The S&P 500 continues flip-flopping between freaking out and getting over it. Thursday was the first session the index reclaimed 4,400 in over a week and at least for the moment, bulls seem to be winning this tug-of-war near recent lows.
Thursday’s strength bodes well for the market because we probed the lows multiple times over the last week-and-a-half and so far, 4,300 support has been rock solid.
Stairs up and elevator down is the old market saying. If this market was standing on a trapdoor, each of the violations of support over the last several days were more than enough to trigger the next leg lower. Yet rather than accelerate lower, each bout of selling stalled and bounced.
Going down is supposed to be far easier than going up, yet bears cannot get this market to stay under 4,300 support for more than a few hours. That definitely counts as a win for the bulls.
As for how to trade this, the first thing a market needs to do when it is breaking down is to actually go down. That means anything above 4,400 and everything is fine and dandy. Falling under 4,400 but staying above 4,300 is not a huge deal, especially in the upper end of this range. But it is enough to warrant standing near the exits. Fall under 4,300 and all bets are off and it is time to wait for the next buyable bounce.
Stick to those simple guidelines and trading this dip will be easy money. Maybe this bounce is the real bounce. Maybe it isn’t. But as long as we are smart about our trades and ensure we are in the right place at the right time, we will come out ahead in the end.
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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.