If you’re not taking profits, then you’re taking losses.

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Mar 26

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The S&P 500 produced its first three-day win-streak since early February. Congress agreed to a $2 trillion stimulus package and the Fed assured us they have “unlimited ammunition”. Those headlines were enough to launch stocks nearly 20% above Monday’s intraday lows. Looking beyond this relief rally, the bigger question is if these government interventions are enough to solve the market’s problems or if this strength is just another fleeting bounce on our way lower.

Three days ago bears were gloating over their investing prowess. Today it’s the bull’s turn. And so goes the swinging pendulum of sentiment in this violently volatile market. While it was definitely better to be a bull today than a bear, is the Coronavirus epidemic really solved? Did our politicians actually accomplish anything more meaningful than adding $2 trillion to our national debt? Ummmmm, no. We are in much of the same place we were Monday…and last Friday…and the Friday before that. Nothing has been fixed but at least some issues have been addressed…if only marginally.

These constructive headlines were at least good enough to stem the cascade of relentless selling. That said, we shouldn’t expect prices to race back to the highs anytime soon. The world is still gripped by fear of a killer virus and all the economic damage that goes along with these extreme preventative measures.

As I wrote on Monday, this market is incredibly volatile and that means huge swings in BOTH directions. One day’s gains become the next day’s losses (plus or minus a day or two). In periods like this, if swing-traders are not taking profits, then they are taking losses. Rather than gloat over the corpses of your adversaries, be savvy enough to realize that if you hang around too long, your corpse will soon be the one underfoot. While giving up on a winning trade is always hard to do, if you don’t, the market will take all those profits back.

I warned bears a few days ago and now I’m warning bulls. Lock-in those profits and be ready to go the other direction. The next big swing is just around the corner.

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


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.