The S&P 500 was more flat than anything Wednesday. But by finishing 0.1% in the green, that was good enough for the third up-day this week, leaving the index 1% shy of all-time highs. Not bad given the fear and anxiety that washed over the market during last week’s 3% pullback.
Stocks go up and stocks go down. That’s what they do. Just because the index goes down, don’t automatically assume something is wrong. And the same applies to the subsequent bounce. Unfortunately, most investors cannot resist the impulse to overreact to every dip and bounce in the road.
Humans love trends and we turn every two dots into a line that extends forever into the future. But that’s not the way markets work. Most daily gyrations amount to nothing more than meaningless noise.
What we do know is every dip over the last several months bounced within days, if not hours. That trend is built on dozens of data points and actually means something. And you know what? That longer-term trend endured despite all of the fear and uncertainty that consumed the herd last week.
The most important development was last week’s selling stalled and bounced. That reconfirms most investors are still in this for the long-haul and remain reluctant to sell bearish headlines or negative price-action.
Right or wrong, when owners refuse to sell, stocks remain stubbornly resilient. While this cannot last forever, it will continue for at least a bit longer.
As long as we keep getting more up than down, everything is going according to plan. Don’t fight what is working.
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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.