PM: On the 6th day we rested

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Apr 26
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

PM Update

MARKET BEHAVIOR
Stocks finished modestly lower on Friday, but held above 1580 in light volume.

MARKET SENTIMENT
This is a tough market to trade and the only groups making money are proactive swing-traders and option premium sellers.    The market is currently pushing toward recent highs, leaving us wondering if this strength is a another selling opportunity or the start of the next leg higher (or lower).

Volatility’s picked up in recent weeks showing traders are becoming restless and ready for the next move.  We rarely get this long to sell the top, meaning the next leg is likely higher.  That doesn’t mean the breakout is sustainable, just that the next move is higher.

There are more reasons to avoid this market than buy it.  In fact I cannot think of a reason to buy other than it is going up.  This rally is old.  We are at all-time highs.  There are a slew of negative economic indicators.  Too-far, too-fast.  Etc.  Everything points to a topping market, but we have to ask why the market is not breaking down in the face of all this negativity.

The answer is surprisingly simple; there are more buyers than sellers.  But how can this be?  It’s actually not that counterintuitive if we look at it from the right point of view.  Those that are paranoid already sold, meaning most of the selling already happened.  Buyers that bought this uncertainty are comfortable with their analysis and willing to sit through near-term volatility.  Getting rid fo the nervous and replacing them with the confident takes a lot of supply out of the market and makes it far easier for the rally to continue.  And that is exactly what we’ve witnessed.  Our job is not to figure out what the market should do, but what it will do.  Right now it looks like it will continue higher.

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES
Expected Outcome:
A little selling today is normal, expected, and healthy after a five-day, fifty-point rally.  The dip was modest and found a floor at 1580, well above recent resistance at 1570.  As long as we hold 1570, expect the rally to continue.  I cannot say for how long, but at least expect new highs above 1600.

Alternate Outcome:
Markets have a nasty habit of misleading even the best of us and just when it looks like it won’t breakdown, it breaks down.  I don’t mind being on the wrong side of the trade, but I hate staying on the wrong side.  The market is defying cynics and it is far more profitable to trade with the trend, but we need to watch for the breakdown because it will come when we least expect it.

Trading Plan:
The rebound remains intact as long as we hold above 1570.  Failing support at 1570 shows the trading range is sucking us back in, but the market tis not breaking down until we test and violate 1540.  Bulls can use 1570 as a trailing stop and bears as a short entry.

AMZN daily at end of day

AMZN daily at end of day

INDIVIDUAL STOCKS
AAPL is attempting to recover $420 and will probably attract bottom-pickers who push it up to the 50dma near $430.  But look for buying to dry up after the dip crowd runs out of money.  There is no valid reason to expect this selloff is done and look for lower prices in coming weeks/months.  Anyone still in this should sell strength when the stock challenges the 50dma.  If they are a long time believe in the stock they can buy it back later

AMZN lost 7% on gigantic volume.  The stock finished near the lows of the range, but found support above the 200dma.  A high volume break of the 200dma is a good short trigger and will allow a trader to avoid a near-term bounce.  If someone wants to buy the stock, this isn’t a bad place to own it with a tight stop at the 200dma.

Plan your trade; trade your plan

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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.