Joel’s introduction to trading was in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index futures pit at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During his time at the CME, he was involved in Index Arbitrage as well as trading foreign currency futures and options. From 1994-1999, he was a proprietary trader for Olde Discount Corporation. Following his tenure at Olde Discount, he founded the Detroit office of Bright Trading, LLC. Since 2003, Joel has been an independent trader researching and developing proprietary indicators and trading systems for the equities and futures markets. In 2007, Joel joined JC Trading Group as a Market Consultant and trading supervisor.
Posts by Joel Elconin
Being a big-time University of Michigan sports fan can create conflicts in your life. For example, it severely limits the colors in my wardrobe as I do not want to resemble in anyway whatsoever, or promote the colors of any of my hated rivals. Also, it can be a factor when handicapping other sporting events I closely follow such as the Kentucky Derby.
So you may be asking how does my allegiance to Michigan sports create a conflict for me in handicapping the Kentucky Derby? Let me explain. In the past, I have favored the winner of the Santa Anita Derby (especially if he is a long shot) as my choice for the Kentucky Derby. And this year’s winner, Goldencents, is partially owned by none other than Rick Pitino, who just recently led his Louisville Cardinals to a hard fought victory over my Michigan Wolverines in this year’s NCAA Basketball Championship Finals. So, do I sit out this year’s Derby and cheer for every other horse in the race? Or do I put my biases aside and rely on my handicapping skills?
Let’s examine the top contenders along with Goldencents to determine the appropriate betting strategy for the first leg of the Triple Crown. More times than not, a winner from one of the major prep races before the Derby (Wood Memorial, Arkansas Derby, Florida Derby and Santa Anita Derby) will be the eventual winner.
The only horse entering the race with a perfect record is the winner of the Wood Memorial, Verrazano. Being hailed as perhaps the next super-horse, the colt may go as the favorite. In addition to his victory in the Wood Memorial, Verrazano galloped to victory by 3, 16 and 8 lengths in his three previous starts. Veteran trainer Todd Pletcher (trainer of 2011 Derby winner Super Saver), will have the colt and jockey well prepared for the longer distance and large field. However, being the favorite in the Derby is not always a good omen, as the chalk rarely wins the race. In fact, going back to 1979 only five favorites have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby. With that being said, I will use him in some combinations with some other long shots.
One of the four other stablemates of Verrazano, Overanalyze, was the winner of the Arkansas Derby. Although he coasted to over a four length victory, very slow fractions on the front-end allowed him to do so. In the 21 horse stampede at the Derby, it certainly will not be nearly as easy to weave and bob from way back in the pack and coast to victory. The eventual winner will need to be in striking distance by the half and ready to mount a challenge. Also, his past performance reveals a pattern of losing a race following each of his four victories. Since his last race was a win in the Arkansas Derby, I am predicting the pattern to hold true to form. Once again, I may use him as a candidate for some combinations.
Orb, the winner of the Florida Derby, is the other candidate to go off as the favorite. He has dominated the horses at Gulfstream Park over his last three starts, coupled with his four wide move in the stretch to win the Florida Derby by almost three lengths is impressive. Once again, he was aided by slow fractions on the front-end and had plenty of kick to make his stretch run. More importantly, he has the most outside post (16) of all the major contenders and will have to expend some energy to get in good position for a final move. This stands in stark contrast to his usual come from behind style. Finally, being one of the potential favorites makes him a less attractive horse to wager on.
