The S&P Futures have been on a tremendous run over the past several months with the market gaining over 60% since the low on March 23rd. Even though last week’s price action on S&P Futures continued to the upside, it’s interesting to note the volatility index (VIX) moved higher as well. We see similar trends when looking at the sentiment data – since 08/25, S&P Futures increased from 87% to 89% Bulls while VIX Futures rose from 11% to 21% Bulls. These observations beg the questions – is the market preparing for a pullback and, of so, how much of a correction should we expect?
To answer those questions, we applied the following filters to the historical sentiment data:
- S&P Sentiment = 80% Bulls or higher
- Three-Day Sentiment Change in VIX = 8% Bulls or higher
Since 2013, there have only been nine other times where we had a similar sentiment setup. Here are those dates along with trading stats assuming one shorted S&P Futures at the close of each signal:
|Sentiment Setup Date
||Trading Days to Top
||Max Loss to S&P Top
||Max Gain on Pullback
Looking at those prior instances, you can see this sentiment setup consistently led to sideways to downward price action in S&P Futures. In some cases, this setup marked the exact top in S&P Futures and led to pullbacks of 6% or more. In other cases, S&P Futures traded higher for up to three weeks before correcting between 1-7%.