Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Feb 22

Are we on the verge of another leg lower?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

The S&P500 started Thursday with healthy gains, unwinding all of Wednesday’s losses and then some. Unfortunately the buying didn’t last and prices slipped back near breakeven by the close. This is the fifth day the 50dma has been a ceiling for stocks.

There were not any economic headlines to speak of and instead investors are still grappling with the ramifications of rising inflation and interest rates. Some people think these will smother a fragile economy. Other feel this is the economy finally returning to more normal levels following a prolonged stretch of lethargic growth.

Count me as a member of the latter group. Even though inflation and interest rates have jumped a substantial amount, we are only approaching what used to be considered low rates during more normal times. Traders fretting the worst are fearing something that hasn’t shown its face yet. So far the economic data does not show any hints the economy is slowing down. These skeptical traders fear what “could” happen, but so far the data doesn’t support their concerns.

Even though the fears that triggered February’s correction appear overblown, the large selloff brought the rally back to earth. A substantial amount of technical damage occurred and we shouldn’t expect prices to zoom back to the highs any time soon. As I was wrote last week, the rebound’s rate of gains was unsustainable and prices would likely stall at the 50dma. And so far that is exactly what happened.

But it is not all bad. Even though we are struggling with 50dma resistance, holding these levels for five days shows support for prices. Prices tumble from overbought and unsustainable levels quickly and so far that hasn’t happened. That tells us the worst of February’s selloff is already behind us and we don’t need to fear another big selloff. That said, the selloff damaged sentiment and technicals enough that it will take time for traders to trust this market again. That means we will trade sideways for a while and consolidate the previous rally’s gains. This is normal and healthy behavior and there is nothing to fear.

The thing to remember about sideways consolidations is they include moves in both directions. At times the market will look like it is breakout out. Other times is seems like it is breaking down. But these are just gyrations inside a trading range. Over the near-term, weakness should be bought and strength sold. Don’t be one of those people the market fools into buying high and selling low. Have the confidence and conviction to trade against these swings.


As expected, Bitcoin’s surge to $12k stalled and pulled back. As I’ve been writing, the time to buy the dip is when everyone is scared and fearing the worst. Not after a rebound spread a sigh of relief through the crowd. Even though prices slipped back under the psychologically significant $10k level, the selling largely stalled and prices are not entering free-fall. Even though I think BTC’s worst days are still ahead of us, we are in the eye of the storm and prices will stabilize over the near-term. If we can hold $10k for another week or two, a follow-on rally up to $14k is not unreasonable. But since lower-lows are still ahead of us, any rallies should be sold, not chased. Previous crashes in BTC resulted in price declines greater than 80% and it took half a year or longer to finally bottom. Since we are only two months into this and only down 50%, we still have a ways to go. In the meantime, enjoy this brief reprieve and for the bravest of the brave, there might be a chance to buy the dip in a week or two.

Jani

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Feb 20

What’s coming next, new highs or new lows?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

After six days of gains, the S&P500 finally slipped into the red Tuesday. The size of the loss was insignificant when compared to last week’s rebound, but seeing the market bump its head on the 50dma was insightful, even if the pause was expected.

Financial headlines continue to be benign and most traders are focused on the longer-term ramifications of rising interest rates and inflation. Fears over these items sparked February’s sharp selloff, but have since failed to extend the selloff. It seems most traders who fear higher interest rates and inflation already sold and were replaced by new owners willing to hold those risks. While the recent correction rattled investor nerves, it didn’t shatter confidence and most owners are confidently holding for higher prices.

That said, February’s selloff was large enough that we cannot bounce back like nothing happened. Deep and emotional selloffs leave their scars and it takes a while for prices to build back to their previous levels. We recovered a huge chunk last week, but the rate of that rise was unsustainable and pausing at the 50dma is a normal and healthy thing to do.

We put enough time and distance from the dip’s lows to say the early February selloff is over. Market crashes are breathtakingly quick and almost never include six consecutive up-days in the middle of the crash. Without a doubt we can undercut those lows, but it will take a new catalyst to kick off the another leg lower and it will be a new selloff, not an extension of February’s emotional selling.

