Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Dec 26

When it makes sense to buy AMZN

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis

Two weeks ago I wrote a cautious post about AMZN. I explained how I was leery of this stock’s latest rebound because the prior dip lacked a compelling capitulation point. And while this remains the case, that didn’t deter traders from piling into the stock today. The company reported record holiday sales and that sent the stock surging nearly 5%.

Clearly I missed today’s move and I have no problem admitting that. That’s the way this goes sometimes. Successful trading does not come from being right about everything all the time, it is based on finding the best setups and profiting from those exemplary opportunities. This often means passing on something that ends up working simply because the odds of success were lower than what we typically look for. I wasn’t bearish on AMZN, I just didn’t see the latest dip as compelling enough to be worth buying.

While today’s performance was impressive, I wouldn’t chase AMZN at these levels. Today’s gains could easily fizzle over the next few weeks if this demand proves fleeting. It takes more than one day to reverse a downtrend and as impressive as today looked, it was just a single day.  I would like to see the stock hold this level for several weeks before concluding this rebound is the real deal.

There are a few reasons to be wary of today’s strength. First, it came during a holiday affected period. That means most institutional investors are on vacation and not participating in today’s buying. Second, if big money wasn’t buying, then demand was coming from retail investors and bears covering their shorts. This more impulsive based buying was evident in today’s one-way price action that started with smaller gains and rallied strongly all day long. That told us people were desperately chasing prices higher, not making intelligent and informed investment decisions.

Why this matters is because retail investors have shallow pockets and short-covering is a fleeting phenomenon. Until we see institutional investors support these prices by buying at these levels when they return in January, I would be leery of chasing today’s gains. That said, I could be wrong about AMZN again and prices could continue surging higher. But if I miss another move in AMZN, I don’t mind because trading opportunities with higher odds come along all the time.

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

Dec 23

How to approach the market around the holidays

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

As expected, the S&P 500 continues drifting higher into year-end. All of the nasty headlines are behind us and for the most part, things turned out far less bad than feared. This return of optimism allowed stocks to rally to record highs. That said, this post is less about the market and more about what we should be doing this time of the year.

All too often it is easy to obsess over the market, and many times that distracts us from the things that really matter. Borrowing a well-used cliche, we should trade to live, not live to trade. If all you can think about is how well your positions are doing, or sometimes how poorly, you are missing out on all of the things going on around you.

As we approach the Christmas holiday, it often makes a lot of sense to unplug for a few days. For some people, that means liquidating everything and being fully present with their friends and family. For other people, this simply means lightening up on some of your biggest winners to the point you no longer feel the need to watch the market’s every move. For longer viewed investors, skip a few days of financial headlines and don’t open your stock app. Don’t worry, everything will still be there next week.

The above recommendations are doubly important if things are not going well. Sometimes we get stuck and have a hard time letting go of a losing trade. Forcing yourself to sell that bad trade for a few days might just be the thing you need to clear your head and come back with a fresh set of eyes. If you still like that trade next week, you can always get back in. But more often than not, we would rather avoid putting ourselves in that situation again. If that’s the case, chalk it up to “experience” and start looking for another opportunity.

No matter what happens over the next two weeks, don’t worry about it. There will be plenty of new trading opportunities next month, and the month after that, and the month after that…

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

Dec 20

What to do after breaking through 3,200

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

As expected, the S&P 500 finally pushed up to and then broke through 3,200 resistance. Today’s gains mark the seventh positive finish out of the last eight trading sessions. While the crowd is busy congratulating themselves for holding through this easy run, those of us that have been doing this a while are starting to get nervous.

Everyone knows the market move in waves, unfortunately, most people forget this simple idea when we are experiencing one. It doesn’t matter if it is on the way up or the way down, people naturally take the recent past and extrapolate that trend from now to forever. After the year we’ve had, why would anyone worry about stocks? Making money in this market is so easy! Or so the popular consensus goes.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a bear or anything even close. The market is acting well and I will continue trading with the bullish trend until given a compelling reason to change my outlook. But I also know that if we are in this to make money, the only way we do that is by selling our favorite winners.

