Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Aug 03

How to trade this market as it approaches all-time highs

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 popped Monday morning, establishing a new higher-high for this Covid rebound.

As bad as headlines have been, this market continues grinding higher and the index is within 3% of all-time highs. This relentless strength feels shockingly counterintuitive. But the thing we can never forget we trade the market, not the headlines. No matter what we think “should” happen, successful traders always focus on what “is” happening.

Institutional money managers need to anticipate what is around the next corner. It takes weeks, even months for them to move billions of dollars in and out of the market. But as independent investors, we can do the same in less time than it takes to read this post.

Far and away the greatest strength we have is the nimbleness of our size. That lets us ride these counterintuitive moves higher with little risk. We don’t need to know what is around the corner because we are fast enough that we can trade around it when we get there.

If we finally come across a headline worse than a global lockdown, the fastest economic collapse in modern history, and the highest unemployment since the Great Depression, we can pull all of our money out in hours, if not minutes. I have no idea what is worse than the headlines this market already shrugged off, but if it happens, I’m confident we will be able to trade around it when it does happen.

What comes next? Well, more often than not, the market moves to the level everyone is looking at. I’ve been saying for a while this market will challenge all-time highs near 3,400 and I don’t see anything in today’s price action that changes my mind. As long as we continue experiencing more up than down, the rebound is alive and well. There is nothing for us to do other than sit back, enjoy the ride, and keep moving our trailing stops up. (Around 3,200 seems like a good level)

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Jul 29

The (un)common-sense explanation of why this market refuses to breakdown

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 stumbled into Tuesday’s close, shedding more than 20 points in the final hours of trade. Was this the break bears have been waiting for? As ominous as that late fizzle appeared, the index closed solidly above 3,200 support yesterday. And even more important, the selling didn’t resume today.

Despite all of the “common-sense” reasons stocks should crash, the S&P 500 continues hovering near the rebound’s highs. Oblivious stock owners remain stubbornly confident and are holding for higher prices. From the basic laws of supply and demand, when confident owners refuse to sell the headlines, the headlines stop mattering. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

As is always the case, all of our current headlines can be dissected into half-full and half-empty arguments. The economy is in shambles but corporate earnings are not as bad as feared. Infection rates are spiking but deaths are not seeing the same rise. Governments are reimposing lockdowns but scientists are making good progress on vaccines. The federal government is drowning in debt but the Fed is not even considering raising rates.

Thus far, most owners continue focusing on the half-full side of this situation. That’s because all of the half-empty people abandoned ship during the initial Covid collapse and were replaced by confident dip buyers. Out with the weak and in with the strong. It shouldn’t surprise anyone why this market has been so resilient these last few months.

As long as prices remain above support, there is only one way to trade this. Stick with what has been working and that is holding for higher prices. While the gains have slowed over recent weeks, as long as there is more up than down, expect the S&P 500 to challenge all-time highs this August or September.

That said, few things shatter confidence like tumbling stock prices. Keep updating your trailing stop and be ready to pull the plug if the selling accelerates. As nimble investors, it is far easier to buy back in following a false alarm than it is to watch all of our profits evaporate because we held too long.

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Jul 23

Should we be worried about today’s dip?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 slumped 1.2% after weekly unemployment claims saw their first increase since late March. This triggered the biggest equity decline in nearly a month. Is the market telegraphing worse things to come? Or was this a trivial wobble ahead of the next leg higher?

Clearly the economic rebound stalled. But this isn’t news. We’ve been dealing with surging infection rates since last month and the inevitable return of business restrictions. Today’s employment numbers only confirm what we already knew was coming.

Was today finally the wakeup call the bears have been waiting for? Is the evidence so incontrovertible that even the most oblivious bull can no longer continue living in denial? That’s what the cynics are hoping for anyway. But if the fastest economic collapse in modern history and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression didn’t spook these oblivious investors, why would anyone assume a modest uptick in initial unemployment claims would be the thing that finally breaks this market?

