Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Jan 27

Is the worst still ahead of us?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 tumbled for a second day on growing Coronavirus fears. While the odds of a massive epidemic remain very small, the risk is not zero and that is making investors nervous. As high as stocks climbed over the last few months, there was a lot of air underneath us and it doesn’t take much uncertainty to knock down a highflying market.

As I wrote last week, today’s tumble shouldn’t have surprised anyone. While history tells us these things don’t have a lasting impact on stocks, they do make a lot of waves in the moment and we were definitely seeing that today.

The bigger questions is if today was the worst of it. And unfortunately, the answer looks like “no”. These things usually end in a capitulation bottom when the selling climaxes and we exhaust the supply of fearful sellers. Today’s market traded mostly sideways and there wasn’t a lot of aggressive selling. The majority of owners held steady through the rocky open and the lack of new supply prevented prices from falling under the early lows. While this stability felt reassuring in the moment, it leaves many owners at risk of getting spooked out. That overhang means the worst could still be ahead of us.

This morning’s resilient open gave us a great buying opportunity. The early bounce gave us a clear stop-loss level to limit our risk. But if this was going to be a good trade, we would have seen prices climb decisively throughout the day. Instead, the market stumbled into the close. That is never a good sign.

This lethargic close means we probably have lower prices ahead of us. Luckily, most readers of this blog either took profits proactively last week or at the very least used 3,300 as a trailing stop to lock in their profits Friday. Rather than fear this dip, these proactive profit-takers are looking at this dip as a fantastic buying opportunity. Instead of lying awake at night debating whether they should stay in or get out like most investors, these proactive traders are looking at this dip as a fantastic buying opportunity.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM

Jan 24

Does the Coronavirus really matter?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

Does the Coronavirus really matter? Well, yes…..and no. The virus definitely matters to the people directly affected. It also matters to health organizations and governments. Their quick and decisive action will definitely help slow the spread of this deadly virus. And hopefully, their proactive response will keep this from spreading any further than it needs to.

Aside from the obvious human element, we are traders and we want to know how this will affect the stock market. By this point, everyone is drawing parallels to previous outbreaks and how the ultimate result was inconsequential for stocks. But the important thing to keep in mind is that assessment was only after it was all said and done. The only reason we remember these previous episodes is because they were big deals when we were in the middle of them. And chances are good the same thing will happen this time too.

While there are a lot of bulls arguing with the market dipping a handful of points over the last few sessions, the thing to remember is no one wins an argument with the stock market. Either we go along with it or we get out the way. If this market wants to dip on these headlines, great. Pull the plug on your longs and wait to get back in at lower levels. If you know this won’t last, rather than argue with it, be proactive and profit from it!

As I wrote previously, the greatest advantage we have as independent traders is our nimbleness. If we don’t take advantage of this strength, we are giving up the most important weapon we have in our arsenal. But if we are going to sell, we need to be proactive and do it early. I took a big chunk of profits last week because the market had a good run since December’s 3,200 breakout. These things always move in steps and I like taking at least some of my profits off the table after the market runs to the next obvious resistance level. That said, I did leave some money in with a stop near 3,300 just in case this kept racing higher. One foot in and the other foot out gave me the best of both worlds.

But as expected, the market dipped under 3,300 and I got stopped out of my final position today. I didn’t know what would happen when I planned this trade, I just new odds were good that something was going to come along and knock us down. And that is exactly what happened today.

Now that I’m out of the market, I have a pile of cash itching to get back in. Maybe that happens on Monday when all of this Contravirus stuff blows over and prices rebound back above 3,300. Or maybe the situation grows more grave and stocks dip even further. Either way, I have a plan to get back in. Do you?

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM

Jan 22

The dangers of thin ice

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 bounced back from Tuesday’s small dip and so far most owners show zero interest in extending any selloff. That said, we need to remember step-backs are a very normal and healthy part of every sustainable move higher. The fact we’ve gone several months without a meaningful test of support makes me cautious.

Yesterday I saw people criticizing the market for “overreacting” to these Chinese virus headlines. While I agree this sickness is highly unlikely to impact the U.S. economy in a meaningful way, calling a 0.4% intraday slip a “reaction”, let alone an “overreaction”, is definitely a stretch. In most markets, 0.4% barely rises to the level of random noise. These “overreaction” comments definitely give us a sense of just how complacent this market has become when people become incredulous over a 0.4% dip.

