Markets Catch Breath, Struggle to Bounce Higher

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Alex Partida

Dec 20th 2022  .  3 min read

Markets Catch Breath, Struggle to Bounce Higher

The stock market was sent into a frenzy overnight as it faced yet another major move. This time, the psychological support level of 3,800 in the S&P 500 futures was tested. While this level initially held strong and provided support, the market saw a dramatic 40-point jump higher before the cash session opened, making a small reversion to the mean possible.

The importance of the 3,800 level cannot be overstated, as it has been identified as a key threshold in the market. In fact, it was previously noted in a Simpler News article that a break below this level with strength could potentially trigger panic selling. Fortunately, this scenario has been averted for now.

Price action indicative of healthy market

As the market opened for the day, uncertainty swept through the financial world. The Nasdaq and Dow Jones indices took turns exhibiting signs of strength but ultimately failed to do so in tandem. This back-and-forth rotation created a divergence, making it difficult for the overall market to trend in a single direction.

For the rest of the session, the market remained volatile. This price action is often referred to as “chop” or sideways movement. This can be attributed to major players on Wall Street, such as institutions, taking profits and positioning themselves for the next big move in the market. It is common for the market to experience this type of rotation after making a significant directional move.

While it may be unsettling for some traders, it is healthy for the market to take a respite. The market expends a lot of energy when it trends continuously, and it is much like a battery that needs to recharge before it can make another explosive move. Unless there is sudden news, the market’s energy is finite. A small reversion to the mean helps set the stage for future market movements.

Key levels to watch tomorrow

As the market looks ahead to the next trading session, traders will want to pay close attention to key levels that could serve as indicators for future market movements. One such level is the mini psychological level of 3,850, identified as a potential line in the sand for the market. If the market can hold above this level overnight, it may attempt to push higher

However, if this level is broken in the cash session or overnight, the market could decline toward lower targets.

On the upside, the market may aim for the 50-day moving average at 3,883, the psychological level at 3,900, and the daily 21-day moving average at 3,945. These levels could serve as potential targets if the market can maintain its position above the critical level of 3,850.

Conversely, the psychological level of 3,800 remains a key level to watch on the downside. If this level is breached, it could signal a further decline in the market.

Markets tread water, close green

The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 were positive to close the session. The S&P 500 futures closed up 0.14%, gaining 5.5 points, while the Nasdaq futures closed up 0.10%, an increase of 4 points. The Dow Jones futures followed, closing up 0.27%, adding 87 points.

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