Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Oct 30

What makes Tuesday’s rebound different

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

There is a good chance that weeks from now we will look back at this Tuesday as a key turning point in S&P 500. It was only the second time the index finished in the green in the last ten sessions, but that’s not the only thing that made it feel different. Volume has been ramping up over the previous six sessions and Tuesday’s rebound was the highest of them all. Clearly, something big is happening, the only question is what.

If there is one thing both bulls and bears can agree on, it is that markets don’t move in straight lines. It has been a brutal October for stocks. At the very least, a near-term bounce is overdue. After definitively undercutting the early October lows and setting off a tidal wave of panicked defensive selling, this is about as good of a double-bottom setup as we will ever see.

While nothing in the market is ever certain, double bottoms are some of the most resilient bottoming signals the market gives us. Prices undercut the prior lows, triggering an avalanche of reactionary selling. But rather than trigger the next leg lower, that dip is the last gasp of defensive selling. Once we run out of emotional sellers, supply dries up and prices rebound.

Monday’s frighteningly horrific collapse was as bad as it gets. We opened green, but it was downhill from there and by early afternoon, the index shed more than 100-points. But what if that really was “as bad as it gets”? Maybe, just maybe, that was the worst and everything will get better from here. As the saying goes, it is darkest just before the dawn.

As I already stated, both bulls and bears can agree a bounce is coming. And most bears will even concede that the biggest bounces come in bear markets. This means that no matter which side of the bear/bull debate you stand on, there is an excellent chance this market is ripe for a sharp move higher.

2,700 is the next most obvious price target. But the market likes symmetry and a rebound to 2,700 doesn’t even come close to matching the intensity of October’s selloff. While we could pause and even retrench a little at 2,700 over the next few days, the most likely target for this rebound is the 200dma/2,800/2,820 region the previous bounce stalled at in mid-October. Even rising up to and above the 50dma and the start of this selloff near 2,870 is on the table.

But just like how selloffs don’t go in straights lines, neither do recoveries. After recovering 200-points from the selloff’s lows, it will be time for another dip. How big of a dip depends on which side of the bear/bull debate you fall on, but at least both sides can agree that a bounce and a dip are still ahead of us. We can argue about the magnitude after we get there.

If a person wants a preview of what this looks like, scroll your favorite charting software a little to the left and see what took place this spring. A big crash in February, a sharp rebound from the lows, and a pullback from the rebound’s highs. Predicting the market isn’t hard. That’s because it keeps doing the same thing over and over again. The challenge is getting the timing right.

There are no guarantees in the market and the best we can do trade when the odds are stacked in our favor. This selloff is ripe for a bounce and right now that is the high probability trade. If it doesn’t work out this time, we retrench and try again.

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Oct 23

CMU: How much worse will this get?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis , Free CMU

Free After-Hours Update:

Tuesday was another ugly open for the S&P 500 as overnight weakness in Asia and Europe pressured our markets. We crashed lower at the open and undercut this selloff’s prior lows near 2,710. But rather than trigger another avalanche of defensive selling, that early dip was as bad as it got. Supply of nervous sellers dried up after the first hour of trade and we recovered a majority of the losses by the close. Not very often does a 0.5% loss feel like a good thing, but that is what happened today.

Even though Trump’s tariffs haven’t done much harm to our economy, they are strangling the already weak Asian economies, most notably China. While this is Trump’s desired outcome, global markets are more intertwined than ever and what huts one is felt by everyone else. By taking down China, Trump is indirectly taking down our markets.

The biggest question is what comes next. Is the worst already behind us? Or are we on the verge of another tumble lower? I wish I knew for sure, but the best we can do is figure out the odds and make an intelligent trade based on the most likely outcome. For that, a look back at history is the most logical place to start.

The above chart shows pullbacks in the S&P 500 from all-time highs since January 1950. That gives us nearly 70 years worth of data to analyze.

