Weekly Scorecard: North Korea still doesn’t matter

By Jani Ziedins | Scorecard

Sep 22

Welcome to Cracked.Market’s weekly scorecard:

This post includes a summary of the week’s market developments, links to the free posts I published, and analysis on how accurate each post was since I wrote it. 

Weekly Analysis:

Tensions with North Korea flared up again as Trump threatened to “Totally Destroy” North Korea in a speech to the U.N. and North Korea retaliated by threatening to test a nuclear bomb in the Pacific Ocean. Last month headlines like these sent the market tumbling 1.5%. This month the market barely flinches.

News gets priced in over time. That’s because owners who are afraid of these headlines sold weeks ago and were replaced by confident dip-buyers who demonstrated a willingness to hold these risks. Since everyone who is afraid of North Korea already bailed out, there is no one left to sell this latest round of headlines. When no one sells the news, it stops mattering and that is exactly what happened here.

The other significant development was the Fed announced it would start winding down its bond portfolio and they left the door open to a third rate-hike later this year. While both of these developments are potentially bearish, the market expected these policy decisions and they didn’t move the market. It’s been years since a Fed decision moved prices in a meaningful and sustainable way and this time was no different.

The market’s price-action has been incredibly resilient given the headline uncertainty. A market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. Keep doing what has been working and that is sticking with this bull market.

Read my daily posts for deeper insights and analysis on these topics and more.

Tuesday Sept 19th: Stick with this Bull

“As we saw today, the North Korean rhetoric no longer matters to the market and we can safely ignore it. Next item coming up is the Fed’s policy statement on Wednesday. Consensus is the Fed will start winding down its balance sheet. This is an anti-stimulus move, but the market is largely ready for it. Yellen and the Fed have done a great job telegraphing their moves to minimize disrupting financial markets. While we should expect a brief bout of volatility, it’s been years since a Fed decision affecting the market in a significant and lasting way. I don’t expect tomorrow to be any different.”

Score 10/10: This analysis was spot on. North Korean headlines failed to ignite a selloff and the market barely moved after the Fed announced exactly what everyone thought they would. Read the entire post for more insights into why the market reacted to these events the way it did.

Thursday Sept 21st: Don’t fear a routine and healthy dip

“If we are expecting the market to collapse on bad news, Thursday’s “news-less” day definitely won’t cut it. This market withstood a nearly constant barrage of negative headlines over the last month and barely sold off two-percent. If those headlines couldn’t break us, there is definitely nothing in the current news cycle that tops ballistic missile launches, nuclear bomb tests, and back-to-back hurricanes. That resilience means we can safely cross news-fueled selloff from the list of vulnerabilities. If this market was going to crash on bad news, it would have happened weeks ago.”

“As I write this, overnight futures slipped on Asian weakness. But as I said above, testing support is a normal and healthy part of moving higher. There is nothing to worry about if we dip under 2,500 support. A wave of selling might hit us as recent buyers’ stop-losses are triggered. But that selling will quickly dry up like it has every other time this year. Confident owners didn’t sell far more dire headlines last month and there is no reason to think they will start bailing out now. Confident owners keep supply tight and prop up prices. That has been happening all year-long and there is no reason to think something has changed here.”

Score 10/10: This analysis from Thursday night perfectly described Friday’s price-action. Predicting what the market will do isn’t hard if you take your time to thoughtfully think about what is happening and resist the temptation to join the crowd’s overreactions.

Cracked.Market University: Contrarian Investing: Why most people screw it up

I started a new educational series and will publish new articles each Monday and Wednesday. Sign up for Free Email Alerts to be notified when new articles are published.

“All too often people mistakenly think they are contrarian investors when all they are doing is arguing with the market. If a price is going up, they sell it. If the market is going down, they buy it. At this point many of you are scratching your head because that sounds exactly like what I described in Part 1. Isn’t it?

“Nope, not even close. Don’t feel bad, this is an easy to mistake to make and it costs a lot of smart people a lot of money every day. Contrarian investing is not going against the price or the trend. Never forget price and trend have nothing to do with contrarian investing! The only thing that matters to the contrarian is what the crowd thinks.

“More often than not the contrarian trade is actual follows the market trend and buys something that has gone “too far”. Or sells something that has gone “too low”.”

This post generated quite a bit of enthusiasm and was enjoyed by many of my followers. Click the link above to read the full post.

Knowing what the market is going to do is the easy part. Getting the timing right is where all the money is made. Have insightful analysis like this delivered to your inbox every day during market hours while there is still time to act on it. Sign up for a free two-week trial.

Have a great weekend and I hope to see you again next week.


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About the Author

Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and financial analyst that has successfully traded stocks and options for nearly three decades. He has an undergraduate engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and two graduate business degrees from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes engineering at Fortune 500 companies, small business consulting, 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 children.