The S&P 500 started the holiday-shortened week the same way it ended the previous week, deep in the red. That said, Tuesday’s lows were about as bad as it got. The market attempted a rebound Wednesday. Thursday it gave back those gains. And Friday finished flat.
It’s hard to call this week good, but six days into a selloff and it definitely feels like the tidal wave of selling lost a lot of its early momentum.
While the market remains 7% under last week’s highs and bears are the most confident they’ve been in months, their inability to extend the selloff on Friday is definitely noteworthy. We undercut the weekly lows and instead of triggering another avalanche of defensive selling, supply dried up and prices bounce back to breakeven. If this market really was fragile and vulnerable, these little cracks spiral into gaping holes, they don’t bounce back within hours.
If we focus on the last few days, it seems like the market is settling into a stalemate. While this could still break either way, I give the edge to the bulls. Everyone knows market crashes are breathtakingly quick. Sell first and ask questions later is the name of the game. On the other hand, holding steady for three days gives nervous owners time to regain their composure and it suggests fearful supply is drying up. If we hold current levels into next week, bulls will even start getting their confidence back.
It all comes down to Monday. A strong open is buyable with a stop near 3,310. If that strength fizzles and prices retreat, no big deal, we pull the plug and wait for the next bounce. But most likely, that strength will stick and even accelerate. Wait too long and there is a good chance you will miss the move.
The only thing to be wary of is a crash under 3,300. Few things shatter confidence like screens filled with red and if we crash under recent lows, all bets are off and the most aggressive can try shorting. But as long as we remain above 3,310, this is a buyable dip. Remember, start small, get in early, keep a nearby stop, and only add to what is working. If prices crash next week, no big deal, it just gives us more profit potential when the market finally bounces.
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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.