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MLR - PMP 1/26/15

Major averages finished Friday mixed on lower volume with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials indexes reversing into the red after starting up early in the day. The NASDAQ also gave up a good chunk of its early gains, but still managed to close up slightly. Oil continued its slide as well as commodities in general as global demand remains weak in addition to the glut of oil's oversupply contributing to the selling pressure.

The rip-tide markets struggle to find direction as QE remains in force with ECB, Bank of Japan, and so on which push markets higher, but the recessionary nature of the planet together with growing consternation push markets lower. The bottom line, which is easily discernible by anyone who can read a simple price/volume chart, is that the market indexes are in neither an uptrend nor a downtrend but instead are simply chopping back and forth within a big sideways consolidation extending back to early December.

Thus progress on either side of the market can be fleeting, at best, necessitating a more short-term view for nimble traders, while those seeking to ride a longer-term trend are likely best served by exercising patience and waiting for the right conditions to present themselves. One way or another, the market will eventually resolve this current sideways consolidation, at which point a more playable trend may emerge.

As the market has rallied, short-sale target stocks have rallied with it. Workday (WDAY) has found resistance at the confluence of its 200-day simple and 65-day exponential moving averages, which could serve as a short-sale point if the general market gets into further trouble after Friday's reversal, using the high of Friday as a very quick upside stop. Tesla Motors (TSLA) has come within 1% of its 20-day moving average, which could serve as a short-sale point using the 20-day line as a guide for a quick upside stop. Both companies announce earnings in the latter half of February, so there is still plenty of time for these recent reaction rallies in each to fizzle and send the stock back to the downside, but this will likely be a function of just where the general market goes from here. Nevertheless, for those who are willing to short stocks, maintaining awareness of potential short-sale targets as they bounce with the market is useful with respect to being prepared to act should the market begin to roll over again.

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