Tuesday was a dreadful session for the S&P 500. While the index only lost 0.24%, the price action leading to that small decline was atrocious. And I’m saying that as a person who typically defends this bull market.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not one of those guys claiming the S&P will collapse back to 1,000. But it will get bumpy over the next few days and weeks. As nimble traders, does it really matter if this retreats to 1,000 or 4,200? Why hold through any losses if we don’t have to?
As I often tell readers, how we finish is far more important than how we start. While Tuesday’s finish doesn’t look bad on a daily chart, how we got there tells us a lot about the market’s mood. TL;DR It isn’t good.
In a mirror of Monday’s lethargic price action, stocks bounced early in the sessions, unfortunately, dip buyers failed to take the bait and prices slumped back to the lows. While dip buyers propped up this bull market all year long, all of a sudden they’ve gone missing and that’s a big problem.
As I wrote to Premium Subscribers earlier Tuesday:
Oversold markets bounce hard and fast and there’s been nothing hard or fast about this latest bounce. While I don’t want to be too negative, it is hard to find anything constructive to say about this price action. Vibrant markets just don’t behave this way.
That said, for those of us paying attention, the market is giving us plenty of warning and we have to be thankful for that. While it feels like stock market crashes are instantaneous, the writing is usually on the walls for days and even weeks ahead of time. Unfortunately, most people don’t react to those early warnings and only move after the pain of regret overcomes them.
The market is giving us a chance to get out and it is best to heed its advice. Maybe this next leg lower only undercuts 4,300 support and bounces off of 4,200. But remember, we can only buy the dip if we have cash and that means selling BEFORE the next leg lower. And later, when everyone else is filled with regret and abandoning ship “before things get worse”, we will be there with a pile of cash, ready to pounce on those juicy discounts.
Remember, savvy traders move proactive, not reactive.
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.