Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Aug 14

How a savvy trader could have missed this Turkey mess

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

On Tuesday the S&P 500 rebounded from Monday’s fizzle and is recovering from a brief bout of Turkish worries. The names have changed, but the story is the same. A small European country is struggling and threatening to take the rest of Europe down with it. These headlines were the catalysts for last week’s tumble from the highs.

While we are still under last week’s highs, fear of Turkey’s economic collapse has been contained. A one day bounce is far from conclusive, but three days into this selloff and we are down less than 1%. That means most traders are definitely not overreacting to these headlines. This remains a “half-full market” and most owners are willing to give it the benefit of doubt.

While these Turkish headlines are new and impossible to predict, it was still possible for a savvy trader to sidestep this dip. I wrote the following last Thursday when stocks were at record highs and before Turkey hijacked the front page of the financial section:

Even though the market left most of its concerns behind as we climbed to these highs, that actually makes this a more dangerous place buy. Smart traders buy discounts, they don’t chase premium prices. Risk is a function of height and this week’s gains made this one of the riskiest places to buy all year. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m most definitely not calling a top or predicting and imminent collapse. But what I am saying is we rallied up to resistance and it is normal and healthy for the market to pause and even dip a little.

I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know if we stall at current levels, or if we break through 2,880 resistance and stall above it. Either way it doesn’t really matter because the risk/reward has shifted against us and this is a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. It is a fool’s errand to try and decide if the peak will be 2,862, 2,875, or 2,892. The point is ‘good enough is good enough’ and that is all that matters. And the thing to remember is we cannot buy the next dip if we don’t have any cash. Buy weakness, sell strength, and repeat until a good year becomes a great year.

But just because we slipped from the highs doesn’t mean we need to run for the hills. As expected, the selling has been limited and we didn’t even fall to 2,800 support. As with every other headline over the last six months, owners are reluctant to sell. After years of selling prematurely and regretting it, most traders have learned to hold no matter what. That has been the smartest way for long-term investors to navigate these dips and it doesn’t look like anything changed yet.

Turkey is a small nation and by itself it cannot take down the global economy. No doubt it could cause a lot of pain for some European banks, but there is no reason to think the ECB won’t come to the rescue this time too. That is why the market’s reaction to these headlines has been so muted.

That said, the danger with the above assumption is it means very little risk has been priced in. If everything works out, the upside is limited because we didn’t dip very far. But this complacency leaves us vulnerable if things do not go as planned. I don’t expect this situation to make much of a dent in the global economy, but we have to monitor it closely because if the situation deteriorates, it will weigh on stocks. Unlike Trump’s trade war, larger Turkish risks have definitely not been priced in.

The trader in me misses the days when headlines like these would lead to widespread predictions of another economic collapse. Unfortunately the days of 10% swings in the indexes are long gone. Now the best we get is a 1% dip. The stability is great for care-free holding of long-term positions, but for trading opportunities, there is a lot to be desired.

The dip to 2,820 and subsequent bounce presented us with a fairly weak risk/reward. Day traders could have profited from this few hour move, but for me I’m waiting for something more worthwhile.

While it already looks like the Turkish selloff is dead, we need to hold this bounce for a few more days to be certain. There is a chance this bounce could fizzle and we continue slipping back to 2,800 support. If that happens, that will be a far more attractive entry point. Until then I will keep watching, waiting, and hoping for that next profitable opportunity.

As for our longer-term positions. There is nothing to see here. Stick with what has been working and ignore the noise. The market is still setting up for a strong rally into year-end.

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Jani

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Aug 09

What to expect now that we reached the highs

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

On Thursday the S&P 500 slipped for a second consecutive day, but “slipped” is a bit of an exaggeration since combined both days didn’t even register a 0.2% loss. That leaves us still within 1% of all-time highs as we simply slow down following last week’s impressive bounce off 2,800 support.