One of the most notable things is how rare big selloffs really are. Over the last 69 years, only 11 times have prices tumbled more than 15% from the highs. We often think of big crashes like 1987, the Financial Crisis, or the Dot-Com bubble. But those events are exceedingly rare. All the other pullbacks over the last 69 years have been 15% or less. While 15% is a lot, it isn’t terrifying. And even better, all of those under 15% pullbacks were erased within a few months. Small and short. That sounds like something we can live with.

Currently we find ourselves 7% from the highs. Those losses are already behind us and we cannot do anything about them. But we can prepare for what comes next. Assuming we are not on the verge of another Financial Crisis or similar catastrophe, the most likely outcome is a dip smaller than 15%. From current levels, that is another 8%. But that is the worst case. The actual dip will most likely be smaller than 15%.

Over the last 69 years, the S&P 500 has tumbled between 10% and 15% 22 times. That’s about once every three years. Not unheard of, but not common either. The last pullbacks of this size were 15% in 2016 and 12% earlier this year. Are we due for another one? Maybe. But it definitely doesn’t seem like we are overdue given we already had two over the last two years.

More common are pullbacks between 5% and 10%. There have been 36 of these over the last 69 years, meaning these happen every year or two. From 7%, that means we could be as little as 1% or 2% from the bottom. And even better is most of these 15% or smaller pullbacks return to the highs within a few months.

We are down 7% and there is nothing we can do about that. But going forward we have a decent probability of only slipping a little further. And assuming the world doesn’t collapse, worst case is another 8%. While that wouldn’t be any fun, is that really worth panicking over?

The price action has been weak the last few days and that led to today’s weak open. And the market loves double-bottoms, meaning we could see a little more near-term weakness. But what is a little more downside if we will be back at the highs in months month? While I cannot say the bottom is in yet, the odds are definitely lining up behind buying this market, not selling it.

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Oct 18

Where this market is headed next

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

Thursday the S&P 500 tumbled sharply for the first time since last week’s big plunge. The market opened modestly lower, but the selling accelerated after the U.S. Secretary of State pulled out of a big economic summit in Saudi Arabia, heightening tensions between the two nations following the disappearance of a journalist. The market was already on edge after last week’s selloff, and it didn’t take much to push traders back into a selling mood.

But the thing we cannot forget is markets never move in straight lines, especially when emotions are this high. And not only are these sharp back-and-forth moves normal, they are actually part of the healing process. Every fearful seller over the last ten days has been replaced by a confident dip buyer. Out with the weak, in with the strong. While it would be more fun to watch the market zoom right back to the highs, that’s not the way this works. Buying dips are never easy, and that is true this time too.

Early weakness pushed us under 2,800 support. Without a doubt, quite a few traders used this widely followed technical level as a stop-loss. Their autopilot selling pushed the market down even further, triggering the next tranche of stop-losses, adding even more selling pressure. It didn’t take long for regretful owners to start having flashbacks of last week’s plunge and they reactively bailed out “before things got worse”. In a self-fulfilling prophecy, their fearful selling created the very plunge they feared. But by early afternoon, we exhausted the supply of fearful sellers, and prices found support near the 200dma.

There are two ways this story can play out. Bears believe this nine-year economic expansion is on the verge of collapse and it will take the “overvalued” stock market down with it. Blame it on interest rates, trade wars, or downright old age, pick your favorite reason. Or alternately, this is just another one of the 100+ dips and gyrations this nine-year-old bull market weathered on its way higher. 

While everyone loves predicting a top, what is more likely, the thing that happens 100+ times, or the thing that only happens once? Remember, bull markets bounce countless times, but they die only once. Could this be the top? Sure. But is it likely? Not even close. The odds are heavily skewed in favor of the continuation, but that never stops people from calling every dip a top.

The thing about this weakness is it is built on the premise that things will get worse. No one is afraid of 3.25% Treasury yields. The are afraid of 3.25% becoming 4.25%, and then 5.25%. Things need to get worse for the worst case scenario to materialize. But on the other hand, if things turn out less bad than feared, prices will rebound. Despite all the naysaying, there are plenty of reasons for stocks to keep going up. Namely, earnings are up 19% this quarter, while stock prices most definitely haven’t kept up with this phenomenal earnings growth. That sounds pretty bullish to me.

