BullBear Trading: Stock and Financial Market Technical Analysis

Options Expiration Week Is A Time For Institutional Game Playing

This coming Friday is options expiration for the month of January. Usually, the trading week leading into options expiration is filled with a lot of game playing by the institutional crowd. This is generally a time when there will be a lot of rumors, ridiculous upgrades / downgrades and often some other far fetched news event. The bottom line, expect the unexpected during options expiration week.

Since December 26, 2018, the major stock indexes have surged sharply higher. Now with so many stocks trading off of their lows we could see a pullback this week. But then again, I have to think that after the Christmas Eve sell-off there are probably a lot of retail investors still holding put options into this expiration on a lot of the leading indexes and popular stocks. If this is the case, then the major stock indexes will probably hold up this week. 

This week is also the start of earnings season. As you know by now, the street is looking for the earnings picture to be weak. At least that is what the market usually looks for when we have such a sharp correction like we have seen. In other words, market expectations have been lowered. So any surprise in earnings could certainly help the markets this week. Either way, traders will have to look at every stock on an individual basis. Many market leading stocks are trading into resistance, while many others are still lagging and should have a way to go before reaching a major resistance point. Just remember, this is a week to be on your toes as options expiration is usually filled with game playing and lots of whipsaw.

Nick Santiago

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