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.

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Futures | Strategy | Mar 18, 2016, 1:06 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 3/18/16

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 3/18/16

    The completion of the powerful, bottoming "W" formation at the beginning of March was the launchpad for this leg of the rally. It has more room to run. Equity-only put-call ratios continue to remain on buy signals. The standard chart has seen a slight "wiggle" develop this week, but it does not dissuade the computer programs from continuing to say that these ratios are solidly on buy signals. Market breadth continues to be strong. Both oscillators are currently on buy signals,[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Futures | Strategy | Feb 26, 2016, 2:19 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 2/26/16

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 2/26/16

    The bulls scored a major victory this week, by engineering a breakout and close above 1950 on Thursday. That completes the "W" bottoming formation. So for now, the near-term outlook is bullish. Put-call ratios remain bullish. All three of the put-call ratios gave buy signals right at the February 11th bottom -- an excellent bit of timing, especially considering that these are 21-day moving averages. Even market breadth, which has notoriously been the "weak sister"[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Futures | Feb 19, 2016, 4:15 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 2/19/16

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 2/19/16

    The rally has been powerful, but is it just another oversold affair? At this point, we can't really tell. The next resistance area is at 1940-1950, and that's a more crucial point. If $SPX can rise above that level, then it will have formed a "W" on its chart, and that would be quite bullish. On the other hand, if the 1950 resistance holds, or is quickly retraced, then a much more bearish scenario unfolds. Put-call ratios are very bullish. Since these are 21-day moving averages, they are[...]

  • Market News | Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | Jan 29, 2016, 1:37 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 1/29/16

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 1/29/16

    The market has finally stabilized to some extent.  Even though $SPX had wide swings in the past week, there was a net gain over the past five trading days. There is strong support at 1820 (see Figure 1), because that is where this January's decline halted, and where the declines of April and October 2014 also halted.   A breach of that area would be quite negative. Equity-only put-call ratios remain on sell signals.  There have been some attempts by the computer analysis programs[...]

  • Market News | Technical Analysis & Charts | Strategy | Jan 22, 2016, 6:00 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 1/22/16

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 1/22/16

    Stocks remain under extreme pressure, but it finally looks like the oversold conditions are starting to have some effect. An oversold rally is now underway. You can see, in Figure 1, that $SPX bounced off the support level at 1820. That level was also the low of both April and October 2014. In essence, nearly two years of gains -- back to April 2014 -- had been wiped out at Wednesday's lows. By the time $SPX reached those levels, the oversold conditions were myriad, and a rally has ensued. We expect[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Education | Jan 8, 2016, 4:45 PM

    2016 Stock Market Forecast & 2015 Market Review

    2016 Stock Market Forecast & 2015 Market Review

    Usually we make this the topic of a longer article at year-end, but frankly we are not holding positions for anywhere near a year, so this is just a mental exercise – not having a lot to do with our style of trading. Besides, last year the big thing was that years ending in “5" are extremely bullish.  Well, this one wasn’t, which just shows that seasonals don’t always work.  Of course, with this one you have to wait another ten years to see how the next signal[...]

  • Market News | Dec 18, 2015, 12:08 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Bulls Have Not Yet Seized the Moment

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Bulls Have Not Yet Seized the Moment

    Stock market volatility continues to be above-average. The oversold rally that took place earlier this week seems to have run out of steam. The $SPX chart is now showing lower highs and lower lows. That is a bearish trend developing. It will remain in effect until the most recent high is exceeded (2100, in this case). Both equity-only put-call ratios remain on sell signals. Market breadth was very negative coming into the week, and the breadth oscillators fell to extreme oversold readings. Those[...]

  • Market News | Dec 4, 2015, 2:50 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: SPX Chart Now Has Heavy Resistance in the 2080-2100 Area

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: SPX Chart Now Has Heavy Resistance in the 2080-2100 Area

    The $SPX chart now has heavy resistance in the 2080-2100 area, where it spent most of the previous two weeks. The support at 2020 (November lows) is still in place as well, and will likely be tested in the coming days. Both equity-only put-call ratios are on sell signals, and they are now beginning to race higher on their charts. Market breadth made a valiant attempt to get back on track last week. However, that strength in breadth was fleeting, and now both breadth oscillators have rolled over to[...]