But just because the selloff is over doesn’t mean we are back in rally mode. We often see volatile trade during consolidations and base building. That means sharp rebounds followed by another round of selling. It wouldn’t be unusual or unexpected to see last week’s rebound stall at the 50dma and retreat back toward 2,600 support. Emotions are elevated and that means traders oscillate between believing everything is great to fearing the end of the world. This wide range of emotions leads to the bounces and dips that form traditional bases and consolidations. In range bound markets, it is best to trade against the market by buying weakness and selling strength. Don’t let the crowd’s emotions trick you into giving away money by buying high and selling low.

This isn’t rocket science, we just need to be pay attention because the market keeps doing the same thing over and over. In January I warned readers the relentless rise in prices was unsustainable. After February’s 10% correction, I told readers the selling went too far and it was actually the safest time to buy in months. And after six consecutive up-days, I warned readers that we would stall at the 50dma. This isn’t hard if you know what to look for. And to answer the question in this post’s headline, neither. This is a range bound market we shouldn’t expect a strong directional move anytime soon.


Bitcoin’s rebound continued over the weekend and got near $12k. Everything looks a lot better after a 100% bounce off of the lows. But that is what makes me nervous. The time to buy is when everyone is predicting a collapse, not when everyone is feeling better.

This rebound took a lot of pressure off of BTC owners, but we will start running into overhead resistance. Many premature dip-buyers jumped in between $12k and $15k and we should expect many of those regretful owners to sell when they can get their money back. Their selling will slow the assent over the near-term.

Over the medium-term, I question where the next round of BTC buyers will come from. This latest selloff burned new investors and scared off prospective investors. On the other end of the spectrum, BTC bulls bought everything they could during this dip and are now fully invested. Where does the new money come from? I cannot answer that question and is why I don’t believe the bottom has been put in yet. Previous BTC selloffs erased more than 80% of the value and took more than six months to complete. If we do the same this time, we won’t bottom until we fall under $4k and it won’t happen until sometime this summer or fall.

Until further notice, BTC is still in a downtrend and that means bounces should be sold.

Jani

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Feb 15

Why this “irrational” market is perfectly rational

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

The S&P500 extended last Friday’s rebound and reclaimed the 50dma. This marked the fifth consecutive day of gains and firmly puts last week’s selloff in the rearview mirror.

A week ago the market collapsed on fear of rising inflation and interest rates. This week we got further data showing inflation was heating up, yet this time the market rallied. What gives?

As contradictory as those two responses seem, there is actually solid logic behind the market’s “irrational” behavior. Last week nervous owners abandoned the market and kicked off a dramatic correction. But here’s the thing about sellers, they only get to sell the market once. After that they no longer have a say in what comes next. Nervous owners sold inflation headlines and dumped their stocks at steep discounts. Confident dip-buyers snapped up those discounts. Out with the nervous and in with the confident.

These confident dip-buyers bought last week during the height of the inflation scare, so another round of inflation headlines this week were unlikely to scare them. Turnover in ownership is how headlines get priced in and why they stop mattering. Once all the people who fear inflation are out of the market, there is no one left to sell the next round of inflation headlines. No sellers means no selloff.

When people claim the market is acting irrationally, what they are really saying is they don’t understand what is going on. There is always sound logic behind every move. If we don’t understand it, all that means is we need to dig deeper. (Sign up for Free Email Alerts if you want to understand what the market is doing before everyone else)

Thursdays gains pushed the S&P500 back above the 50dma and recovered half of the selloff. In a normal market, I would be worried about the sustainability of this rebound. Typically the market remains choppy after a dramatic selloff. But this market continues to surprise us with its ability to defy conventional wisdom. January’s nearly straight up rise lasted longer that it should have. Last week’s selloff went further that it should have. And now there is a good chance the current rebound will also surge far higher than expected.

Even though we keep going up, that doesn’t mean this is a good place to buy. The risks have changed dramatically from last Friday’s lows. The best buys occur when the crowd is terrified things will get worse. Last Friday most definitely qualified as a great buying opportunity and that is exactly what I told readers of this blog the night before. But this week we find ourselves in the middle of a market filled with relief. While we are still well under January’s lows, long gone is last week’s doom and gloom. Even though momentum can keep us rising over the next few days, that doesn’t make this a safe or smart place to be buying. If someone missed the rebound, chalk it up as a lesson learned. Remember, it is better to miss the bus than get hit by the bus.

Those with swing-trading profits should start thinking about locking them in. Those with cash should sit on their hands and wait for a better entry point. And long-term investors should stick with their favorite stocks.


