PM: Low volume breakout is bullish

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Feb 08
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

PM Update

New highs from the S&P500 and the trend is clearly higher no matter how extended the experts say the market is.  AAPL is testing the gap, but is this a buy the rumor, sell the news trade?  LNKD is crushing bears and that will likely continue.

MARKET BEHAVIOR

Stocks broke to new highs on constrained volume.  The market finally cleared 1515, a level that has been overhead resistance since the start of the month.

MARKET SENTIMENT

Cynics will point to the low volume and say there was no follow through, but like everything in the markets, there are two valid explanations, one bullish and one bearish.  Conventional wisdom says low volume signals unsustainability, but it can also signal restraint.  Under current circumstances I see the low volume move as bullish because it demonstrates buying is still being held back and much like a dam bursting at the seams, we haven’t seen the big surge of buying when all restraint finally breaks down.

As we saw today, those on the outside are still reluctant to buy this market, but holders are getting more and more comfortable holding.  These holders are becoming less likely to sell and that takes supply out of the market.  On the other side of the equation, demand will pick up the higher we go as big money is forced to chase or risk being left even further behind.  Decreasing supply and increasing demand is a recipe for bigger gains ahead.  Today was only a preview of what is in store as more and more cynics jump on the rally bandwagon.

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES

Expected Outcome:
Stay with what is working.  The trend is clearly higher; the only question is how quickly the market moves.  A big jump over successive days will likely signal the end of this run.  Sideways trade means cynics are still holding out and that will extend the duration of this rally.

Alternate Outcome:
There are no guarantees in the market and no matter how good things look, we need to be prepared for the unexpected.  Every market tops and this one is no different.  Keep any eye out for topping behavior or signs of a breakdown so we can take our profits and look for shorting opportunities.

INDIVIDUAL STOCKS

AAPL is venturing into the gap on speculation regarding its cash hoard.  The question is if this is the rebound everyone is expecting or just another bounce before making new lows.  $485 is a widely followed level since this was the previous low.  How the stock responds to this level will tell us a lot about where it is headed.

LNDK daily at end of day

LNDK daily at end of day

I don’t see investors bidding the stock up on an increased dividend if they are still unsure of the fundamental story and suspicious of margins and earnings going forward, but this is just one man’s opinion.  Tim Cook is speaking next week and how the stock trades afterward will say a lot about the stock’s prospects.  A decisive move higher will support the rebound, but if the market doesn’t hear what it is hoping for and sells off, get out quick because it will likely make new lows.

LNKD hit a homerun today and its ridiculous valuation got even more ridiculous.  It is tough to recommend anyone buy this stock here, but I sure hope no one is foolish enough to try to short this thing.  Much like NFLX and AMZN, I expect this stock will continue higher.  What seems too high often goes higher and what seems too low often goes lower.

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.

Jon February 10, 2013

$LNKD, unbelievable gap up. Might see bullish follow through just like $NFLX. I have no idea how to trade these sort of moves post-earnings. Perhaps stop loss just under the low of the candle gapping up? $ZNGA also making interesting moves as well. Looks like another low-expectation $RIMM performance.

Earnings plays have actually held up pretty well, even those companies not putting in stellar performance. The only extreme bearish plays I’ve noticed recently are fundamental, news related. Like $MCO and $MHP.

Considering about maybe trying to time a good $SPY entry. I’ve never traded the $SPY and instead focused on specific issues that I believe have the potential to outperform the general market. But, I really like the $SPY action ever since it broke out of the 1470s range. Are you currently long $SPY?

Thanks again Jani for the awesome coverage this week!

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