Record Close

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

May 12
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update

MARKET BEHAVIOR
Stocks had a good day as the S&P500 made a record close and the NASDAQ continued its bounce off the 200dma.  Volume was restrained and the lowest we’ve seen in recent days.

MARKET SENTIMENT
This move to record highs dumbfounded bears who remain convinced this market should have imploded months ago.  Where does this strength come from when so many distrust this market and Eastern Europe is on the verge of war?  The answer pretty straightforward, confident owners.  Contrary to popular opinion, complacency is bullish because confident owners don’t sell and that keeps supply tight.  We’ve seen a bloodbath in the most speculative stocks, but a 30% pullback in many of these names only drops us back to levels from a few months ago.  When a stock goes up 50% in a short period, 30% pullbacks are normal and should be expected.

While I don’t buy into the doom and gloom scenarios flying around, it is hard to get excited about this market.  We are approaching the summer lull and it will struggle to find strong demand when big money managers are on summer vacation..  The most likely outcome is the market will remain range bound until fall, but since we are at the upper end of the range, we could easily see a 50 or 100-point selloff and still be within it.

TRADING OPPORTUNITIES
Expected Outcome:  At the upper end of a trading range
While we could easily break 1,900 on Tuesday or later this week, how we trade after is what matters.  The most bearish scenario is a frenzy of breakout buying and short covering that launches us through 1,900, but those gains quickly evaporate as wider demand dries up.  Failing to hold the breakout likely means we will retreat back into the heart of the trading range.

Alternate Outcome:
The more people distrust this market, the more bullish a contrarian is.  While there are plenty of reasons for this market to sell off, we cannot ignore its strength.  When the market disagrees with us, we are the ones who are wrong.

Trading Plan:
This market struggled with 1,900 all year and this time will likely not be any different.  Given the limited upside during the traditionally slow summer months and the material downside if we slip back into the heart of the trading range, it is hard to justify the risk/reward of owning here.  This is a safer place to be taking profits than buying the breakout.  If we hold 1,900 I’ll reevaluate, but if it fails to hold this level, I’ll look closely at shorting the move back into the trading range.

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.