It’s been a nice run, but that also tells us it is time to start locking in some profits. A person can do that by either selling proactively into this strength or by following the market higher with a trailing stop. Both strategies work well and it is largely up to personal preference. Pick one and stick to it. Or better yet, do a little of both.

But the other thing to remember is as soon as we get out, we need to start looking for that next trade. Maybe this rally stalls at current levels and drifts sideways into next year. If that’s the case, we stay out and wait for a trade in January. Maybe stocks pause for a few days before continuing higher. Just because we got out doesn’t mean we cannot get back in when conditions warrant it. And maybe the bubble bursts in January and that turns out to be a great time to short the market. No matter what happens, by taking profits now, we will have the cash ready to jump on the next opportunity.

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

Dec 19

TSLA: Up or Down, or does it not matter?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

TSLA has been rangebound, stuck between $200 and $400 since 2017. But this week the stock staged a breakout and is challenging the upper end of the trading range for the first time in a year. Model 3 sales are robust and the company is venturing into pickups, far and away the largest vehicle category in the United State. Of course the stock pushed to the upper end of the trading range, duh! But for those of us that are not drunk on the Koolaid, the real question is whether recent gains are sustainable, or if the stock will be rejected by $400 for the umpteenth time.

No doubt both bulls and bears have compelling arguments supporting their case. But as traders, do we really need to choose sides? Not if we are nimble enough. The upper and lower end of trading ranges give us clear lines in the sand, allowing us to more clearly define our risk. Above this line we are bulls, underneath it, we are bears. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. We don’t care who wins this battle as long as there is a clear victor.

Prior highs near $390 are our trigger point. Above this level we are buyers. Below it, we are sellers. While this seems easy enough, nothing in the market is ever easy and that includes trading breakouts. Most likely, prices will flirt with the prior highs for a while, breaking above and below this level several times before the stock shows its true intention. But as nimble traders, this isn’t a problem for us. We can dart all-in and all-out with a single click. While this will inevitably lead to some whipsaws, that is a small price to pay for both downside protection and profit potential. The big guys only wish they could move as quickly as we do.

Smarter than jumping all-in and all-out, start with a smaller stake and only add more when the trade starts working. That way any losses from the inevitable whipsaws are minor and we will still be in a great position to jump aboard when the true move finally reveals itself.

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

Dec 18

What to expect in 2020

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

This is the time of the year when pundits stand on their soapboxes and tell the world what will happen next year. That said, I will be the first to admit I don’t have a crystal ball and won’t even pretend to guess what economic calamities will or won’t happen next year. But even with that limitation, there are still reliable clues we can use to estimate what 2020 will be like.

2019 was the year of a generous and gentle rally. The market climbed nearly 30% and most pullbacks were benign and prices recovered quickly. This strength was definitely aided by a snapback from 2018’s grossly oversold 4th quarter, but regardless of the source, this was the market’s second strongest annual performance since the dot-com bubble. Unfortunately for us, 2020 will look nothing like 2019. The market almost never repeats a performance and next year won’t be any different. If we cross strong rally off the list of possibilities, that leaves us with modest rally, modest dip, and stock market crash.

While stock market crashes are scary and forever seared into the memory of anyone who lives through one, they are exceedingly rare. Most active traders will only see one or two in their careers. Will next year be one of those years? Probably not. Especially since the market is not grossly overbought or overleveraged like it was during the dot-com and housing bubbles. Stocks are definitely not cheap, but they are not “bubblelicious” either.

Crossing both extremes off the list leaves us with a little up or a little down. At this point, I could see either happening. The labor market is stretched and labor shortages will keep a lid on economic growth going forward. If a business cannot find new staff, it cannot expand no matter how strong demand is. On the other side, modest stock market gains could easily be wiped out if an unpopular Republican president is replaced by a Democrat. Fear of looming regulations and taxes will send stocks retreating in the final months of 2020. And so, that is my prediction, fairly modest gains between 5% and 10% if Trump wins. If he loses, expect a flat year.

