Dec 08

The biggest mistakes people make trading dips and bounces, plus what smart money is doing with GME

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis:

The S&P 500 added a modest 0.3% Wednesday, but that was good enough to make this three up days in a row and leaves the index within 1% of all-time highs. Not a bad result given all the panic selling we were experiencing only a few sessions ago.

But that’s the way this usually works. Prices don’t bounce until the crowd has given up and now a lot of impulsive sellers are left watching this rebound from the outside.

I’m a huge believer in using stops to protect my backside. There is never a valid reason for a nimble trader to hold through a larger pullback. But at the same time, I also recognize stops often get us out unnecessarily.

So what’s a trader to do when faced with these competing concerns of selling just before the bounce or holding through a larger decline?

It actually isn’t that hard if we start with a sensible trading plan.

First and foremost, never be foolish and cheat our stops by holding a falling market. I always get out when I say I’m going to get out.

But once I’m out, the first thing I do is start looking for that next opportunity to get back in. Maybe that causes me to chase my tail every once in a while. But you know what? I would much rather chase my tail than A) hold through a larger decline or B) miss out on the next big rebound.

As it turns out, tail chasing is really cheap insurance that helps ensure we sidestep the big declines while also making sure we are in the right spot at the right time to catch the next big wave higher.

All too often people get hung up, thinking a trade is dead once they sell and they have some phobia about getting back in. If it was a great trade before, it is probably still a great trade and there is no reason to avoid it because of a perfectly normal, healthy, and temporary step back.

As for stops, the best way to avoid getting out at the wrong time is by getting out early. Sell at the beginning of the decline when the first signs something is wrong emerge. Not the bottom of a dip when impulsive traders pull the plug after getting overcome by fear and regret.

As I often remind readers, start small, get in early, keep a nearby stop, and only add to a trade that is working. Follow those simple rules and events like Omicron hubbub are nothing more than a blip on our way higher.


GME posted disappointing earnings after the close.

But did this actually surprise anyone? This is a retailer with an obviously obsolete business model.

Their last hail mary is Christmas shopping and if they cannot get their act together this quarter, the company won’t survive, let alone justify of $13 billion valuation.

At best, this is a $15 stock selling for $170. Get out while you still can.

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Dec 07

Why smart money was betting on the bounce, plus a savvy entry in FB is paying off

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 popped 2% Tuesday and the index is back within 1% of all-time highs.

So much for Omicron. But that’s the way this usually goes. As I wrote last week:

Trends are far more likely to continue than reverse. That’s because a bull market bounces countless times but dies only once…Bears have been wrong all year, so what are the odds they’re right this time? Yeah, not very good.

While this is really easy to say following two big up days, there was nothing easy about buying Friday’s late bounce and adding more money Monday morning. But from years of experience, personal reluctance is usually a really good sign.

As a rule, if I really want to make a trade, it is probably too early. And f I’m dragging my feet and trying to find an excuse to avoid a trade, that is usually a really good sign.

This was definitely the case last Friday. After stubbing my toe buying the previous bounces, it was hard to not get discouraged. But I’ve been doing this long enough to know these trades only work after most people have given up, so the key is being more stubborn than most.

As long as we have a sensible trading plan that is both nimble (getting in early and getting out early) and manages our risk (starting small), we don’t have a lot to fear from buying these bounces and being wrong.

Without a doubt, I got caught on the wrong side of some of last week’s whipsaws, but if the risk is a dozen points on a partial position last week and the reward is more than 100 points of profit on a full position this week, sign me up! I don’t mind being wrong a few times when it pays this well.

And now that the market’s bounced nicely, there is nothing to do but lift our stops and see where this goes.


Last week I asked if FB is so bad it’s good? 

Well, we got our answer this week and the answer is a resounding yes. FB is up nearly 8% from last Friday’s lows and anyone that bought the bounce is sitting on some healthy profits.

As I wrote last week:

Violating support before bouncing is an even more bullish trading signal than simply bouncing off of support because it shows selling capitulation and that bears have lost control of this trade.

That’s exactly what happened on Friday and Monday and this FB trade is setting up really nicely. Just like our index trade, lift our stops up to our entry point and see where this goes.

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Dec 06

A market that refuses to go down will eventually go up

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 finished Monday nicely higher as the pattern of alternating up and down moves continue.

Omicron remains a major headline, but while this variant is definitely more transmissible, it doesn’t seem obviously more dangerous than previous strains. In fact, some initial indications suggest it could actually be more mild, especially for those that have been vaccinated.

In separate news, the Fed is still hinting it will scale back monetary stimulus next year. While everyone loves free money, an economy that can stand on its own is even better for stocks.

Despite all of the fearmongering, the index remains within 3% of all-time highs. As much as cynics ridicule this bull, owners are comfortable and continue confidently holding for higher prices.

While conventional wisdom warns us about complacent markets, this bull has been fat, dumb, and happy all year and it doesn’t look like this latest crop of headlines is changing anyone’s minds.

Headlines don’t need to be good for stocks to rally, only less bad than feared and so far none of the worst-case scenarios are playing out. As I often say, a market that refuses to go down will eventually go up.


