Bulls and bears spent Tuesday waiting for something to happen, states Jon Markman, editor of Strategic Advantage.

They must have been disappointed. The Nasdaq 100 drifted sideways, then moderately lower before closing at 15,718, a loss of 0.3%. Much of the anxiety stems from the earnings reports coming on Thursday from Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN). The bears are hoping for dismal results. Good luck with that. Executives at both firms understand how to manage expectations. Tim Cook, the Apple chieftain, is especially good at this. When he says the word, investors often hear opportunity.

After the close on Tuesday shares of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) jumped 4% when the semiconductor firm bested second-quarter profit expectations. Although the largest technology shares have been in a holding pattern, secondary issues continue to find stronger bids. Strength for AMD on Wednesday would go a long way to keep that trend in place. Bears now argue that big cap tech issues are rolling over and that is a negative for the intermediate term. This is an extension of the new narrative that the broadening out of the rally is somehow negative.

Bears complained for months that the rally was too narrow, and that was bad. They can’t have it both ways. The odds are that sooner than later they’re going to be forced to concede a rally back to the old highs of the S&P 500. This could happen after the Apple and Amazon results on Thursday, or the process may begin as soon as Wednesday. The bottom line is that the onus is on bears to turn the stock market lower if conditions merit. Yet they have shown no ability to take control. There is support for the Nasdaq 100 at 15,456, the rising 20-day moving average. Resistance is still at 15,932, the July 19 high, then 16,573, the record high.

N-loop, Our Nasdaq 100 Timing Model: Members were instructed on June 28 to buy ProShares Ultra QQQ (QLD)—a 2x leveraged ETF that tracks the Nasdaq 100. Entry was $63.00. Members sold half of the position on July 19 at $70.59 for a 12.1% gain. Now set up to sell the second half at $75.70 lmt gtc. Set stop at 64.53 stp. Tuesday's close was $68.64.

Learn more about Jon Markman here...