Bears need a lot of things to get worse for their thesis to turn into a reality. I just don’t see it happening. Reality is almost always less bad than feared and no doubt this time won’t be any different. People pray for a pullback so they can jump aboard the hot trade they missed, unfortunately, most people are too afraid to buy the dip when the market finally answers their prayers. This game is never easy, but that is what makes it so rewarding when we beat it.

Expect prices to remain volatile as the market comes to terms with recent events. But remember, collapses are brutally quick. The longer we hold last week’s lows, the less likely it is we will undercut them. The most nimble day-traders can buy these intraday dips and sell the intraday bounces. Those of us with a little longer timeframe can buy the larger dips and sell the larger rebounds. The biggest level ahead of us is 2,870 resistance where last week’s plunge started and is likely where this rebound is headed. It won’t be a straight line, but markets that fall down the elevator shaft usually land on a trampoline.

All of this assumes the worst is behind us. All bets are off if we undercut last week’s lows. That tells us buyers are afraid of this market and nothing shatters confidence like screens filled with red. But until then, this rebound is alive and well and believe it or not, we could see new highs before year-end.

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Oct 16

Is it safe yet?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-hours Update:

What a difference a few days makes. Last week the market was collapsing. This week we recovered a big chunk of those losses and things feel significantly better. The only question is if this rebound is the real deal, or just a false bottom on our way lower.

The buying kicked off Tuesday morning when Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley reported solid earnings. That was enough to move the conversation away from rising Treasury yields and put traders back in a buying mood. Last week’s selloff lowered expectations and now “not bad” is good enough to send prices higher.

There were a lot of “what ifs” last week asking if rising interest rates and trade war tariffs were going to strangle the economy and crush corporate profits. But if companies continue to hit their numbers the way GS and MS did, expect these “what ifs” to quickly fade from memory. Reality is rarely as bad as feared and it won’t take much to put traders back into a buying mood.

And this week’s dramatic reversal shouldn’t surprise anyone. Markets that fall down the elevator shaft typically land on a trampoline. Last Wednesday I wrote the following after stocks tumbled 3.3%:

“I fear the slow, insidious grind lower. Those are the losses that accumulate when no one is paying attention. What I don’t fear are the big, headline-grabbing down-days. The one that gets everyone’s attention and makes headlines around the world. That’s because those big, flashy days don’t have any substance. As the saying goes, the flame that burns twice as bright only lasts half as long.”

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While it is most certainly premature to claim last week’s selloff is over, the situation is far less scary than it was a few days ago. And that matters a lot when talking about emotion-fueled selloffs. Last week people reflexively sold first, asked questions later. But this week’s bounce gives traders more time to be thoughtful and make rational decisions. Without the pressure of falling prices, most owners will stop overreacting to the fear-mongering headlines.

Risk is a function of height and believe it or not, last week’s dip was actually one of the safest times to buy in months. Prices plunged and impulsive sellers bailed out, but those discounts and turnover in ownership made stocks far more attractive. It certainly didn’t feel that way, but buying dips is never easy. By rule, every dip feels real. If it didn’t, no one would sell and we wouldn’t dip.

We are not out of the woods, but we are close. Hold near 2,800 support through Wednesday’s close and we can say last week’s emotion-filled selloff is over. Even a dip to the 200dma wouldn’t be bad as long as it found support and didn’t trigger a waterfall selloff. Market collapses are breathtakingly quick and holding last week’s lows for four days means cooler heads are prevailing and the impulsive selling is over. Without a doubt, the market could experience another leg lower, but it would take a fresh round of headlines to trigger that next wave of selling.

And while I continue to believe in this market over the medium- and long-term, we should expect volatility to persist over the near-term. If we survive the next few days, then this bounce will continue all the way up to the old highs near 2,870. That is where waterfall selloff started, and the market will likely hit its head back toward 2,800 support. But rather than fear the next dip, that back-and-forth is the healthy way the market recovers from a big scare.

