Easy Does It – Fed Action Still Unclear

Investor’s first readDaily edge before the open

DJIA:  16,201
S&P 500:  1,932
Nasdaq  Comp.;4,734
Russell 2000:   1,177

Friday:  Sept. 25,  2015   9:13 a.m.


      The market rebounded yesterday in anticipation of Fed Chief Janet Yellen’s speech after the close.  This is the Yellen rally I said yesterday was “risky.”

      Today, it will “gap” up at the open as a result of  Yellen’s comment that the Fed was on track to raise interest rates this year.

       One reason given in a Bloomberg News article today for this morning’s buying is that, “Investors now have clarity after a muddled message from the Fed last week”  in its post-FOMC press conference.

       Beg pardon, but aren’t things even more muddled now ?  One week after the FOMC meeting the Fed Chair is locking the Fed into a “will raise rates” position by year-end.

       And if they don’t, what happens to a disintegrating Fed credibility then ?

       Early on in this recovery, I was a Fed supporter, but in recent years I think its message has become too inconsistent to deserve  credibility.

       The Fed is micro-managing the direction of the financial markets. One problem with that is you do not have a true read on the level stocks would normally sell at without the Fed’s intervention.

       Maybe a normal level for stock prices would be 10% – 15% lower.     


       In spite of all this, the technical pattern of stock prices positive in that we had an air clearing flash crash in August and several tests of those lows forming a base that can support a sustained rebound.

       We are approaching the Best Six Months “ of the year for owning stocks * (Q4, Q1) and a lot of blue chips have been crushed.

        I am wary of jumping in today, especially with a “gap” open when  the odds of catching the high for the day are above average.

       I am wary of buying in response to Yellen’s  comments yesterday, its timing  and the possibility they will widen the Fed’s credibility gap further.

        A rally failure today would seriously damage to the technical picture.

RESISTANCE today: DJIA: 16,386 ; S&P 500:1,953; Nasdaq Comp.: 4,786

SUPPORT today:  The market averages should hold above yesterday’s close. A rally failure would take the market down to DJIA: 16,103; S&P 500: 1,920; Nasdaq Comp.: 4,705.


NOTE:  There is no FOMC meeting scheduled for November, and no press conference scheduled for October. If a press conference is suddenly scheduled for October, it will be a tip off to an announcement of a rate increase, likewise  for a meeting/press conference is scheduled for November.     


THE FED – Why they blew it !

      The Fed’s decision not to initiate a rate increase at its September FOMC meeting now gives the Street the impression that when it does the economy is really heating up and additional rate increases are not far behind.  That will jolt the Street into heading for the exits.

      The Fed  wanted to ease the economy and markets into the rate increase process, but overstayed its zero-rate policy.

     There always will be reasons for caution, there will never be a “best” time.  If the economy cannot handle a minor increase in rates, we have bigger problems than anyone realizes.

      I do not believe that is the case, but the Street may see it differently when the Fed acts.

      Until now, I expected a rate increase to be accompanied by a brief but sharp sell off, followed by a BIG rally.  Odds of that are fading.

      The Street has  shuffled along behind the Fed on its decisions starting with “taper, or no taper” now with “Will it, or won’t it” on interest rates.

      The Street needs new benchmarks.  Going into a Presidential Election Year, the likelihood of an increase in interest rates lessens. The sooner the Street begins to focus on other factors, such as earnings ( a year out)  and valuations, the better everyone will be served itself included.


NOTE: Support and resistance levels are where I expect the intraday prices of the DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Comp. to reverse or close. Buyers should be cautious when a resistance level is reached but consider buying when support levels are reached. Sellers should consider taking action when resistance levels are reached and defer selling when support levels are reached. These levels are picked daily and based on my application of technical analysis.



 On occasion, I technically analyze each of the 30 DJIA stocks  for a reasonable risk, a more extreme risk, and an upside potential over the near-term. I add the results of each, then divide by the DJIA “divisor” (0.149677) to get the DJIA for those levels. This gives me an internal check on the DJIA itself, especially if certain higher priced stocks are distorting the averages,
     As of  September 18, 2015,  a reasonable risk is 16,288; a more extreme risk is 15,814. Near-term upside potential is 16,548.  Note: A drop below DJIA 15,713  would be very bearish.


        The following news has been  a contributor to recent market weakness, though most of these issues have been with us for weeks/months. 

-Chinese stock markets worst drop since 2007,  currently rebounding

-European stocks on verge of bear market (Germany’s DAX off 20%)

-U.S. stocks recovering from ugly crunch

-Commodities at 16-year low, but oil stabilizing.

-currency meltdown

      NOTE: Some of the Street’s pundits are arguing that this market behavior is unreasonable since the U.S. economy is doing well, if not great. Bear in mind, the stock market has historically been an early warning signal for the beginning of a recession, leading by as little as two months and as much as  13 months.


  • STATUS OF MARKET: Bullish but in a correction  into the fall.
  • OPPORTUNITY: Volatility has set in, market has rebounded from August’s “flash crash”  and is approaching an area of resistance.
  • RISK: Above average with news sensitive market.
  • KEY FACTORS:  Fed decision on rates; strength of economic rebound; Outlook for Q3/Q4 earnings; technical underpinnings weakening
  • CONCLUSION:  Having broken major support levels, the market is probing for a level that discounts uncertainties and negatives.

Note: Source of economic data

For a weekly economic calendar and good recap of  indicators, go to mam.econoday.com.


*Stock Trader’s Almanac

George Brooks
Investor’s first read
A Game-On Analysis, LLC publication


Investor’s first read, is a Game-On Analysis, LLC publication for which George Brooks is sole owner, manager and writer.  Neither Game-On Analysis, LLC, nor George  Brooks  is  registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. References to specific securities should not be construed  as particularized or as investment advice as recommendations that you or any investors purchase or sell these securities on their own account. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment in keeping with their tolerance for risk












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