While today’s loss felt dramatic because volatility has been nonexistent over the last few weeks, a 1.2% Covid fueled dip hardly qualifies as the start of anything. As long as this market remains above 3,200, the rebound is alive and well. Even a dip under 3,200 isn’t that big of a deal if supply dries up quickly. A nimble trader will start peeling off some profits if we dip under 3,200, but this more of a risk management decision than concern about an impending collapse.

Until further notice, I will continue giving this market the benefit of doubt. But, if the selling feeds on itself and prices dip further, it’s not a big deal. We liquidate at our trailing stops and buy the next bounce. As much as I root for our country, economy, and stock market, the more this market dips, the more money I make so I don’t mind.


As I wrote yesterday, TSLA‘s lackluster reaction in after-hours trade to yesterday’s record-setting fourth consecutive profit was an ominous sign. Prices opened green this morning, but that was as good as it got. While the earnings were fantastic, the stock rallied in anticipation of these headlines and it fell into the “sell the news” trap.

Keep holding for higher prices if we bounce tomorrow, but if prices fall under $1,500 get defensive. Even if the future is bright, there is no reason to ride a near-term dip down $500. Lock-in some profits and get ready to buy the next bounce.

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Jul 22

Good signs for the S&P 500 and a possible warning for TSLA

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 finished Wednesday modestly higher as it continues setting new highs for the Covid rebound.

Infection rates remain elevated but scientists are making progress on a vaccine. Unemployment is off the chart but governments continue handing out free money. For every negative, there is an offsetting positive. While the cynics obsess over the negatives, the market continues focusing on the positives. Stocks are not racing higher like they were in March, April, and May, but they are amazingly resilient. 3k support was rock solid in June and we keep bouncing back to the rebound’s highs. As I often write, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up.

We make money following the market’s lead, not reacting to headlines. If this market doesn’t want to breakdown, there is no arguing with it. There is no room for “should” in the market. Either it does or it does not. Anyone trading “should” is losing a lot of money right now and we don’t want to join that group.

Keep moving stops up and waiting for higher prices. We are still on track to challenge all-time highs over the next few weeks. If this market was going to breakdown, it would have happened by now. The road won’t be fast or straight, but as long as we keep experiencing more up than down, everything remains on track.


TSLA reported earnings after the close and pleasantly surprised investors by producing the fourth consecutive quarterly profit. The big news is this achievement qualifies the stock for admission into the S&P 500. But more surprising than the profit was the lackluster performance in the after-hours session. While most CEOs would love their stock to pop 4% following earnings, TSLA makes bigger moves on a random Monday. To be honest, 4% is fairly disappointing given the headlines.

If TSLA rallies 10% tomorrow, then I read too much into this. But if TSLA slips into the red tomorrow, it is best to start taking profits before the losses accelerate. While gaining admission into the S&P 500 would be a huge boost for the stock, there is a good chance this event is already priced into the stock and we could easily fall into a “sell the news” letdown.

It is okay to hold for higher prices but keep your trailing stop close.

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Jul 13

Should we be worried about today’s weak close?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 started the day with nice gains as attention shifted toward the start of earnings season. The index even challenged June’s highs just over lunchtime. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got and a late-day selloff slashed 85 points from those midday highs, transforming a great morning into a very disappointing afternoon.

Normally, it is incredibly bearish to see stocks retreat so decisively from a retest of prior highs. Rather than chase prices even higher, most owners took this opportunity to lock-in profits. That’s not unexpected given how far we’ve come since the March lows and the start of earnings season adds a new dimension of risk to the calculus. That said, if nothing else thrown at this market has been able to dent it, do we really believe some disappointing earnings will change the market’s mind?

Everyone knows earnings will be dreadful. We very easily could see some of the worst quarter-on-quarter declines in a generation, if not market history. But that’s the thing, everyone knows earnings will be dreadful and these results won’t catch anyone off guard. The same phenomena happened when we experienced the biggest jump in unemployment claims in modern history and the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. Did the market flinch following those appallingly bad reports? Nope. It shrugged them off and continued higher.

As I’ve written previously, we continue giving this market the benefit of doubt until it gives a compelling reason not to. This afternoon’s fizzle was definitely a warning sign. But so far it was also only a single warning sign and this rebound has ignored countless similar signals over the last few months. For those reasons, I need further confirmation of a change in trend before I’m willing to abandon this rally.

