Category Archives for "End of Day Analysis"

Aug 24

What to do with TSLA at $2k

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After Hours Analysis: 

TSLA popped at the open and gapped to all-time highs above $2,100. Unfortunatly, that was as good as it got because minutes later, agressive selling slashed nearly 10% off those lofty highs. But rather than devolve into a truly dreadful bloodbath, dip buyers raced in and reclaimed a big portion of those losses. By the end of the day, the stock managed to close back above the psychlogically significant $2k level.

Good day, bad day, or mixed signals? By all rational accounts, it is impossible to classify a 10% intraday crater a good thing. But at the same time, the fact such a shocking move didn’t trigger wider selling tell us many owners are not afraid of a little (or a lot!) of volatility and are confidently waiting for higher prices “no matter what”. That limited the damage and dip buyers were able to pick up the pieces and get the stock to close well above those initial lows.

Some bad, stir in some good and that leaves us with a mixed day. And as is usually the case, we cannot read too much into a single day’s price action. Today was definitely a signal to pay attention to, but unless it is followed up by other cautionary move, the previous trend higher remains fully intact.

As I wrote last week, this stock is extrely frothy and what goes up this fast, comes down even faster. As long as this stock remains above $2k, it is ownable, but anytime it falls under $2k, proceed with extreme caution. Today’s $200 tumble could easily turn into $300 or $500 before we know what hit us.

I love trading bubbles, but that also means knowing when to get out. Way too many people are going to ride this all the way up and then hold it all the way down. It happens every…single…time. Don’t be one of those people. Have a plan to protect your profits and then when everyone else is crying about the next TSLA tumble, you will be there with a pile of cash, ready to buy the next dip. But you have to get out first before you can do to do that.

And you know what, if we get out too soon, we can always jump back in. The nimblenss of our size if the greatest ability of being an independent trader. Remember, we only make money when we sell our winners. Buy TSLA above $2k and sell it under $2k. If we get tossed around in some whipsaws, no big deal. It sure beats holding a huge crash or missing out on the next pop.

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Aug 20

What comes next for TSLA

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

TSLA continues smashing all sensible expectations and closed above $2k for the first time ever.

Stocks that are hight tend to get even higher and that is definitely the case here. Back in June I accused TSLA of being in a bubble and with prices 100% higher today, I stand by that assessment. But unlike most people, I don’t fear bubbles, I chase them. That is exactly what I told readers two and a half months ago when TSLA first broke $1k:

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 do when we see a bubble? Why, buy it of course! What a silly question.

I’ve long since lost count of how much more TSLA is worth than all of the other auto manufactures combined. Obviously, this kind of insane valuation isn’t sustainable, but as traders, we don’t concern ourselves with these long-term outlooks. Instead, if the market doesn’t care about sensible valuations, then neither do we.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should buy this and hold it no matter what. In fact, that is the exact opposite of what a savvy trader does. But we definitely shouldn’t let this insanely high valuation scare us off.

While buying TSLA at $1k would have been great, now that we are at $2k, people want to know what comes next.

First, this is a crazy volatile stock and we should be prepared for anything. While we’ve seen this huge surge higher, don’t forget markets love symmetry and spectacular moves higher are often accompanies by spectacular moves lower. With TSLA, we don’t have to go back very far to see examples of this stock collapsing more than 50%. And even a couple of weeks ago it was down more than 20% from its previous highs.

Because of this insane volatility, it makes a lot of sense to trade smaller sizes to limit our risk and to be ready to take profits proactively if prices violate key support levels. As I often remind readers, most of the people who hold this all the way up will also hold it all the way down. Please don’t be that guy.

$2k is our new highwater mark. The most adventurous speculator can buy this level if we see prices continue racing higher tomorrow, but keep a stop near $2k and be ready to abandon ship at the first signs of weakness. The thing about selling defensively is we can always buy back in if the dip proves to be a false alarm.

For anyone that is sitting on a 100%, 200%, or 300% profit, remember, we don’t make money until we sell our winner. We can continue riding this higher with a tight trailing stop, but given the size of the move over the last few days, it even makes sense to take a portion of your profits off the table proactively. Half of your profits guaranteed and half riding higher with a tight trailing stop is not a bad place to be. If prices continue trading well, we can always buy back in.

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Aug 19

What comes after all-time highs?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 slipped modestly following Tuesday’s record close. There were not any definitive headlines driving today’s weakness, instead, this was nothing more than a little profit-taking and “selling the news” after yesterday’s push to all-time high.