But where we end is only one piece of the puzzle. How we get there is even more important to active traders. Everyone knows stocks cannot sit still and like a sugared-up 5-year-old, they always have to be moving. Sometimes they move up for extended periods like 2019. Other times they decline relentlessly like 2008. But most of the time, they move up and down for no other reason than they cannot sit still. 2020 will be a year of moving just because. That means lots of moderate dips and bounces along the way. While it won’t show up in a long-term portfolio, 2020 will be a great year for the opportunistic swing-trader.

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

Dec 17

Bitcoin: a tardy update

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

I contemplated writing about Bitcoin last week and given this latest dive, I really should have done it sooner. But hey, better late than never.

Bitcoin was hovering just above $7k support for a few weeks after retreating from this fall’s impressive $10k surge. Bulls have been trying to break the brutal bear market that started back in early 2018 and this latest run to $10k was the noblest attempt thus far. Unfortunately for the Bulls, the wider public failed to embrace the rebound and prices retreated from a lack of demand.

In 2018 Bitcoin went from the thing everyone wanted to the butt of every joke. Many late-to-the-party buyers were burned and they were not about to lose their hard-earned money a second time. And not only was the wider public not interested, but most of the Bitcoin bulls bought everything they could afford on the way down and they didn’t have any money left to add either. Mix those two factors together and you had the recipe for a failed rebound.

I’ve been warning Premium Analysis subscribers to be careful of Bitcoin’s latest rebound and while it seems a little late now that prices are down 35%, that warning is just as applicable. Buyers are still missing and if they didn’t save us at $7k, there is little reason to think anyone will come to our rescue at $6k.

If there is one saving grace, it is that Bitcoin bulls are a stubborn bunch. Anyone who hasn’t sold yet is a “Hodler” and plans on taking their coins to their grave. That undying confidence keeps supply tight every time prices dip under key support levels. Unfortunately, tight supply is only half of the equation and the best it can do is slow the descent. At this point, I see no reason to own Bitcoin because the bear market is alive and well. Expect prices to fall even further over the near and medium-term.

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Tags: Bitcoin $BTC.X

Dec 16

The Bull Market No One Saw Coming

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

This weekend Bloomberg published an article titled “The Bull Market Almost No One Saw Coming“. While I don’t want to delve into the content of the article, the title triggered me a little bit. I saw this bull market coming from a mile away and you should have seen it too.

I’m not psychic or anything of the sort, but to me, this decade long bull market was fairly obvious to anyone who spent time looking at long-term historical charts. Over the last 100 years, there have been multiple “Lost Decades”. These were extremely discouraging periods triggered stock market crashes and the indexes spent the better part of 10 years trying to get back to the old highs.  The most recent “Lost Decade” being 2000 to 2013.

While everyone was giving up hope 10 years ago after the Financial crisis, I saw tons of opportunituy. Sure, stocks obviously got too far ahead of themselves during the dot-com bubble and again during the housing bubble. But after a decade of trading sideways, a lot was happening in the real world that wasn’t being reflected in stock prices. In real terms, stocks were actually getting cheaper as the economy grew and equities failed to keep up.

Looking back in history, similar events transpired in the 1910s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1970s. Huge, brutal bear markets devastated stocks and turned an entire generation into cynics. But just when the masses had given up all hope, the market stunned us with the 1920s, 1950/60s, and the 1990s. Four times the market lost a decade and four times the market came roaring back. Was the 2000’s “Lost Decade” going to be any different? No, of course not.

Some of the best investment opportunities in the history of the stock market came in the 10 years following a “Lost Decade”. This time was no different. The only people who didn’t see this bull market coming were the ones who don’t know their history.

As for what comes next, is this bull market tired? Is a crash long overdue? Not if you look at history. Stocks rallied for nearly 20 years between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. By that measure, we could easily see another decade of strong gains before the next “Big One”. Of course, the worst day in stock market history happened during that 20-year bull market in 1987, so we cannot be complacent. But the prognosis for the next 10 years is still good even if we run into a few 20% corrections along the way.

(I’ve written well over 2,000 articles over the last decade, but it would be interesting to sort through some of the old ones from 10 years ago now that everyone knows how it turned out. Sign up for FREE Email Alerts if you want to read those posts when I write them.)

