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.
This week’s theme was “no news is good news”. After several weeks of dire headlines, this week produced very little on the news front. That reprieve from bad news was all this market needed to surge to record highs. As I’ve been saying since early August, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. This proved to be the week we’ve been patiently waiting for.
This is a mild breakout as far as breakouts go, but there is nothing wrong with that. The market likes symmetry and last month’s 2% pullback was modest. As a result we should expect an equally modest rebound. This is a healthy market and there is nothing wrong or unusual with these slow and methodical gains.
Few things calm nerves like rising prices. Many of last month’s sellers are quickly going from fear of a crash to fear of being left behind. Underweight money managers are who were waiting for a bigger pullback are starting face the possibility it isn’t going to happen. If this market was vulnerable and fragile, last month’s headlines would have sent us tumbling. Standing strong through both the figurative and two literal storms tells us the path of least resistance remains higher. Gains will continue to be slow and choppy over the near-term, but expect the pace of gains to pick up later in the year as big money starts chasing performance into year-end.
Tuesday September 26th: Why smart traders ignore today’s price-action
In a directional market, a late fizzle like this would be a big red flag. It warns us there is no follow through and support is crumbling. But this isn’t a directional market and traditional trading signals don’t apply.
We have been stuck in a predominantly sideways market most of this year and every breakout and breakdown has been a false alarm. Anyone who failed to realize this has been making the exact wrong trade at the exact wrong moment. Buying the breakout just before it fizzles and selling the breakdown just before it rebounds.
Unfortunately the market fools traders with these tricks far more often than people are willing to admit. That’s because it is nearly impossible to come to the market without a bullish or bearish bias. Many traders cognitively know the market trades sideways 60% of the time, but in the moment they always think prices are either about to take off, or on the verge of collapse.
Score 10/10: In a more typical market, Tuesday’s weak close would have been big red flag and an attractive entry for a short trade. But this isn’t a typical market and we must ignore traditional trading signals. Just as I suspected, Tuesday’s weak close was nothing more than a false alarm and the next four trading sessions saw us charge to record highs.
Thursday September 28th: The bull that refuses to die
Volumes have been average or above since Labor Day. Big money finally returned from vacation and is getting back to work. It is encouraging to see they are more inclined to buy this strength than sell it. Fragile and vulnerable markets tumble quickly. Sticking near the psychologically significant 2,500 level for nearly three-weeks tells us the foundation under our feet is solid.
Earlier in the week we dipped under support, but rather than sell this technical violation, many traders rushed in to buy the dip. Ignore what the bears are saying, this market is healthy and poised to continue higher. August’s basing pattern refreshed the market by chasing off weak owners and replacing them with confident dip buyers. Given how long we have been holding near the highs tells us few owners are taking profits and most are confidently waiting for higher prices. As long as confident owners keep supply tight, expect the drift higher to continue.
Score 10/10: Big money is buying this market, not taking profits. The path of least resistance remains higher and Friday’s surge into record territory confirms it. Without a doubt this market wants to go higher and it is running over anyone who doubts it.
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.
I included a brief quote from each educational piece below. Click on the headline to read the entire article. And don’t forget to come back for next week’s new educational pieces.
Traders often predict the outcome of a market moving event correctly, unfortunately they are not as good at figuring out the market’s reaction. This leads to the popular misconception the market is “fixed” and “rigged”. This couldn’t be further from the truth and I will cover this fallacy in another blog post. In the meantime just take my word for it the market is an equal opportunity humiliator and does a fair and equitable job screwing over both retail and institutional investors. When you lose money, it isn’t because some cunning market villain stole your money, it’s because your analysis is missing key ingredients.
In my two decades of trading, far and away the most effective tool I use in identifying market’s next move is studying what it is NOT doing. Almost everyone obsesses over what the market is doing and tries to to fit these moves into their narratives, whether that is fundamental, technical, or a hybrid of the two.
Every popular investing strategy stops working once too many people start using it because the crowd quickly distorts the price-action that made it work in the first place. They sucks up all the profit potential and it is hardly worth the effort. Or the crowd triggers fake breakouts that suck everyone in and then spit them out with less money than they started with.
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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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.