End of Day Update:
Thursday was a rest day for the S&P500 following three-days of powerful gains that recovered 100-points of the recent selloff. Given how far and fast we moved, it’s neither a surprise nor unhealthy to take a small step back. The question is if this is nothing more than a pause before continuing higher, or hitting our head on resistance before returning to 1,800.
The last few days have been painful for bears and no doubt a big chunk of the buying has been propelled by a short-squeeze. But short covering and dip-buying only represents a small sliver of the demand necessary to sustain a larger move higher. While this smaller group can kickoff a move, they don’t have the buying power to keep it going. For that we need big money. The thing about big money is it is far more conservative and hates chasing fast moves. These more experienced and patient investors wait for the dust to settle and prices to pullback before making their move. And in a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, their lack of buying actually causes the pullback and buying opportunity they are waiting for.
Long-time readers of this blog know markets move in waves and were expecting this pause near prior resistance. What is less clear is what happens next. There are three possibilities. We are off to the races again tomorrow. Unfortunately the higher and faster we move, the less sustainable the move becomes and we will like stall near 1,960 and the 50dma before crashing back to earth. The next possibility is a gentile pullback to 1,900 support over the next several days. These minor discounts and subsequently stability will be enough to convince big money it is safe to buy at these levels and their demand will in turn drive the next leg of the rebound. The last possibility is we slice through 1,900 support on our way back to the lows of the trading range. Stocks stumble from unsustainable levels fairly quickly and it won’t take long before we know if this is happening or not.
The biggest differentiator between these possibilities is time. The unsustainable climax surge higher will happen on Friday if it is going to happen at all. If the market wants to return to the lower end of the trading range, it will show its hand by Monday at the latest. On the other hand, if we can hold 1,900 support into Wednesday, then things are stable and present good entry for those that missed the first leg of the rebound.
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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.