While buying bounces sounds easy enough, the market is never easy and most bounces throw a few curveballs at us first. If trading was easy, everyone would be rich and we know that’s not the case.

Sometimes we get caught on the wrong side of these whipsaws, but that’s just the nature of the beast. If we can’t handle a little up and down, then we’re definitely in the wrong line of work.

But as long as we stick to our trading plan, these speedbumps are fairly easy to navigate. Remember, success in the market isn’t about individual trades, but the cumulative result when we put all of our trades together.

While riding these whipsaws is frustrating, the reward will be worth it when we find ourselves in the right spot at the right time when the market finally bounces.

Remember, start small, get in early, keep a nearby stop, only add to a trade that is working, and if we get stopped out, no big deal, wait for the next bounce and do it all over again.

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Dec 02

Why bears keep getting it wrong, plus is FB so bad it’s good?

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis


Free After-Hours Analysis: 

Surprise, surprise, the S&P 500 recovered from Wednesday’s massive intraday reversal. Okay, no one was really surprised because Thursday’s 1.4% bounce was the market’s third rebound attempt this week.

“If at first, you don’t succeed; try, try again.”

You definitely have to give bulls credit for not giving up. The level of selling since Thanksgiving has been staggering, yet here we stand, only 3% from record highs. Talk about a can-do attitude!

As I often write, trends are far more likely to continue than reverse. That’s because a bull market bounces countless times but dies only once.

Maybe this bull market is dying, but smart money is sticking with the higher probability trade. Bears have been wrong all year, so what are the odds they’re right this time? Yeah, not very good.

The smartest way to trade this volatility is continuing to give the benefit of the doubt to the bull market while protecting our backside with a sensible stop-loss; ie, buy the bounce but keep a stop under recent lows.

Monday’s bounce didn’t work and neither did Thursday’s early rebound, but you know what, more often than not, the third time’s the charm.

It is hard to buy a third bounce after the first two unceremoniously dumped us out. But the harder it is to buy a bounce, the more likely it is to succeed. (contrarian trading)

I bought the bounce early because if I’m wrong, no big deal, I sell at my stops and wait to buy the fourth bounce.

Remember, getting in early is critical because 1) it greatly reduces our risk by giving us a healthy profit cushion, and 2) by the time the bounce is obvious, most of the discounts will be long gone.


FB’s recent price action looks downright dreadful. But is this finally getting so bad it’s good?

The stock is setting up for a nice bounce off of $310 support. Above this level, the stock is buyable. Under this key level and we get out. It really doesn’t get any simpler than that.

Okay, maybe it gets a little more complicated if the stock dips under $310 for a bit before bouncing back above this key level. In that case, we get out under $310 and buy back in above $310.

(Violating support before bouncing is an even more bullish trading signal than simply bouncing off of support because it shows selling capitulation and that bears have lost control of this trade.)

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Dec 01

A savvy index trade, plus GME is showing its true colors

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

Wednesday started off well enough for the S&P 500 as prices popped more than 1% at the open. And a wave of follow-on dip-buying pushed the index even higher through the morning. By lunchtime, it looked like this was just another example of alternating up and down days.

But the afternoon session had other plans and hit the rebound with a sledgehammer, knocking it down more than 3% from the intraday highs, turning this into the largest bearish intraday reversal we’ve seen in a while.

Was the market spooked by the first confirmed American Omicron case? Or was it an echo of Powell’s Tuesday comments about winding down the Fed’s bond-buying program? Or maybe traders finally started looking down and realized just how high we are above the October lows?

Most likely it was a cocktail of all of these plus a few others that sent a shiver of second thoughts through the market.

No matter the source, the price action was dreadful; a nice bounce turning into a big loss. And not only that, we undercut Tuesday’s lows and closed at the bottom of the intraday range. Who knows how much further this would have gone if the closing bell didn’t stop the bleeding.

But these things are obvious to everyone that watched the day unfold. What readers really want to know is how to trade this.

Hindsight being 20/20, we know buying the bounce this morning was a mistake, but for anyone that bought the bounce, it actually wasn’t a bad trade. Get in not long after the open and the morning rally gave dip buyers a nice profit cushion. And when midday selling started, retreating under the opening levels was a clear signal to get out.

Buying near 4,610 and selling near 4,610 isn’t a bad trade. If this was the real bounce, the upside potential of returning to the highs would have been 90ish points. Ten-ish points of risk for a shot at a 90 point reward? I’ll take that risk/reward every day.

As it turned out, buying the bounce didn’t work and savvy traders move back to cash long before the day’s real selling started.

While insecure critics love to taunt people for making “wrong” trades, buying the bounce this morning was actually a savvy play. While it didn’t work out this time, there is always next time.

Maybe the selling continues Thursday. Or maybe this was the capitulation bottom and the next bounce is the real deal. Often the third time is the charm and it would be a shame to miss a really nice profit opportunity simply because we were too scared or stubborn to buy the next bounce.

I’m buying the next bounce and if that one doesn’t work, no big deal, I get out and try again next time.


GME tumbled under the all-important $200 support level Tuesday and the bloodbath continued Wednesday. If the Christmas shopping season can’t save this physical retailer, I don’t know what will. This is a no-touch under $200 and we could challenge $150 support before Christmas.

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