Long gone are last month’s trade war and rate-hike fears. Funny how calming rising prices can be. But this isn’t a surprise to anyone who has been reading this blog for a while. Long ago we recognized this market’s strength. While others were waiting for the impending collapse, we saw a market that refused to go down no matter how bad the headlines got. One of the things I learned a long time ago is what the market is not doing is often more insightful than what it is doing.

There are few things more bullish than a market that refuses to go down on bad news. All it took was a break from the negative headlines and this market would surge on “no news is good news”. And that is exactly what happened. Remember, we trade the market, not the headlines. If the market doesn’t care about trade wars and rate-hikes, then neither should we.

That explains this markets assent to all-time highs, but the trader in all of us want to know what comes next so we can profit from it. While I’ve been calling for this move to all-time highs, I’ve also been warning that prices would run into resistance at these levels. We are still stuck in the slower summer months and that means we lack big money’s firepower to drive large directional moves. That won’t come until after Labor day when institutional money managers return from their summer cottages. Until then we should expect the market’s moves to be more measured and breakouts and breakdowns to stall quickly.

Even though the market left most of its concerns behind as we climbed to these highs, that actually makes this a more dangerous place to be buying. Smart traders buy discounts, they don’t chase premium prices. Risk is a function of height and last week’s gains made this one of the riskiest places to buy all year. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m most definitely not calling a top or predicting and imminent collapse. But what I am saying is we rallied up to resistance and it is normal and healthy for the market to pause and even dip a little.

I don’t have a crystal ball so I don’t know if we stall at current levels, or if we break through 2,880 resistance and stall above it. Either way it doesn’t really matter because the risk/reward has shifted against us and this is now a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. It is a fool’s errand to try and decide if the peak will be 2,862, 2,875, or 2,892. This point is good enough for me and that is all that matters. And the thing to remember is we cannot buy the next dip if we don’t have any cash. Buy weakness, sell strength, and repeat until a good year becomes a great year.

From a short-term trading perspective, this is a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. But for our longer-term investments, stick with what is working and that is buying-and-holding our favorite stocks. We might see a little near-term weakness, but this market is strong and the rally into year-end is still on.


Stock crashes are breathtakingly quick, which means NFLX and FB hanging onto current levels for two weeks tells us the post-earnings selloff is largely done. At this point it would take a new round of bad news to launch the next move lower. While it will take a while to recover recent losses, it seems most owners are willing to give their favorite stocks the benefit of doubt and are sticking with them. That means we should expect FB and NFLX to retake their leadership position later this fall. Meanwhile GOOGL, AMZN, and AAPL are either making new all-time highs or are just about to. The best trade of the first half of 2018 is getting ready to be the best trade of the second half.

It didn’t take long for Bitcoin to tumble all the way to $6k support. Long gone are the hopes of retaking $8k and now only a few hundred dollars separates us from another lower-low. This chart is very sick and we still have a way to go before this over.

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Jani

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Aug 07

Why this rally to all-time highs was obvious

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P 500 finished Tuesday higher for the fourth time in a row and is at the highest levels in six months, just a few points shy of all-time highs. While traders lived in fear of Trump’s trade war and the Fed’s rate-hikes, the market’s done nothing but climb higher.

Regular readers of this blog know we trade the market, not headlines. This market’s strength has been obvious to us for a while. I could quote any of my blog posts from the last six months, but I’ll save regular readers the repetition and invite new readers to browse my archive.

That said, at times even I was caught off guard by just how resilient this market has been. Last week it looked like we were on the verge of tumbling under 2,800 support, but that was yet again another false alarm. But rather than argue with this strength, we should embrace it. It has been a very profitable ride for anyone that understood why the market was acting the way it was.

Often it is more insightful to look at what the market isn’t doing than what it is doing. For months this market refused to breakdown no matter how ugly the headlines got. There are few things more bullish than a market that refuses to go down on bad news and that is exactly what happened here. While the cynics are dumbfounded we are within a few points of all-time highs, those of us that knew what was going on saw this coming from a mile away.

