Weekly Review and Look Ahead
Look for a quick bounce from last week’s dip as holders grow more comfortable holding. This market will top, just not yet. AAPL continues its 6-month trend of lower-highs and lower-lows. Don’t bottom pick in this stock and wait for strength to come back before buying.
Stocks recorded their first negative week of the year and shook out a pile of nervous holders in the process. Weekly volume was light due to the holiday, but each day was near or above average, meaning it was not a quiet trading week. The 10wma is catching the market and only 33-points behind. The slower moving 40wma is still 100-points, but closing the gap.
While the market finished down just 4-points, the weekly range of 34-points was the widest we’ve seen in a while, setting a new high and temporarily dipping under support at 1500. Obviously things didn’t workout as planned for anyone buying the breakout or shorting the breakdown and everyone will be watching anxiously for the market’s next move.
There are two kinds of pullbacks, those that go further than expected and those that bounce quicker than expected. While there are no hard rules in the market, extended pullbacks are usually rooted in emotion. Obama winning reelection and the Fiscal Cliff debate lead to a wave of emotional selling as traders left reason at the door and predicted an imminent collapse of the American way of life. The subsequent rebound was equally impressive because the selling was unjustified. Now compare this to the dips that were more structurally based and arose from buyers taking a break. Selloffs caused by normal supply and demand imbalances are short-lived because the market is simply regaining its footing.
Many traders expect last week’s selling to continue, but it really doesn’t need to and in fact the high-probability trade is a quick bounce. Of course quick is a relative term and can mean anything from 1 to 3 weeks, but the sheer number of people thinking this selling will continue leads me to believe it is likely done. I could be wrong, but that’s what stop-losses are for.
The harder trade is buying the dip after only two-day, but the dramatic shift in sentiment and surge in the VIX suggests we already shook complacency from the market. It is encouraging selling dried up on Thursday as holders kept holding after a dip under 1500. And more than that, anyone who held the dip is feeling pretty smart and even more committed to this rally. That growing confidence among holders is why this market will not top on bad news. No doubt the rally’s days are numbered, but the correction will happen from running out of buyers. In the near-term continued strength will force bears to cover shorts and those trailing the market will keep chasing, meaning there is more buying left in this move.
Two-days of selling might not be enough and we could see another week or two of weakness before the market makes new highs again. The deeper the selling, the more sustainable this rally becomes. Shaking weak hands is what refreshes the market and clears the way for a move higher. If we resume the rally after just two-days of selling, the rally will be fragile and close to topping. A deeper dip will let this market more thoroughly refresh, potentially extending into the 2nd quarter.
As for a trade, stay long the market as long as it holds above 1495 and look for a new high stretching past 1540 over the next few weeks. A dip under 1495 means the market will test support at 1475. No one knows for sure what the market will do next week and we will revise our outlook as the market gives us new information.
AAPL fell 2% for the week and is resting at $450. Upside resistance remains at $485 and the low of the move is $432. Dropping under $432 will extend the pattern of lower-lows and a close above $485 gives the stock its first higher-high in 6-months. It took rumors of an increased dividend to push the stock up to $485 two-weeks ago and it will most likely take another fundamental catalyst to get it back up there. Without some great news, expect the stock to continue drifting lower. The stock could rally on broad market strength, but use that as a selling opportunity and resist the temptation to buy strength until the stock regains $485.
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.