As usual, long-term investors should stick with their positions. More nimble traders can profit from these back-and-forth gyrations. A person that cannot stomach another dip should sell the strength as we approach the old highs and buy the next dip. And if everything goes according to plan, the market will put this bout of indigestion behind it, and we are still on track for a nice rally into year-end. Every dip over the last nine years has been buyable and chances are this one is no different.

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Jani

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Oct 10

What happened the last time we fell 3%?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P 500 was murdered Wednesday, collapsing 3.3% as the market plunged for the fifth-consecutive session as interest rate fears spiraled out of control. This was the worst down-day since last February’s selloff.

While that sounds dreadful, could this actually be a good thing? Did anyone look back at that fateful day in February when we fell 3.75%? If you did, you already know what happened next. Panic driven selling pushed us down another 50-points early the next day, but rather than collapse lower, supply actually dried up and we finished the day up 1.5%. And not only that, that morning’s lows were the lowest point for all of 2018 and we have been higher ever since. Will this time be any different?

Without a doubt, we could fall further, but is that an excuse to abandon this market? Or is this a golden opportunity to jump in? Only time will tell, but at this point, the best we can do is look at history.

I fear the slow, insidious grind lower. Those are the losses that accumulate when no one is paying attention. What I don’t fear are the big, headline-grabbing down-days. The one that gets everyone’s attention and makes headlines around the world. That’s because those big, flashy days don’t have any substance. As the saying goes, the flame that burns twice as bright only lasts half as long.

They don’t get any bigger than 1987’s 20% collapse. That day will forever live in market folklore. But what you rarely hear is the market actually finished 1987 with a respectable 6% gain. And not only that, all of those 20% losses were erased within 12 months. It doesn’t sound nearly as scary when you put that 20% loss in context.

But forget 1987, we don’t even need to look further back than earlier this year to see the same behavior. February’s selloff sliced nearly 10% off this market. Yet we reclaimed all of those losses within six months.

I will be the first to admit I didn’t see Wednesday’s dramatic selloff coming. I have been bullish on this market since February’s bottom and today’s 3% selloff doesn’t change anything. Dips are a healthy part of every move higher. And that includes frighteningly dramatic days like Wednesday. If a person cannot handle a 3% dip in the broad market, or a 10% dip in a highflying tech stock, they probably shouldn’t be speculating in stocks.

If I wasn’t already fully invested in this market, I would be buying this dip with both arms. I’ve been doing this for way too long to let a little irrational selling scare me off. But that is what works for me. If the market’s volatility is keeping a person up at night, that is a sign they need to reduce their position sizes to something that is more manageable. The key to surviving the market is keeping your head when everyone else is losing theirs. Do whatever is necessary to reclaim your perspective. If that means dialing back your position sizes, then that is what you need to do.

Back to the big picture, if a person believes a 0.25% bump in Treasury rates will strangle the economy, then they definitely need to sell and lock-in their profits. But if a person doesn’t believe this economy is teetering on the verge of a recession, then they can ignore the noise and wait for higher prices. As crazy as it sounds, I still believe this market is setting up for a year-end rally. Come back in three months and we’ll see who was right.

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Oct 04

While the ride was scary, did anything change today?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update

Thursday was brutal for the S&P 500. Ten-year Treasury yields surged to the highest levels since 2011 and fear of sharply rising interest rates sent global equity investors scrambling for cover.

The S&P 500 opened down a modest 0.2%, but that was as good as it is got and by midday, we crashed through 2,900 support and the selling didn’t stop until we shed nearly 1.5%. This was definitely a sell first, ask questions later kind of day. But not all was bad. A late-afternoon rebound reclaimed 2,900 support before the close. Not very often do we breathe a sigh of relief when the market finishes down 0.8%, but that was so much better than it could have been.