Bitcoin finally traded above $10k, making this a 66% bounce off of the $6k lows. Even though we are in the middle of a massive selloff, there are still very profitable trades along the way. Two-weeks ago I warned readers prices would to tumble under $8k, but also said this was a dip-buying opportunity and prices would rebound back to $10k. And that is exactly what happened. There is no magic to this. The same things keep happening over and over again and it is simply a matter of paying attention.

And just like the equity market, the easy gains are already behind us and buying here is a much riskier proposition. We could coast up to $12k over the next few days, but the risk of a sharp selloff is never far away. Without a doubt this is little more than a bounce on our way lower. We the real bottom is still months away and under $4k. But until then, look for more profitable swing-trades. And most importantly don’t forget it is far easier to sell Bitcoin on the way up. Hold too long and these nice profits will evaporate.

Jani

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Feb 13

Is it too late to buy the dip?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Analysis:

On Tuesday the S&P500 opened with a 0.5% loss. That would have been shocking a few weeks ago, but on the heels of last week’s volatility, it seemed fairly benign in comparison. And as such, most traders didn’t overreact and buying quickly lifted us off those early lows. By the close, we even managed to finish in the green.

There were no market moving headlines, but sentiment is the primary force driving this market and at the moment, fearful selling is taking a break. We reached a near-term capitulation bottom last Friday and have recovered decisively from those oversold levels. While this is obvious to everyone after the fact, last Thursday I told readers, I think the market look pretty good. Risk is a function of height and this is the least risky point in several months. Traders should be embracing these discounts, not running from them.” (Sign up for Free Email Alerts so you don’t miss my next call.)

Finding a near-term bottom is alleviating some of the anxiety that crept in last week, but without a doubt January’s complacency is long gone. Given the level of damage, we shouldn’t expect this market to rally back to the highs anytime soon. Instead, expect volatility to persist for a while longer as we carve out a long overdue base.

The worst is most likely behind us and it would take a new headline to push us under Friday’s lows. Since rising rates and inflation launched this selloff, those are the headlines we are most vulnerable to. That said, expect any follow-on selling to be less dramatic than last week’s selloff. These things lose strength as they drag on and get priced in. As such, the size of of swings in both directions will decrease over time.

This is a swing-trader’s paradise and that means buying weakness and selling strength. We came a long way from Friday’s lows, making this is a better place to be locking-in profits than adding new money. On the other side, long-term investors should stick with their favorite positions and even add to them. This weakness is a buying opportunity, not the start of something larger.


Bitcoin stabilized above $8k as expected. Dipping under $6k was a capitulation point and these higher prices are bringing a wave of relief for owners. This stability is supportive of prices over the near-term and we should continue creeping higher, even flirting with $10k. But don’t get too excited, this is just another bounce on our way lower. Every bounce is a selling opportunity and this won’t end until we fall under $4k. But it will take a while for us to get there. In the meantime we can profit from these bounces higher.

Jani

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Feb 08

It’s not as bad as it seems

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

On Thursday the S&P500 plunged, erasing all of Tuesday and Wednesday’s rebound and undercutting Monday’s lows. In the blink of an eye, the market transitioned from one of the most docile in history to one of the most turbulent.

Again economic headlines remain relatively benign and this is more of a sentiment driven move than fundamental. Since the 2009 lows, skeptics have criticized this market’s lethargic growth and negative real interest rates. Now that we are returning to more normal growth and inflation levels, these same people are running scared and claiming the sky is falling.

Even with today’s plunge to fresh lows, we are still at levels that were record highs only a few months ago. As I have been warning readers for a while, our relentless accumulation of gains was unsustainable. The higher we went without a consolidation, the harder we were going to fall. And that is exactly what happened. We went from setting the record for the longest period without a 5% dip, to a full-blown stock market correction in two weeks.

But that is water under the bridge. What everyone really wants to know is what comes next. And to be honest, I think the market look pretty good. Risk is a function of height and this is the least risky point in several months. Traders should be embracing these discounts, not running from them. Unfortunately most people feel better paying premium prices and chasing record highs. Cheap prices scare them and they bailout “before things get worse”. This reactive strategy of buying high and selling low is why people lose money in the market. Few recognized risk was off the chart in January and that this big decline is giving us a far better place to jump in.

