The S&P500 rebounded from Friday’s early selloff and finds itself right back near all-time highs. Anyone who sold Friday’s dip is kicking themselves for overreacting to that weakness. If they were paying attention to the way this market has been behaving, they would have known better and not made that mistake.
“While this market makes me nervous, the path of least resistance is clearly higher. If we were vulnerable to a crash, it would have happened by now. There have been plenty of excuses for traders to sell defensively. But when no one sells the headlines, they stop mattering. These things rarely end well, but they also last longer and go higher than anyone expects. I don’t trust this market, but it will most likely continue creeping higher for the foreseeable future.”
A few hours the market “crashed” in one of the biggest dips in nearly a month, but that was clearly a place to be buying the dip, not selling the weakness. To be honest, I cannot even remember what traders were so spooked over Friday morning it was that trivial. If interest rate hikes, a presidential scandal, and the U.K. government in disarray didn’t bother the market, why should some nominal headline Friday morning make a difference? And a few hours later, it turned out those headlines didn’t matter and we find ourselves right back near the highs.
Risk is a function of height, meaning this is the riskiest the market been in quite some time. But just like skating on thin ice, it’s only dangerous if you fall through. Right now the market continue skating on thin ice without a care in the world. The path of least resistance remains higher…….until it doesn’t.
While I’m skeptical of this market and don’t trust it, it will keep going higher until is has a good reason not to. So far it has refused every reason we’ve thrown at it. That’s because this market is built on high hopes for generous tax cuts. At this point it is clear nothing else matters. The market doesn’t care that a special counsel has been appointed to investigate our preside. That doesn’t have anything to do with tax cuts, so it doesn’t matter…..right?
But if this market is built on a foundation of tax cuts, that is also the thing we are most vulnerable to. If the Republican coalition in Congress devolves into party infighting, or this looming Russia/Trump scandal erodes all of the president’s political capital, expect this market to give back a big chunk of the post-election gains. At this point that is the only thing that will kill this rally. But until this happens, enjoy the slow glide higher and ignore all the other noise along the way.
Clearly this is a buy-and-hold market. Anyone trying to trade this crap is getting their ass kicked. Traditional breakout and breakdown signals mislead us when they fail hours later. The only trade to make is either sticking stocks, or staying in cash. Anyone trying to outsmart this market by jumping in and out is doing nothing but accumulating losses. There are trading markets and there are buy-and-hold markets. This is definitely a buy-and-hold. But don’t despair. This won’t last long and great trading opportunities will come to those who are patient enough to wait for them.
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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.