The question on everyone’s mind is what happens next. Today’s frenzied selling hit us out of the blue and is unlike anything we’ve seen in months. Wednesday we were flirting with all-time highs, but barely 24-hours later we crashed through support and shed nearly 60-points from the previous day’s highs. We have to go back to this winter’s big selloff to see two-day price-action that dramatic. It was especially shocking given how benign volatility has been lately. But the market has a nasty habit of smacking us when we least expect it, and that is exactly what happened Thursday.

While this price-action was dramatic, the first thing we have to ask ourselves is if anything actually changed. A surge in interest rates was the excuse for Thursday’s selloff, and while rates climbed to the highest levels in years, they didn’t really go up that much. We broke through 3% for the first time back in May and have been consistently above this level since September. And this week’s “surge” took us from 3.1% all the way up to 3.2%. It’s not nearly as impressive when you look at it that way.

But a segment of traders was looking for an excuse to sell, and once the floodgates opened, the race to the exits was on. Early selling pushed us under the first set of stop-losses, and that selling pushed us under the next tranche of stop-losses. That pattern of reactive selling, dropping, and more reactive selling continued until we triggered all the stop-losses and ran out of defensive sellers willing to abandon this market.

And so what happens next? We don’t need to look very far because what will happen next is the exact same thing that happened last time, and the time before that. This is an incredibly resilient market. Owners refused to sell an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies. They refused to sell an ever-expanding investigation into the president. They refused to sell the Fed raising interest rates three times this year and promising another hike before the end of the year. Should we believe confident owners would sit through all that, only to lose their nerve and turn into panicked sellers when Treasury rates go from 3.1% to 3.2%. Really???

I don’t see anything that materially changed Thursday and that means my positive outlook remains intact. Everyone knows stocks cannot go up every…single….day. Dips are inevitable. The thing to remember about dips is they always feel real. If they didn’t, no one would sell and we wouldn’t dip! Without a doubt, Thursday’s selloff felt real. But nothing changed, and that means we should ignore the noise. This is a strong market and the rally into year-end is alive and well. Savvy traders are buying these discounts, not selling them.

Last week I wrote the following and nothing changed since then:

There is not a lot to do with our short-term money. Either we stay and cash and wait for a more attractive opportunity, or we stretch our time-horizon and ride the eventual move higher. Of course, there is no free lunch and holding stocks is risky. Anyone waiting for the next move higher needs to be prepared to sit through near-term uncertainty and volatility.

If a person has cash, they are a great position to buy these discounts. If a person was taking a longer view, they should have expected dips and gyrations along the way. If they knew something like this could happen, they would be less tempted to reactively sell the weakness. Unfortunately, a lot of traders were not prepared for this dip, and they joined the crowd jumping out the window. But it’s not all bad, their loss is our gain when they sell us their heavily discounted stocks. Sign up for Free Email Alerts so you are on the right side of the trade next time.

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Jani

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Oct 02

When to ignore red flags

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Tuesday the S&P 500 continued hovering near all-time highs as it digests recent trade war and interest rate headlines. We’ve been trading near 2,900 for nearly six weeks as the market consolidates August’s breakout to all-time highs.

But this isn’t a surprise for regular readers of this blog. I wrote the following nearly a month ago, and the market has behaved exactly as expected since then:

 “I didn’t expect much out of this dip and that is exactly what it gave us. Since the market likes symmetry, we shouldn’t expect much out of this rebound either. The next move is most likely trading sideways near the psychologically significant 2,900 level. It will take time for those with cash to become comfortable buying these levels before we will start marching higher again.”

With the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious the market isn’t up to much. But that didn’t stop countless people from losing money by selling last month’s dip and chasing Monday’s rebound. Easy mistakes that could have been avoided if people were paying attention. Make sure you sign up for Free Email Alerts so you don’t miss profitable insights like these.

Over the weekend the United States and Canada struck a compromise on a revised NAFTA. That sent prices higher Monday morning, but the market has struggled to add to those gains.