One day up, the next day down. That’s what markets do. But as long as we keep experiencing more up than down, this rebound remains alive and well. For months I’ve been saying markets go where people are looking. That little quirk made this unthinkable rally possible despite the greatest health crisis of our lifetimes. Does it make sense? Of course not. But anyone who’s been doing this for a while knows the market doesn’t always make sense. In fact, more often than not, it does the exact opposite of what most people expect, hence why contrarian investing is such a successful strategy.

Unfortunately, with yesterday’s record close, the crowd is no longer fiated on a singular level and figuring out what comes next is a little less clear. But as is always the case, there are three possibilities; up, down or sideways.

Down is the most widely anticipated outcome given the dreadful economic environment surrounding us. But paradoxically, that’s exactly why down is the least likely outcome over the near-term. Everyone knows the economy is dreadful. (Duh!) But if confident equity owners refused to sell those headlines last quarter, last month, and last week, why would anyone assume their mood changed all of a sudden? Confident owners remain stubbornly confident and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. If they were not fazed by the sharpest economic decline since the Great Depression, I cannot think of anything more spectacular that will finally convince them to abandon ship.

Up, that’s a strong possibility. Momentum is a very real thing in markets because people love joining the herd, especially when that herd is making money. But given how far, consistently, and slowly this rebound has been traveling, everyone’s seen this move coming from a mile away. If a person wanted to buy this rally to all-time highs, they already bought it. While that buying was enough to get us here, I don’t expect there will be enough to keep us going for a whole lot longer.

My best guess is momentum carries us higher for a week or two before prices settle back and consolidate near 3,400 for a month or two. From there, it all depends on how the fight against the virus progresses this fall. A big second wave and stocks will slump. If the situation remains status quo, then stocks will continue edging higher into year-end. (With some obvious and temporary volatility surrounding the election.)

But most people don’t care why the market is doing what it is doing, what they really want to know is how to trade it. Easy, keep doing what has been working. That means holding for higher prices and keep moving our trailing stops up, now spread between 3,320 and 3,360. If prices race higher in an unsustainable way, I’ll consider locking in some profits proactively ahead of a pullback to 3,400 support. But more important than anything is protecting the mountain of profits we collected this summer. Remember, we only make money when we selling our winners.

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Aug 12

The best way to trade the Covid rebound

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis

It was another good day for the S&P 500, this time finishing just a whisker shy of a record close. Not bad for the worst economy since the Great Depression.

But anyone who reads this blog knew this was coming weeks, if not months ago. As I often say, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up. As counterintuitive as this rebound has been, riding these gains has been fairly straight forward for anyone that wasn’t overthinking the situation.

And to the victor goes the spoils. Anyone who bought the June dip using a 3x leveraged ETF is up nearly 50%. The more aggressive buyer who jumped aboard this bounce in March is up nearly 200%. Not bad for a lowly index trade.

As much hype as highflying stocks like TSLA or ZM get, there is really good money to be made swing-trading the indexes. In fact, I find the risks to be lower and the rewards greater. I’m planning on writing a series of posts covering how I swing-trade the indexes using leveraged ETFs and showing readers just how profitable this strategy can be, even when compared against the hottest stocks.

Granted, I haven’t been snoozing at the wheel since the March lows and I moved in and out of the market several times since them. But when we can move all-in and all-out in a few mouse clicks, it makes sense to step aside when things appear uncertain. As easy as it is to jump out, it is just as easy to jump back in when the latest dip proves to be a false alarm. In fact, if you do it early and get a little bit lucky, you actually make more money selling the top of these little gyrations and buying the minor dips. It doesn’t always work that well, but even riding through a few minor whipsaws sure beats watching a losing position swell or watching the next breakout leave without you.

Now that we finally reached the old highs, what comes next? That’s a good question. We should expect prices to pause for a little bit as investors gather their bearings. After that, a frenzy of breakout buying could push us sharply higher. Or waves of contagious profit-taking send prices tumbling. Or thirdly, stubborn owners refuse to sell, reluctant buyers refuse to buy, and that stalemate leaves stocks drifting sideways for a while.

My guess is we see a modest breakout push prices higher over the next week or two, but that strength ultimately fizzles and the index retreats back to the old highs where we consolidate for a bit. I will continue holding for higher prices but will move my trailing stop nearby so my profits are protected if I’m wrong.

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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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Jun 16

When to get worried about this market

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 rallied for the third day in a row and continues recovering from last week’s devastating 6% tumble.

One large bearish collapse followed by three smaller bullish responses. Which signal is legitimate and which is misleading? That’s the question everyone wants the answer to.