Of course that was then and this is now. Let’s not forget we are still in the slower summer months and institutional managers won’t return from their summer cottages until after Labor Day. Without big money’s deep pockets, we should expect these directional moves to run out of steam fairly quickly. Prices rebounded from 2,600 and paused at 2,700. When we finally broke away from 2,700, we stopped at 2,800. And now that we are approaching all-time highs near 2,880, we should expect yet another pause. The only question is if we trade sideways for a bit before breaking out. Or if we dip back into the mid-2,700s before launching the next leg of this bull market.

Either way, this is a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. The most profitable trade since February’s bottom has been buying weakness and selling strength. Nothing has changed and that means this week’s strength is a better selling opportunity than buying one. Even though everyone feels a lot better because we are no longer on the “verge of collapse”, the lack of fear and recent price gains actually make this a far more risky place to buy than last week’s fearful dip under 2,800 support.

Everything looks good and we should keep doing what has been working all summer long. For our longer-term investments, that means sticking with our favorite buy-and-hold investments. For our short-term trading positions, we need to shift our mindset from offense to defense and start thinking about locking-in profits as we run into overhead resistance near 2,880. If prices dip and retreat back into the mid to lower 2,800s, that is simply giving us another profitable dip to buy. If we trade sideways for a few weeks, then we jump back in ahead of this fall’s next bull leg higher. Either way this market isn’t going anywhere fast and we don’t need to worry about being left behind.


Despite brief scares in FB and NFLX, the tech trade is still very much alive. While I cannot say it is well given the beatings FB and NFLX took last week, it looks like both stocks have bottomed and are starting their recovery. People who miss a big trade always pray for a pullback so they can jump aboard, unfortunately most of those people lose their nerve when the market finally answers their prayers. If someone wanted to buy FB and NFLX at discounted prices, they better move because those discounts are disappearing pretty quick. At this point the biggest risk to FAANG stocks is broad market weakness. As long as the indexes continue trading well, expect FAANG to keep leading the way higher.

It is hard to find anything positive to say about Bitcoin. Last week’s bounce above $8k support failed and rather than break the destructive trend of lower-highs, it looks like we made another one. Failing to hold $8k, it didn’t take long for us to crash under $7k as any hope brought about by the latest rebound vanished faster than it appeared. If we cannot retake $8k support over the next few days, expect us to tumble through $6k support and start making new lows. This is still a very broken chart and Bitcoin is guilty until it proves itself innocent. So far it hasn’t managed to that.

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Jani

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Aug 01

When does holding support become stalling?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

I’ve been bullish on this market for awhile and profited handsomely from this rally above 2,800. But all good things come to an end and I’m losing confidence in this latest move higher. Last week the S&P 500 surged to 2,850 after Trump agreed in principle to end his trade war with Europe. Unfortunately those gains evaporated after FB and NFLX failed to live up to investors’ lofty expectations.

Tuesday evening AAPL joined GOOGL and AMZN in beating expectations, but that wasn’t enough to put traders into a buying mood Wednesday. If this market was poised to go higher, there have been enough positive headlines to fuel a “half-full” move. Instead we remain stubbornly stuck just above 2,800 support as trade war fears simmer in the background.

Few things make me more nervous than a market that refuses to rally on good news and is why my conviction is fading. To be clear, I’m not bearish and don’t expect a large crash. But I am growing more cautious and worried this pause at support is turning into stalling. The longer we hold near support, the more likely it is we will breach it. I’d like to see us keep inching higher, but we are quickly running out of excuses to rally. If good news cannot lift us, eventually bad news will knock us down.

That said, I’m not looking for a large move lower; 2,750 seems reasonable. While a move that small hardly seems worth worrying about, and we shouldn’t worry about it, that is a lot easier to do when we see it coming. Those that are unprepared will watch us crash under 2,800 support and keep falling past 2,790…2,780…2.770…2.760…and…2,750. Those that don’t know what is happening get spooked more easily because it is natural to assume prices will keep falling. Unfortunately the point they finally call mercy and bailout is usually moments before prices capitulate and rebound.

