Why we don’t need to predict the headlines

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Feb 18

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The S&P 500 slipped from record highs following the long Presidents’ Day weekend. The biggest market-related headline was Apple warning investors Coronavirus interruptions would cause the company to miss its revenue forecast. That disclosure renewed concern about the financial impact of this health epidemic half a world away. While today’s headlines and declining stock prices threw some cold water on the market’s previously blasé attitude, a 0.3% decline is hardly panic selling.

As I wrote last Friday, the market is quickly approaching 3,400 and that seems like a good place for the rate of gains to take a break. I didn’t have any insight into this weekend’s headlines, but I didn’t need to. The market is a pendulum and after swinging in one direction, it is only inevitable that it comes back the other way. If it wasn’t these headlines, it would have been something else.

The market receives mixed messages every day. There is never a day when the news is all good or all bad. What matters more than the headlines is where we are in the supply and demand cycle. The higher we go now, the harder it is for us to make that next push higher. Eventually, every wave higher runs out of momentum and the rate of gains either stalls or pulls back. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the headlines the journalists are pointing to. It is simply the laws of supply and demand coming back into balance.

Last Friday I suggested readers lock-in some worthwhile profits. Not because I knew something bad was going to happen. But because it was time. If we are in this to make money, the only way we do that is by selling our winners. Friday felt like a good time to lock-in profits and that’s what I did.

But the thing to remember, once we are out, the very first thing we do is start looking for the next opportunity to get back in. Maybe prices slip a little further and give us a nice dip-buying opportunity. Or maybe prices firm up over the next few days and we consolidate under 3,400. Hold here for a week or two and the market will be ready for its next rally leg. I don’t need to predict what the market will do if I have a trading plan that factors in these different outcomes.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM $AAPL


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.