Why Monday’s flat session is bullish

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Apr 08

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Monday was a constructive session for the S&P 500 as it held the vast majority of Friday’s rebound, and last Thursday’s fearful selling quickly faded from memory.

As expected, last week’s aborted selloff didn’t turn into anything meaningful and was simply a continuation of the recent choppy consolidation. Luckily, the lack of a bigger selloff didn’t surprise regular readers of this blog. As I wrote Wednesday evening, hours prior to Thursday’s panicked selling:

[M]ost owners are comfortable at these prices and are not rushing for the exits. If prices were overbought and vulnerable to a collapse, it would have happened by now. Yet, every time the market slips into the red, supply dries up, and prices bounce. That’s not how a weak market behaves.

Without a doubt, this market is not in a hurry to go anywhere, but anyone betting on a collapse is going to be disappointed. There have been countless excuses and opportunities for stocks to tumble, yet every time, stock owners shrug and keep holding. This situation can’t last forever, but it will take something new and unexpected to convince these confident owners to sell. As we’ve seen over the last couple of sessions, undercutting 5,200 isn’t going to do it.

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Trends continue countless times, but they only change direction once. Anyone who believed something changed last week was betting on a far less likely outcome than those of us waiting for the far more probable bounce.

If I had a crystal ball, I could have squeezed some nice profits out of these recent swings by timing my purchases and sales at the precise tops and bottoms, but no one can predict the market’s exact movements, and only fools try. But just because we can’t see the future doesn’t mean we can’t make savvy trades when these opportunities present themselves, as I wrote on Friday:

[W]hen the sellers failed to show up and prices bounced [on Friday], that was our signal to buy.

[W]e can already lift our stops to our entry points, turning this into another low-risk, high-reward trade. If prices retreat next week, we get out at breakeven, no harm, no foult. If the rebound continues, let those profits roll in.

This is a bullish market, and that makes Monday’s sideways session bullish. If this market was fragile and vulnerable to a collapse, Thursday’s massive bearish intraday reversal was more than enough to send stocks tumbling much further. Instead, supply dried up and prices bounced, as they have during every other episode of weakness since the October lows.

Something is going to change at some point, but last week was not it. I still have the positions I bought Friday with stops near my entry points. While there are no risk-free trades in the market, this is about as low as it gets.

Maybe something will change later this week, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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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.