There are two ways to trade a modest dip. Either have the confidence and conviction to ride through the dip and rebound. Or take profits before we stumble and buy back in at lower levels. What we don’t want to do is hold until pain and fear forces us out moments before prices rebound.

I’m not bearish enough to short this stalling, but am growing more cautious. Longer-term investors should be prepared to weather a little near-term weakness, while short-term traders should consider locking-in profits. I still expect good things over the medium and long-term, but I have less conviction over the near-term.

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Jani

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Jul 26

A market that refuses to go down will eventually go up

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

As I’ve been saying for a while, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. That is exactly what happened this week and now the S&P 500 finds itself 1% from all-time highs. This is a long way from the fear and uncertainty that dominated the headlines for most of the year.

This “unexplainable” strength confuses skeptics and the only expiration they can come up with is the market is rigged. Personally I wish the market was rigged because that would make trading so much easier. All I would need to do is follow the people who are rigging it and I would be printing money! Unfortunately nothing is ever that easy and we actually have to work for our profits. But don’t fret, it isn’t that difficult if we know what to look for.

In this case it was recognizing the market’s strength. Remember, we trade the market, not the news. If the market doesn’t care about headlines (trade wars, rising interest rates, sex scandals, etc), then neither should we. This one idea could have saved a lot of people a lot of money this year.

If the market didn’t care about Trump’s trade war yesterday, last week, and last month, what are the chances it will start caring today? Almost none. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Anyone still arguing with the market got run over and is much poorer for it. Don’t be that guy.

While it is easy to say these things after the market made it’s move and it is obvious to everyone, I’ve actually been saying these things for a while. I wrote the following last week as the market threatened to tumble under 2,800 support:

No matter what people think should happen, Trump’s trade war has largely been priced in. Anyone who fears these headlines bailed out months ago and was replaced by confident dip buyers. Right or wrong, this turnover in ownership means the remaining owners don’t care about these headlines. When no one sells the headlines, they stop mattering. That is how we find ourselves in a paradoxical market that rallies 100-points after Trump imposes billions of dollars of tariffs on the Chinese. These things don’t matter because no one is left to sell the news. This market is not “rigged”. It is not “irrational”. It is behaving exactly like it should. The people who don’t understand this strength are simply looking at the wrong things.

The market is actually fairly easy to figure out once we know what to look at. In this case it was ignoring all the noise surrounding us and seeing a strong market. That said, many of the easy gains are behind us. The path of least resistance is most definitely higher, but the gains will be slower and harder to come by. Anyone trying to profit going forward will need more conviction and patience to sit through the inevitable gyrations as we run into resistance near all-time highs. Stick with what has been working and keep believing in this market.


FB is got hammered following disappointing earnings. I didn’t expect anything this dramatic and obviously neither did the market. This crushing loss highlights the importance of diversification when trading individual stocks. One misstep can send a highflier tumbling in a terrifying way. I don’t mind holding large positions in the indexes because they are naturally diversified. But with individual stocks it never makes sense to hold more than 20-25% of your portfolio in any one company. If a person had equal weightings of the FAANG stocks in their account, today’s 20% plunge would have only put a 4% dent in their portfolio.

That said, these stocks don’t trade in isolation and one highflier’s stumble risks taking down the entire group. Luckily GOOGL and AMZN carried their weight and it looks like the tech trade is still alive. It will just take NFLX and FB a little while to overcome their latest stumble. If these stocks hold current levels into next week, this is simply another buyable dip.