The bigger question is if bulls struggle to comprehend a 0.4% slip, how are they going to react to a very normal 1% stumble? Or god forbid, a routine 5% or 10% pullback? Making money has become so easy people have forgotten what “normal” really looks like. At this point, traders are so complacent something totally benign could send shockwaves tearing through the market. While at this point talk of a 5% or 10% correction sounds extreme, these things happen all the time and nearly every year on record experienced at least one 5% pullback. When the inevitable eventually happens, I expect to hear all kinds of apocalypse predictions because compared to what we’ve seen over the last few months, it will feel like the end of the world.

All of that said, the market is still acting really well and there is no reason to alter our plans just because something could happen. We are definitely skating on thin ice, but the thing to remember about thin ice is it only dangerous if we fall through. Until that happens, expect the good times to keep rolling.

I’m definitely not calling this a top and am still long in my personal trading account, but I do know that when we hit the rocks, there is the potential for a big reaction. There is nothing to do right now other than remain alert. While it is tempting to become cynical, remember, this is still the less likely outcome. The only reason to even concern ourselves with it is if it does happen, it will be big. Remember, the greatest strength we have as little guys is our nimbleness. We don’t need to predict the future when we can simply ride this wave all the way to the edge and then hop off just before the fall.

That said, we don’t need to be fully invested at these levels. It has been a good ride, but this is definitely a better place to be taking profits than adding new money. Keep moving your stops up and consider taking some profits proactively. Once the market consolidates some of these gains, we can start looking at adding more. And if the market falls through the ice, that will present us with the best shorting opportunity in a long time.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM

Jan 16

The mistake traders made in TSLA

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

I normally let more time pass before writing about a company again in these free blog posts, but TSLA’s price action has been dramatic enough to warrant a second post. After surging 10% in a single day, I told readers earlier this week, “it would be both foolish and reckless to chase the stock at these levels.” And wouldn’t you know it, in less than three days the stock gave back all of those gains when it opened this morning.

Now I want to be clear, I am in no way a TSLA bear and am most definitely not calling Tuesday a top. But I do know the market and radical surges like TSLA experienced over the last few weeks are most definitely not sustainable. This was a frenzy of breakout buying and short-covering, not systematic, rational, and sustainable buying.

Momentum traders and shorts losing money were jumping over each other trying to buy this stock before it went any higher. But the thing to remember about breakout buying and short-covering is both of these groups are not buying the company for fundamental reasons. They are chasing momentum. And more than just that, both groups of buyers don’t have a lot of money. They quickly move all-in (or all-out in the shorts’ case) and then they’re out of money. Once they trade, their opinion stops mattering and the wave of buying that fueled the explosive breakout evaporates.

This implosion of demand is further compounded by institutional investors’ aversion to chasing prices higher. Even if they like the company, they know these surges fizzle and they will be able to buy at cheaper prices if they are patient. And in a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, when institutional investors wait for lower prices, that creates a lack of demand and prices fall.

So if chasing prices higher Monday and Tuesday was a mistake, what was the right way to trade this? If we wanted to buy the breakout or cover our shorts, we should have done this long before the move became obvious to everyone. In this case, when TSLA initially broke through the old highs near $390. Buying at this point allows us to get in early and more than just that, it gives us a sensible stop near current prices that will limit our losses if we are wrong. And rather than recklessly chasing prices higher earlier this week, we would have been cashing in our profits and looking for the next trade.

As for what’s next, I like the way the stock bounced back today, but I need to see more to be sure. Maybe I will write about this stock again in a few days after it gives us more information about its intentions.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM $TSLA

Jan 15

The savvy time to buy this market and what to do now

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

Two weeks ago I wrote the blog post “Why January’s start is so bullish“. The market reflexively dipped after the U.S. killed an Iranian general and that initially put traders on edge. But rather than extend the selling, most owners shrugged off the headlines and snapped up the discounts. That morning’s dip tested 3,200 support and here we are nine days later, challenging 3,300 record highs.

I will be honest, on January 1st I was skeptical the one-way rally since the October lows could continue, but as soon as I saw the way the market reacted to the general’s killing and the subsequent attacks on U.S. airbases, I knew this was a strong market and prices were still headed higher. We don’t need to be able to predict the future if we know what clues to look for.

But that was then and this is now. The easy buy was two weeks ago when the market bounced decisively off 3,200 support and never looked back. But now that we are nearly 100 points higher, the risk/reward looks far different. Without a doubt, buying now would “feel” a lot easier than buying in the face of an escalating military conflict in the Middle East, but doing what feels good in the market rarely works out. In fact, we should be edging in the opposite direction, rather than buying this surge to the highs, we should be looking for opportunities to take profits. Anyone savvy enough to buy last week’s dip should be moving their stops up and even considering taking some profits proactively. If we are in this to make money, the only way to do that is by selling our winners.

