Another obvious bounce

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Oct 30

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The S&P 500 bounced 1.2% Monday.

We didn’t get a meaningful improvement in headlines over the weekend, but after eight of the previous nine trading sessions ended in the red, a green day was inevitable.

As everyone knows, stocks don’t move in straight lines. After a bit of down, it was finally time for a bit of up. It doesn’t matter why. Running out of sellers is just one of those things that happens naturally. And Monday was that day.

Last week, I said I was looking for a bounce, and Monday’s price action definitely qualifies:

Remember, stocks top when everything looks great, and they bottom when everything looks terrible. By that measure, this is definitely a good time to be bottom-fishing. To be clear, I am 100% opposed to buying on the way down. But every time we bounce, you will find me jumping in. Start small, get in early, keep a nearby stop, and only add to a position that’s working. Follow those simple rules, and bottom-fishing is extremely profitable.

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I have no idea if Monday’s bounce will stick, but it was a good start, and that’s all I needed to put on a partial position. Start small, get in early, keep a nearby stop, and only add to a trade that’s working.

If the index retreats on Tuesday, I will pull the plug for a small loss and try again next time. If the rebound keeps going, I will add more and lift my initial stops to near my entry points, greatly reducing my risk.

As I frequently remind readers, buying bounces is hard because two-thirds of them fail. But if we limit our losses on the false starts by entering with partial positions and keeping stops nearby, riding a winner higher with a full position will more than offset any previous losses.

I have no idea if Monday’s bounce is the real deal, but it gave me a low-risk entry, and I took it. If this one doesn’t work, no big deal, I take a small loss and try again next time. But if the index bounces a little further on Tuesday, I will lift my stops near my entry points, turning this into a nearly free trade. It is hard to complain about that.

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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.