Typically a market that fails to react to good news makes me nervous, and Monday’s fizzled breakout definitely raised a red flag. A lack of follow-on buying often tells us we are running out of buyers and a price collapse is imminent. But this is not a not a normal market and the same rules don’t always apply.

Without a doubt, yesterday’s fizzle got my attention. But at the same time, this muted reaction is consistent with this bull market’s personality. Volatility is extremely low and that works in both direction. Since market selloffs are quicker and larger than rallies, this market’s reluctance to sell off on bad news is far more impressive than this week’s inability to surge higher on good news. I’d love to see prices race higher, but I’m not overly worried about this modest move becaue it fits this market’s personality. As I’ve been saying for a while, this is a slow market, and we need to be patient and allow the profits to come to us.

I’m willing to forgive the market for not holding Monday’s early highs, but that does count as one strike. If I see more warning signs, it will force me to reevaluate my outlook. But until then, I’m still giving this resilient bull market the benefit of the doubt.


FB is still struggling to get its mojo back. Between last quarter’s earnings disappointment, looming privacy regulations, and last week’s hacking revelation, it’s been hard for this stock to turn sentiment around. This is still the hottest social media property and nothing else comes close. As long as technology continues to be the hottest sector, FB will continue to be a buy. But if FB cannot catch back up to its FAANG peers, that could be an early sign the other FAANG stocks are skating on thin ice. At this point, FB is far more likely to catch up to the other tech high fliers than it is to bring everyone else down to their level. Things still look good over near-term and into year-end, but the situation could look a lot different next year. Stocks and sectors often take turns leading the way higher and at some point technology will hand the baton to the next hot sector.

AMZN announced it is boosting starting pay to $15/hr for its warehouse and other front-line employees. The stock initially dipped on the news, but it has since recovered those losses. Paying employees well is far better than dealing with high turnover, disgruntled workers, and public relation campaigns against the company. Plus, this has always been a growth story, not one about profits. Attracting and retaining the best employees will help it extend its growth streak.

Despite the flurry of headlines over the last few days, TSLA is right back where it was last week. The bulls are as dug in and entrenched as the bears. Both sides are prepared to fight to the death, and that is resulting in this stalemate. At this point, I still give a slight edge to the bulls simply because we are still at the lower end of this summer’s trading range.

Bitcoin is still struggling to break $6.8k resistance. If buyers wanted to buy this dip, they would have jumped in already. The chronic lack of demand at these levels is a concern, and the path of least resistance remains lower.

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Jani

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Sep 27

You call that a taper tantrum?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

On Thursday the S&P 500 recovered Wednesday’s late-day selloff and continues consolidating recent gains above 2,900 support.

But this is failed selloff is no surprise for regular readers of this blog. This what I wrote a few days ago and Thursday’s rebound played out exactly as expected:

“This market most definitely doesn’t want to go down. All summer it refused countless opportunities to tumble on bearish headlines. As I’ve been saying for a while, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up.”

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The Fed released its latest policy statement Wednesday and told us it was raising interest rates a quarter percent. This move was widely expected, and the market initially rallied on the news. But later the Fed chairman told us rate hikes would continue through next year, eventually pushing us to 3%. The market got cold feet and tumbled into the red, and the selling got worse after Powell commented he thought stocks were overpriced.

For anyone that lived through 2013’s “Taper Tantrum”, Wednesday’s 0.3% dip wasn’t even a bump in the road. Thursday’s resilient price-action further confirmed most owners are not worried about the Fed’s rate increases…as long as the economic forecasts remain strong. The Fed lifted interest rates eight times over the last few years and another three or four increases over the next couple of years won’t be any more shocking to the system.

As shorter-term traders, the only thing that matters is the market’s reaction to these headlines. And so far stocks are shrugging them off. Maybe this will turn into a bigger deal down the road, but until then we don’t need to worry about it. This is a strong market, and it wants to keep going higher. Until that changes, we stick with what has been working.

The consolidation above 2,900 remains intact. If we were overbought and vulnerable to a correction, this week’s trade war and interest rate headlines were more than bearish enough to send us tumbling. Maybe bears will be proven right eventually, but they are definitely wrong right now. Timing is everything in the stock market and early is the same thing as wrong.

