Where's the Dead Cat? Stocks Take a Turn for the Worse

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- S&P 500 futures are trading lower again this morning, down 8.75 handles at 1,369.50 on the December futures. The fiscal cliff is looming large and current events in Greece are not helping investor sentiment. The market is flirting with the 200-day moving average (DMA), and things have taken a quick turn for the worse.

What does all of this negativity tell me? That it is time to look for a bounce higher, perhaps a very powerful run back up to 1,400 and beyond. Now don't get me wrong, I think this market could potentially be in very big trouble if Washington does not take care of its business. However, whether the can is kicked down the road again or if a deal is struck, I do not think we will see disaster -- at least not this time.

Following the president's re-election, the S&P 500 has dropped from 1,431 and change on Nov. 7 to a swing low 1,363 and change reached on Friday. As of this writing, it looks is if the market wants to re-test that swing low and perhaps try to make a new one. Even with all this negativity -- Apple stock continuing to decline, Greek aid packages up in the air -- this is not the place to chase this market to the short side.

I say this for several reasons. First of which is the fact that markets do not typically knife right through an important long-term trend indicator such as the 200 DMA. Often, there is either a large bounce off the initial test of this mark, or the market ends up reversing course altogether. The 200 DMA on the December S&P 500 futures contract comes in around 1,360. Maybe we see a soft kiss of this level and then bounce?

Technical indicators have gotten oversold on a short-term basis. Although markets can stay oversold for a lengthy period, oversold conditions to this degree in the short term do not usually set up a high-odds shorting opportunity. Stochastics, RSI, and several other technicals are screaming oversold right now.

Lastly, I thought Friday's activity in the VIX was especially telling. This gauge has not been able to maintain trade above resistance at 19 or so. Even over the past several days of selling, this gauge has not broken out to the upside. As a matter of fact, implied volatility has been trending lower on the hourly chart since Obama's re-election. So far, this tells me that the powers that be do not think we are facing the end of the world, otherwise I feel the fear gauge would be much higher. Perhaps a market turn is imminent?

I always stress the importance of patience in trading. This is one of those times it pays to be patient. I do feel, however, that if someone has to get into the market here, the long side is the place to be. (And I mean like a dip-your-toes-in-the-water kind of long.) We have all seen how powerful a nasty short-covering rally can be, and I suspect we will see one such rally move this market higher sometime in the near term.

Overall, it is a seller's market to lose. The trend is down on the daily and weekly charts. The high-odds play is to trade in the direction of the trend. For those salivating to get into this market on the short side, be patient. I think the market will give you your chance at much more favorable price levels up around the 14 handle, perhaps even higher. Feel free to email me for potential trade setups here on the long side using limited-risk option strategies to catch the bounce. Please note today is Nov. 13, and all trade data is based on the most recent information.

Futures and options trading is inherently risky and unsuitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Stop-loss orders intended to limit losses to certain amounts may not be effective because market conditions may make it impossible to execute such orders.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission disclosure for licensed brokers: This material is conveyed as a solicitation for entering into a derivatives transaction.
Matt Zeman is a trader at Kingsview Financial. He began his trading career as a runner in the grain pits at the Chicago Board of Trade before becoming an arbitrage clerk. Eventually he started trading equity options and stocks. Matt now is a full-time futures broker. He has been a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox and Bloomberg, and provides his views on the stock, bond and futures markets for financial media including Dow Jones, the L.A. Times and The Associated Press. Matt is a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, and carries series 3, 7 and 66 licenses.

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