Even though the risks are lower, that doesn’t mean we cannot keep slipping over the near-term, but I actually think this selloff is running out of steam. The lack of an economic catalyst means this selloff won’t go very far. The first big down leg came last Friday when employment and wage gains were “too good”. How dumb does that sound? Sure, the Fed will increase interest rates to more historically normal levels, but that is a good thing. The economy is doing well and most definitely not teetering on the edge of a recession. If anything, the recent tax cuts would cause the economy to ramp up. When’s the last time anyone worried growth was too strong? This economic expansion will end like every economic expansion before it, but that point is still a ways off.

This market’s problems are entirely technical. This week’s selloff went too far and did too much damage for us to rebound straight back to the highs. Traders are no longer blissfully complacent and willing to chase prices higher with reckless abandon. But this isn’t a bad thing. Dips and consolidations are a normal and healthy part of every move higher. Unfortunately the market likes symmetry and by going too long without a dip and consolidation, meant the inevitable dip was going to be a lot larger than we are used to. That is why this week has been so painful. The greater the good times, the longer the hangover.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s rebound failed because we are not ready to bounce back to the highs. But just because we cannot jump back to the highs doesn’t mean we need to fear a larger selloff. We have stumbled into a period of extreme volatility, but that means excessively large moves in both directions. Expect this choppiness to continue over the next few weeks, but don’t fear it. The worst is already behind us and these dips are a time to be buying aggressively, not selling fearfully.

Long-term investors should ignore this noise and stick with their favorite positions. Short-term traders should exploit this volatility by buying weakness and selling strength. Buy the dip, sell the rebound, and repeat.


Unlike the equity market, Bitcoin is experiencing a bit of a resurgence, up more than 30% from this week’s lows. Big bounces are part of every selloff and we are in the middle of one of those sharp rebounds. We plunged under $6k, capitulated, and then bounced hard. And most likely this bounce will continue higher, even flirting with $10k. But as much relief as this bounce gives “hodlers”, this is just another dead-cat bounce on our way lower. These bounces are selling opportunities and should not be chased. At best, this collapse won’t end until we slip under $4k, but it will take us a few months to get there. Until then, expect sharp and tradable moves in both directions.

Jani

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Feb 01

Predicting the market is easy

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Analysis:

Thursday the S&P500 closed nearly unchanged for a second day in a row. Not bad considering the week started with one of the biggest selloffs in over a year. Volume has been above average, telling us traders are clearly paying attention.

2017 was a great year for stocks, but even it couldn’t compare to the way 2018 kicked off. But as I’ve been writing over recent weeks, the rate of gains was clearly unsustainable and running out of steam was inevitable. This isn’t rocket science and knowing what is going to happen is the easy part because the same thing always happens. The challenge is knowing exactly when it will happen. Never forget, we are paid for getting the timing right, not predicting what will happen.

To be honest, I didn’t expect this to go as high as it did, but I was smart enough to know it was powerful and wasn’t about to get in its way. But I also didn’t need to be apart of it either. Unsustainable moves are unsustainable. If you miss it, or get out too early, don’t worry about it, there is no need to chase because there will be another opportunity to get in when the risks are lower.

As I wrote Tuesday, we didn’t need to fear this dip because it wasn’t driven by a spooky headline. Instead we tumbled because we went a little too far, too quickly. Fear mongering headlines trigger large moves. Imbalances in supply and demand lead to relatively modest price swings. Rather than overreact to Monday and Tuesday’s weakness, the lack of a headline catalyst told us the move wouldn’t be all that big and there was no reason to sell fearfully or short aggressively. This is a normal gyration and we should respond in kind.

If we close above 2,820 Friday, then Monday and Tuesday’s selloff is done. That doesn’t mean we cannot selloff next week, but any further weakness will need a new catalysts. Crashes are frighteningly quick and holding 2,820 support for four days is anything but frighteningly quick.

I would love to see us dip a little further and create a more attractive dip buying opportunity, but the flat trade the last couple of days tells us confident owners are still confident and their lack of selling is keeping supply tight. If this selloff had greater potential, we would have felt it by now. Unfortunately this dip leaves us in no-man’s land. Not deep enough to become oversold and create a safe entry point, but so shallow that there is still risk underneath us. There is no reason to bailout of our favorite buy-and-hold positions and there is not enough potential to make a short-term swing trade worthwhile. And so we keep waiting for something more interesting to come along.


