May 17

Where this market is headed next

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Thursday the S&P500 closed mostly unchanged, losing a trivial 0.1%. This was the sixth consecutive close above 2,700 as last month’s resistance turns into this month’s support.

In Tuesday’s free blog post, I told readers May’s rebound could go one of two ways. Either we hit our head on the upper end of trading range and stumble back into the mid-2,600s. Or prices stabilize above 2,700 following Tuesday’s dip and test of support. Two days later and we are still holding 2,700 support and things look good for this market. If we were overbought and vulnerable to tumbling back into the heart of the trading range, it would have happened by now.

The lack of follow-on selling when we tested 2,700 earlier this week tells us most owners are confident and not interested in selling. Plenty of bad news has been making the rounds between oil topping $70, gas approaching $3, interest rates passing 3%, trade negotiations breaking down, and Trump’s North Korea summit on the verge of collapse. There have been more than enough reasons for this market to tumble, yet here we are still holding above support.

The thing to remember about headlines is if no one sells them, they stop mattering. All of the above headlines have been reoccurring themes that keep popping up over the last few weeks and months. The thing about recycled headlines is they get priced in. Anyone who fears these stories bailed out a long time ago when these issues first came up. Those nervous sellers were replaced by confident dip-buyers who demonstrated a willingness to own these headline risks when they bought. And it should be no surprise these confident dip-buyers are not flinching when these headlines come back around. As I said, when no one sells the news, it stops mattering. That is why prices are holding up so well despite the headline headwinds.

A market that refuses to do down will eventually go up. And while the path of least resistance for this market remains higher, the easy gains are behind us. A couple of weeks ago I encouraged readers to buy the dip. Risk is a function of height and falling near the lowest levels of the year made May’s dip one of the safest times to buy stocks this year. But now that the easy money and quick gains are behind us, the ride is going to get slower and harder. The market’s resilience this week tells us it still wants to go higher and 2,800 is very much in play. But it will be a grind getting there that could take a couple of months. If buying the rebound off 2,600 support was the fast money trade. Buying 2,700 support is going to be the slow money trade and it could take most of the summer to reach 2,800. That means lots of up and down between here and there.


Last month I told readers people would be kicking themselves for not buying the Tech Highflier dip and no doubt a lot of people are now kicking themselves for not buying it. People had been begging for a pullback so they could jump aboard this year’s hottest trade. Yet when the market granted their wish, most were too afraid to by the dip they were asking for. Even though prices are nowhere near as attractive as they were a few weeks ago, the Tech Meltdown is over and these stocks are leading the way higher. Most of the FAANG stocks are back near their highs and will only go higher as the broad market climbs this summer.

The same cannot be said for Bitcoin. I wrote a couple of weeks ago that $9k support risked turning into stalling if we held that level too long. The problem with staying near support too long is it makes a violation inevitable. When BTC couldn’t rally beyond $9k, falling under it was the only option left. And now last week’s $9k support has turned into this week’s $8k support and we are on the verge of falling to $7k support next week. The rebound off $6k earlier this year boosted sentiment, but this dip is threatening to erase all of those good feelings. I don’t think the lows are in yet and that means lower prices are still ahead of us.

If you found this post useful, return the favor by sharing it on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook!

Jani

What’s a good trade worth to you?
How about avoiding a loss?

For less than $1/day, have analysis like this delivered to your inbox every day during market hours

May 15

Trading plans for what comes next:

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Tuesday the S&P500 experienced the first real giveback since the May rebound kicked off. Economic headliners were mixed, but that’s all it took to knock us from the highest levels in a couple of months.

Last Thursday I warned readers to be more careful now that we were approaching the upper end of the trading range. Risk is a function of height and this was the highest we’ve been since early March. Recent gains made this a better place to be taking profits than adding new positions. And Tuesday’s pullback to 2,700 support validated those warnings.

