Lawrence G. McMillan reviews the options market in his weekly column for October 16.
The major indices pushed to new all-time highs again this week, although at a snail's pace. The $SPX chart is in a strong uptrend, and that is simply bullish. In the traditional sense, there is support at 2510, 2480, and 2400.
The equity-only put-call ratios have both rolled over to sell signals. These sell signals are confirmed by the computer programs that we use to analyze these charts, as well as by the naked eye (well, sort of).
Market breadth has been generally positive -- enough so that the breadth oscillators remain on buy signals. Meanwhile, the cumulative advance-decline lines have made new all-time highs as well.
Volatility indices have generally remained at very low levels. We are not only watching $VIX, but its former incarnations ($VXO and $VIXMO) as well. If any of these starts to trend higher, it would be negative for stocks. The bottom line is that the volatility complex is still bullish because it is not trending higher.
In summary, we now have sell signals from the put-call ratios, but until $SPX shows some weakness, even a short-term correction is not possible. The intermediate-term outlook remains positive, but the overbought conditions could produce a sharp, but short-lived correction.
Lawrence G. McMillan is the author of two best selling books on options, including Options as a Strategic Investment, and publishes several option trading newsletters.