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The Gap Up Today is Positive but...

Today’s large gap up in major indexes including the S&P 500 Index (SPX), Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU), Nasdaq Composite Index (COMPQ), and others pose an interesting question. So, one of the more important questions is – should one be buying into the gap up or should one wait for further confirmation?


September has lived up to its reputation as a volatile month as key indexes entered correction territories (i.e., INDU -9.12%, SPX -10.55%, and COMPQ -12.88%. Although the 15-day corrections witnessed numerous negative technical patterns such as gap-downs, negative outside weeks/days, violations of 50-day ma, and 2-month head/shoulders top breakdowns the intermediate-to-longer term trends still retain bullishly biased uptrends (rising 200-day moving, averages, 2009 uptrends, etc.).

You do not want to chase the rally, but you also do not want to miss out on the next major rally. Although it is difficult to determine with any accuracy what will happen during October, ahead of what is likely to be an uncertain U.S. Presidential Election it may be appropriate for traders and investors to manage their risks into the next few weeks. We will be keeping a close eye on the major indexes to determine the upside potentials as well as downside risks.


Enclosed below is a summary of the technical picture of the SPX, INDU, and COMPQ from a near-term perspective. Although there are numerous technical levels available focus on the highlighted numbers in bold as they represent key short-term upside potentials as well as downside risks.

S&P 500 Index (SPX – 3,351.60)


SPX has corrected -378.66 points or -10.55% over the past 15-days. A 5-day technical base has developed between 3,209.45 and 3,323.35. The 9/28/20 gap-up breakout above 3,323 hints of a short-term SPX recovery to the 38.2% retracement (3,354.10) from 9/2/20-9/24/20 decline, and above this to 3,398.78 (50% retracement), and then to 3,429-3,455 (9/4/20, 9/10/20 and 9/16/20 highs, 61.8% retracement, and 5-day base breakout target). A convincing move above this key resistance zone confirms a sustainable recovery to 3,588.11 (9/2/20 high). On the downside, a break down below 3,209.45 (9/24/20 low) warns of a -113.90 decline toward 3,095.55.


Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU – 27,584.06)


Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) fell 2,662.30 points or -9.12% during Sep 2020. A recent gap-up breakout above 27,464.50 completes a 5-day technical base suggesting the start of a recovery to 27,546-27,650 (50-day ma, 38.2% retracement, and Sep 2020 downtrend). The ability to surge above this key initial resistance signals a short-term rally toward 27,868 (50% retracement), and above this to 28,182-28,392 (61.8% retracement, 9/17/20 high, and 5-day base breakout target). A convincing move above this renders a retest of the 29,199.30 (9/3/20 all-time high). Key initial support remains at a 26,537 (9/24/20 low). Violation here warns of a decline to 25,609.5.


Nasdaq Composite Index (COMPQ – 11,117.53)


Nasdaq Composite Index (COMPQ) plummeted 1,554.60 points or -12.88% during Sep 2020. A recent gap-up above 10,979.60-11,018 confirms a 5-day technical base as well as a downtrend channel breakout. This suggests a rally to 11,037-11,113 (50-day ma and the 38.2% retracement), and above this, to 11,245-11,299.50 (61.8% retracement, 9/10/20 and 9/16/20 highs), and then 11,429-11,598 (9/4/20 high, 61.8% retracement, 5-day technical base breakout target, and downtrend channel breakout target). Above 11,450.25 (61.8% retracement) is technically important as this signals a recovery back to 12,074.10 (9/2/20 all-time high). The key initial support is 10,519.50-10,520.20 (9/21/20 and 9/24/20 lows). Violation here warns of a decline to 10,300 (bottom of downtrend channel) and then to 10,059.40.


Source: Courtesy of StockCharts.com

Source: Courtesy of StockCharts.com

Source: Courtesy of StockCharts.com


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