Stocks continued yesterday’s rebound in early trade, but stumbled midday and sold off into the close on elevated volume. The market held Monday’s lows and remains comfortably above 1,960 support.
Talking heads attribute Tuesday’s reversal to increasing sanctions on Russia, but giving up less than 0.5% hardly qualifies as an emotional rush for the exits. While the West is incrementally stepping up pressure on Russia, both sides are co-dependent on each other and it is unlikely either side will act rashly. While it was enough to make buyers think twice today, these developments are largely priced in and unlikely to pressure the market.
But just because the Russia thing is old news doesn’t mean we cannot selloff for other reasons, namely typical supply and demand fluctuations. The market is building a trading ranged between 1,690 and 1,690 and no matter what the headlines, the market seems content hanging out in this area. Prospective buyers are not confident enough to chase prices to new highs and owners are uninterested in selling bearish headlines for a discount. Apathetic buyers and complacent owners leaves us range bound.
The longer we hold support, the more likely the next move will be higher. Markets tend to breakdown quickly and holding 1,960 for a month in the face of significant geopolitical headlines surely doesn’t qualify as a meltdown. If the market holds 1,960 yet again on Wednesday, expect us to make new highs again in the short-term.
While owners are confident here, nothing shatters confidence like seeing everyone around them start selling. While a modest, intraday dip under 1,960 is nothing to worry about, if the selling accelerates after violating support, we have further to fall. If bulls cannot defend the 50dma and 1,950, then 1,900 and the 200dma are in play.
We are in no man’s land. Those with long or short positions can stick with them, but use stops to prevent small losses from turning into big ones. Those outside the market should wait for further confirmation before placing a trade. Closing above 1,960 on Wednesday is bullish and crashing through it is bearish.
Plan you 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.