Does the Coronavirus really matter? Well, yes…..and no. The virus definitely matters to the people directly affected. It also matters to health organizations and governments. Their quick and decisive action will definitely help slow the spread of this deadly virus. And hopefully, their proactive response will keep this from spreading any further than it needs to.
Aside from the obvious human element, we are traders and we want to know how this will affect the stock market. By this point, everyone is drawing parallels to previous outbreaks and how the ultimate result was inconsequential for stocks. But the important thing to keep in mind is that assessment was only after it was all said and done. The only reason we remember these previous episodes is because they were big deals when we were in the middle of them. And chances are good the same thing will happen this time too.
While there are a lot of bulls arguing with the market dipping a handful of points over the last few sessions, the thing to remember is no one wins an argument with the stock market. Either we go along with it or we get out the way. If this market wants to dip on these headlines, great. Pull the plug on your longs and wait to get back in at lower levels. If you know this won’t last, rather than argue with it, be proactive and profit from it!
As I wrote previously, the greatest advantage we have as independent traders is our nimbleness. If we don’t take advantage of this strength, we are giving up the most important weapon we have in our arsenal. But if we are going to sell, we need to be proactive and do it early. I took a big chunk of profits last week because the market had a good run since December’s 3,200 breakout. These things always move in steps and I like taking at least some of my profits off the table after the market runs to the next obvious resistance level. That said, I did leave some money in with a stop near 3,300 just in case this kept racing higher. One foot in and the other foot out gave me the best of both worlds.
But as expected, the market dipped under 3,300 and I got stopped out of my final position today. I didn’t know what would happen when I planned this trade, I just new odds were good that something was going to come along and knock us down. And that is exactly what happened today.
Now that I’m out of the market, I have a pile of cash itching to get back in. Maybe that happens on Monday when all of this Contravirus stuff blows over and prices rebound back above 3,300. Or maybe the situation grows more grave and stocks dip even further. Either way, I have a plan to get back in. Do you?
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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM
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.