Bitcoin is struggling to hang onto $8k support and we are left wondering if this latest rebound is simply another “dead cat” bounce. Every significant selloff is littered with sharp rebounds. The problem is each of these bounces is less high than the one before it. This year we witnessed strong bounces to $17k, $13k, $12k, $10k and now $8k. Will this one end any different than those? I’m skeptical. To prove me wrong BTC needs to end this cycle of lower-highs by breaking above the previous lower-high of $10k. Until then this rebound is guilty until proven innocent.

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Jani

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Jul 24

Market that refuses to go down will eventually go up

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Tuesday the S&P 500 surged above 2,800 support following better than expected earnings from Google. This market resisted every invitation to selloff and all it took was a little good news to put traders into a buying mood.

I wrote the following last week after Netflix bombed earnings and trade war fears sent a shiver through the market:

What people want to know is what comes next. If it isn’t obvious yet, this market wants to go higher and it isn’t going to let headlines get in its way. Either we jump aboard and enjoy the ride, or we get out of the way. But we most definitely don’t fight it. If this market was fragile and vulnerable, we would have crashed months ago. Bears can talk all they want about complacency, but they forget periods of complacency often last months and even years before ending in a top. Confident owners don’t sell and the resulting tight supply props up prices. Headlines don’t matter when no one sells them and that is the exactly what is happening here. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, I trade the market and this market wants to go up.

After flirting with dip under 2,800 support, we now find ourselves at the highest levels in nearly six-months. While I wouldn’t call Tuesday’s 0.5% gain huge, it was far larger than any down-day we’ve seen recently. As I’ve been saying for a while, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. This was finally that day. Google’s earnings are not that important in the big picture, but it is the one piece of good news we’ve been searching for. The thing that puts traders into a buying mood.

This is just another example of why we trade the market, not the headlines. Trade war headlines are a far bigger worry for the economy than Google’s earnings are a positive. Intuitively we would expect the trade war to send us tumbling and Google to barely register a bump. Yet the exact opposite happened. The trade war is little more than a speed bump and Google triggered one of the biggest up-days in weeks. Anyone trading what “is” happening is doing a lot better than those trading what “should be” happening.

Tuesday’s strength confirms my prior analysis and there is no reason to second guess ourselves now. We are still in the slower summer months and we should’t expect a large move higher, but the path of least resistance is higher. Stick with what has been working and look for prices to creep toward all-time highs over the next few weeks. If bad news was going to knocks us down, it would have happened by now. This is a strong market, not a weak one. Those that are patient and don’t overreact to these daily gyrations will be rewarded.

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Jani

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Jul 19

Down days are normal and healthy

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P500 slipped back to 2,800 support as trade war fears flared up and Trump made comments about the Fed’s interest rate hikes and dollar strength.

While any kind of weakness feels scary following this month’s pleasant surge above 2,800 resistance, we need to keep it in perspective. Down-days are a healthy and normal part of every move higher. Given the magnitude of the headlines swirling around us, a 0.4% decline feels fairly insignificant. As I’ve been saying for a while, if this market was fragile and vulnerable, we would have collapsed months ago. There is far more than enough ammunition for a large market selloff. In fact most bears are shocked we haven’t collapsed given how dire the news is. But as traders, the thing we can never lose sight of is we don’t trade the headlines, we trade the market. If the market chooses to ignore these headlines, then so should we. If it didn’t matter last week, last month, and the month before that, why is it all of a sudden going to start mattering now? Quick answer is it won’t.

No matter what people think should happen, Trump’s trade war has largely been priced in. Anyone who fears these headlines bailed out months ago and was replaced by confident dip buyers. Right or wrong, this turnover in ownership means the remaining owners don’t care about these headlines. When no one sells the headlines, they stop mattering. That is how we find ourselves in a paradoxical market that rallies 100-points after Trump imposes billions of dollars of tariffs on the Chinese. These things don’t matter because no one is left to sell the news. This market is not “rigged”. It is not “irrational”. It is behaving exactly like it should. The people who don’t understand this strength are simply looking at the wrong things.