For the time being, keep holding but move our stops up. 3k is major support but we should be out long before prices retest this level. Consider locking in some profits if prices open weak tomorrow morning and continue skidding in early trade. The next level to lock in further profits is if prices slip under 3,140. Cut through those and close weak again and we should be all the way out.

But just because a dip squeezes us out doesn’t mean we give up on the rally. If prices recover these support levels, we jump back in. Without a doubt, getting caught in a little whipsaw is annoying, but it sure beats holding a bigger loser or missing the next leg higher.

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Jul 06

Is it too late to buy TSLA? – Part II

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

TSLA is at it again, this time smashing through $1,300 and nearly reaching $1,400. Last month I wrote the post, “Is it too late to buy TSLA?” I even accused the stock of being a bubble. But unlike most critics, I don’t run from bubbles, I chase after them. And that’s exactly what I told readers last month.

This is a red-hot stock and there is a very good chance this is another bubble. While that scares some people, what should we be doing when we see a bubble? Why, buying it, of course! What a silly question.

That said, buying bubbles is risky and I told readers to be careful. I laid out a thoughtful trading plan that protected the late buyer but also left them in the best possible position to profit from the next big move.

[F]or the more adventurous, this is still buyable with a stop just under $1k. That said, late buyers should be prepared to get squeezed out a few times by false alarms and whipsaws. But as long as you are committed to buying back in every time the stock pops back above $1k, you will be in the catbird seat for the next leg higher. A few small losses are no big deal if we are there to catch the next big move. $1,200 here we come!

Obviously, my biggest mistake was being too modest with a $1,200 profit target. Silly me!

Now that we are nearly $1,400, is it too late to buy? Hell yes! We buy sensible levels where we can place an intelligent stop to protect our backside. Last month buying above $1,000 with a stop under this level was a very thoughtful level and a natural fit for this rally. As expected, there were a few whipsaws along the way, but as long as TSLA kept reclaiming $1k, we kept buying back in.

While riding whipsaws is annoying, it sure beats sitting through a 60% correction like stubborn owners did this spring. Even better, when stubborn owners were patiently waiting for prices to bounce back, the savvy trader is squeezing even more profit out of this trade. Why profit from a rally only once when we can profit from it twice?

Which brings us to the present. $1,400 is a stupid high level and we should be making a plan to take profits, not adding new money. Consider locking-in a portion of your profits practively and following the rest higher with a trailing stop. When this rally inevitably pauses and/or retreats, it will give us another sensible entry point and we buy back in for the next leg higher.

As for all of the other fanbois drunk on the Koolaid, remember, those that hold all the way up also hold all the way down. We only make money when we sell our favorite stocks. Just because we take sensible profits doesn’t mean we cannot buy back in when the time is right.

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Jun 30

What to make of this stubbornly resilient market

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 bounced off 3k support Monday morning and it continued that resilience today. The index now finds itself with a 100-points profit cushion as it continues defying all predictions of an imminent collapse.

The most prominent headlines scream “second wave”. This initially spooked the market into a 6% tumble a few weeks ago. But that single, fearful session was as far as this got and prices have remained “surprisingly” resilient ever since.

To those of us that have been paying attention, this resilience isn’t surprising. We know panicked sellers abandoned the market in droves two moths ago. But just as important as chasing off the weak, for every panicked seller, there was an opportunistic buyer who confidently ran into the fire to snap up those steep discounts.

Fast forward a few months and most of those confident dip buyers are still confidently holding for higher prices. If they bought during the “first wave”, doesn’t it make sense to assume they would continue holding through “second wave” too?

No matter what the critics claim, when confident owners don’t sell, scary headlines don’t matter. As long as prices remain above 3k support, the Covid rebound is alive and well. Savvy traders are buying this bounce off of support, not selling it. If prices tumble under 3k, we will be forced to reevaluate our outlook. But until then, continue giving this market the benefit of doubt.

Buy the dip and keep adding to what is working. If prices undercut 3,030, start peeling off longs and use 3k as a hard stop. If prices retest 3k over the next few days, buy the bounce and short the breakdown. It really is as easy as that.

