The S&P500 snapped a seven-day win streak Thursday, but it is a stretch to call a 0.09% bump a meaningful loss, especially since we rebounded nicely off the intraday lows.
Looking at the chart it is obvious the recent rate of gains is unsustainable and today was finally the day we took a break. While there might be a little more upside left in this move, we are definitely closer to the end than the start. If a person is not already in the market, they are late to the party and should resist the urge to chase. Risk is a function of height and it is more dangerous to buy up here than it was before we broke out. Wait for the inevitable cooling off before rushing in. Institutional money hates chasing breakouts and we should follow their lead. If big money is holding back, in a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy their lack of buying actually creates the dip they are waiting for. We should exercise the same restraint. As the saying goes, “It is better to miss the bus than get hit by the bus!”
It’s been a tough stretch for bears who were convinced the market was going to tumble from 2,300 resistance. Instead we broke through and surged 50-points. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular readers of this blog.
“the thing to remember is we tumble from unsustainable levels quickly. We have been hanging out near these record highs for two-months. If this market was fragile and vulnerable, we would have crashed a long time ago. There have been more than enough reasons for this market to selloff, yet every time it refuses the invitation and we run out of sellers. Say what you will about the fundamentals of this market, but when confident owners don’t sell bearish headlines and weak price-action, supply stays tight and prices remain resilient. If the sellers failed to materialize over the last eight-weeks, why would they show up now and sell far more benign headlines and price-action? That is the question every bear needs to answer. If it didn’t happen then, why is it going to happen now?”
Bears could have saved a lot of money if they used a little common sense, but that is that is a lesson to save for next time. Now that we are up here, the question is what happens next? As I already stated, the recent rate of gains is unsustainable, so at the very least expect the market to slow down. That doesn’t mean we are going to tumble, just that we need time to consolidate recent gains. As I wrote on February 9th, confident owners are ignoring all the reasons to distrust this market. Until we find something new and unexpected to shatter this calm, expect the bull market to remain resilient.
If we cool off, the nearest level of support is 2,320. That acted as resistance last Friday and we bounced off that level Monday and Tuesday. I would not expect a routine pullback to dip a lot further than that. Traders that missed the initial breakout can use this dip as a safer entry point.
Until something new and unexpected happens, expect this post-election drift higher to continue.
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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.