Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What "the street" is concerned about

If you follow the markets closely you know there's been a lot of talk about complacency and extreme bullishness in the market.  Normally this sentiment is a contrarian indicator and a signal of a coming market correction.  After all, if everyone is bullishness then everyone is "in" so who's left to buy the market?  I'm posting a chart that graphically displays this extreme bullishness:

What we have here is a daily chart of the CBOE Equity Only Put/Call ratio.  This measures the bullishness or bearishness in the options market and the red line above measures that ratio.  As you can see, it's a pretty volatile ratio!  So I put a momentum oscillator above it and I outlined extreme bearishness (-20) and extreme bullishness (+10) with blue lines.  I highlighted with a blue circle and arrow where we are at the market close today.  We are in an extreme overbought area in the options market but we came off the highs of last Friday when the reading was 23.645.  Today's reading was 11.464.

My whole point in going into this detailed explanation of a complicated chart is that market action has been mixed over the past two days but has hardly suffered what anyone would classify as a correction.  However, the oscillator has made a significant move to the downside (more than 50%).  Now, I'll feel more secure when we move below the 10 level but it looks like my prediction that the market would work off this extreme bullishness with sideways price action may be coming to fruition.  And with Apple's spectacular earnings report (reported earnings of $13.87 billion on revenue of $46.3 billion) after the closing bell today we may have seen the end to the correction everyone has been anticipating.  We shall see ...