The question is what happens next? It was nice to see buyers show up once prices slipped to 2,700. Market crashes are brutally quick and while we are not in the clear yet, one day of support is constructive. If this market was grossly overbought, we would have tumbled far more dramatically from the highs. Tuesday was a more measured pullback and that tells us this market is not overly vulnerable.

Hold 2,700 for another day and everything is looking pretty good and the path of least resistance remains higher. But if we slip under 2,700 Wednesday, be prepared for a wave of technical selling to weight on the market. The way it responds to this violation of support tell us what comes next. If the selling intensifies, expect the weakness to carry us back into the heart of the trading range. That puts 2,650 and the 200dma in play. But if we dip under support, supply dries up quickly, and we reclaim 2,700 before the close, then things are looking strong and the May rebound continues.

At this point the odds are 50/50 if support holds or fails. For a good trade, we want better odds than that. The this opportunity doesn’t get real attractive unless we dip back to the 200dma and bounce. That’s where the discounts create a safer and more profitable trade. If prices don’t dip and we hold current levels for a few more days, that tells us the market wants to go higher. In that case 2,800 is in play and we need to be patient.

I don’t know what the market will do next, but I have several trading plans ready to go. It won’t be long before the market tells us what it wants to do next and those of us that are ready will be positioned to profit from it.


After holding $9k support for several weeks, Bitcoin finds itself under this widely watched support level. As I warned readers two weeks ago, there comes a point where support turns into stalling. That is what happened here. The inability to move beyond support made a violation inevitable. The latest rebound from the $6k lows helped rebuild sentiment, but expect most of those positive feelings to disappear if we stumble back into the $7k range. It often takes bubbles six to twelve months to find a bottom. If that happens here, that means lower-lows are still ahead of us. I’m skeptical of BTC at these levels and it needs to recover $9k as soon as possible to prove me wrong. Otherwise expect nervous selling to return and push us back under the $6k lows.

If you found this post useful, return the favor by sharing it on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook!

Jani

What’s a good trade worth to you?
How about avoiding a loss?

For less than $1/day, have analysis like this delivered to your inbox every day during market hours

May 10

What to do now that we bounced

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Thursday the S&P500 extended last week’s rebound off 2,600 support and now finds itself well above the 50dma and 2,700 resistance. What a difference a few days makes. Last week traders were fleeing ahead of the expected collapse, this week those same traders are scrambling over each other to get back in.

Not a lot changed over the last week. The Fed is still planning on raising rates. Treasuries hover near 3%. Trump’s Trade War is still hanging over us. Last week these things were going to wreck our economy. This week no one remembers them. Are these things important? Should we ignore them? What is a trader supposed to do?

As I’ve been saying since early February, the big selloff was over but the drop in prices did enough damage that we wouldn’t rebound to the highs anytime soon. If we weren’t going any lower, but weren’t going higher either, what’s left? Sideways. And that’s exactly what’s happened since the February selloff bottomed. Rebounds fizzle and the breakdowns bounce. Bulls and bears trading these as larger directional moves have been getting humiliated by the reversals. But their loss is our gain and it has been highly profitable for those of us buying the weakness and selling the strength.

Now that we are at the upper end of the range, has anything changed? Nope. Rather than chase the relief higher, we should be growing more cautious looking for a place to take profits. Risk is a function of height.  Last week we were near the lows of the year. Rather than run from the market, we should have been buying those discounts. And now that prices are significantly higher, rather than rush in, we should be growing cautious as the risk/reward swung the other direction. Trading is not hard once we learn what to look for.

I’m most definitely not calling this a near-term top. It would be foolish to short this strength for no other reason than we reached the upper end of the latest trading range. But the risk/reward is no longer in our favor and that means moving to a defensive posture and taking profits. Only after cracks start forming should anyone even consider going short.

Nothing has changed from last week to this week. That means keep doing what has been working. Buy weakness and sell strength.

If you found this post useful, return the favor by sharing it on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook!

Jani

What’s a good trade worth to you?
How about avoiding a loss?

For less than $1/day, have analysis like this delivered to your inbox every day during market hours

1 2 3 142