So where does over-analysis leave me? With the Santa Anita Derby winner and partially Rick Pitino owned Goldencents. After reviewing his race in the Santa Anita, his jockey was able to call on his horse for a move a few times, before heading home for a strong run in the stretch. With the Kentucky Derby being a long and grueling race, especially with a large field, the winner will need to be near the front end of the race and then have enough kick to make a stretch run. If Goldencents can get a similar trip to his mount in the Santa Anita Derby, he may be the next candidate to win the first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
What a choppy week. The Cyprus banking crisis rocked the market early Monday morning, knocking the S&P futures down to a low of 1529.50. But the bulls quickly regained control, as the market rallied back to close strong. Tuesday saw a quiet morning, followed by a wicked selloff in the afternoon as more concerns materialized in the Cyprus situation. We again found support in the low 1530s, putting in a potential double bottom. We had a strong rally on Wednesday (despite poor earnings from FDX), but then an earnings warning from ORCL Wednesday evening, led to a bit of a Tech-wreck and the market closed weak again on Thursday. So where does the market go from here?
From a technical perspective, the trading levels are shaping up nicely. Key support and key resistance is well defined. The market continues to struggle in the 1550 area, as traders have been using rallies into that area to lighten their positions. The market found support in the 1530 area on Monday and Tuesday, and that area should provide some initial support again. But trading action in the individual stocks is a little more concerning.
The market appears to be shifting to a “risk-off” trade, as the financials and cyclicals are starting to show weakness, while defensive names continue to be strong. Money is moving into the gold miners as ABX, GG, and NEM are starting to break out after forming some nice bases.
Bottom line, it is critical that this market hold the 1529.50 low that we set on Monday. If that level is breached, we could be in store for another test of 1500.
Here are the support and resistance levels to focus on:
|1558.75||*******||High of move|
|1519.75||*****||March 3 low|
The doctor has written the right prescription for an increase in the price of WAG stock. In addition to announcing better than expected earnings by $.02 (.96 vs. 94), the company announced a 10-year pharmaceutical distribution deal with ABC.
After trading up modestly in the pre-market, WAG opened at 43.22 and never looked back. The stock roasted shorts, as it blew through the 43, 44, and much of the 45 handle in early trade. WAG exceeded the June 2011 high of 45.34 and traded as high as 45.80 before some real profit taking stemmed the tide.
So what now for WAG, after this very unusual move for this normally mild-mannered issue?
First of all, the 45.80 high from today may provide some initial resistance, as investors who chased today’s early rally, may be targeting an exit point at that level. Above that, traders will need to reference back to the September 2007 high for the next possible resistance point at 48.09. For now, the small gap between today’s low (43.20) and Monday’s high (42.71) may be laden with large bids as bloodied long-term shorts and bruised short-term players attempt to wiggle out of their positions.
Here are the key levels to focus on for tomorrow:
|48.09||******||September 2007 high|
|44.74||CLOSE||Key swing level for Wednesday|
|42.71-43.10||******||Monday high/Tuesday low|
Since catapulting almost nine points from the beginning of the year, the PG chart is starting to look “tired”. After making an all time high at 77.76, one or several major institutions have targeted the 77.50 level as an exit point. Every time the stock approaches that level, it is met with major resistance.
The buyers are becoming exhausted with their attempts to take out the 77.50 level, and the stock has slumped over a point in the past two trading sessions. Investors should take note of today’s low, as well as the 75.56 low on March 1st. If that area is breached, PG could easily trade down to the 75 level which could induce a much deeper correction.
Here are the key levels to focus on:
|77.38-.49||*************||7 of the last 10 highs|
|75.56||******||March 1 low|
|75.12||**||February 11 low|
Concerns over the Cyprus bailout and potential levies on bank deposits, have the S&P futures falling off a cliff tonight.
The futures have traded as low as 1536.25, and are now trading down 15 points at 1538.50. The S&P futures appear to be finding a bit of support above the March 8th low of 1535.25, and there should be some additional support near the double bottom of 1532.25 – 1532.50 (March 6th and 7th lows).
But if we break through that support area, there is no major support until the March 5th low of 1519.75.
Here are the key levels to focus on for tomorrow:
|1544.00||**||Pre-market high for 3/18|
|1540.50-1542.25||*******||Triple bottom from last week|
|1532.25-.50||**||3/06 & 3/07 lows|