On Thursday the S&P500 bounced back from Wednesday’s modest weakness and continues hovering near 2,650 resistance. Headlines remain overwhelmingly negative. Wednesday added a potential military response in Syria and confirmation from the Fed to expect three more rate-hikes this year. That is on top of Trump’s trade war and Muller’s growing investigation.
But rather than fear these waves of bad news, the market is holding up remarkably well. Owners have been given more than enough excuses to drop everything and run for the exits. Yet most of them seem content holding for higher prices. Strong price-action in the face of bad news is typically very bullish. If this market was going to crash, it would have happened by now. That tells us the path of least resistance is higher, not lower.
While it is tempting to argue with the market and insist it must go down because of all of these bearish headlines, the thing to remember is we trade the market, not the news. If the market doesn’t care about these headlines, then neither should we. The trade war and Muller’s investigation has been with us for weeks, even months. Everyone who fears these headlines has been given plenty of time to get out. Every one of these nervous sellers has been replaced by confident dip buyers who demonstrated a willingness to hold these risks. Once all the people who are afraid of a headline are out of the market, then the headline stops mattering because it is priced in.
Technically we are at the upper end of the latest trading range and that leaves us vulnerable to a dip back to the lower end of the range and even a test of support. But that won’t change anything. This weakness would be a buying opportunity, not an excuse to sell stocks. This is a resilient market and these discounts are attractive. A couple of months ago people were begging for a dip so they could get in at cheaper prices. The market answered our prayers. Don’t lose your nerve now.
The thing to remember is we cannot pick a bottom and it isn’t even worth trying. Once we come to terms with that idea, then we are left choosing between buying too early, or buying too late. If prices slip a little further over the next few days and weeks, all that means is we bought a little too early. No big deal. As I said earlier, if this market was fragile and vulnerable to a crash, it would have happened by now. Instead we should be impressed by how well it is holding up despite these waves of negative news. That tells us this market is strong, not weak. These are attractive discounts attractive even if prices slip a little further, which they might not. Wait too long and you will miss this opportunity.
Bitcoin surged today on news that some high-profile money managers are buying. While on the surface that sounds like good news, it probably isn’t as bullish as it seems. First, these guys are really good at keeping secrets when they are buying. They only let it out after they finished accumulating their positions because obviously they don’t want the price to surge while they are buying. Second, if these whales have been buying over the last few weeks and months, shouldn’t prices have bounced more meaningfully? If this is the best BTC could do while these big money managers were accumulating positions, what happens when they finish buying? The knee-jerk reaction was to send prices higher on the news, but unless other people follow these big names into Bitcoin, prices will resume their down-trend. I don’t expect prices to bounce until we get in the $4k range and all today’s headlines do is delay the inevitable.
Much like the broad market, the FAANG stocks are basing and are on solid ground. These are the discounts we’ve been waiting for and months from now people will be kicking themselves for not buying more at these levels. Have we put in the bottom yet? Maybe. Maybe not. But either way this will be a profitable position months from now. Our P&L doesn’t care if we buy early or we buy late, as long as we buy.
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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.