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Jun 25

Jani’s Trading Diary: June 25th, 2020

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

My Trading Diary

The S&P 500 started the day in the red, but rather than accelerate lower like yesterday, prices quickly found support and are trying to get back to breakeven.

This is one of those half-full, half-empty situations. I like this market and I’m not worried about this dip. But at the same time, it keeps hitting some of my stops. At this point, I’m half in and half out and that is probably a good place to be given the uncertainty.

Will this emotional selloff accelerate or dry up? I have no idea and I’m currently playing both sides of the fence. If prices firm up this afternoon, then I’ll start adding back in. If we retreat under this morning’s lows, I’ll continue peeling off. No big deal. As long as I am in the right place at the right time, that’s all that matters.


My Trading Plan

Most Likely Next Move: This is a buyable dip and prices will return to the highs. The only question is how low we go first.

My Trading Plan: I’m half in and half out. If prices slump this afternoon, I’ll continue peeling off. If the market trades well, I’ll start adding back in.

If I’m Wrong: At this point, I’m ready for this market to go in either direction and I don’t really care which way it goes. Higher means profit. Lower means even more profit. I’m okay no matter what happens.

Jun 23

Is the market losing its mind?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

Did someone forget to tell the Nasdaq we’re in the middle of the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression???

Talk about a major divergence from reality. While the cynics cannot help but argue with this market, never forget, we trade stocks, not headlines or the economy. If stocks want to go up, there is only one way to trade this. If you don’t agree, your only choice is to get out of way because if you don’t, you are going to get run over.

Without a doubt, this rebound will end at some point because they always do, but this is definitely not that point. This month’s 6% collapse was the perfect setup to trigger a much larger collapse. If this rally was overbought and vulnerable, that was more than enough to trigger a much larger avalanche of follow-on selling. Instead, confident owners shrugged and bought the dip. When stubborn owners refused to sell, headlines don’t matter. End of story.

At this point, keep an eye on Monday’s lows. If we fall to this level, start locking-in some profits. If we retreat back to the previous Monday’s close, peel off some more profits. And if we return to this June’s lows, get all the way out. Anything other than that and lookout above. I fully expect the S&P 500 to match the Nasdaq and reach new highs over the next few weeks. We buy higher-highs, we don’t sell them.

If everyone knows the Fed rigged this market to keep going up, quit complaining about it and enjoy the ride!

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Jun 18

Why this market is ignoring “Second Wave” headlines

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

Thursday was the fifth trading session since the S&P 500 collapsed 6% in a single day. As dire as the situation felt last week, the market is doing a remarkable job of holding it together.

In the five sessions since last week’s collapse, the index already reclaimed 2/3s of those losses. If there is one thing we know about larger selloffs, they are breathtakingly fast. Compare this week’s reaction to the five sessions that followed February’s original Coronavirus breakdown. There, indexes fell another 12% during those next five trading sessions.

Without a doubt, we need to stand up and pay attention any time the market sheds 6% in a single day. But what happened last week was definitely different from what started back in February. That means we need to be careful drawing connections between the two events.

Even more important than the initial loss is how traders respond to it over the next few days. February’s first drop telegraphed the impending collapse that would eventually shave 35% off the index. The last few days has seen traders respond by buying the dip, not adding to the weakness.

As paradoxical as this dip buying seems given the widespread headlines proclaiming “a second wave”, it actually makes a lot of sense when you breakdown the supply and demand occurring under the surface.

The last few months have seen a tremendous amount of selling. Anyone scared of the Coronavirus and the ensuing shutdowns abandoned ship a long time ago. And not only that, when these panicked owners were selling, confident dip buyers were snapping up those discounts despite the headlines.

If confident dip buyers didn’t care about the “first wave”, do we really expect them to be scared by a “second wave”? No, of course not. That stubborn confidence is why stocks have been so steady despite predictions of a bigger selloff.

As long as the market remains above 3k support, everything is going according to plan and all-time highs are still in our near-term future. What happens after we get there is still undecided, but for the time being, enjoy this rebound, don’t fight it. Keep your stops near 3k and quit worrying about it.

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