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

Dec 13

Is AMZN buyable here?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 is racing to record levels, yet AMZN is stuck in reverse and down 13% from July’s highs. What gives?

I’m not a fundamental investor and will leave the financial report crunching to someone else, but this dramatic price divergence tells us something is definitely not right with this stock and it lost its darling status.

If there was one thing that could have saved AMZN, it would have been a blowout holiday shopping season. But rather than cheer Black Friday’s sales numbers, investors sent the stock down 3% since Black Friday. That pretty much dashed any hope of this stock rebounding before the end of the year.

The biggest challenge facing AMZN is it is struggling to find its footing just above $1,700 support. This is a key technical level stretching back a couple of years, but more importantly, it provided critical support during the June and October dips. Unfortunately for the stock, double-bottoms are a thing, triple-bottoms, not so much. And right now the stock is threatening to challenge $1,700 support for the third time in six months.

The very fact we returned to this level for the third time is a huge red flag and should make investors nervous. But more than that is these feeble rebound attempts since the October bounce. There just isn’t any life left in this stock. If people were going to buy this rebound, they would have done it already. Slipping back to these levels again tells me the worst is still ahead of us.

But not to give up all hope, a sharp crash under $1700 could actually be a good thing for the stock. That could be the capitulation the stock needs to recover its mojo. While I wouldn’t touch AMZN right now, if it slices through $1700 support in a fantastically ugly way, but then bounces back days or weeks later, that would be a compelling signal the stock is finally buyable again.

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Tags: S&P 500 Nasdaq $SPY $AMZN

Dec 12

The Trade War is over, now what?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The trade war is over and the S&P 500 surged nearly one whole percent!

Well, not exactly. The trade war is nowhere near over but Trump tweeted, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China.” That kicked off this morning’s explosive rally. Well, calling it explosive might be overstating the situation a tad, but it was a good day and the index closed at all-time highs.

Anyone hoping for more is sadly disappointed by this somewhat muted reaction. But this shouldn’t surprise those of us that have been paying attention. Yesterday I wrote that the stock market was growing tired of trade war headlines and deal or no deal, we shouldn’t expect a move greater than 1% in either direction. Today we got the strongest indication yet of a deal and the index surged a measly 0.86%.

More important than deal or no deal is how well the market has been performing this quarter. Despite the relentless barrage of negative headlines, stocks continue pushing into record highs. While some people claim the market is complacent and that complacency precedes the fall, the thing most people fail to mention is complacency can last for a really, really long time. When confident owners refuse to sell, supply stays tight and prices remain firm. This will end badly at some point because it always does, but this is not that point. In the meantime enjoy the ride.

As for what happens in January, I have thoughts on 2020 but will save those for another post. Sign up for FREE Email Alerts so you don’t miss those thoughts.

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

Dec 11

Does the Trade War matter anymore?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

Despite what the naysayers claim, the S&P 500 continues defying gravity and is hovering near all-time highs. This is even more impressive since the next round of tariff hikes are scheduled to take effect this Sunday. The list of reasons this market should be down is a mile long, yet here we stand.

Bears claim it is only time before the crowd realizes how bad the situation really is. But here is the thing, none of these bearish claims are secret. Everyone knows about the slowing global economy. The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has been raging for nearly two years. Impeachment, does anyone actually care? Everything is out there and the crowd already knows about it. There is no waiting for the other shoe to drop, the shoe already dropped. And most importantly, no one cared.

We trade what the market does, not what we think it should do. If this market doesn’t want to go down, we only have two choices, jump aboard, or get out of the way. Fighting it is only going to get yourself killed.

As for this weekend’s trade war escalation, the market has been growing bored of these headlines and every escalation and resolution has been received with a smaller and smaller reaction.  Deal or no deal, it really doesn’t matter. We pop 1% if we get a deal, we dip 1% if we don’t. The days of five and ten percent moves are long behind us. The people who fear the trade war sold a long time ago and confident dip buyers took their place. If these dip buyers were not bothered by Trade War 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0, chances are 5.0 won’t bother them either.

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