As I wrote on Tuesday, Bitcoin’s inability to escape $10k support meant lower prices were coming. And today’s selloff knocked another $1k off the price as we find ourselves at the lowest levels in months. Anyone who bought December’s parabolic rise higher is sitting on losses, as is anyone who was brave enough to buy the dip.

Last month’s greed has quickly turned into this month’s fear. The thing to remember is major selloffs take a long time to play out. We are already more than six weeks into this and we won’t find the real bottom for several more months. It will be a very choppy ride lower and that means lots of big bounces along the way. I expect prices will fall under $8k real soon, but we will rebound as high as $10k. But remember, this is a pattern of lower highs and lower lows. Buy the dips and sell the rips.

For the “hodl” crowd (aka hold for those of born in the last century), they better be prepared for much larger losses. In 2013 BTC fell nearly 80% from the highs. If history repeats itself, which it looks like it is doing, I wouldn’t expect to find a bottom until we slip under $4k sometime this summer. Every bounce continues to be a selling opportunity because the worst is still ahead of us.

Jan 25

Enjoy the ride, but stay paranoid

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

The S&P500 treaded water Thursday, but given Wednesday’s negative price-action, doing nothing was actually a win for bulls.

On Wednesday an early surge to record highs fizzled and we tumbled into the red. Normally a reversal from record highs signals a lack of demand and is a great short entry. Unfortunately this isn’t a normal market and we cannot rely on traditional trading signals.

Ever since Trump’s election, confident owners have refused to sell every negative headline and any bearish price-action. Conventional wisdom tells us complacent markets are vulnerable to a collapse. What conventional wisdom fails to mention is periods of complacency often last far longer than even the bulls expect. Confident owners don’t sell and that keeps supply tight. It is hard to get a selloff started without sellers and is why it has been ages since any dip went more than a handful of points lower.

This is most definitely not a normal market and Wednesday’s negative price-action should have been ignored. Thursday’s flat trade confirmed Wednesday’s selloff was yet another false alarm. In one-way markets we keep doing what is working and here that is sticking with our favorite buy-and-hold positions.

That said, this is the riskiest period for stocks in nine years. Risk if a function of height and these record highs mean the risks have never been greater. Everyone loves a market that goes up, but this buy-and-hold-no-matter-what attitude is going to backfire spectacularly at some point over the next 6 to 24 months. Hold all the way up, hold all the way down is the way this works for most investors. But for those of us paying attention, it doesn’t have to end this way. Enjoy this rally higher over the near-term, but stay alert and keep close to the exits. This market has never been closer to topping. Trading is most definitely not easy and without a doubt the market will remind everyone when they least expect it.

Currently the stock market is cheering the falling dollar because it makes domestic producers more competitive. What the market is ignoring is the U.S. is a net importer and consumer based economy. A falling dollar means prices in Walmart will go up and that erodes household purchasing power. There is most definitely a half-empty side to a weak dollar and the surge in oil prices is just the start. Add in the Fed’s expected rate hikes and that very well could be the recipe for our next recession. It will take a while for these macro-economic effects to be felt, but it is most definitely something worth paying attention to.

While everything feels great, the thing to remember is the top of every bull market always feels great. Over the near-term the market is acting well enough to stick with it. But to key to surviving the next downturn is seeing it before everyone else does.

Jani

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Jan 23

The Higher We Climb, The Harder We Fall

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

On Tuesday the S&P500 finished higher for the 12th time this year out of 15 trading sessions. And honestly, two of those down-days hardly count since the losses were barely more than -0.1%. Clearly the crowd is in a buying mood and few are showing any fear of these heights.

The market surged Monday when the Senate agreed to a temporary extension that reopened the government, but there is little reason to think a handful of days will patch the divide between Republicans and Democrats. But this style of all-or-nothing standoffs is typical of political negotiations and eventually a compromise will be reached. The market knows this and is why its reaction to the government shutdown was almost nonexistent.

The bigger question is how many more up-days can we string together? Markets go up and markets go down. Except this one. We just set the record for the longest stretch in market history without a 5% pullback. Extended runs occur all the time. Unfortunately most good stretches are inevitably followed by extended moves in the other direction. Only a person who thinks the stock market has forever changed believes this period of prosperity will continue indefinitely.

