Markets & Finance

Short-Covering Could Lift Prices


By Paul Cherney The NASDAQ has intermediate term (a weekly view) brick wall resistance 1934-2106. Intermediate term Resistance becomes thick with prints 2061-2106. More immediate resistance levels: Intraday charts show multiple resistance layers of 1966-1985.79, 1995-2023, and overlapping 2007-2037 which makes the 2007-2023 are a focus of resistance.

The NASDAQ has well-defined intermediate term chart support 1965-1853 with a focus 1942-1913. This focus of support looks like a likely spot for bearish traders who were short this market to book profits. After reviewing intraday charts, I think the closer the market gets to the 1923 area, the more likely some short-covering would be.

The S&P 500 has intermediate term brickwall resistance 1153-1206. The S&P 500 has immediate (intraday) resistance 1124-1142 with a focus 1126-1136. The next concentration of resistance is 1162-1173.62. The S&P 500 has substantial support 1111-1052 and it is doubtful that this level can be broken in a first test.

Reminder (with a couple of number changes): There are two kinds of short-covering price advances which could come into play over the next few trade days, one is fed by greed and the other by fear. The Greed short-covering lift occurs when prices take a dive and bearish traders start buying to book profits in their short-side trades. I think that could happen if we saw NASDAQ prints at 1923-1888. (S&P 500 equivalent would be 1111-1093). (In Friday's market there was an erroneous low print of 1104.50 for about 4 seconds for the S&P 500, this low print might show-up as the intraday low on some quote services, but the actual low was probably 1114.53 near 10:35 am EST. so the market did not really have a print in the 1111-1093 area.)

The Fear driven short-covering is what is commonly called a "short squeeze" because prices work higher until most bearish traders might not have any profits left in their short positions and they scramble to buy to cover open short positions. In order to have a fear driven short-covering, the markets are going to have demonstrate the ability to overcome resistance levels. You are probably going to have to see the S&P 500 print above 1136 in Friday's session and the NASDAQ print above 1986 in order to really scare (squeeze) the shorts into covering. Cherney is market analyst for Standard & Poor's


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