The markets are down today as the Euro is making a new low against the USD. It is not unusual to see the markets pause after a strong run like we’ve seen over the last several days. But what we really want to know is if this a pause before continuing higher, or hitting our head on the top of a trading range and returning lower.
IBD moved the market back into confirmed uptrend today, but given their recent track record of making the exact wrong call at the exact wrong time, we should pause before blindly following IBD’s recommendation. I don’t fault IBD’s systems for giving us false signals, it is simply the nature of a trend following system in a trend-less
market. It is our responsibility as savvy investors to know when to use what systems given he market conditions. This is the art of making money in the markets. No system works 100% of the time and it is critical to understand this. Of course for every wrong signal, we move one step closer to when IBD’s system will start working again. Maybe today’s call is when they are right again, or maybe it will be next time, or the time after, but I feel we are getting closer to exiting this trading range and directional systems will start working again. If not this move, soon.
The last few attempts the bears made to push the market down failed and resulted in them getting chased out in a short squeeze. After getting their head handed to them a couple of times in a row will make anyone a little more cautious the next time presented with the same situation. So here we are at the next time. If the aggressive bears are more timid due to their previous failed attempts and not plunging in on the short side today, that means there are other sellers pressuring the market and causing us this weakness. This goes back to earlier discussions of real and artificial buying or selling. Artificial trading is driven by fear and greed, a temporary phenomena that quickly fades. Real trading is driven by large institutions selling for fundamental reasons that are unlikely to change in the near term. Volatility is a product of artificial trading as aggressive and emotional traders try to push the market one way or the other, but directional moves are made by larger changes in sentiment and fundamentals. Is today’s sell-off artificially driven by aggressive bears and emotional bulls rushing for the exits? Or is it driven by real and methodological selling by larger institutions and the move is more likely to continue?
This is a tough call and I feel the market at a key juncture. Reclaim the recent breakout and we’ll continue the uptrend. Fail to hold the breakout and we’ll probably slide back to the lower end of the trading range. How to trade this, if the market holds the breakout, that would be a greenlight for CAN SLIM trading, failing to hold the breakout would mean swing trading is still the name of the game..
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.