The funny thing about investing is the more expensive something becomes, the more excited people are to buy it. Rather than wait for Black Friday sales, investors cheer Christmas markups. And the recent surge in prices is making the crowd even more excited to buy stocks. This market makes experienced investors nervous, but investing novices are diving in head-first because they are more afraid of missing out than losing money. While the good times last far longer than anyone expects, they almost always end in tears. Enjoy the ride higher, but stay close to the exits. The more greedy other people become, the more fearful we should be.

For the time being everything still looks good and this market clearly wants to go higher. We are well past the point of a normal and routine pullback because buyers insist on chasing prices higher. We are long overdue for a dip, but since owners are keeping supply tight by stubbornly holding for higher prices, it will take a fairly shocking headline to dampen the market’s mood. And as we just witnessed, it needs to be a heck of a lot bigger than a government shutdown. Until then, the path of least resistance is higher. But always keep in mind, the higher we climb, the harder we fall.

Jani

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Jan 09

How frothy is too frothy?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Update:

The S&P500 closed higher for the 6th day in a row and extends 2018’s breakout. Volume was average and tells us most traders are back at work following the holiday layoff. There were no clear headlines driving today’s price-action and this is simply a continuation of the positive feelings that fueled this week’s breakout and last year’s rally.

No matter which sentiment measure you look at, bullishness is at extreme levels. The latest AAII survey is 60% bullish versus 16% bearish. Stocktwits’ $SPY stream it 78% bullish. Put/Call ratios and newsletter writers are all at frothy levels. Yet prices keep going higher.

The thing to remember about sentiment is it is a secondary indicator, meaning that while useful, it cannot be used by itself to time trades. It tells us when to be careful or aggressive, but it doesn’t tell us when to trade. What this means is the stock market can keep going higher over the near-term, but these extreme bullish sentiment levels are warning us to be extremely careful.

The problem with most “overly bullish” markets is all the bulls are already fully invested. Once they dump all of their savings into the market, from that point forward they lost the ability to push the market higher. The best they can do is convince their friends, relatives, neighbors, and coworkers to dump all their savings into the market too. Attracting new investors how bullish levels can stay elevated for extended periods of time while the market continues to rally. Everyone in the market is fully invested, but non-investors keep streaming into the market and are the fuel that keeps pushing prices higher. This new money is why these extreme bullishness levels have not resulted in a more typical dip back to support.

As long as bulls are able to convince everyone they know to invest in the stock market, prices will continue climbing. The problems is these investing rookies typically get to the party just before it ends. They show up just as smart money starts leaving.

Over the near-term the market looks great and momentum will likely keep us drifting higher. But the market has been far too easy for way too long and that makes me nervous. Something will come along at some point that will remind everyone the stock market is most definitely not easy. No one knows what that will be and when it will happen, but it is a virtual certainty that something will upset this apple cart. Those of us that are paying attention will be able to collect our profits and get out of the way just before bullishness turns ugly.

Keep doing what has been working, and that is sticking with your favorite buy-and-hold stocks. But stay close to the door. The question isn’t if, but when.

Jani

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Dec 26

What to expect the last week of 2017

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

End of Day Analysis:

The S&P500 finished modestly lower on the first day back from the Christmas holiday. No real news to speak of and we should expect more of the same as we finish off 2017.

Now that Tax Reform is law, there isn’t much for traders to talk about or look forward to. And without big ideas to latch onto, the market has been treading water these last few weeks. Unfortunately for bulls the window for a Tax Reform pop has already closed. If it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. Gains over the last several months priced in tax cuts and there was no one left to buy the news. Now that Tax Reform is old news, we need turn our gaze to what comes next.

Strong earnings reports next month could extend this rally, while any bad news could trigger a dip back to 2,600. High probability of small gains versus a low probability of bigger losses. The problem for bulls is everything needs to go right to beat these already lofty expectations. Bears only need one thing to go wrong. Perfection versus the messiness that is the real world. Markets move in waves and it’s been a while since we cooled off. I don’t know what will trigger the next dip, but I do know it is coming. The only question is when.

Most likely momentum will keep us drifting higher over the near-term, but it is only time before the next problem crops up and we fall into a long overdue dip and consolidation. 2017 was a great year for stocks, but unfortunately the rarest thing is for two years to be exactly the same. If 2017 was a gentile ride higher, that tells us 2018 will be anything but easy. No don’t get me wrong, I’m not bearish. I just expect the market to consolidate recent gains and that means we will have to work for our profits in 2018.

Jani

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