Larry McMillan

Larry McMillan

Professional trader Lawrence G. McMillan is perhaps best known as the author of Options As a Strategic Investment, the best-selling work on stock and index options strategies, which has sold over 300,000 copies. An active trader of his own account, he also manages option-oriented accounts for certain individuals. In a research capacity, he edits and contributes to his firm’s publications: Daily Volume Alerts, The Option Strategist and The Daily Strategist – derivative products newsletters covering equity, index, and futures options. Finally, he speaks on option strategies at many seminars and colloquia in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He is often seen on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and is quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Technical Analysis of Stocks and Commodities, Data Broadcasting’s “Exchange” magazine, Futures Magazine, theStreet.com, Active Trader Magazine and many others. In 2011, Mr. McMillan received the prestigious Sullivan Award in recognition on behalf of his outstanding contributions to the growth and integrity of the U.S. options markets.

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Weekly Market Commentary 10.10.14

The stock market has become extremely volatile, trading up and down hundreds of Dow Jones points in a day. But our indicators have remained steadfastly bearish throughout the last few weeks. For example, despite several big rally days, $SPX never broke the downtrend line that connects its series of lower highs. Until that downtrend is [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 9.19.14

Early this week, $SPX closed at a new relative low, and many of the indicators appeared to be turning bearish (for example, $VIX closed above 14).  However, prices have rallied since then, and $SPX made a marginal new all-time high today — both intraday and closing.  Is this probe upwards more effective than the probe [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 9.12.14

The Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has made repeated new all-time highs — both intraday and closing — over the past three weeks. This action has, of course, resulted in a “bullish” $SPX chart.  The bears have made several attempts to sell the market intraday, but each time it seems to quickly regain strength [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 8.22.14

The rally that began on August 8th has extended quickly and strongly to take $SPX to new intraday and closing all-time highs.  When it crossed over resistance at 1960, the $SPX chart improved from “bearish” to “neutral.”  If another all-time closing high is registered today, that will officially make the $SPX chart “bullish.” Equity-only put-call [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 7.18.14

Well, the market finally found something it couldn’t shake off —  at least not right away — on the geopolitical front.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but an overbought, somewhat nervous market can react to this type of news dramatically, and it did.  So what is the real overall effect? First of all, [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 6.13.14

As far as the $SPX chart is concerned, it has support at 1900.  In fact, there is really support all the way down to 1860.  A close below 1860 would change things, turning the chart to a bearish state if that were to happen. Equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals.  The standard ratio finally [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 6.6.14

If there were any doubts about the validity of the breakout to new all- time highs, they should be satisfied by now. $SPX has support at 1900, and then all the way down to 1860. The equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals. The standard ratio had been lagging, but finally moved into the bullish [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 5.16.14

It is hard to imagine a market any more perverse than this one.  Once again, there has been a failure to break out on the upside, despite some favorable (although not unanimous) technical conditions.   Now $SPX has pulled back into the previous trading range, whose limits of 1810-1900 are more secure than ever. Equity-only put-call [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 4.25.14

The stock market is once again nearing all-time highs, although it has not broken out (yet).  If $SPX can’t punch on through to new highs, then it will remain within the widened trading range.  At this point, most of the technical indicators are bullish, so we would expect at least an attempt to challenge the [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 4.18.14

Editors Note:  This was sent by larry on friday, a trading holiday. The stock market abruptly ended its decline of a week ago and rallied all week. Wednesday’s strongly higher opening turned into an overall bullish day, and as a result a number of indicators rolled over to buy signals or generated new buy signals [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 3.21.14

The market action in the last 10 days has been a complete whipsaw. Now, the chart of the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) shows the index to be in a trading range — bounded by resistance at 1880+ (the all-time highs) and support at 1840 (last Friday’s lows). Equity-only put-call ratios remain on sell [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 3.7.14

This week’s action makes the $SPX chart bullish (how could it be anything else when trading at new all-time highs?). There is no technical resistance for a chart at new all-time highs. There is support at 1850 (which had been resistance), then at 1825- 1835 below that.  It is our opinion that a close below [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 2.28.14

The broad market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ($SPX) has finally managed to close at a new all-time high.   A second day closing above 1850 would solidify the breakout and give it more credence. Equity-only put-call ratios have finally rolled over to buy signals. Market breadth has been strong all month. [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 2.21.14

The stock market rally that began on February 3rd continues to persist, almost daily.  The Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has only had two down days in that time.  Even so, there is some question as to whether it has the strength to overcome what is stubborn resistance at 1850. Equity-only put-call ratios gave [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 2.7.14

The stock market finally halted its straight-down tailspin. A strong rally generated some oversold buy signals which could carry the market back towards its declining 20-day moving average. The $SPX chart is negative, in a pattern of lower highs and lower lows, and that is what makes it bearish. Equity-only put-call ratios remains negative. Thursday’s [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 1.31.14

Are you having fun yet?  Volatility has returned, and the market is a daily dose of pain and pleasure, to either the bulls or the bears.  There are plenty of cross-currents now, and in reality, volatility hasn’t even increased all that much (statistically). The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ($SPX) broke down through the important support level at 1810 [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 1.10.14

Stocks have been fairly dull so far in 2014, but some movement is probably setting up soon. Not much has changed with respect to the indicators that we follow, but let’s review them anyway. The Standard & Poors 500 index ($SPX) has pulled back modestly. As long as the support at 1810 remains intact, the [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 12.20.13

Even with the volatiilty following the FOMC meeting, SPX still has not broken out of the 1775-1812 range on a closing basis.  If it DOES break out to the upside, the positive year-end seasonality should help. The equity-only put-call ratios moved to sell signals about a week ago, but those signals are now wavering. Market [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 12.06.13

From a broad viewpoint, using our indicators, the picture is actually fairly bearish except for one major thing: the price chart of the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has not broken down.  A decline below 1780 would also interrupt the bullish pattern that currently exists of higher highs and higher lows on the $SPX chart. Equity-only put-call ratios [...]

