Joe Duarte's Analysis, Perspective
               and Trading Strategy Weekly

Joe Duarte’s Smart Money Trading Strategy Weekly

By Joe Duarte Editor Joe Duarte in the Money Options

Momentum Rolls On.  Big Data Week Ahead.  Housing Becomes Cat and Mouse Market Timing Game.

March 24, 2024

Another week, another extension of the rally in stocks, which no one seems to believe in.  Certainly, the lack of enthusiasm engendered by the rally is bullish, albeit in a very nervous way.  And yes, this momentum run will eventually end.  So, we’re still sticking with what’s working and keeping a close eye on the exits.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged and remains steadfast, at least on paper, on lowering interest rates three times in 2024, although the timing is uncertain.   The stock market responded with yet another round of new highs both in the market’s breadth and the major indexes.

But next week’s data deluge, especially Friday’s PCE number, could change the market’s tone. 

Inflation Persists Despite the Fed’s Happy Talk

Central bank happy talk gives the stock market a reason to rally, and gives the Fed political cover in an election year. Yet in the real world, the ongoing high interest rates continue to squeeze vulnerable consumers.  Eventually, unless the Fed lowers rates, financial difficulties are likely to spread further throughout the economy.

In my recent posts, I’ve been focusing on the theme that consumers are struggling.  Company CEOs are certainly in tune with this development and even Goldman Sachs is talking about it, as I detailed in this post.

And although the Fed didn’t specifically mention it, their actions suggest that they are indeed aware of this phenomenon.  Moreover, in an election year, they don’t want to be seen as partisan. As a result, they are willing to talk about lowering interest rates while keeping them at current rates as the rate of inflation remains stubbornly higher than their 2% target.   There is certainly talk of the Fed raising that target.

Ironically, the Fed’s actions, intentional or not, currently favor those who invest in the stock market.  Let’s hope that lasts.  On the other hand, if they wait too long, even stock investors are likely to feel some heat.

Buy Me A Coffee

How’s inflation treating you?  Let me know by voting here.

QQQ Squeezed to New Heights – NVDA Recovers

I’ve been watching the shares of AI bellwether NVDIA (NVDA) for some time. And the action this week was certainly cautionary, at first.  Even though the Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) blasted to a new high after the Fed’s dovish actions, and a subsequent short squeeze, NVDA lagged after the unveiling of its new generation of AI chips failed to impress.  Still, the stock recovered and, as they say, the rest is history.

NVDA failed to make a new high to match the breakout in QQQ. But it’s once again knocking on the door.  On the other hand, Microsoft (MSFT) confirmed the new QQQ high, suggesting a potential change in the leadership of the large cap tech universe.

Meanwhile, QQQ looks set to make a big move as the Bollinger Bands are starting to tighten around prices.  A move above $450 could signal the start of another up leg.

Certainly, this momentum run could move higher.  But, as they say, it’s probably lived longer than it has time left.  So, this is a great time to review the trading principles which will keep investment accounts solvent:

  • Stick with what’s working; if a position is holding up – keep it;
  • Take profits in overextended sectors;
  • Consider some short term hedges;
  • Look for value in out of favor areas of the market that are showing signs of life;
  • Protect your gains with sell stops and keep raising them as prices of your holdings rise; and
  • Trade one day at a time.

Bond Yields Remain Range Bound Ahead of Data Deluge

Bond traders are about to get busy as new home sales data will be out on 3/25.  A bigger potential market mover will be the Q4 GDP on 3/28, which is estimated to be at 3.2%.  Perhaps the biggest number of the week will be Friday’s (3/29) PCE deflator number from the Fed, which will be followed by a speech by Fed Chairman Powell.

Bond traders are getting whipsawed with trading activity keeping the U.S. Ten Year Note yield (TNX) between 4.1 and 4.4% on.  As I’ve recently noted, a move below 4% or above 4.4% will set the stage for the next trend – up or down.  Any data surprises, especially the PCE number, followed by Powell’s speech could be big enough to push bond yields out of the current trading range.

I have a solution for inflation.  Grab a paycheck via actively trading stocks, via my active trader focused Substack page here.  New trades are posted on Mondays.

Housing Market is now a Market Timing - Cat, and Mouse Game

The trading range in TNX has kept mortgage rates below 7% creating a climate of market timing in the housing sector, akin to a game of cat and mouse. That’s because anytime mortgage rates dip, sellers decide to sell and buyers are more willing to buy.

