All Posts by Jani Ziedins

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About the Author

Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and writer who has successfully traded stocks and options for more than a decade. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA and M.S. Marketing from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes manufacturing engineering at Fortune 500 companies, structural engineering, small business consultant, collegiate instructor, 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 young children.

Jun 14

Does anyone still care about rate-hikes?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Thursday the S&P500 traded sideways for a fourth day as we consolidate recent gains under 2,800 resistance. Things got a little spooky Wednesday after the Fed said a fourth rate-hike this year was likely, one more than previously expected. Higher rates have been a concern and that was enough to send some traders scrambling for the exits and prices stumbled into Wednesday’s close. But the selling was short-lived and prices rebounded Thursday, hardly missing a beat.

As I’ve been writing about for months, the headlines that have been dominating the financial pages have already been priced in. If any of these headlines were going to knock us down, it would have happened by now. Instead, owners who feared these headlines bailed out months ago and were replaced by confident dip-buyers willing to own these risks. If they didn’t sell rate-hike headlines two, three, and four months ago, why would they sell them now? The answer is they wouldn’t. And as we saw Thursday, Wednesday’s dip was little more than a flash in the pan.

This is a strong market, not a weak one. Bears have been wrong for months and they will stay wrong unless they change sides. But another thing I frequently point out is risk is a function of height, meaning this rebound to the highest levels in several months also makes this a more risky place to be adding new money. The best buys come when the crowd is scared, not when it is breathing a sigh of relief. The best time to buy was weeks ago, and anyone not invested is probably better off waiting for a better entry point. Or at the very least, dollar-cost-averaging into the market.

The market is acting well and we should keep doing what is working. Our favorite buy-and-hold positions are doing great and we should stick with them. Even though the S&P500 is consolidating underneath prior highs, FAANG stocks are on fire and many of them are setting new all-time highs on a daily basis. The strongest stocks are leading the way as expensive keeps getting even more expensive. The downside is this rebound sucked a lot of emotion out of the market and volatility is crashing. While that is good for nerves, it isn’t so good for swing-trading. Those of us that were paying attention made good money this spring jumping in and out of the emotional gyrations, but unfortunately the market is transitioning back into slow-money where buy-and-hold works better than swing-trading.

Summer is often a slow time for the market, but that calm often sets the stage for a more exciting fall season. So far the market is acting well and that most likely means big money will start chasing prices higher into year-end when they return from their summer cottages. In the meantime, stick with what is working and right now that is buying-and-holding our favorite tech stocks.

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Jani

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Jun 12

Things look good, but is that a warning?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P500 continues inching higher and is at the highest levels since March. Long gone is the doom-and-gloom that dominated the market only a few weeks ago. Instead we are only a handful of points away from retaking 2,800 and erasing almost all of February’s stock crash.

I spent all spring reminding readers that risk is a function of height and it was far safer buying February’s crash than the calm that preceded it. The best opportunities come from buying heavily discounted stocks from fearful sellers. And just when people fear the worst is when the deals are the best. We saw a similar phenomena when the FAANG stocks tumbled in March following Facebook’s public relations disaster.

The thing about both the market’s crash and FAANG’s correction is countless people had begged for a pullback so they could get in or buy more. But when the market answered their prayers, most were too afraid to buy the dip and many more abandoned their favorite stocks. That is the curse of the “rational” trader, we are naturally drawn to stocks that are at premium prices and fear stocks that have been discounted.

Bears continue to pound the desk, insisting the market is going to crash for X, Y, and Z reasons (Fed rate-hikes, interest rates, and the Muller investigation). The problem with their argument is everyone knows about X, Y, and Z and rather than fearfully abandon their favorite stocks, confident owners shrug and keep holding for higher prices. While the cynics love to remind us that market’s peak on complacency, what they forget to mention is complacency can last for years. That’s because confident owners don’t sell and the resulting tight supply makes it really easy for stocks to rally on modest demand. Sound familiar?

Even though the market is acting well and the path of least resistance is definitely higher, we cannot forget risk is a function of height and the market moves in waves. If this is the highest we’ve been in several months, that also means this is the riskiest place to be adding new money in the same number of months. In addition, the strong move over the last week leaves us vulnerable to a subsequent down-wave. We are quickly approaching 2,800 resistance and we should at the very least expect the market to pause. We entered the slower summer season and many big money managers have flow off to their summer cottages. Without their big buying, we shouldn’t expect a large directional move. Things still look good for our medium-term stock positions and long-term investments and we should leave them alone, but for short-term swing-trades, this is a better place to be taking profits than adding new money.


Bitcoin got pounded this weekend. I tried to warn people several weeks ago when BTC just slipped under $9k when I wrote the following:

Last week’s $9k support has turned into this week’s $8k support. And thus far it is giving every indication that $7k will become next week’s support. I hope you see the trend here. Cryptocurrencies are still very much in a downtrend and we should expect lower prices. It takes most bubbles between 6 and 24 months to finish bursting. If bitcoin is like most bubbles, that means the worst is still ahead of us and we should expect lower-lows over the next few months.

Then last week I wrote:

And unfortunately things don’t look any better now that we have dipped to $7k support. This cryptocurrency had a very ugly May and it looks like things will only get worse. This is a long-term downtrend and lower lows are still ahead of us. Breaking $7k support will trigger to another wave of selling, but the fear won’t strike in earnest until we undercut the $6k lows. Remember, double-bottoms are a common and powerful reversal pattern. But there is a reason why no one talks about triple-bottoms, because they are not a real thing. Hit bottom three times and you are headed much lower.

