Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ugly Reversal

The market was trading nicely higher going into the FOMC meeting, but ended the day sharply lower. It wasn't as if anything surprising came out of the meeting. The wording of the announcement that gets released after the meeting was essentially the same as the last meeting. I guess more people were hoping for some hints that the Fed was nearer to the end of its rate hike campaign.

This was the 15th consecutive rate hike by the Fed, bringing the fed funds rate to 4.75%. Fed funds futures are forecasting an 80% certainty that the Fed raises again in May to 5.0%.

Back on 3/21, I stated that the ugly LROD (large-range outside day) for the indexes was likely foreshadowing more weakness over the next weak or so. Today is the 5th session since, and the FOMC meeting proved to be the catalyst for the downside move. Regardless, both the SPX and COMP put in a second LROD today, on rising volume.

Both of the indexes are still above their 50-days, so it's not exactly run and cover time. But these are additional warning shots across to which we should pay attention. The market is very overbought here, and could experience some consolidation. Rising bond yields and higher oil aren't helping either. I will look to raise a little cash on a bounce, and get more defensive if the market racks up additional distribution days.


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