Thursday’s crash was the worst day since the original Coronavirus meltdown. What started as a disappointing open quickly morphed into a mad dash for the exits. But as quickly as the selling started, it exhausted itself and stocks have already recovered a big chunk of those shocking losses.

If there is one thing we know about crashes, they are breathtakingly fast. No one has time to think and if you pause even for a second, you get run over. That’s what occurred Thursday. But rather than extend the panic selling the runaway selling like we saw back in March, the subsequent price action has been far more orderly and thoughtful.

Few things calm nerves like rising prices and the last three days of gains has a lot of people feeling better. Last Thursday’s second thoughts are quickly fading from memory and confidence is returning.

As I wrote previously, until further notice, we give this rebound the benefit of doubt. Trends continue countless times but they reverse only once. Going strictly off the probabilities, last week’s dip was far more likely to bounce than it was to continue. And that’s exactly what we are seeing.

And as long as this market remains above 3k support, we continue giving it the benefit of doubt. Fall under this level and all bets are off.

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Jun 11

Is this the start of the end, or just another buyable dip?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

It was a dreadful day for the S&P 500. In fact, this nearly 6% loss was the worst day for the index since the depths of the Coronavirus collapse back in March.

There was no definitive headline driving today’s selling. Instead, this was one gigantic tidal wave of second-guessing that hit all at once. Between the struggling economy and signs of a second wave of infections in Asia, many investors slammed on the brakes and those second-thoughts were contagious.

As well as the market has done over the last few months, it is was actually surprising it took this long for stocks to take a meaningful step-back. But as I’ve been writing, investors have largely been ignoring headlines and this remains an emotionally driven market. Those blinders propelled us on the way higher and this group-think contributed to today’s simultaneous, mega-collapse.

But as bad as today felt, did anything change? No. The economy is still in shambles and a second wave of infections is inevitable. All things we knew yesterday and none of this is new to anyone. If these things didn’t matter before, then it probably doesn’t matter now. Stocks made a huge run since the March lows despite these fears and periodic waves of profit-taking like this are inevitable.

But just as important to this market is the nearly unlimited amount of money and resources governments are throwing at this problem. If we learned anything over the last decade, it’s that stocks absolutely love free money and by that metric, the good times are still rolling. The free money is flowing out of control and despite today’s temporary dip, expect those unprecedented flows to keep propping up stock prices.

This pullback was long overdue, but this was just a normal and healthy step-back on our way back to all-time highs. This is not the start of some much bigger collapse. Expect this selloff to bounce like every dip that came before it this spring. If the bounce doesn’t occur Friday, then look for it early next week.

But just because this market will bounce doesn’t mean we should ride this wave lower. Every responsible trader uses stops to protect themselves in case they are wrong. Earlier this week I suggested last Thursday’s close was a good level for a trailing stop. We undercut that level early in the day and that was our signal to get out no matter what we thought was going to happen next.

Now that savvy traders are in cash, it is time to start looking for the next buying opportunity. If prices bounce tomorrow morning, test that opening strength with a small buy and stop under the early lows. (It doesn’t matter if we open red or green, just which direction the market moves after the open.) If prices rally through the day, keep adding more. If prices finish near the daily highs, hold over the weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, if prices fall from opening levels tomorrow morning, stay in cash and wait for the bounce. (An aggressive trader can short the weakness, just stay nimble and take profits early and often) As bad as today felt, traders should be excited to see this volatility. As much fun as it was riding this spring’s wave higher, we make a lot more money from this back-and-forth.

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Jun 10

Is it too late to buy TSLA?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

TSLA broke through $1,000 for the first time ever and is 250% above its March lows. That’s one heck of a ride for anyone lucky enough to catch it.

I will be the first to admit I’m not a big TSLA bull. It’s an expensive stock and prone to wild swings. But those same wild swings that give bulls and bears so much to argue about are the things swing-traders dream of. Who cares which side is right as long as the stock keeps giving us these huge, tradable swings.

Back in early May, I told readers this stock was buyable if it could get above $800 and hold those gains:

This is a strong sign and breaking through resistance in a sustainable way seems inevitable. That means the most likely next move is higher and if we get through $800, then all-time highs near $1,000 is the next stop.

Well, here we are! Now the big question everyone is asking is what comes next? 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.

Ride this thing higher with a trailing stop just under $1k and enjoy the profits. Obviously, the safer time to jump aboard this move was back at the $800 breakout. But for 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!

