Stocks found a bid and are above 1590 in early trade. The market is only a few points from the highs as buyers continue supporting these levels.
The inevitable selloff eludes bears and sustained buying defies common sense, but that is how the market works. What is expected is already priced in, making the unexpected more likely. Traders lightened up ahead of the expected pullback, meaning most of that selling already happened. More than just reduce supply, this preemptive selling also created a new pool of buyers ready to chase the market higher.
There is no free lunch in the markets and the longer we put off a pullback, the bigger it will be, but so far the market seems content rallying higher. With all the expectations of “sell in May and go away”, a contrarian should look for summer strength this year.
I was one of those cautious bears until the market refused to break down a couple of weeks ago. It is impossible to always know what the market is going to do, that is why we need to remain flexible and willing to reevaluate our views when key parts of our original thesis are invalidated. It is okay to be wrong, it is fatal to stay wrong.
We are challenging recent highs at 1597 and will likely break thought this level, but what comes after that? Over the last couple months buying stalled near the highs and could easily happen again as big money investors prefer buying weakness.
As it stands, there are no fatal flaws in this market and the economy continues heading in the right direction, albeit slower than most would like. We need to stick with what is working until we see real signs of a breakdown, most likely in the form of lower highs.
Another material selloff and breaking recent support will demonstrate how fragile this rally is. Markets can only bounce so many times before they exhaust the supply of dip-buyers. Use trailing stops to protect long profits and watch key support levels for short entries. Summer is traditionally a weak period and we need to be cautious of the “sell in May…..”.
As long as the market holds 1570, the rebound is alive and well. We might surge higher on a break of 1600, but a step-back to 1575 would be normal and expected because big money is reluctant to buy the breakouts. Failing to hold 1570 signals a potential retest of 1540. Falling under 1540 means the inevitable correction is upon us and more selling is likely.
AAPL is challenging the 50dma on a strong surge higher. It received good press and that excited buyers, but I cannot think of a time over the last six-months when the press and analysts have been anything but positive on AAPL. Journalists and analysts opinions don’t change the fundamental story and this is probably one more bounce before the last flush out lower. Falling to $350 will finally demoralize hopeful bulls and give value investors the opportunity to buy a decent dividend. Unfortunately for the growth investor still hanging on, don’t expect value investors to bid up the stock to old highs.
AMZN slipped to the 200dma, but is still holding this level. Look for selling to pick up when we break it, but take short profits quickly because any move lower will be a series of waves. Lock-in profits when you are most confident and cocky and re-sell the stock short again on the next bounce. We could still see a bounce off the 200dma and the short entry would then be a retest of this level when the bounce falters. If we don’t see a bounce, short a move through the 200.
GOOG is having a good day as it bounces off the 50dma. The current logic says AAPL’s loss is GOOG’s gains. In the market reality doesn’t matter, only perception. If people think GOOG is the next big winner, then it will be. I still think the stealth play is MSFT. While everyone is focused on mobile operating systems, mobile processors, and mobile applications, MSFT and INTC are the only ones trying to make full powered devices in compact packages. In a few years will the consumer want a neutered tablet that only runs mobile applications and doesn’t give them access to their files, or will they want a full powered tablet that works seamlessly with their work computer?
Plan your trade; trade your plan
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.