The S&P500 finished lower for the day, but more importantly was able to hold recent support at 1455. As much as bears want to break this market, they were unable exploit today’s weakness and failed to make much of a dent. The lack of follow on selling after early weakness is bullish and supportive of these levels.
With as many reasons for the market to selloff, it is holding solid. Some think we came too-far, too-fast, others are pointing to the Debt Ceiling, and then there are things that fell off the front page like Europe and the economy. But the market is oblivious to these concerns and rallying in spite of the pessimism.
What is confusing fundamentalists and technicians actually makes a lot of sense when you look at how people are positioned and the effect this has on supply and demand. All of the negative headlines are recycled stories from months, even years ago. The market responds to new and unexpected news, not the things everyone including your mother in-law is talking about.
The old news is already priced in because those that were going to buy or sell based on it have already done so. Markets respond to new buying and selling, not stuff that happened weeks or months ago. People can change their mind regarding certain risk factors and that will move markets, but if attitudes stay the same, then there is no new trade and thus no price move. Until people start talking about the Debt Ceiling and Euro Contagion as bullish catalysts, we can assume attitudes toward these situations remains pessimistic and priced in.
Back to today’s trade, everyone knows we are too high and anyone with a fear of heights already sold. Same goes for the early pessimists fearing the Debt Ceiling. All the bears have already sold, yet here we are just a fraction off a 52-week high. That doesn’t bode well for bears because not only do they not have the strength to push the market lower, paradoxically the large number of bears is creating the fuel for the next rally leg. When pessimists are out of the market, they cannot further pressure prices, but they can buy back in and that pushes prices higher.
Today’s price-action was bullish and supports a continuation higher. The market had every opportunity to crumble, but it held up because bears are not in a position to pressure the market. After they sold last week, the only thing they can do is watch (or buy back in and push prices higher).
I’m becoming more bullish on this market and there might be a nice upside trade. But at the same time there is merit to the too-high, too-fast crowd’s argument, so any upside profits should be locked in fairly quickly.
Markets can breakdown over the littlest things and that can certainly happen here. While most of the selling has already taken place, that is only half of what can make a market sink. Lack of demand can also pressure prices. And if fear grips the market, formerly bullish holders can turn into sellers. While the high probability trade is to the upside, the downside risk is still very real and we need to be prepared to deal with it if the lower probability events becomes a reality.
AAPL found support after early weakness. While the stock finished in the red for the day, today’s price action is supportive and shouldn’t spook and holders out of the stock. If the broad market makes a move higher, AAPL will follow.
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.