PM: Can’t hold this bull down

By Jani Ziedins | Intraday Analysis

Dec 11

S&P500 daily at end of day

PM Update

Markets surged higher and is flaunting strength in the face of widespread pessimism   We make our money off of the market, not fundamentals, so listen to what the market is saying and here is wants to go higher.  We could see some near-term consolidation of the recent gains, but the trend is clearly higher.

MARKET BEHAVIOR

The market surged past resistance at 1420 and burst above 1430 before settling back to 1427.  There was a late selloff after all the short-squeeze buying tapered off, but the market still finished in the top half of the day’s range.  Volume was slightly above average.  The next level of overhead resistance dates from before the election at 1430 and support is now 1420.

MARKET SENTIMENT

The market was caught off guard when word came out of Washington that Fiscal Cliff talks were making progress.  Lately the assumption has been both sides are digging in and unwilling to compromise, but today’s tone was far more conciliatory.

The resulting price-action reveals how bearish the markets were and how many traders were either under-invested or short the market.  A lot of today’s move was a short-squeeze and as we saw this afternoon, the air often lets out of those after reaching the point of maximum pain for bears.  But even with the modest letdown, the market still closed in the top half of the range.

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES

The market is becoming more hopeful a Fiscal Cliff deal will be reached and is rallying in anticipation.  But this early move shows the market is ahead of the news and all the upside will already be priced in by the time something is agreed to.  We might even see a sell the news if the eventual compromise isn’t everything the market is hoping for.

The market clearly wants to rally here as all the bears are helpless to hold down the market.  We might even see under-invested money managers chase into yearend if this strength keeps up.  The important technical levels are 1420 underneath and 1430 above.  We coud easily retest and even dip through 1420 on a routine, healthy, and productive pullback, but anything larger shows major flaws in this rally.  1430 is the new line in the sand for bears and we’ll get another surge of buying if we can break above this level.  Recent price action shows it is time to be long the market.  We will watch for downside weakness tomorrow, but barring a major breakdown, this market wants to go higher and any dips should be used as entry/add-on points.

INDIVIDUAL STOCKS

APPL rallied with the market and finished higher by 2.1%.  As I shared in the AM update, seeing AAPL follow the market’s price moves is a good sign the selloff fever is breaking.  The irrational and emotional selling will need to dry up before any kind of sustainable rebound can happen.  Often this comes after most have given the name up for dead.  The failed bounce off of $500 a couple of weeks ago did a lot of demoralize the hopeful crowd.  A double bottom with a new low would go a long way to completely demoralizing the last holdouts and ironically put a floor under the stock.  Much like the broad market, we need skittish holders to sell to longer-viewed value investors who are comfortable sitting through volatility.  Once there is a critical mass of stable value investors, the volatility will subside and the name will begin its climb higher.  The big catalyst will be earnings in January and with the newly lowered expectations, it will be easier for AAPL to exceed the vastly lowered bar.

Stay safe

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About the Author

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.