End of Day Update:
Stocks sliced through 2,100 support and didn’t stop until they fell well under the 50dma. The only positive is a late bounce kept us from closing at the lows. Volume was well above average and the highest in over a month.
Thursday’s move looks intriguingly similar to April 17th’s dip under the 50dma. That’s good news for bulls because we bounced back above the 50dma the next day. Will history repeat itself? We’ll know the answer by Friday’s close.
It’s funny how pundits and gurus claimed a strengthening dollar and falling oil prices were threatening S&P500 earnings. Today the dollar tanked and oil surged. Following their logic, stock prices should have jumped higher today. Shows what the “experts” know.
The problem with this market isn’t technical or fundamental, like always, it comes down to supply and demand. Or more specifically today, the lack of demand. Few are willing to buy stocks above 2,120 and we’ve stalled at that level three times in recent months. When no one is in the mood to buy, it doesn’t matter what the fundamentals and technicals are.
Where do we go from here? While a lack of demand keeps us from breaking 2,120 resistance, we’re seeing a similar but opposite dynamic happen every time the market dips. Confident owners are completely uninterested in selling regardless of headlines or price volatility. When no one sells, prices bounce on tight supply. That is what saved us April 20th and we’ll see if owners are just as stubbornly confident Friday.
As for how to trade this, we slipped back into the middle of the 2,050/2,120 trading range. That leaves us with a fairly balanced risk/reward. But we’re not looking to trade a coin-flip, we want the odds in our favor. That means waiting to see what happens next. Strength on Friday tells us stubborn owners are winning and their refusal to sell will keep a floor under this market. However, nothing shatters confidence like a plunging prices. Another ugly day could easily push us down to 2,050 support. My gut tells me it won’t be as easy this time and we will probably see another leg lower before the selling exhausts itself.
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.