End of Day Update:
Stocks continued the “no hike” selloff as the S&P500 lost another 1.25% and closed fractionally above 1,940 support. Volume was restrained, not even reaching average levels.
Investors were hoping the Fed would keep rates near zero and in order to avoid further spooking fragile markets, the Fed acquiesced when they decided not to hike last week. But rather than cheer, waves of traders have been selling the news ever since. We are still well within the heart of the 1,900 to 2,000 trading range, so stock owners are not panicked yet, but you can feel the uneasiness growing with each leg lower.
There was no real headline driver for Tuesday’s global selloff, but overseas markets were hit hard and that selling spilled over to U.S. shores. And as I write this, it looks like we will have more of the same Wednesday because Asian and S&P500 futures are sharply lower. While we are still well within the trading range, it won’t take much to push us down to recent lows where the uneasiness will give way to fear and panic.
When the herd is panicked and we see our screens filled with red, it is hard avoid being infected with the same feelings of dread and despair. But a further selloff is actually the most bullish thing that can happen. The two most common reversals are the v-bottom and the double-bottom. V-bottoms are sharp and fast. We’re nearly a month into this correction, well past the window of opportunity for a v-bottom to save us, so we can eliminate that as a trade setup. The next best savior is the double-bottom. For those that are not familiar, a key attribute of the double-bottom is having the second dip undercut the first dip’s lows. That means the most bullish thing that could happen to us involves us falling under 1,860. This is something we should be bracing ourselves for, but rather than fear this capitulation bottom, we should welcome it and even trade it to our advantage.
Of course we might not go straight to 1,850, or even get there at all. The next likely level to bounce off of is the 1,900-1,910 region. We could easily see an intermediate support at these levels. Where we go from there largely depends on how traders respond. If we see full panic and volume is off the chart, that could be our capitulation bottom. But if the bounce is feeble and fails to recover 1,950, the new lows under 1,850 are likely. While it will be uncomfortable, if we know what is coming, then we will be better prepared to trade it well.
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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.