The biggest advantage of being small investors is we don’t need to look months and years into the future like big money managers do. Our smaller size means we can dart in and out of the market and only need to look days and weeks ahead. Things still look great for a year-end rally and that is how we should be positioned. No doubt we will run into challenges next year, but we will worry about those things when the time comes. For now, we stick with what has been working.

There is not a lot to do with our short-term money. Either we stay and cash and wait for a more attractive opportunity, or we stretch our time-horizon and ride the eventual move higher. Of course, there is no free lunch and holding stocks is risky. Anyone waiting for the next move higher needs to be prepared to sit through near-term uncertainty and volatility.


Highflying tech stocks lead Thursday’s charge higher, and worries about this sector are fading from memory. Even FB and NFLX are joining the party and climbed off their post-earnings lows. This hot sector will peak at some point, but this is not that point, and these stocks will lead the year-end rally.

TSLA got hammered after the close when securities regulators sued Elon Musk for fraud and sought to remove him from Tesla. The stock tumbled 13% in after-hours trade as the “Musk Premium” evaporated. While this will be a much bigger story and no doubt the selloff could get larger, I actually think the market is getting this one wrong. TSLA is currently navigating the rocky transition from disruptor to operator. No doubt Musk is a great visionary, but his execution skills leave a lot to be desired. The company no longer needs bold ideas; it needs to deliver on the promises it already made. The company needs leadership to take it from small, niche producer to a global competitor. Many people thought Jobs’ departure from AAPL would end of the company’s ride at the top, but AAPL didn’t need more innovation, it needed execution. And since Tim Cook took the reigns, the stock is up 450%. Something very similar could happen at TSLA……assuming they don’t go bankrupt between here and there. But if the company recruits a world-class operator as its next CEO, this whole episode could actually be a good thing for the company and its stock.

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Sep 25

Time to be patient

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P 500 traded sideways for a second day as it consolidates last week’s breakout to all-time highs. Trump and his trade war continue dominating economic headlines, but so far our stock market doesn’t mind. As usual, confident owners refuse to sell and that is keeping a floor under prices. But stubbornly tight supply is only half of the story. To keep going higher, we need demand and right now that is in short supply.

This market’s restrained breakout isn’t a surprise to readers of this blog. Two weeks ago I wrote the following after prices finally reclaimed 2.900 support:

“Since we are not refreshing through a bigger dip, that means we should expect a prolonged sideways period. When the market doesn’t scare us out, it bores us out. Things still look great for a year-end rally, but we need to be patient and let those profits come to us. This is a slow-money trade and we will have to wait a while before the next fast-money trade comes our way.”

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This market most definitely doesn’t want to go down. All summer it refused countless opportunities to tumble on bearish headlines. As I’ve been saying for a while, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. And that is precisely what happened here. But at the same time, there is enough headline uncertainty to keep those with cash from chasing prices higher. Their lack of buying is keeping a lid on this market. No doubt we will keep going higher over the medium- and longer-term, but it will take time for those with cash to warm up to these record high prices.

There is nothing to do with our favorite long-term positions except keep holding them and letting the profits come to us. This is a slow-money market and it rewards patience. As for our short-term money, there isn’t a lot to do here. Either we sit in cash and wait for the next trading opportunity (we cannot buy the next dip if we don’t have cash!), or we stretch our time horizon a little and enjoy this ride higher. But if you are buying, be prepared to ride through a few dips along the way. Remember, this is a strong market and we buy the dips, we don’t sell them.

This market is still setting up nicely for a year-end rally and we should keep doing what has been working. Don’t let the bears convince you otherwise.


AMZN and AAPL continue consolidating following last month’s impressive, but ultimately unsustainable climb higher. Pullbacks and consolidations are a very normal and healthy part of every move higher. These stocks are acting well and I would be far more worried about them if they didn’t pause to catch their breath.