Now that all the hype is out of the way, make sure you keep your head screwed on tight. Just because $1,200 seems likely doesn’t guarantee we will get there. Stay disciplined and always keep a nearby stop just in case we get this one wrong. If we get stopped out prematurely, we can always jump back in when prices recover. But losses, those are forever and we want to avoid them to the best of our abilities.

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Jun 09

The warning signs we need to be looking for

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 experienced its biggest dip in nearly three weeks. As bad as that sounds, the losses were modest and only pushed the index back to levels that were fresh highs two days ago. If we want to find other signs of resilience, the Nasdaq bucked the trend and actually closed at the highest level in its history. Even our bad days are not very bad and that’s been a very good thing for anyone who still believes in stocks.

At this point, the S&P 500 is so close to all-time highs that testing this level seems inevitable. What happens after we get there is still up for debate, but the market tends to go where people are looking and the next big milestone is all-time highs. Stating the obvious, this is a very bad time to be short stocks.

In my previous free posts, I explained why this market is headed higher. As long as prices keep making higher-highs, everything is going according to plan and we have nothing to worry about. But everyone knows all good things eventually come to an end and this strength will be no different. Today I’m going to describe the warning signs we need to be looking for.

Maybe the next dip will be headline-driven. Or maybe demand will dry up as we run out of new buyers willing to pay even higher prices. Either way, hints of the next meaningful dip will first show up in the form of weak closes.

The final hour of trade is when intuitional traders make their moves and where we first see any shifts in their outlook. More than red or green closes, what really matters is how prices moved in the final hour of the day. A good day can finish red or a bad day can still finish green. What we are looking at is which direction and how strongly we moved in the final hour. Are we above the early lows, like today? That is a good day even when we finish red. Did early strength fizzle and close well off the highs? That is a bad day even if we closed in the green.

The other meaningful signal to look for is a series of lower-highs and lower-lows. If every good day is slightly less good than the one before it, that tells us large institutions are taking profits, not adding more money. If big money is selling, then we should be moving out the door too.

Right now we don’t have anything to worry about because the market keeps closing strong and making higher-highs. But the best time to plan what comes next is before it happens. If you are ready and prepared for what is coming, you will never be caught off guard.

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Jun 08

Are all-time highs inevitable?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

It’s been six days since I wrote the free post titled “Why this market is still buyable“. Back then the S&P 500 was 10% short of all-time highs. Today, we find ourselves only 5% away from that “unthinkable” mark.

As I wrote back then:

This paradox largely comes down to expectations of a quick recovery combined with unprecedented levels of government stimulus. As bad as the economy looks today, when governments are throwing unlimited resources at the problem, that’s enough to placate investors.

Nothing’s changed since then and is why prices keep marching higher. At this point, why argue with what is working? The index is almost certainly headed back toward all-time highs and the only real question is what happens after we get there. But as nimble traders, we can worry about that when we get there. Until then, enjoy this ride higher and keep moving your trailing stops up. Right now, some stops near Thursday’s close and another portion near Friday’s intraday lows look to be be pretty good levels.

Now, maybe this rebound is getting a bit too obvious to everyone and that causes these gains to stall short of all-time highs. But as long as we respect our stops, it won’t be a problem. In fact, for the disciplined and nimble trader, near-term dips are simply another profit opportunity.

As the cliche goes, “plan your trade and trade your plan”. Until something changes, keep giving this market the benefit of doubt.

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Jun 02

Why this market is still buyable

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 continues racing ahead of the economy and is now less than 10% from all-time highs. The fastest economic contraction since the great depression and stocks are only down single digits? That’s the world we live in.

As I’ve written previously, this paradox largely comes down to expectations of a quick recovery combined with unprecedented levels of government stimulus. As bad as the economy looks today, when governments are throwing unlimited resources at the problem, that’s enough to placate investors.

As much as it seems like this market is ripe for a near-term dip and consolidation, it keeps chugging higher instead. I took some profits last week because that is always the smart thing to do following a strong run, but this week’s strength tells us it is already time to get back in. Maybe we are getting close to the top and these latest purchases will get stopped out prematurely. Or maybe this thing still has room to run. Either way, as long as we are thoughtful with our trading plan, entry points, and stops, we will be in good shape no matter what the market does.

As long as prices remain above last week’s close, this market is still ownable. If prices fall under this level, shift to a more defensive stance to protect our profits. We only make money when we sell our winners and it is foolish to let a good trade evaporate before our eyes. As nimble traders, it is far easier to get back in than it is to will the market higher after it took back all of our paper profits.

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