While it is easy to make these claims after the fact, I’ve been telling readers to expect this rally for a while. This is what I wrote last month as the market teetered on the edge of what most assumed would be another leg down.

Bears have been gifted everything. Horrible headlines. Violating key support levels. The largest one-day selloff in months. Yet they are unable to do anything with it. Instead of crashing, this market is holding up amazingly well. Respecting 2,700 support for four days demonstrates strength, not weakness. If this market was fragile and vulnerable, there has been more than enough to send us tumbling. Yet here we stand.

Back when everyone feared the worst, I told readers to not worry about it. Anyone who listened avoided giving away money by selling at the wrong time and profited nicely as the market surged 100-points over the next few weeks. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I have been doing this long enough to know what we need to worry about and what we can ignore. I fear the things I don’t know, not what everyone is talking about. Trump’s trade war has dominated the financial press for months. That meant it was already priced in and not something we needed to worry about.

And what was true last month is still true this month. This market doesn’t care about all the things the bears are talking about. If we were going to crash, it would have happened by now. That tells us we are standing on firm ground. That said, the 100-point rally from 2,700 support consumed a lot of upside and the easy gains are now behind us. From here every additional point gets harder and slower. That path of least resistance is still higher, but it requires more conviction and patience.

If a person bought last month’s dip and is sitting on healthy profits, there is nothing wrong with taking profits here if that is what their strategy dictates. But at the same time, those that are more patient can squeeze a few more dollars out of this market. If this month’s rebound pushed us to overbought and unsustainable levels, we would have fallen back into the trading range by now. Instead, 2,800 resistance turned into support and is holding us up quite nicely. The next obvious target is all-time highs at 2,880. We will get there eventually, but it will take a few weeks and there will be lots of back-and-forth between now and then. Remember, red days are a normal and healthy part of every move higher.

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Jani

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Jul 17

Don’t fight a strong market

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P500 ended Tuesday with nice gains, easily erasing opening losses. Monday evening Netflix reported disappointing subscriber growth and that sent a chill through the entire tech sector. But Tuesday’s weak open was as bad as it got and prices rebounded decisively through the day. This strength resulted in the highest close since February 1st and leaves us within 2% of all-time highs. Not bad given all the headline uncertainty swirling around the market.

Bears are left dumbstruck by this market’s resilience and no doubt they are crying foul. But it didn’t have to be this way if they had been paying attention. We trade the market, not the headlines. If a person kept this in mind, they would have embraced this strength, not challenged it.

I’ve been telling readers for months this is a strong market. This is what I wrote back on May 3rd when the market threatened to crash under 2,600 support:

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.

The market is up nearly 8% since I wrote that. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’ve been doing this long enough to know what to pay attention to. While fearful owners were panic selling, I was buying their discounts and it has worked out really well. And nothings has changed. If this market ignored bad news in May and June, why would that change in July? Given today’s resilient price-action, clearly it hasn’t.

But that was then and this is now. What people want to know is what comes next. If it isn’t obvious yet, this market wants to go higher and it isn’t going to let headlines get in its way. Either we jump aboard and enjoy the ride, or we get out of the way. But we most definitely don’t fight it. If this market was fragile and vulnerable, we would have crashed months ago. Bears can talk all they want about complacency, but they forget periods of complacency often last months and even years before ending in a top. Confident owners don’t sell and the resulting tight supply propping up prices. Headlines don’t matter when no one sells them and that is the exactly what is happening here. Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter, I trade the market and this market wants to go up.

That said, the easy gains are behind us. Long gone are the days of buying the dip-buying and racking up quick profits. Instead this market is approaching old highs and we should expect the rate of gains to slow. Confident owners don’t want to sell, but we need new money willing to chase prices higher and that is getting harder to come by. We are still in the slower summer months and we shouldn’t expect the real buying to start until big money returns from their summer cottages this fall. Things still look good for this market, but expect the rate of gains to slow. And remember, slow includes lots of back and forth along the way. The easy money was made weeks ago. Now it takes more conviction to hold through the inevitable gyrations like we saw Tuesday morning. But the rewards will be there for those that have the patience and conviction.