FB and NFLX are basing following last month’s disappointing earnings. But this is a good thing. Traders that missed these highfliers had been praying for a pullback so they could jump aboard. Unfortunately, many of these same people are now too afraid to take advantage of these discounts. The thing to remember is risk is a function of height. These are some of the least risky places to be buying these stocks in six months. Without a doubt, this is a better time to be buying than a few months ago when the crowd thought everything was great.

Bitcoin continues holding $6k support, but I wish I could say that was a good thing. While we held $6k support firmly for nearly six months, every bounce has been getting lower. First, we bounced to $17k. Then it was $12k. $10k came next. After that $8.5k. Earlier this month it was $7.5k and this weekend we stalled $6.8k. At this point, it is only a matter of time before we tumble under $6k support. As long as owners are more inclined to sell the bounces than buying them, prices will keep getting lower. It is only a matter of time before owners are kicking themselves for not selling when prices were above $6k.

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Jani

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Sep 20

A market that refuses to go down…..

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Update:

The S&P 500 surged to fresh highs as investors chose to ignore trade war headlines and instead embraced optimistic third-quarter forecasts.

Fortunately, readers of this blog saw today’s breakout coming from a mile away. I wrote the following two weeks ago when the market was threatening to tumble under 2,870 support:

“The economy continues to hum along and that is the only thing that matters to the stock market. As long as the economic numbers look good, expect prices to keep drifting higher. Institutional money managers that were hoping for a pullback will soon be pressured to chase prices higher or else risk being left even further behind.Their buying will propel us higher through year-end. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean the ride between here and December 31st will be smooth and uneventful. Expect volatility to persist, but unless something new and unexpected happens, every dip will be another buying opportunity.”

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While it is easy to say the market doesn’t care about Trump’s trade war after we surged to record highs. It wasn’t nearly as obvious three weeks ago when a lot of owners were selling the fear and uncertainty, causing prices to fall four days in a row, and five out of six trading sessions. We get paid for seeing these things before everyone else, not after it is obvious to the crowd.

Nothing has been resolved between the US, China, Europe, and Canada and no doubt things will get worse before they get better. But our market has been telling us all summer it doesn’t care. These events haven’t put a noticeable dent in our economy or corporate profits, so most investors are ignoring the noise.

So far Trump’s trade war went from $15 billion in steel and aluminum tariffs to now we are taxing more than 50% of everything that comes from China, and they are taxing 85% of everything we send their way. The way both sides are going, a further escalation is inevitable, That means we are not far away from both sides taxing everything. But if the market doesn’t care about 50%, bumping it up to 100% won’t make much of a difference.

Without a doubt, we are living in a “half-full” environment where most traders assume things will turn out for the best. That’s why owners overlook negative trade headlines so quickly.

This is a typical trait of an aging bull market. Five years ago traders were afraid of their own shadow and panic-sold every bump in the road. The catastrophic injuries suffered during the 2008 financial crisis were fresh in most investors’ minds, and they lived in fear of a repeat. But here we are nearly ten years later and every defensive sale proved to be a costly mistake. After years of getting burned selling prematurely, most traders learned to stop reacting defensively. That’s how we ended up in this situation where the market refuses to sell off no matter what the headlines are.

While conventional wisdom tells us complacency precedes the fall, what conventional wisdom fails to mention is periods of complacency last far longer than anyone thinks possible. No doubt this bull market will die like all the others that preceded it, but it will not be dying anytime soon and we should enjoy the ride higher.

There is nothing to do with our longer-term investments expect to hang on and enjoy the ride. Things are a little more challenging with our short-term money. We are left with a choice of either staying in cash and waiting for the next buyable dip. (Cannot buy the dip if we don’t have cash!) Or shifting our time horizon and sticking with a medium-term buy-and-hold. Neither choice is wrong; it largely depends on a person’s trading philosophy and risk tolerance.

The next significant milestone is 3,000 and at this rate, it is only a few weeks away. Bad news won’t take us down and good news will push us higher. These record highs are scary, but a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up.

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Jani

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