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S&P 500 Volatility Index (VXX) setting up for potential buy entry - August 23, 2010

|Includes: ProShares UltraShort Semiconductors ETF (SSG), UUP, VXX

The major indices managed to fight back after early losses on Friday. It was a typical "whippy" trading day as is often associated with options expiration. The market gapped down and sold off until 12:00 pm and rallied the remainder of the day. The Nasdaq Composite and Small-Cap Russell 2000 both finished flat on the day. The S&P Mid-Cap 400 was slightly down giving back 0.1%. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average exhibited more weakness closing down 0.4% and 0.6% respectively.

Total volume in the NYSE jumped by 7% while Nasdaq volume was 9% lighter than the previous day's levels. Based on volume & price action we would consider this to be a mild accumulation day based on the afternoon reversal. Although NYSE declining volume surpassed advancing volume by 2.5 to 1 this was well below the worst levels of the day recorded at 9 to 1. The Nasdaq exhibited the same trend. Early in the day declining volume out paced advancing volume by 4.5 to 1 but ended the day at parity of 1 to 1.

As anticipated the semiconductor sector remains weak. Consequently and as expected the inversely correlated UltraShort Semiconductor ProShares (NYSEARCA:SSG) performed well. On light volume it tested the 200-day moving average and managed to close just 4 cents below Thursday's closing price.

On a significant burst of volume the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEARCA:UUP) rallied strongly off of the 20-day EMA. This followed four days of light volume consolidation. Since the August 6th low UUP has broken its downtrend by setting a higher low and a higher high. Again, it is important to note that the current advance has been on very strong volume.

The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures (NYSEARCA:VXX) is setting up for a potential buy entry. The VXX recently set a higher low and looks to be a buy entry over the prior swing high of 24.10. The set up would be confirmed by a move above the "dirty" downtrend line and the 50-day moving average (see chart below). The anticipated target would be a rally into the 200-day MA.

Open ETF positions:

Long - TLT, DBA, UUP
Short (including inversely correlated "short ETFs") - SSG
The commentary above is an abbreviated version of a daily ETF trading newsletter, The Wagner Daily. Regular subscribers receive daily updates on all open positions, as well as new ETF trade setups with detailed trigger, stop, and target prices. Intraday Trade Alerts are also sent via e-mail and/or text message, on as-needed basis. For your free 1-month trial to the full version of The Wagner Daily, or to learn about our other services, please visit

Deron Wagner is the Founder and Head Portfolio Manager of Morpheus Trading Group, a capital management and trader education firm launched in 2001. Wagner is the author of the best-selling book, Trading ETFs: Gaining An Edge With Technical Analysis (Bloomberg Press, August 2008), and also appears in the popular DVD video, Sector Trading Strategies (Marketplace Books, June 2002). He is also 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. Wagner is a frequent guest speaker at various trading and financial conferences around the world, and can be reached by sending e-mail to

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Disclosure: Long TLT, Long DBA, Long UUP, Short SSG