Why both bulls and bear are trading the S&P 500 wrong, plus how to respond to NFLX’s bounce

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

May 25

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 slipped a modest 0.2% Tuesday and while that size of a decline seems fairly trivial, it is notable this was the second day in a row the index failed to hold early gains above 4,200.

This counts as one of those half-full, half-empty kinds of days. On the positive side, the index remains within a handful of points of all-time highs. Not bad given how unnerved traders felt a couple of weeks ago when inflation worries dominated the headlines. On the other side of the coin, the previous two pullbacks started with rejections by 4,200 resistance. Are we witnessing the start of the third pullback?

Is this just another insignificant hiccup on our way to record highs? Or are we on the verge of the next test of 4k support?

To be honest, I could see either outcome playing out. While bulls and bears are busy arguing why their analysis and outlook is superior to the other side’s, I’m over here crafting a trading plan that accounts for both scenarios. Why pick one or the other when we can have both!

At the moment, I’m riding this wave higher with stops in the mid-4,100s. Buying last week’s dip early gave me entry points at much lower levels and that affords me the flexibility of riding this out with a “free” trade. If this goes higher, great, I collect those profits. If this dips back to 4k support, I get out at my entry points (making this a “free” trade) and I buy the next bounce at even lower levels. Either way, I win. (In fact, a bigger decline here gives me even more profit opportunity buying the next rebound.)

The key to surviving and even thriving during periods like this is trading proactively and decisively. By getting in early, we have a whole lot more options.

NFLX reclaimed $500, making this a buyable bounce. But the subsequent price action has been fairly lethargic. Fall back under $500 and not only does it make sense to close the long, but this turned back into an attractive shorting opportunity. Hang out near the lows long enough and inevitably, we start making even lower-lows.

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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.