End of Day Update:
Stocks notched record highs in early trade, but few bought the breakout and we slipped into the red by lunchtime. This is the third day in a row we struggled with 2,120 resistance. The problem for bulls is if the market was poised to explode higher, it would have happened by now.
If the market is not a coiled spring to the upside, that leaves us with two alternatives. Either it is a coiled spring waiting to launch us lower. Or the market is unsprung and not particularly inclined to go in either direction.
Just over a week ago we had a steep selloff that sliced through the 50dma. If the market was vulnerable to a selloff, that would have been more than enough to trigger a multi-day decline. But it didn’t. That means we find ourselves in a situation where few want to buy the breakout, but just as few are interested in selling the dip. It seems our spring is unsprung. And that makes sense. We’ve been trading sideways since the start of the year. We run out of buyers above 2,100 and selling dries up when we dip under 2,050. Given today’s weak price-action after testing upside resistance, it looks like the pattern is continuing.
The more interesting test will come when we retreat to 2,100 and the 50dma. Can we find support at the upper end of the trading range? If so, that suggests we inch higher from here. While not as exciting as exploding higher, it pads the trading account just the same. But if we cannot hold these technical levels, a dip to 2,050 seems inevitable. Given the risk/reward of inching higher versus a 50-point selloff, this could be a good place to try a quick short.
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Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and financial analyst that has successfully traded stocks and options for nearly three decades. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and two graduate business degrees from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes engineering at Fortune 500 companies, small business consulting, 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 children.