Lawrence G. McMillan reviews the options market in his weekly column for November 20.
$SPX remains in a bullish trend, despite breaking one support level this week -- a level which it quickly recovered. There is support at 2557 (Wednesday's low, from which prices have rallied over 30 points in a day). Below that, there is support at 2545 (the October lows), and then the major support at 2510 -- the September highs, and the area which launched the current leg of this long market rally.
The equity-only put-call ratios are split in their nature. The weighted ratio dropped to multi-year lows in late October and gave a sell signal shortly thereafter. It remains on that sell signal, but the standard ratio is on a buy signal.
Market breadth has been pretty weak for some time now, and the NYSE-based breadth oscillator slipped into a true oversold condition as of this past Wednesday's close ("oversold" is a word that gets little usage these days). With Thursday's strong rally, it has now flipped back to a buy signal. Meanwhile, the "stocks only" breadth oscillator did not reach oversold status, and thus it remains on a sell signal.
Volatility indices tried to rally, but just really couldn't do it. As such, the volatility complex remains generally bullish for stocks.
In summary, the primary thing to keep in mind is that the $SPX chart remains bullish -- and will continue to do so as long as it closes above support. The negative factors that are still in existence may make things a little difficult in the short term, although yesterday's strong rally may have ended even that. But the bears do still have a chance to do some short-term damage before bullish seasonals come into play after Thanksgiving.
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.