Chart of the Day – Very Weak $TICK

by Enis June 12, 2013 12:26 pm • Commentary

So far this week, we have seen a complete lack of buying pressure based on buying programs that go through in the broader market.  For a quick visual to illustrate what I mean, here is the intraday chart of the TICK index since May 31st, when the SPX closed at 1630:

Intraday chart of the TICK, Courtesy of Bloomberg
Intraday chart of the TICK, Courtesy of Bloomberg

The TICK represents the number of NYSE securities trading on an uptick minus the number trading on a downtick.  Following the very weak close on May 31st, the TICK was relatively stable last week, with close to the same number of up and down ticks exceeding the 1,000 absolute value that I’ve highlighted in green and red.  The SPX ended almost 1% higher on the week with balanced TICK action.

This week though, we have seen a complete lack of TICK readings above 1,000.  Today is obviously the most glaring, as the high tick so far today is 475, and we’ve seen the SPX move 20 handles lower from its morning high.  But even on Monday and Tuesday of this week, there were no readings above 1,000 (and only a few above 700), while there were plenty of negative TICK readings below the -1,000 level.

Large institutional players have been clear sellers of stocks this week.  Watch the TICK for signs that the buyers might be starting to regain control.  So far, little sign of that this week.