PM: Reasonable and measured breakout

By Jani Ziedins | Intraday Analysis

Jan 17
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

PM Update

Stocks finally broke 1473 and sent bears running for cover, but the price gain and volume was not enough to exhaust all the available demand and more fuel remains.  AAPL took the day off, but it is an earned and deserved rest after Wednesday’s powerful rebound.


The S&P500 decisively broke through resistance on higher than average volume.  But while the day was significant, the 0.6% rally was far from overdone and represents a reasonable and measured move.


Bears and pessimists had another bad day.  When there is so much wrong with the world, but the market is rallying, you have to side with the market.  There are countless reasons the market should be weak from too-far, too-fast to the Debt Ceiling, and I can’t think of a single fundamental reason the market should rally 180 points over two months, but that is exactly what happened.

When a technician or fundamentalist looks at this market, all they see are reasons it should go lower, but if you judge the market by sentiment and supply and demand, it is pretty clear that the only place for this market to go was higher.  There is real psychology and economics behind this.  When everyone says the market should go down, they act on this expectoration and sell in anticipation of the market breaking down.  After all the pessimists get out, selling climaxes, supply dries up, and there is no where for the market to go but higher.  A lot of people say it is foolish or even impossible to predict the market, but that is just because they are doing it wrong.  If you know what to look for, the market’s behavior start making a lot of sense.


Expected Outcome:
Thursday’s breakout was not overdone and the pullback from the day’s high shows this breakout was not overdone.  There is still some doubt and cynicism left and that is the fuel to keep the rally going.  But at the same time, don’t be greedy and get ready to take profits.  We’re in this to make money, not top-tick the market.

Alternate Outcome:
Nothing is certain and no doubt there is downside risk.  Every point higher elevates this risk and we need to be more cautious the higher we get.   Recent support at 1473 should provide support in the near term.  If the market rolls over on Friday and can’t hold the breakout, the market is most likely headed lower to at least 1450.  But more often than not, rallies like this end with surge higher on strong volume before reversing. A 0.6% gain and 10% above average volume are far from overdone in my book.

AAPL daily at end of day

AAPL daily at end of day


AAPL traded mostly sideways, holding a slim margin above $500.  It missed the broad market’s rally, but given the huge surge yesterday, a rest day today is healthy and expected.  Most of the negative supply chain reports and analyst downgrades are out there and factored into the price.  By this point most bears and bulls have positioned themselves ahead of next week’s earnings.  Unless some new information comes to light, the stock will probably trade sideways into earnings.  The big advantage for bulls is the stock is at the lower end of the recent trading range, reducing the risk of a downside move on disappointing earnings.  Expectations have been dramatically lowered and the stock already cleared out all the stop-losses under $500.  While there are no guarantees in the market, it seems like there is less downside as compared to the upside.

Stay safe


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.

Jon January 18, 2013

Curious (as you note) how the market has rallied despite fundamentals, news, and the general economic pessimism gripping global markets. My more immediate concern — apart from the Debt Ceiling — is how investors will respond to earnings reports over the next couple weeks? Money center banks (BAC, C) are already showing weakness (or perhaps long overdue correction from being so overextended) in the face of horrid earnings. Perhaps this is just the opportunity this particular industry had been waiting for to pull back. Still it hasn’t been full-tilt breakdown and the trend still seems to be in place. In fact, it’s nothing like the breakdown we witnessed after Google’s earnings were prematurely released on October 18th last year (when tech was a general drag on the market). My question is if investors will continue to show support across the broader equities market “looking forward” if earnings underperform (with the mentality we’ve come too far to back down now) or simply jump ship to seek greater performance in other markets leading into the breakdown we’ve all been anticipating? Or perhaps it’s just sector/industry rotation and the trend remains in place?

    Jani Ziedins January 18, 2013

    Some of the names you listed have become popular swing-trading stocks in recent years with people buying every dip and selling every rally. We’re probably seeing a continuation of this personality even thought the long-term trade looks to be rebounding.

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