Markets are up nearly 1% at mid-day, a strong continuation of yesterday’s rally. The interesting thing is this recent rally broke from the strong correlation of USD up, equities down. This relationship has been rock-solid over the last couple years and seeing this divergence is extremely noteworthy. There seems to be very little in the way of news to drive this rally, so what gives?
If I had to guess, a chunk of the market thinks it is being sneaky and acting on unique insight the market will rally tomorrow after the Supreme Court tosses out pieces of Obamacare. The problem is this insight is not unique, as virtually everyone and their brother expects the individual mandate will be struck down and the only real question remaining is if the Court will also void the requirement insurance companies cover people with preexisting conditions, or a little more extreme, void the entire bill. To make money in the market, you need to bet on the things few expect. Obamacare is not one of those things, so I expect this could be a suckers trade. The last couple days priced in most of the potential upside, so there is little remaining for anyone coming to the party late.
The one thing less expected is the entire bill being struck-down, and that could lead to a further rally. But a peace-meal solution will renew the healthcare debate and create new uncertainty for the markets. Hard to see how that is a bullish development. The market hates uncertainty far more than it does quantified bad news. In fact, leaving Obamacare fully intact could be more bullish for the markets simply because the result is definitive, same goes for completely throwing out the bill. This halfway stuff is the least concrete of the possible outcomes and generates the most uncertainty. But this is simply my thoughts on this trade and obviously the market doesn’t give a damn what I think. This simply means we need to trade the market, not what we think.
But for how to trade this, if all the bulls get in ahead of the ruling, that means we might not see new buying on the news and the market could sag due to the lack of follow-on buying. Of course there could be a reserve of Johnny-come-latelys waiting to buy the news, leading to one final push higher before exhausting the bounce and turning lower. We could potentially reach and even penetrate the 50dma, but I still expect we have a date with the 200dma sooner than later.
It will be interesting to see how this all pans out, but most disciplined traders should be out of the market and simply spectators for this show. We’re close to the middle of the range and the risk/reward for a move in either direction is not favorable for initiating a new position right now.
(p.s. I’m having some technical difficulties with my webhost and am unable to add charts at the moment. Hopefully this can be resolved quickly. Thank you for your patience.)
Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and writer who has successfully traded stocks and options for more than a decade. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA and M.S. Marketing from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes manufacturing engineering at Fortune 500 companies, structural engineering, small business consultant, collegiate instructor, and managing investment real estate. He is now fortunate enough to trade full-time from home, affording him the luxury of spending extra time with his wife and two young children.