  • Market News | Nov 6, 2015, 1:03 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - Indicators Are Still Bullish

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - Indicators Are Still Bullish

    The stock market's strong rally has continued for another week, although it's beginning to act a bit tired, and the market is getting overbought. Even so, the $SPX chart is still in an uptrend, and there is support at 2040, 2020 and 2000. Equity-only put-call ratios continue to plunge, and that is bullish for stocks. These ratios are now in the lower portion of their charts, which is just on the verge of being overbought. Market breadth has remained one of the weaker components. At the current time,[...]

  • Market News | Oct 30, 2015, 11:37 AM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - Sell Signals Have Been Hard to Come By

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - Sell Signals Have Been Hard to Come By

    The stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poors 500 Index ($SPX), has gained 220 points in a month (since the September 28th lows).  After such a strong advance in so short of a time, one would have to say that the market is overbought.  Even so, actual sell signals have been hard to come by. The $SPX chart itself remains bullish in that it is in a pattern of higher highs and higher lows, and the 20-day moving average is rising. Equity-only put-call ratios continue to decline[...]

  • Market News | Oct 23, 2015, 3:30 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Indicators Remain Bullish

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Indicators Remain Bullish

    Earlier this week, it appeared that the rally that began at the end of October was lagging. But then Thursday, the market blew through resistance at 2040 and reaffirmed the bullish case with authority. A violation of the 1990 would remove the "bullish" label from the $SPX chart. Equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals, as they continue to decline (Figures 2 and 3). Market breadth indicators have been flip-flopping a bit lately, but have righted themselves in the last two days,[...]

  • Market News | Technical Analysis & Charts | Strategy | Oct 16, 2015, 12:28 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: The Bullish Case is Still Strong

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: The Bullish Case is Still Strong

    The stock market has taken on a much more bullish tone since the late- September lows.  We had several buy signals on September 30th, and they were well-timed.  The bullish case is still strong, even after $SPX has advanced 150 points this month. The $SPX chart is bullish.  $SPX broke out over 2000 last week, and this week it pulled back to that (general) level before moving to new relative highs once again.  Hence the breakout over 2000 was retested, and that retest was successful. Equity-only[...]

  • Market News | Strategy | Oct 9, 2015, 2:39 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - The Buy Signals are Piling Up

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary - The Buy Signals are Piling Up

    A week ago, we noted that there were three short-term, oversold buy signals. Now, more buy signals are occurring, and these are of the intermediate-term variety. The last hurdle was cleared today, when the $SPX closed above 2000. Equity-only put-call ratios remain on buy signals, as they continue to decline from recent highs. Market breadth has improved greatly during this most recent rally, and has now reached extremely overbought levels. That is not necessarily a bad thing, for we have often stated[...]

  • Market News | Oct 2, 2015, 11:26 AM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10/2/15

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary 10/2/15

    Despite a couple of rough days this week, buy signals have emerged from our short-term oversold indicators, and so we have a more bullish outlook for the short term but not necessarily for the intermediate- term. $SPX has retested the August lows and formed a "W" bottom, so that is support at 1870. A violation of that area would force a retest of the October lows at 1820. A move above 2000 would be bulllish. Put-call ratios turned bullish just over a week ago, and they remain on buy signals[...]

  • Market News | Sep 25, 2015, 1:38 PM

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Volatility Has Generally Been Trendless

    Weekly Stock Market Commentary: Volatility Has Generally Been Trendless

    The $SPX chart remains bearish. During the oversold rally that failed at the 2000 level, an upward trend line had developed on the $SPX chart, connecting the daily lows since the 1870 bottom. That trend line was broken decisively this week, as $SPX fell back below its 20-day moving average. For now, the $SPX chart is bearish as long as it remains below the broken trend line (see Figure 1). Put-call ratios are bullish. Figures 2 & 3 show that both equity-only put-call ratios have rolled over and[...]