A profitable mistake, plus what to do with the FAANG stocks

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

May 05

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I often say the market loves symmetry, but holy cow, I did not expect Thursday to turn into a mirror image of Wednesday’s huge pop. But that’s exactly what we got, 3% up followed by 3.6% down.

Add those together and we ended up with a fairly tame -0.6%, but wow did the market take the long way getting there.

The market popped Wednesday when the Fed did exactly what they said they were going to do, which was raise rates by 0.5%. Nothing surprising there and Wednesday’s pop was more sentiment-driven than anything. While we didn’t get any meaningful headlines Thursday, if we poped on sentiment, we can just as easily collapse on sentiment. And that’s exactly what happened.

All of this leaves us mostly back where we started. But failing to do anything with the biggest up-day in two years is not good. Not good at all. While I’m an optimist by nature, at this point, Monday’s intraday lows are all but toast. And I doubt it will get any better once we get there. 4,400 didn’t hold. Neither did 4,200. And 4,000 is going to be the next victim.

While Thursday turned into a dreadful reversal, buying Monday’s bounce actually worked really well for me. As always, I started small, got in early, kept a nearby stop, and added to a trade that was working. Following those simple rules and I was sitting on a pile of profits Thursday morning.

While Thursday’s progressive selloff wasn’t what I had in mind, I got out at my nearby stops and watched the trainwreck from the safety of cash. Ultimately, Monday’s bounce didn’t work and I was “wrong”, but if I can make a pile of money being wrong, then I don’t mind being wrong. (And if this is what being wrong looks like, I can’t wait to be right.)

All of this said, I’m still far more interested in buying 52-week lows than shorting them simply because that’s the way the market works. The time to sell was back in January when this first started. Not now that we’ve fallen 700-points.

Remember, markets move in waves and even if this is a bear market, expect some big bounces along the way. While it didn’t happen this week, the next big bounce is coming. Chances are good it will follow next week’s test of 4,000 support.

If the indexes look bad, the FAANG stocks are appalling. AAPL is the best of the bunch because it is “only” down 14%. On the other end of the spectrum, NFLX was murdered, dropping a whopping 73% from recent highs. Of the group, FB looks the most interesting and is buyable once the index finds its footing.

Don’t touch AMZN or NFLX with a 10ft pole because few things are worse than growth stocks that stop growing. It will be a while before these stocks get their mojo back.

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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.