End of Day Update
A lot of nothing as the market barely moved intraday, ultimately finishing flat on unusually low volume. But sometimes no news is good news. This is the third day we held the 2k level. This is significant because markets typically stumble from unsustainable levels fairly quickly. Holding here for another couple days shows we haven’t stretched the rubber band too far yet. This isn’t a justification to buy record highs with reckless abandon, but simply suggests the next few points will likely be higher. And even bears can get behind a few point rally because double-tops and head-and-shoulder patterns by definition exceed the previous high before breaking lower.
As for what traders are thinking, those that own are comfortable owning and those that are afraid of the risks continue staying away. When no one changes their mind, we don’t have waves of buying or selling that drive market moves and is why the we are pausing at 2k.
It is noteworthy this technical milestone didn’t set off a wave of breakout buying or short covering. That shows many traders anticipated this move and took their positions ahead of time. It also indicates few owners think we’ve come too far and are taking profits by selling into the strength. The one concern I have is how many people assume our next stop is 2,100. If the average trader thinks we are headed to 2,100, that means they already bought in. But if they already bought in, that means there are fewer left to continue buying the market and pushing us higher.
While the final few weeks of low-volume summer trade is interesting to watch, nothing really matters until big institutions start maneuvering their portfolios for year-end following the Labor Day holiday. The million dollar question is if big money wants to continue accumulating stock because they still see bargains, or if they are more inclined to lock-in gains because everything appears fully valued. It seems highly unlikely the market will finish the year at 2k and either we continue marching higher, or we crash through the August lows. At this point I’m fairly agnostic and will simply wait for the market to tell me which way it wants to go and seeing how we trade through the first few weeks of September will go a long way to telling us how the market wants to finish the year.
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.