AM: Testing support

By Jani Ziedins | Intraday Analysis

Jan 31
S&P500 daily at 12:22 EST

S&P500 daily at 12:22 EST

AM Update

The S&P500 tests support at 1500 and AAPL struggles with resistance at $460.  One is headed higher and the other lower and it is the opposite of what most think.

MARKET BEHAVIOR

The S&P500 dipped under 1500 in early trade following yesterday’s 0.4% decline.

MARKET SENTIMENT

Red days are normal and expected, especially after the long string of up-days we saw over the last few weeks.  The bigger question is if this is the near-term pullback everyone’s been waiting for, or just a modest dip before resuming higher?

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES

Expected Outcome:
Modest dip or pullback to support, either way this will be limited selling and present a buy-the-dip opportunity.  I don’t know if we’ll find support at 1500, 1490, or 1475.  Heck, we could even head all the way back down to 1450 and I wouldn’t be concerned.  Rallies pullback, that’s what they do and there is no reason to over analyze a situation.

For the swing-trader with some profits, we are getting pretty far along and any point over the last few weeks would have been a good time to lock in profits and wait for the next high probability trade.  Swing-trading the indexes with a little bit of leverage to spice things up can be quite profitable.  2x leverage means a 2.5% move in the indexes yields a 5% return.  Do that 12x over the course of a year and it compounds to 80% ROI.  Not bad.  The key is getting those 5% gains, locking them in, and then waiting for the next high-probability trade.  You don’t need big moves to make money in the markets, taking a little here and there add up over the year.

For the longer-term trader, the economy is still looking up in spite of any near-term weakness.  Recoveries take time and the most patient often win in the end.  Just expect some near-term volatility and don’t let it shake your resolve.

Alternate Outcome:
Bear markets start when people least expect them.  This rally is turning 4 in two months and that is pretty old for a bull.  But that is under normal conditions and the 2008 bear market was anything but normal, so we should also expect the subsequent rally to be abnormal too.  The lack of widespread complacency is what keeps me positive on this market.  When looking for a major top, we need to look at a bigger audience to judge complacency.  Too many normal people are still afraid of equities for this to be a major top.  When you need to be worried are when you mother-in-law is giving you hot stock tips and we are a long way from that level.

AAPL daily at 12:23 EST

AAPL daily at 12:23 EST

INDIVIDUAL STOCKS

AAPL was turned back by $460 again and that level is providing a lot of near-term resistance.  Failing to close above $465 this afternoon tells me the chances for a quick recovery are dead.  Further, if the stock cannot break $460, soon, I think lower prices are in store and this would be a good time for people to cut their losses and wait for the breakout above $460 before buying back in.  Everyone bought AAPL for a reason and if that reason is no longer valid, they should get out.

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.