The S&P SPDR Homebuilders ETF (XHB) made a new high, behind a better than expected existing home sales report and the Fed’s dovish talk. Still, there is some nuance to consider when investing in the homebuilders, as I described in detail in this post

The key mortgage rate is 7%.  If rates remain below this key point, we are likely to see an increase in sales.  That would be another bullish influence for homebuilders.

The status of supply and demand is still bullish for homebuilders, if the jobs market and the consumer hold up.  You can check out my latest homebuilder picks with a Free Two Week trial to my service, here

Is the Uranium Correction Over?

The nuclear power industry has been out of the news lately.  But as wind and solar continue to struggle, as the summer heats up, expect this sector to once again flourish.

With populations shifting, and EV’s and AI server farms and data centers becoming fixtures, demand for electricity is likely increase dramatically.  And with temperatures likely to rise over the next few months, electricity prices are likely to move to the forefront.

You can see the quiet shift in money flows in the Global X Uranium ETF (URA), which we’ve owned at Joe Duarte in the Money since August 2022, and in which I own shares.  The ETF is near the end of its correction after finding support at the 50-day moving average and a large Volume by Price bar (VBP bar on the left side of the chart) at $27.

There is one uranium stock that is positioned to gain the most from this rebound. And I’ve just added it to Joe Duarte in the Money Momentum Plus portfolio. You can check it out with a Free Two-week trial here.

NYAD Remains in Uptrend. Dip Buyers Saved the Indexes.

The NYSE Advance Decline line (NYAD) made a new high on 3/21/24, and continues to show strength, although it is overbought (RSI tagging 70).  A pause is overdue. Short term support remains at the 20-day moving average.

The Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX) beat the odds and made a new high last week. It’s still due for a pullback toward !7500-18000; yet buyers materialize on every dip.  A rise in OBV confirms the bullish dip buying action.

The S&P 500 (SPX) made another new high, but it looks a bit top heavy.  At some point, SPX will test the 5000 area or drop as far as the 50-day line.  All I can say is – not yet.  The OBV line looks a bit tired as it failed to make a new high on the recent high by the index.

VIX May Have Made a Short Term Bottom.  Put/Call Ratio Surges.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), is still below 15, and moved lower during the week.  The Put/Call ratio rose last week, suggesting some bearish sentiment is setting in. If VIX reverses its recent upturn, more upside is possible for stocks.  A sustained move in VIX above 15 will turn things increasingly bearish.

A rising VIX means traders are buying large volumes of put options.  Rising put option volume from leads market makers to sell stock index futures to hedge their risk.  A fall in VIX is bullish as it means less put option buying, and it eventually leads to call buying which causes market makers to hedge by buying stock index futures raising the odds of higher stock prices.

To get the latest up to date information on options trading, check out “Options Trading for Dummies”, now in its 4th Edition – Available Now!

#1 New Release in Options Trading

Now in Audible Audiobook Format

Options Trading for Dummies (4th Edition) Audible Logo Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

Joe Duarte MD (Author), Terrence Kidd (Narrator), Tantor Audio (Publisher)

4.5 out of 5 stars    61 ratings

#1 New Release in Investment Analysis & Strategy

# 1 New Release on Options Trading


Good news! I’ve made my NYAD-Complexity - Chaos charts featured on my YD5 videos, and a few more available here.

Joe Duarte is a former money manager, an active trader and a widely recognized independent stock market analyst since 1987. He is author of eight investment books, including the best selling Trading Options for Dummies, rated a TOP Options Book for 2018 by - now in its third edition, The Everything Investing in your 20s and 30s and six other trading books.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Ten Year note yield (TNX) is trading in a The Everything Investing in your 20s & 30s at Amazon and The Everything Investing in your 20s & 30s at Barnes and Noble.

A Washington Post Color of Money Book of the Month is now available.

To receive Joe’s exclusive stock, option, and ETF recommendations, in your mailbox every week visit

 is independently operated and solely funded by subscriber fees. This web site and the content provided is meant for educational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any securities or investments. All sources of information are believed to be accurate, or as otherwise stated. Dr. Duarte and the publishers, partners, and staff of have no financial interest in any of the sources used. For independent investment advice consult your financial advisor. The analysis and conclusions reached on are the sole property of Dr. Joe Duarte.