Taketh Away

By Jani Ziedins | Intraday Analysis

May 05
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

The market giveth, and the market taketh away. Stocks tanked and gave back all of Friday’s rebound. This puts us right back on top of the 50dma and 2,090 support. Volume was elevated, but short of the high-volume down-days we saw last week.

Conventional wisdom says we should give more credence to high-volume moves, meaning recent down-days are more important than the corresponding up-days. And like most conventional market wisdom, it is true………half the time. Meaning it is as reliable as flipping a coin.

More than just volume, we need context. The market’s been stuck in a trading range all year. Originally we were holding between ~2,000 and ~2,100, but more recently it inched higher to ~2,150 and ~2,120. It’s been acting this way long enough that anyone who’s paying attention caught on, becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Every time we hit the bottom, swing-traders jump in and ride the elevator up to the top, where they promptly jump off. This style of trading props up dips and stymies rebounds. But like all good things, it will eventually come to an end.

Bears gleefully point to the market’s inability to break 2,120 resistance. But there comes a point when this stops being stalling and starts becoming basing. There is a reason double-tops are a common reversal pattern, but we rarely hear about triple- or quadruple-tops. These are not reliable technical signals because holding a level for three or four attempts means we are more likely to break through than turn lower. So while it is frustrating to see the market stall at 2,120 yet again, the longer we hold these levels, the more inevitable it is we will eventually smash through resistance.

The test comes Wednesday. If we bounce, cover shorts and go long. If the market cannot get out of its own way, then look out below because we have a date with 2,050 and the 200dma before finally breaking through overhead resistance.

Jani

Follow

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.