As for what comes next, there are two ways the market approaches 3,300. Either the buying accelerates and we race toward a climax top, or the rate of gains stalls and we consolidate recent gains. If a person wants to hold for further upside, make sure you move your stops up when we cross 3,300 so your profits are protected. As for the most balanced approach, it makes sense to take some profits and let some ride. If the market continues higher, it is always easy enough to jump back in.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM

Jan 14

How to handle AMZN ahead of earnings

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

AMZN finds itself at an important inflection point. While its FAANG peers AAPL, FB, and GOOGL are busy making record highs and NFLX is constructively digging itself out of the hole it fell into last year, AMZN has kind of been stuck in neutral without a clear sense of direction. We got a really nice pop a few weeks ago when Amazon announced record holiday sales but no further details were given and we have to wait until earnings at the end of the month to learn what “record holiday sales” really means. Since that initial pop, the stock has been mostly holding under $1,900 resistance as traders wait to see what comes next.

I was a big fan of buying NFLX’s dip last fall because after a few months of relentless selling, the stock became oversold the crowd had given up hope and it reached a capitulation bottom. It had finally got “so bad it was good”. But I don’t see the same capitulation in AMZN’s recent consolidation. This is more of a rounding out and it really hasn’t tested investors’ resolve the same way the NFLX dip did.

That said, the stock is still above the far more significant 200dma and that is constructive. Remain above this moving average and the stock is doing well enough to earn the benefit of doubt. But if we fall under this level over the next few weeks, that dramatic capitulation drop could be just around the corner. But just like any good capitulation point, that will be our opportunity to jump in, not bailout.

I won’t pretend to know what AMZN’s earnings will look like when they report at the end of the month, but whichever direction the stock moves in the days after earnings, expect that to be the start of the next big move. Thrill investors and AMZN will return to the highs. Disappoint and new lows are ahead of us. In the meantime, I would be wary of holding too much AMZN. At this point, the risks seem larger than the reward. Wait for that definitive move after earnings and then place your bets. It is better to be a little late on this trade than a lot early.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM $AAPL $NFLX $AMZN

Jan 13

Is it too late to buy TSLA?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard how hot TSLA is right now. The buying frenzy got so heated today the stock surged 10% in just a few hours. What triggered today’s excitement? Some no-name analysist raised his price target. (The important thing to remember about analysists is if they could trade, they wouldn’t be analysists. Think about that next time you are tempted to follow their advice.)

If only we could have seen this surge coming before it happened. Oh wait, we did. Back on December 19th, I told readers to expect something big out of TSLA as it challenged resistance that has been holding the stock back for nearly two years. Either the stock was going to smash through resistance, or it was going to get beaten back for the umpteenth time. Either way, this represented a golden trading opportunity. I suggested readers consider buying the stock above $390 and shorting it if it fell under $390. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

That said, this trade turned out even easier than I expected. I figured the stock would stall at resistance for a little while before making its decisive move. Nope, it was in too much of a hurry. It smashed through $390 resistance and never looked back, making a quick 35% for anyone who was paying attention and willing to take the risk.

But now that the stock is 35% higher, would I consider buying it here? No way in hell!!! Risk if a function of height and this stock is freaky scary at these levels. I don’t care about the company’s fundamentals or any of that stuff, but I know trading and crazy surges like this are not sustainable. Expectations have gotten so high, it would be nearly impossible for the company’s earnings report to exceed them and send this stock even higher. We buy when everyone doubts the stock, not when it is making front-page news across the entire internet.

If a person was lucky enough to jump aboard this bandwagon last month, don’t get caught up in the hype. At the very least, form a plan to get out. Whether that is taking profits proactively or following the stock higher with a trailing stop. Or even better, a little bit of both. And even more important, if someone missed this move, it would be both foolish and reckless to chase the stock at these levels. If you missed it, you missed it. Don’t worry about it. Another trade with a far better risk/reward will be along any minute.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $TSLA

Jan 10

Where are bitcoin prices headed next?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis

Bitcoin rallied nicely late last week and retook the $8k level. This is the first time since November the cryptocurrency has traded this high. This latest bounce inevitably leads us to the more important question, where are prices headed next?

