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Frank Hogelucht

Frank Hogelucht

Individual investor, trading for a living since 2007, taking a statistical approach in combination with historical market data and addicted to developing market-neutral algorithmic trading…

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What a Difference a Fresh 52-Week High Makes ...

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With today's FOMC announcement session (the Fed announces its policy decision - typically whether to change the fed funds target rate - at the end of each FOMC meeting, regularly 2:15pm ET), the S&P 500 is in close distance (0.30%) to posting a fresh 52-week high. The outcome of today's session - the S&P 500 posting a fresh 52-week high or not - will probably give direction to the S&P 500's performance over the course of the next five sessions.

Table I below shows the S&P 500's historical probabilities for posting at least 1 higher | lower close over the course of the then following 1 to 5 sessions, and the index' probability for closing at a higher / lower level (exactly) 1 to 5 sessions later.

The first column ('FOMC 1') represents those occurrences where the S&P 500 closed at a fresh 52-week high on the respective FOMC announcement session, while the second column ('FOMC 2') represents those occurrences where the S&P 500 was in close distance (within a 0.50% range) to a fresh 52-week high on close of the session immediately preceding an FOMC announcement session, but failed to post a fresh 52-week high on the respective FOMC announcement session.

Although the number of occurrences is roughly identical, there is an eye-catching delta with respect to the S&P 500's chances for posting at least one higher close during the then following five sessions, and for closing at a higher level (exactly) 1 to 5 sessions later as well.

After posting a fresh 52-week high on an FOMC announcement session in the past, the market was regularly trading higher four and five sessions later (72.73% and 79.55% of the time respectively, significantly better then the at-any-time chances for a higher close four and five sessions later), while quite the opposite applies when the market failed to post a fresh 52-week high on an FOMC announcement session. Chances for a higher close four sessions later are 47.50% only, and more or less even five sessions later, below at-any-time chances for a higher close four and five sessions later.

Table II below shows all occurrences (since 1930) and the S&P 500's performance over the course of the then following 1 to 5 sessions, assumed one went long on close of an FOMC announcement session where the S&P 500 posted a fresh 52-week high in the past.


+ no close below trigger day's close during period under review
- no close above trigger day's close during period under review

The S&P 500 closed lower -1.0%+ four sessions later on only 3, but higher 1.0%+ on 16 out of 44 occurrences (downside potential was regularly limited), and closed at an even higher level five sessions later on 35 out of 44 occurrences. In addition, the S&P 500 never looked back and did not post a single close below the FOMC announcement session's close on 20 (!) occurrences, or almost 50% of the time, while the opposite (not a single close above the FOMC announcement session's close) applies to only 4 occurrences.

Table III below now shows all occurrences (since 1930) and the S&P 500's performance over the course of the then following 1 to 5 sessions, assumed one went long on close of an FOMC announcement session where the S&P 500 was in close distance (within a 0.50% range) to a fresh 52-week high on close of the session immediately preceding an FOMC announcement session, but failed to post a fresh 52-week high on the respective FOMC announcement session in the past.


+ no close below trigger day's close during period under review
- no close above trigger day's close during period under review

Now the S&P 500 closed lower -1.0%+ four sessions later on 5 (instead of 3), but higher 1.0%+ on only 8 (instead of 16) out of 44 occurrences, and closed at a higher level five sessions later on 21 (instead of 35) out of 44 occurrences. In addition, the S&P 500 never looked back and did not post a single close below the FOMC announcement session's close on 13 (instead of 20) occurrences, while the opposite (not a single close above the FOMC announcement session's close) applies to 9 (instead of 4) occurrences.


Conclusions:

The outcome of today's FOMC announcement session - the S&P 500 posting a fresh 52-week high or not - might give direction to the S&P 500's performance over the course of the next five sessions, furthermore (straight) up or sideways to (slightly) lower.

Successful trading,

 

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