New highs in an otherwise quiet day. AAPL continues struggling for direction and high-fliers keep humiliating bears.
Stocks traded up to 1525, fell to 1515, and finished the day back at 1520. 1525 set another new high and 1515 held recent support.
While we set another new high, don’t let the dull trade lull us into complacency. The trend remains higher, but we could see near-term weakness test our resolve. A pullback to 1505 should be expected and we need to plan on how we will respond. Proactive traders could lock-in profits on the way up and look to buy after the market finds support. Traders who like to sit through a little volatility can continue holding, but they have the harder task of recognizing the difference between healthy pullbacks and topping. And lastly, buy-and-hold should keep holding because that is what they do. Of course even buy-and-hold investors benefit from shorter timeframe analysis because it helps them mentally prepare for the emotional dips that could tempt them into selling at the exact wrong time.
At most this rally has six-weeks left in it and we need to come up with an exit plan for taking profits. So far we’ve resisted the temptation to get shaken out between too-high, too-fast and the volatile dips last week, but it will all be for naught if we stick around too long. The November bottom was twelve-weeks ago and we have been above the 50dma for six-weeks. While I’m still waiting for the high volume price gains, I am becoming increasingly suspicious of this market and inching closer to the door.
Stick with what is working, but start working on an exit plan. We’re in this to make money, not own stocks, and we can only do that by selling and taking profits. My preference is to sell early because it prepares me mentally to buy the next dip. Holding past the top is always a head game because there is regret at not selling sooner and hope that prices will bounce back. All of this clouds judgement and prevents a trader from identifying the next great trade.
Technically this rally could last forever, but practically speaking three to four months is the most these things go before they run out of new buyers and have a material selloff that refreshes the larger bull rally. We’ve seen countless selloffs of 100-200 points over the last four-years and this year will be no different. While the trade is obvious, getting the timing right is where all the money is made.
Much like the market, AAPL rallied, sold off, and finished near flat. Inability to break above $485 is noteworthy and while most are treating this as a fundamental and event-driven story, it really is still a supply and demand trade. As long as everyone is promoting the attractive valuation, it means the hopeful have not been flushed out yet. Why this matters is everyone who likes AAPL already owns it, meaning there are few new buyers left. If someone isn’t interested at an obscene valuation, they probably won’t be impressed with a doubly-obscene valuation either.
AMZN popped today and the cynics were out in force. That explains why the stock finished at the top of the day’s range. AMZN is AAPL’s mirror twin. Everyone loves AAPL and it keeps going lower while everyone hates AMZN and it keeps going higher. This is totally irrational behavior if you look at it from a fundamental and valuation basis, but bring supply and demand into the picture and now it makes total sense. AMZN isn’t done humiliating bears and look for the rally to continue.
NFLX and LNKD also rallied through the day and these stocks are trading like they want to go higher. It will be a wild ride, but $200 is easily within reach for NFLX. After it hits that milestone we will reevaluate sentiment and see if attitudes in the stock have changed. $180 is in the cards for LNKD. If there is one takeaway from these posts, please don’t short explosive stocks. That is a great way to go broke. These might or might not be a good buy, but they are definitely not a short. But some people prefer to learn their lessons the hard way.
FOSL’s strength faded and it is retesting support. Keep this one on a really short leash and any further weakness means institutional money is not supporting this stock. Don’t go down with the ship if it cannot hold support.
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.