By Chris Ebert

If emotions are reflected by the stock market then it stands to reason that those same emotions might be reflected in popular music. The same patterns that are perceived as pleasurable to the ear might be expected to be pleasurable to a trader’s sense of market timing, just as  dissonant musical tones might be equivalent to indecisiveness among traders.

Some years ago a group of musicians known as the “Axis of Awesome” noted that most popular songs in the past 40 years have followed a single chord progression known as the I V vi IV progression (also known as the C G Am F progression). In their words, “All the greatest pop songs ever written just use four chords, it’s the same four chords for every song.”

In much the same way, the stock market has grown to like just four chords much of the time, particularly during a Bull market. Those four chords correlate to four distinct trading environments: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3 and Stage 4. Much of the time, the S&P 500 lies within one of those four environments, much like the S&P is playing a song for us all.

  • Stage 1 is known here as the Lottery Fever stage, a euphoric environment where good news is great and bad news is often ignored. That’s the “I” chord, upbeat and carefree.
  • Stage 2 is the Digesting Gains stage, where good news sends stocks higher and bad news gives profit-takers an excuse to cash in and take their gains. That’s the “V” chord, upbeat, but with a little tension.
  • Stage 3 is the Resistance stage in which there is a sense of tension and folks aren’t willing to push stock prices higher but are not willing to throw in the towel either. That’s the “vi” chord, lots of tension.
  • and finally Stage 4, the Correction stage in which stock prices pull back to more natural levels based upon their earnings. That’s the “IV” chord, release of tension.

The process then repeats, almost as if it were following a top-40 pop hit on the radio, that is… until the song ends.


OMS 07-24-16a1

In popular culture, music mimics the stock market. Stocks go through those four stages in a manner that is quite similar to the four chords that are present in most popular music. Of course, as traders, we can never be sure exactly what song is playing in the stock market at the current moment, or what time the song will end. But as long as there is a pattern we can glean some insight into the market by recognizing that pattern.

The current pattern puts the S&P 500 in Stage 2, the “V” chord. With earnings coming out in full force this next week, some tension is to be expected. It’s all part of a natural process – as natural as music to the ear. Whether the market reverts back to the carefree “I” chord, Lottery Fever, or whether it progresses to even more tension in the “vi” chord, Resistance, is anyone’s guess. But either way, it’s like music to the ear.

Options Market Stages

Click on chart to enlarge

Obviously the stock market isn’t going to follow the rules for a Four Chord Song all the time, just as the songs on the radio don’t always comply with that rule. There will be times when different rules apply, as illustrated in the following jingle from the 1970s that doesn’t follow the I VI v IV progression, but instead goes by I V I IV V64. Even so, one can feel a different mood with each chord, just as there is a different feel to the market with each different Options Market Stage. The progression of the stages isn’t always clear, but the mood in each stage is quite similar to the mood of each chord in a musical progression.

Ba ba… (I)
Ta ta….(V)
Dum dum da dum…(I)
Da da um bump phah!…(IV)
Da da da dot tah! (V64)

The reason it is important to note the difference is that it’s never a good idea to predict the future, whether it be through the Options Market Stages or through musical chord progressions. There’s always a chance the song won’t follow the rules!

The best a trader can hope for is to make an educated guess on what the next chord in the progression is likely to be. But like the difference between Pop Hits and TV jingles, there’s never a guarantee. We make our best prediction based on the “rules”, but we are always cautious with our portfolios because we know those rules will be broken at times.

The preceding is a post by Christopher Ebert, Chief Options Strategist at Astrology Traders (which offers subscribers unique stock-trading perspectives and options education) and co-author of the popular option trading book “Show Me Your Options!” Chris uses his engineering background to mix and match options as a means of preserving portfolio wealth while outpacing inflation. Questions about constructing a specific option trade, or option trading in general, may be entered in the comment section below, or emailed to


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By Janet Bergamo

Of all the tools available to the IT team, the monitoring tools software is probably the most important tools. This is mostly because the right tool will proactively help the team identify as well as address application performance problems long before the issues impact the productivity of the employees, cause response time delays or erode the much needed customer loyalty. These tools will further enable you to develop a historical database of performance trends and enable your team to pinpoint the primary causes of performance problems. There are five more benefits your business stands to gain from using these tools.