And on cue, Bitcoin crashed through support last weekend and is now hovering in the mid-$6k’s. $9k support failed. Then we broke $8k support. $7k was next. Anyone see a pattern here? What are the chances $6k will hold? I suspect by this time next week we will have our answer.

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Jani

What’s a good trade worth to you?
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Jun 07

Why we should have seen this coming

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P500 treaded water on Thursday following four consecutive days of gains. This week’s rally leaves us at the highest levels since March and puts us within a few percent of all-time highs. That’s a long way from the panic selling that gripped markets in early February.

I know I sound like a broken record when I keep saying this is a strong market, unfortunately a lot of people didn’t believe me when we were 200-points lower. That is the biggest frustration with trading, by the time the answer is obvious, it is too late to profit from it. But for those of us paying attention, it is possible find the answers long before it is obvious to everyone else.

The following is a quote from my free blog back in early May, the day the market crashed under the 200-dma and 2,600 support and many were fearing the start of a much larger selloff:

“As I’ve been saying since February, we are in a trading range. That means buying weakness and selling strength. Stick with what is working until something changes. Did something change today? Nope. That means today’s weakness was a buying opportunity, not a chance to bailout “before things get worse”. Maybe we slip a little further, but that’s not a big deal. Remember, risk is a function of height. The lower prices go, the less risky it is to buy. If this market wanted to crash, it would have happened months ago. There have been more than enough excuses to send prices tumbling. Instead, every time we slip to the lows, supply dries up and prices rebound. This is a resilient market, not a weak one. And the only people losing money are the ones overreacting to these gyrations. They lose money buying when they feel confident (high) and sell when they are fearful (low). If we want to make money, do the opposite of most people. That means buying fear and selling confidence.”

Since I wrote that, the market is up 7%. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know what is real and what is market trickery. Last months selling was misleading because it was being driven by recycled headlines; Fed rate hikes, rising interest rates, Trump’s trade war, and the growing Muller investigation. All of these are real risk factors, but they became priced-in when they originally came out earlier in the year. The first and second time these stories flared up, waves of nervous owners bailed out of the market. These nervous sellers were quickly replaced by confident dip buyers who demonstrated a willingness to hold these headline risks. Out with the nervous and in with the confident. It didn’t take long for us to run out of nervous sellers and the third and fourth time these stories flared up, there was no one left to sell a recycling of these stories. When no one sells the news, we stop going down. And that is exactly what happened in early May and the same thing happened again last week.

Market selloffs are brutally quick. Hanging at these levels through countless waves of recycled headlines told us we had nothing to worry about. The most important thing to remember is we trade the market, not the news. Headlines cannot be bullish or bearish, only people’s reaction to them is what determines if they are good or bad for stock prices. And so far, everything looks pretty good.

But no one wants to hear what the market did last month since it is now obvious to anyone looking at a chart. What people want to know is what is ahead of us. I wish I could say everything looks great and we will surge another 200-points from here over the next few weeks. Unfortunately the market doesn’t work that way. In fact, most of the time it works the opposite way. Risk is a function of height. No matter how scary it felt in early May, that was one of the least risky times to buy stocks this year and the subsequent rebound proved that. But after that rebound put us at the highest level in months, the risk/reward looks far different. Everyone feels great because we rebounded off the lows, but that actually makes this one of the risker times to be buying stocks this year.

Momentum and the path of least resistance is definitely higher, but this is also the slower summer months and we are quickly approaching 2,800 resistance. That makes this a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. Anyone who bought last month’s dip should definitely start thinking about locking in some of those gains. Those that missed the rebound should let this one go and resist the temptation to chase prices higher. I’m most definitely not calling a top or predicting a large pullback, but a cooling off would be normal and expected. Everyone knows markets move in waves; unfortunately most forget that in the heat of battle.


As well as S&P500 has been doing, the FAANG stocks have been doing even better, pushing the Nasdaq to record highs this week. Back in April I wrote the following about the FAANG stocks following a particularly painful down-day:

“Everyone’s favorite FAANG stocks got hammered today. But this isn’t a surprise. These highfliers magnify the market’s move in both directions. They go higher than everything else, but that also means they get hit the hardest on bad days too. Weeks ago people were begging for a pullback so they could get in. The market answered their prayers. The question is if any of those people have the courage to buy. While we could see a little more near-term weakness, months from now people will be kicking themselves for not buying more at these levels.”

Here we are a couple of months later and no doubt people are kicking themselves for not taking advantage of those discounts. Maybe next time……

And just so people don’t think I’m a perma-bull, here is my bearish call on Bitcoin from several weeks ago, just after BTC slipped under $9k support:

Bitcoin is a completely different story. Last week’s $9k support has turned into this week’s $8k support. And thus far it is giving every indication that $7k will become next week’s support. I hope you see the trend here. Cryptocurrencies are still very much in a downtrend and we should expect lower prices. It takes most bubbles between 6 and 24 months to finish bursting. If bitcoin is like most bubbles, that means the worst is still ahead of us and we should expect lower-lows over the next few months.

And unfortunately things don’t look any better now that we have dipped to $7k support. This cryptocurrency had a very ugly May and it looks like things will only get worse. This is a long-term downtrend and lower lows are still ahead of us. Breaking $7k support will trigger to another wave of selling, but the fear won’t strike in earnest until we undercut the $6k lows. Remember, double-bottoms are a common and powerful reversal pattern. But there is a reason why no one talks about triple-bottoms, because they are not a real thing. Hit bottom three times and you are headed much lower.

If you found this post useful, return the favor by sharing it on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook and StockTwits!

Jani

What’s a good trade worth to you?
How about avoiding a loss?

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