrace...