Lawrence G. McMillan reviews the options market in his weekly column for October 23.
The S&P 500 Index ($SPX) has now made a new all-time closing or intraday high on 15 of the last 17 trading days. When the bears fail to capitalize on a selling opportunity such as Thursday, the bulls come back with a vengeance. The $SPX chart remains positive, with support at 2510.
Equity-only put-call ratios have turned bullish once again. Both of these ratios have begun to decline again, and when put-call ratios are declining, that is bullish for stocks.
Breadth is probably the weakest area right now, as it has been waning for several days now. Even so, the breadth oscillators are (barely) clinging to buy signals right now.
Volatility indices remain low, and that is bullish for stocks in general. $VIX spiked up a bit yesterday, but it still hasn't reached the 13 level, above which we'd start to consider $VIX to be a negative indicator for stocks.
In summary, the indicators are bullish, but some have weakened. At the current time, with the put-call ratios returning to a bullish status, we do not have any confirmed sell signals at all. Yes, there are plenty of overbought conditions, and we are close to having some sell signals. But this market has proved its point many times: selling without confirmed sell signals is inviting a trading loss.
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.