The most obvious place to start is the attached chart. You don’t need to be a Certified Master Technician to see the problems with Bitcoin’s chart. On multiple timeframes this currency is experiencing a strong downtrend, most evident by the clearly defined pattern of lower-highs. Last year’s bounce to $10k was impressive and I was cheering for it the entire way, but at this point, it looks like that rebound ran out of energy and every subsequent bounce has been lower and lower. The biggest point of concern is in the mid-$6k range. This is where Bitcoin prices collapsed last time. We still have a bit of a buffer, but things could get real ugly if we return to this critical tipping point.

Bitcoin is setting up for a nice trade here. Hold above $8k and everything is great. But if support fails, look out below. The most obvious way to trade this is buying a move above $8k and shorting a dip under it. While this strategy will inevitably lead to a few whipsaws along the way, no doubt the next big move will start from here and it could go in either direction. I don’t mind getting whipsawed a little over the near-term if it means I will be in prime position to catch the next big move. The best way to manage these nuisance whipsaws is to start small and only add to your position after the trade starts working.

All of that said, given this sickly looking chart, if I were forced to choose, the most likely next move is lower and chances are good prices will undercut last year’s $3k lows. The only hope this has over the near-term is if we break through $12k and end this pattern of lower-highs for good.

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Tags: Bitcoin BTC.X

Jan 09

Is NFLX still a buy?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update

NFLX has been struggling for six months to recover from its disappointing earnings report last summer. That said, it looks like the worst is behind it and the stock is well above its September lows. In fact, it doesn’t have far to go before it recovers all of last year’s selloff. Now that things are finally looking constructive for the stock, the bigger question is if it is still a buy at these levels.

I’ve been bullish on NFLX for a while. Last fall’s selloff was clearly overdone and it reached the point of being “so bad it was good.” Risk is a function of height and the lower we go, the less room we have to fall. Granted, this rule only applies to businesses with a bright future, but if we still believe in the fundaments of a company, every dip presents a buying opportunity. While panicked NFLX owners were busy abandoning their stock at steep discounts last summer, savvy investors were presented with a buying opportunity.

Without a doubt, NFLX was overbought last summer and even meeting expectations was going to be difficult. But once that bubble burst, everything turned around. By the time of the next earnings report, expectations were so low it was easy to beat them and that is why the stock popped. The recent tumble and sour sentiment made NFLX feel like an extremely risky buy, but it was actually one of the safest times to buy the stock in years. The thing to remember is the best opportunities come when other traders are nervous, not when everyone feels confident.

A lot can change in three months. Last quarter’s earnings confirmed NFLX isn’t headed out of business and the stock is dramatically higher. Today’s setup definitely nowhere near as attractive as it was three months ago. But an important thing to realize about the last six months, there has been a tremendous amount of selling in the stock. Nervous owners were abandoning ship and selling to confident dip buyers. Even though the stock is a lot higher than it was near the lows, the current ownership group is far more robust than it was when this selloff started.

NFLX is still a buy here, but as I already mentioned, higher prices mean this is a riskier buy. Trade an appropriate size so if the company reports dreadful earnings in two weeks, the loss isn’t unreasonably large. If earnings are bad, abandon ship and even consider shorting the stock. But if they meet expectations, or better yet, beat expectations, this stock will be making new highs in no time. One negative outcome versus two positive outcomes, I like those odds. There are no guarantees in the market, but this setup is attractive.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM $NFLX

Jan 08

Why the market rallied today

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

It’s been a dramatic 24 hours for the S&P 500. Iran launched rockets at two U.S. airbases in Tuesday evening, sending futures tumbling nearly 2%. Between the headlines and the futures market’s reaction, it was easy to be concerned for our equity positions on Wednesday. Yet barely 12 hours later, futures recovered those towering losses before the open and the index opened in the green. And it got even better, prices actually rallied to record highs later that afternoon!

While this performance was definitely awe-inspiring and a bit shocking, this resilience shouldn’t have surprised anyone. This was the fourth session in a row affected by headlines from the Middle East. It started Friday, then Monday, and again on Tuesday. What did all three of those sessions have in common? Owners largely shrugged and continued holding for higher prices. Would a fourth day of headlines change anything? Probably not. And that is exactly what happened today. Owners shrugged, supply dried up, and prices rallied back to the highs.

Agree with the market or don’t, but there is no arguing with it. If this market doesn’t want to go down, there is only one way to trade it. Anyone who overreacted to these developments is dumbfounded by the market’s blatant disregard for headlines that “obviously” should have sent stocks crashing. But while those people are busy arguing with the market, others of us are over here making money. I see a market that refuses to go down on bad news and from experience, there are few things more bullish than a market that refuses to go down.

I have no idea how much longer this strength can last, but as long as it keeps doing all the right things, I’m going to stick with it.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $SPX $QQQ $IWM

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