By Markets Media

Levering Technicals

Some traders prefer to play the momentum of the market, chasing the tail of the overall ebb and flow of the various indices and commodities that are tradable.

But many often prefer trading off technical levels that supposedly suggest key resistance and support levels in different securities and indices; a favorite of which is the SPX.

Trading this week has remained tricky for those using technicals while simultaneously processing outside events in Europe and elsewhere.

“The SPX was very technical on Tuesday. 1194 and 1203-4 have been playing pong with the markets,” one proprietary options and equities trader told Markets Media. “The question is which side the ball gets spit out from. I have a slight bullish bias here as the month of December tends to be thin in volume causing a little bit of upward momentum.”

One important facet with trading in late November and December is that portfolio managers on the buyside will be fighting to add positive basis points to their year-to-date performance. With the volatile markets of 2011, many managers will pull out all the stops in an attempt to generate more alpha.

“You have managers making last ditch attempts at salvaging their year. This market has been choppy since summertime; it’s been brutal on many people,” noted the trader. “There also tends to be a ‘forget about our problems and worries’ mentality that prevails during the holiday season and we are right in that time of the year.”

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