The market is acting well and that means we stick with what has been working. Longer-term, keep holding our favorite buy-and-hold stocks. Short-term wise, we are stuck in no-man’s land and a lot depends on a trader’s plan. Shorter-viewed swing-traders can start taking profits and waiting for the next trade. Those with a little more patience can continue waiting for higher prices. Over the next few weeks I expect this market will challenge all-time highs near 2,880. But rather than cheer that strength, I will be collecting my profits.

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

Jani

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Jul 12

The reason we rallied in the middle of a trade war

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P500 surged to the highest levels in nearly six-months, erasing almost all of this winter’s big selloff. What’s driving this strength? If you go strictly by the headlines, it seems the market loves Trump’s trade war. That can’t be right, can it???

No of course not. The stock market hates anything that gets in the way of free trade and the only one winning this trade war is the taxman who is enriching himself at the expense of hard-working Americans. But if the market hates this trade war, why is it rallying so strongly after Trump started taxing $36 billion in Chinese imports and is threatening to add another $200 billion?

First, lets be perfectly clear, the market most definitely isn’t rallying because of Trump’s trade war. It simply isn’t selling off on the news because these headlines are already priced in. Rational traders sell the first hints of bad news. No one waits for the inevitable to happen before they react to it. When we see a rock flying toward our head, we move before it hits us, not after. The same goes for the stock market. Traders reacted to Trump’s trade war months ago when he first announced it. Anyone waiting until now to sell the trade war headlines clearly doesn’t understand how this works. All of this selling ahead of time meant there was no one left to sell the news when it finally happened. Remember, we fear what we don’t know, not the things everyone is talking about. Trump’s trade war is old news and is why the market doesn’t care about it anymore.

While this strength is obvious after the fact, these things are far harder to see ahead of time. But luckily regular readers of this blog saw this coming. (Don’t miss out next time, signup for FREE email alerts!) Two-weeks ago I wrote the following as this market teetered above 2,700 support:

Bears claim their time is coming, but is it really? If they couldn’t deliver the goods with such a perfect setup, what makes them think waiting a little longer will make a difference? Trade war headlines are as dire as they can get with Trump and China already threatening to tax all the trade between the world’s two largest economies. At this point things cannot escalate any higher. How did the market respond to this latest round of bearish headlines? With a lethargic, drawn out, two-week slide that barely gave up 2%. Everyone who has been doing this for any length of time knows market crashes are breathtakingly fast. Sell first and ask questions later affairs. Yet here we are two-weeks later, still waiting for the promised crash. The cold, hard truth is if it was going to crash, it would have happened by now.

And not only did we not crash, we rebounded to the highest levels in nearly half a year! People often claim the market is fixed when it doesn’t do what they think it should. The brutal truth is the market is most definitely not fixed, these people are simply looking at the wrong things. Everything makes perfect sense if you know what to look for. This was a strong market, not a weak one. Anyone who realized this wouldn’t have been surprised when the market brushed off stale headlines that had been priced in months ago.

But that was then and this is now. Most people already know what happened, what they really want to know what comes next. If this market was signaling strength two-weeks ago, it was shouting strength over the last several days as it defied conventional wisdom and rallied in the face of bearish headlines. If this market was fragile and vulnerable, there have been more than enough excuses to send us tumbling. Instead it is holding up incredibly well. Just imagine what will happen when we move past these negative headlines. This market most definitely wants to go higher and it won’t let anything get in its way.

I don’t expect a strong surge higher from here because we are still stuck in the slower summer months. Breaking 2,800 resistance is all but a done deal and no doubt that will trigger a short-squeeze as bears give up in frustration. But expect the gains to slow down after that because even though this market doesn’t want to go down, headlines are negative enough that those with cash will remain reluctant to chase prices higher. That won’t happen until big money returns from their summer cottages this fall. Those deep pockets will fuel the chasing into year-end and things are setting up for a strong finish to 2018. What doesn’t kill this market only makes it stronger.

