Why bulls shouldn’t be getting cocky

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Jan 19

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 smashed through 4,800 resistance on Friday, adding 1.2% and sending bears scrambling for cover.

Does this mean the 2024 consolidation is already over? Nope. As I wrote Thursday evening, this breakout was expected, and it doesn’t change anything:

This 4,700/4,800 trading range is too tight to contain for much longer, but that doesn’t mean the next directional move is coming. Instead, the first few times we break out of this range, that move will stall and reverse as the consolidation simply looks for more elbow room between its swings. Continue anticipating reversals until we have a compelling reason to do otherwise.

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Just because the market broke out of an ultra-tight, 100-point trading range doesn’t mean the recent consolidation is over. Stocks spend 60% of their time chopping sideways, so the odds are good Friday’s breakout was nothing more than a somewhat wider continuation of the recent sideways chop.

Friday’s breakout was definitely buyable because it was going to trigger a short squeeze, which is why I bought it, but savvy traders are already planning their exit, not pressing their luck. The odds are very good we are not done with 4,700 support yet, and we will be retesting that level over the next few weeks.

Just as has been the case since early December, anyone holding too long will watch their nice profits evaporate during the next swing. Don’t be that guy. Remember, we only make money when we sell our winners, and it won’t be long before savvy traders are collecting these 4,800 breakout profits.

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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.