Reduce revenue risk

In today’s market, gaining or losing a valuable customer’s loyalty is just a few clicks away. For example, in the case of Black Friday frenzy, if your ecommerce system is not working properly, you will end up losing sales as well as abandoned shopping carts. The good news is that the right monitoring tools software can help identify performance issues and help you to fix them swiftly.

Improve business continuity

Regardless of your business size or the industry you are in, downtime is not something your customers will be willing to tolerate. Needless to say, the slightest disruption in business performance can lead to significant losses in both revenue and productivity, tarnishing of the brand reputation, loss of customer loyalty as well as regulatory fines. The use of the right monitoring tools software will enable your team to troubleshoot problems and make necessary upgrades that improve the reliability of your infrastructure. Application monitoring tools with RightitNow software will give insight that allows your team to predict and prevent downtimes effectively.

Improve customer experience

Monitoring tools software will enhance your customer experience. It will help you deal away with slow-performing applications and prevent downtimes. This leads to more customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty. (more…)

By Robert Liu

Using a payroll software comes with a variety of benefits for you as an employer but also for your employees no matter how small or large your organization is. The accuracy and efficiency that comes with having such a solution means your profits are maximized. We will look at 6 compelling reasons why you should adopt a system like the payroll 1099 software ETC.

1. Cost Effective

Automating your payment system is always more cost effective. Replacing your more manual system with a more animated one eliminates human error and other inefficiencies. You get to save money, especially if you understand how to use it quickly. Making your service more professional has its downsides of course, but these are outweighed by the benefits you stand to gain. In addition, you can always brand your business as an efficient service.

2. Employee Calendars

All software have unique tweaks that make them more user-friendly and beneficial. Some payroll software solutions come with an employee calendar. You are therefore able to manage overtime, sick leave and absences. You are able to see the number of days taken and the work period remaining for every employee just at a click of the mouse. With such a solution, a staff member cannot make up the type of leave they had taken e.g. saying it is sick leave when it was their annual leave. Planning becomes easier for you and who would not want that kind of convenience?

3. Pay slips

One of the special advantages of using the payroll 1099 software over other free alternatives found over the internet is that they do not give you the option to create pay slips. With this solution, you can quickly generate pay slips with the minimum statutory information. You are not alone; many employees prefer being able to print pay slips for themselves. (more…)

By Brian Moore

Home storage unit businesses have proven to be lucrative over the years. Even during economic downturns, people still need somewhere to store their extra items. Since you will be responsible for your customers’ belongings, you need to ensure that you and your staff are ready to handle such a task. This will require research and proper planning before you embark on your own home storage unit business.

Market Research

Planning involves researching the market. Storage is a growing industry that many business owners and real estate investors are interested in. It is important for you to understand how the sector works before you start your business. You should be aware of the demand, competition and costs that the business constitutes.

Online resources are available for you to start your search for useful information and local storage facilities. Look at their prices, units and services. Although a location that already has many storage facilities indicates that many people need the service, this does not mean that you will not have to be competitive. Various websites can provide you with the information that you need about the sector.

Business Goals and Costs

After gaining insight into the local market, you need to set a goal for your storage business. You may want to set up a small part-time business or a large one that requires more investment, time and effort. Calculate the start-up costs that you will need to start your business. These should ideally be distinct from costs such as maintenance and you should be sure that you will be able to find the initial funding that you will need. Click here for closetbox local storage locations.

Business Plan

Business plans are among the most important documents of any business. They include information pertaining to market research that you have undertaken, estimated costs and future plans. If you are planning to borrow funds, you will need a clear and detailed business plan. Planning also requires a clear market strategy. There are different techniques that can be used to market a home storage unit business. You will need to be flexible enough to adapt to different strategies until you find out what works best for your business.


Marketing strategies involve establishing how you will penetrate the market and stand out from the rest, effectively communicating with your customers and planning on how you will develop your business.


Start your business by making sure that you have enough funding. You may use your savings or a loan, depending on what the best option for you will be. If you need financial assistance, outline our funding needs, how the money will be used and any future plans you may have for funding.

Location and Home Storage Units

A vital aspect of a home storage unit business is access to a location where people can store their belongings. Key costs will include acquiring a suitable space for your storage facility and should be carefully considered. Choose a strategic location that is likely to attract a lot of customers before securing your units.


Brian Moore is a locally based writer who is interested in different aspects of business and finance. He enjoys researching on a range of business start-up topics as well as marketing. To find out more about closetbox local storage locations, please visit the site.