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Jani

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Jul 10

Here we go again

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

Tuesday was a good day for the S&P500 as it extended its win streak to a fourth day. But that hardly matters anymore because after the close Trump announced tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese goods. That sent after-hours markets tumbling nearly 1%.

Thus far U.S. stocks have largely ignored Trump’s trade war and Tuesday we closed within 3% of all-time highs. The same cannot be said for Chinese markets that are quickly approaching a bear market. The question for us is if this latest escalation is the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back and we join the Chinese with our own bear market. Or if this is just one more thing our “oblivious” market ignores and we continue defying gravity.

For a historical perspective, we only need to look back a few days. Last Friday Trump launched his second round of tariffs on the Chinese and they immediately responded in kind with their second retaliation. What did our market do? It had one of the biggest up days this summer. How could something so negative lead to such a positive reaction? Was this market even paying attention? No sane market would rally in the middle of an escalating trade war, would it?

Luckily for regular readers of this blog, the market’s strength came as no surprise. We know markets are always looking ahead and quickly price in new information as soon as it becomes widely known. Trump launched his trade war this spring and Friday’s escalation didn’t surprise anyone, even the bears saw this one coming. But here’s the thing about rational traders, they don’t wait for something to happen before they sell it. Instead they start selling as soon as the rumors surface. Since we’ve been talking about this trade war for awhile, owners who feared these headlines bailed out months ago and were replaced by confident dip buyers who demonstrated an obvious disregard for these headlines. The more we talk about a trade war, the less it matters to the market.

I’m not claiming the trade war doesn’t matter to the economy and the stock market. Without a doubt this is a negative event and will hurt businesses and consumers alike. The stock market hates barriers to trade because they create inefficiencies and only enrich the government. But the thing to remember is stocks don’t need to fall for something to get priced in. Going sideways is often enough to compensate for a headwind.

The market was on fire last year and Trump’s tax cuts added fuel to the fire. In fact the Fed is worried about the economy overheating. But what has the stock market done while the economy continued ramping up this year? A lot of nothing. We got hit by waves of rate hike fears, rising interest rates, Trump’s trade war, and the icing on the cake is a growing investigation into the White House. Take these things away and without a doubt the stock market would be significantly higher. If we are lower than where we would have been otherwise, then these negative headlines are actually priced in even though we haven’t crashed.

Back to the present, not only did the U.S. stock market ignore Friday’s escalation, it’s been ignoring the trade war for months. Overnight futures would dip on a negative headline. But the thing to remember is overnight futures are an extremely thin market and easily influenced by a small number of players. As soon as the regular market opened and real volumes returned, prices rallied from their opening lows. No doubt something similar will happen Wednesday or Thursday. If this market was going to crash on trade war headlines, it would have happened months ago. If it didn’t happen then, it’s not going to happen now. Prices could slip a little further over the next couple of days, but these are buyable dips and no one should be bailing out “before things get worse”.

Before anyone accuses me of being a perma-bull, I am most definitely not. I’m an opportunist and personally I wish the market would crash so that I could make even more money riding these waves down and back up again. Unfortunately this market keeps telling us it doesn’t want to selloff. I’ve been doing this too long to argue with a strong market and am more than happy to play along. Without a doubt the latest round of trade war headlines could trigger further near-term weakness (and I would love it if it did), but this market has told us time and time again it simply isn’t interested in these headlines. I would be surprised if we dip much lower than 2,650 and no doubt we will hear bears howling in pain again when prices bounce back and they claim the market is fixed. There is nothing fixed about this market and everything makes perfect sense if you know what to pay attention to. If this market was going to crash on trade war headlines, it would have happened months ago. Instead any near-term weakness is simply another dip-buying opportunity.

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

Jani

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