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Weekly Market Commentary 11.29.13

Price action — via the $SPX chart — and volatility have remained bullish. We have often said that price is the main indicator and that has certainly been the case this time. Equity-only put-call ratios turned bearish a little more than a week ago and remain on sell signals. Market breadth has generally been weaker [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 11.8.13

The broad stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) was seemingly impervious to an increasing overbought condition.  But today after moving to new highs, the buyers finally ran out of gas, and the market reversed downward sharply.  The negative trend should last for at least a short while. The equity-only [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 11.1.13

Stocks can go down, and it now looks like they will.  The market, as measured by the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) continued to rise at a dizzying pace until the Fed meeting ended on Wednesday. Now stocks are taking on a more bearish tone. Typically, the market pulls back to at least the [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10.25.13

From mid-morning just two weeks ago (October 9th) through Tuesday’s close, the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) rose 115 points.  That is impressive, but the advance has been so swift that it has created a number of overbought conditions that are on the brink of becoming sell signals.    $SPX has support at 1730 [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10.18.13

Stocks have been on an explosive move to the upside ever since seven days ago, when a swift, but short-lived decline was abruptly halted in an intraday reversal at 1645 on $SPX.   Since then, $SPX has risen 88 points in very short order and doesn’t seem to be done rallying yet. $SPX has now made [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10.11.13

The volatile moves this week have given rise to a number of new trading signals. Since some are in conflict with others, one has to make a choice as to how to approach them. $SPX sold off sharply and recovered sharply and is now more or less where it was just over a week ago. [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10.4.13

The market is getting more volatile and bearish as the combined pressures weigh upon it.  These include the Congressional wranglings, the negative seasonality of early October, and the technical deterioration of our indicators. The Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has support at 1660-1670 and at 1630 below that.  There is resistance at 1730. Equity-only [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 9.6.13

At this point, the $SPX chart is still bearish, because it has a sequence of lower highs and lower hows. The equity-only put-call ratios continue to remain on sell signals. The weighted ratio continues to move higher almost every day, thus confirming its bearishness. Market breadth is the lone positive area right now.  Both breadth indicators improved enough this [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 8.30.13

The stock market has continued lower, after first breaking significant support at 1680 about two weeks ago. With the further breakdown this week, below the next support level at 1640, there is a distinct pattern of lower highs and lower lows. That makes the $SPX chart bearish. Equity-only put-call ratios are both on sell signals. [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 8.16.13

The Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX)) broke down below the important support level of 1670-1680 today and, in doing so, unleashed a torrent of sell signals.  The picture has changed to intermediate-term negative. The equity-only put-call ratios are split.  The weighted ratio made new lows recently, trading at its lowest prices in over a [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 8.9.13

The overbought conditions that had existed a couple of weeks ago were largely worked off by a sideways to slightly down stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index ($SPX).  It seems that the bears had their chance, but didn’t seize it once again.  There is strong support in the 1670-1680 area. [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 7.19.13

Now that the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) has made new intraday and closing highs, joining the other major indices (except NASDAQ), there is once again no overhead resistance.  However, increasingly overbought conditions may combine to slow the rally at least temporarily. $SPX has support just above 1670 (last week’s lows), then againat 1650 [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 7.12.13

The “interpreters” are in charge of this market. They are the people who interpret what they think Bernanke said, and then they act accordingly in the stock market. Frankly, I am in the camp that Bernanke has not changed his message at all — he has consistently said that QE will remain in force until [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6.21.13

The initial selling on Wednesday afternoon was probably just some profit-taking by traders who’d bought heavily on Monday and Tuesday. But then the selling gathered momentum. As for the $SPX chart, there is likely to be resistance near the 1600 level, where there was previously support.  However, the speed with which the market tore through [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6.14.13

The stock market has found itself under increasing pressure again this week, and once again seems to have found support at 1600. A week ago, $SPX was in a sharp downtrend on Thursday when it traded close to 1600, and a massive two-day rally followed. That rally took $SPX once again up to the 1650 [...]

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Weekly Stock Market Commentary 6.7.13

The pressure on the stock market increased again this week, driving the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX) down through some support levels, and generally turning almost all of our indicators to sell signals. The next support level for $SPX —  at 1600 —  is the extremely important one, and that held today.  There is [...]

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McMillan Weekly Market Commentary 5.9.13

The stock market continues to make new all-time highs for most of the major indices, including the Standard and Poors 500 Index ($SPX). The speed of the advance has accelerated in recent days, after minor resistance at $SPX 1600 was overcome.  1600 and 1550 are both strong support levels.  There has been enough publicity about [...]