Markets set another weekly closing high and are maintaining a moderate and sustainable pace of gains in spite of all the calls of overbought. AAPL bulls are a stubborn bunch and the rebound will take even longer than I originally suspected.
Stocks closed at a new weekly high and are up five-weeks in a row. The winning streak’s duration and rate of gains is reasonable when compared to other rallies in recent history. While it feels like a lot, it is not unusual to see markets string together consecutive up-weeks. This also illustrates the advantage of looking at weekly charts because it eliminates most of the daily noise and more accurately reflects what the market is actually doing, in this case rallying smartly.
This market is attracting a chorus of enthusiastic and vocal bulls, but a fair number of cynics remain, saying these new highs cannot last. These cynics are right, but anyone who says the market will pullback is right simply because the market always pulls back. But as traders, undefined predictions are meaningless because successful trading has little to do with direction everything to do with timing. You can get the overall direction wrong, but if you have impeccable timing, you can still make lots and lots of money, and no doubt most of us have been frustrated by making the exact right call, but lost money because we screwed up the timing. Never forget, predictions are meaningless when it doesn’t include timing.
If we focus on the immediate market, the trend is clearly higher and we are not extended yet, so stick with the trend. Looking back at the last couple years on a weekly chart we can see most intermediate highs occurred when an extended run had a larger up-week than at any point in the rally with the exception of the rally’s first week. The last surge higher is when bears throw in the towel and sideline watchers can no longer resist the temptation to buy. This crates one last surge higher and is typically larger than any previous weekly gain. This large price gain on high volume is the classic capitulation reversal. Our recent weekly chart does not show signs of this behavior, so the high-probability trade remains to the upside.
Stick with the trend and don’t try to pick a top because this rally has legs. We will eventually see the surge higher and that will be the sign to short this market. I have no idea if that surge will be this week or next month, all we can do is watch the market for clues and trade what the market gives us. Boring trade is sustainable, big gains here are not.
While markets often surge into turning points, it is not written in stone and we could see the market run out of buyers at any time, especially if the market is caught off guard by an unexpected headline. But as we saw with last week’s GDP report, this market is not all that vulnerable to negative headlines. Recent support is at 1500 and breaking this level will force us to reevaluate the bullish thesis.
No matter how low AAPL goes, people still talk about what a great stock it is. I heard a professional money manager say when AAPL broke his $470 stop-loss, not only did he keep holding, he added to his position at $450. What is the point in having a stop-loss if you don’t use it?
I found this poll online that shows a lot of people think AAPL is still a Buy or Hold after falling over 35%. There is far too much love for this stock for it to bottom and it could take a year or longer to demoralize all these hopeful owners. Two-weeks ago I was an AAPL bull, but I quickly changed my mind when my initial thesis was proven invalid. It is normal, even expected to be wrong in the markets, but it is fatal to stay wrong.
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.