Markets are up for a second day following Monday’s plunge.
Panic driven selling is taking a break, giving holders and prospective buyers the opportunity to think rationally and act deliberately. Stability and sanity is supportive of markets and hopefully we reached a place where cooler heads prevail. That doesn’t eliminate the possibility of further declines, but it greatly mitigates the probability of an out of control crash.
The market hates uncertainty and things it doesn’t fully understand. There are times when we only see the tip of the iceberg, like the period building up to the 2008 Financial Crisis. The market was oblivious to the underlying risks, leading to a large and painful selloff. Right now the market is fretting over the timing of Tapering, but it is hard to claim that is an iceberg. In fact, failing to taper will likely lead to greater risks of bubbles and inflation. While some will argue we already passed that point, that is a different debate. Even thought exact timing of Tapering is up in the air, we know it will happen at some point over the next few quarters and it will be a gradual implementation. There are plenty of icebergs out there, but this is not one of them.
The plunge trade is over as we recover 1600. No one knows how high or long this bounce will last, so the best approach remains buying weakness, selling strength, and locking in profits. Don’t chase market moves and take profits early and often. In volatile periods, never feel bad about selling early and only capturing 20-points of a 50-point move. Those that hold on too long will see all their profits evaporate days later.
It is easy to make money in the markets, the hard part is keeping it. Traders reacting to these volatile swing are giving back months of profits. Even if we sell early, I guarantee you locking in a 20-point gain is better than most who are riding the yo-yo of buying high and selling low.
This bounce could be nothing more than a bull trap on the way lower. The market saw a nearly non-stop rally from 1350 and the recent selling is just scratching the surface of what could be a normal and healthy pullback. The biggest challenge to the rally is hitting its head on 50dma resistance. No one knows for sure what the future holds, the best we can do is identify opportunities and uses stops to protect us in case we are wrong.
The recent bounce is putting the squeeze on late shorts and recovering 1600 will keep the pressure on. Look for resistance at 1620, consider locking in profits, and even go short if we run into a wall. If the market breaks above the 50dma, look for a continuation to the middle of the 1600/1700 range. Stay nimble, trade proactively, and take profits.
AAPL‘s struggles continues as it doesn’t enjoy today’s broad market strength. We are under $400 and any dip buyers need to be extremely careful here. On the other side shorts can press their luck with a stop above $400. Many of the expected catalysts came and went without pumping life back into the stock. Anyone who believes in this story is already fully invested and there are few prospective buyers left to bid up the stock price. The biggest hope was placed on the dividend increase, but even that could not attract buyers willing to pay premium prices.
GLD fell out of bed again this morning. This is an ugly trade for anyone who bought the bounce above $140 a couple of months ago. Much like AAPL, Gold was an over owned asset. Everyone who wants gold already has all they can hold, meaning there is no one left to buy. Normally something falling so far creates a buying opportunity, but there is no reason to rush in and buy because there is still room for more panic driven selling.
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.