Huge intraday reversal

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Apr 15
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Analysis

MARKET BEHAVIOR
Fascinating day as we traveled well over 60-points intraday.  We surged higher at the open, collapsed near recent lows by midday, only to see us race back up to the early highs by the close.  Volume was elevated and one of the busiest days we’ve seen this month.  We finished a hair under the 50dma and just a few points from prior support near 1,850.

MARKET SENTIMENT
Did today’s trade signal a capitulation bottom?  It sure felt like it.  Early strength pushed us to the 50dma, a technical level that often acts as overhead resistance.  Bearish traders used this mark to open the floodgates and their selling sent us down 30-points.  But as just quickly as the selling started, it exhausted itself and we rallied 30-points on tight supply.  No doubt this whiplash carried most reactive traders out on a stretcher.

This volatility is cathartic as it flushed out weak traders and seduced bears to short with both hands.  All that selling clearly pressured the market, but the frenzy stalled midday when there was no one left to sell.  When we run out of sellers, supply dries up and there is nowhere to go but higher.  And this strength is likely to continue given our proximity to the 50dma and 1,850.  Modest gains Wednesday could send shorts scrambling for cover and set off a dip-buying frenzy.

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES
Expected Outcome: We most likely put in a bottom to this modest selloff.
The most profitable trade of 2014 has been buying weakness and selling strength.  It appears this is no different.  The best time to buy is when everyone fears we will continue lower.  Anyone expecting lower prices already sold and they were replaced by confident dip-buyers willing to own the risk.  Purging weak-hands and infusing strong-hands is the best way to turn this market around.

Alternate Outcome:
Every dip is buyable until the one that isn’t.  While I still believe we need a headline event to dramatically lower investor’s expectations of future profits and earnings, sometimes fear is all it takes to turn confident owners into panicked sellers.  Even as this volatility flushed many weak holders, without a doubt we could easily see another leg lower before this is all done.

Trading Plan:
The best trades are often the hardest to make.  Buying recent weakness was not easy and will likely turn out to be the right trade.  Shorts should consider locking in profits, or at the very least protect themselves with a trailing stop.  Dip-buyers should get ready to ride the short-squeeze higher.  Since we are in the middle of a holiday shortened week, we should expect continued volatility due to lighter than normal volume.

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.