Oct 26

What smart money is preparing to do at these levels

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

Wednesday was another wild session for the S&P 500 as an early 35-point loss rallied 60 points from those early lows. As good as that felt, the relief was short-lived and the index gave back all of those gains through the afternoon, ultimately finishing near the intraday lows.

But this shouldn’t surprise anyone. This remains a volatile market and that means oversized moves in both directions.

The waves of second-guessing were brought about by disappointing earnings reports from GOOGL and MSFT. While these results didn’t really change anyone’s outlook, it was enough to remind prospective buyers that our problems are a long way from being resolved.

But this exhale was expected. Everyone knows stocks don’t move in straight lines and even the biggest rallies have red days. And let’s be honest, no one is expecting October’s bounce to turn into one of the biggest rallies.

Stocks go up and stocks go down, that’s what they do. But as long as there is more up than down, then everything is still going according to plan.

All of that said, those of us that bought near the October lows are sitting on a large pile of profits in our leveraged ETFs. As nice as it feels to watch those profits grow, they are not real until we sell. This is the point in a trade where we shift our mindset from offense to defense. With profits this large, making sure we protect what we have is far more important than squeezing a little more profit out of the market.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should panic-sell everything because stocks had one red day. That would be ridiculous. But it helps if we shift from a binary mindset (in or out) to one that allows us to think in shades of gray. Don’t be bearish or bullish. Don’t move all-in to all-out. Instead, look at the market in terms of risk.

Risk is a function of height, meaning buying October’s lows was far safer than what it felt like. And now that we’re at the October highs, things are definitely riskier than they were two weeks ago.

I don’t know what Thursday or Friday has in store for us, but I will be approaching those sessions with a defensive mindset. With this much profit in hand, it is better to start peeling off some profits a little too early than get greedy and watch all of those profits evaporate by holding too long.

I’m willing to keep holding Thursday if the rally continues, but I will be looking for any excuse to start locking in some profits. As easy as it is to buy back in, there is no reason to hold through the next step back no matter how innocently it starts off.

I still think 4k is in the cards and as soon as I sell, the first thing I do is start looking for the next entry point. But if I sell a partial position and the market goes higher without me, that’s fine too. Only fools try to squeeze every last dime out of the market.

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Oct 24

Why bears will keep getting this trade wrong

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 finished Monday at the highest levels in over a month. Not bad for a market the crowd fully expected to be crashing to fresh lows.

As I wrote two weeks ago, before the September inflation report:

The market likes to throw in a few head fakes immediately after the [inflation report] lands, but within 30 minutes, the pent-up supply and demand will be too strong to continue the charade and the market will be tracking straight and true for the next big, multi-day move. All we have to do is grab on and enjoy the ride.

Well, here we are, nearly two weeks later and the index is up 300-points from those October lows. That’s an 8.6% gain in straight money and 25.7% in the 3x ETF I like trading. Not bad for a couple of weeks’ worth of “work”.

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Now that the index is running up against 3,800 resistance, readers want to know what comes next. Easy, higher prices.

Sure, we might have a minor step back over the next day or two, but markets almost never turn around exactly at support. Since we just kissed overhead resistance on Monday, that means we still have a little more room to run even if this rebound is on the verge of stalling out.

But this isn’t about to stall out. As I often write, the market loves symmetry and that huge selloff from the September highs will result in an equal impressive rebound. Sure, maybe lower prices are ahead of us over the longer term, but never forget the biggest and fastest rallies occur during bear markets, and the last time I checked, this was still a bear market.

The next noteworthy hurdle is the 50dma and 4k is after that. We won’t know what happens at those levels until we get there and can evaluate the price action. But at this point, the rebound looks solid. If prices were fragile and vulnerable to a collapse, the September inflation report was more than enough to send us tumbling lower. Instead, prices bounced hard and that’s all we needed to know what direction this market wants to go.

Don’t fight a trade that’s working. There is nothing to do here except keep holding and lifting our trailing stops. Don’t overthink this.

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Oct 18

Why this rebound still has room to run

By Jani Ziedins | End of Day Analysis

Free After-Hours Analysis: 

The S&P 500 finished Tuesday +1% higher, making this the third gain out of the last four sessions. And equally encouraging, the index is challenging the October highs, not bad for a market that was making multi-year lows only a few days ago.

Nothing much improved since last Thursday when September’s inflation report remained stubbornly high. But when bearishness is near historic levels, we don’t need good news to fuel a relief rally, simply being less bad than feared can be the spark that ignites a rebound from oversold levels. And let me tell you, Thursday’s bullish +5% intraday reversal was one hell of a spark.

Lucky for readers of this blog, we knew something big was coming even if we couldn’t be confident in the direction. As I wrote last Tuesday:

A big trade is around the corner, we just need to be patient and wait for it to come to us. Don’t let these meaningless, near-term gyrations throw you off. But once it gets here, don’t be afraid to grab hold because there will be lots of easy and fast profits to be had.

Everyone knows markets move in waves and it’s been a long and mostly one-way fall from the September highs, so even bears should have been prepared for a fast and hard bounce. Too bad greed and hubris cloud a person’s judgment.

Anyone can point out what’s obvious after it happened, but what readers really want to know is what comes next. Easy, there is no reason to assume the buying is anywhere near close to being done. The market loves symmetry and it’s been a dramatic and oversized fall from the September highs, so it is only reasonable to expect a similarly dramatic and meaningful rebound.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming symmetry means are headed back to the September highs, just that we should expect an equally dramatic and meaningful rebound to recover from these oversold levels. And it will take a lot more than three days of buying to balance out two months of nearly non-stop selling.

And this should go without saying, but markets don’t move in straight lines and this remains a volatile market, meaning we should expect lots of back and forth. But over the next few weeks, expect more up than down. In fact, a good bit more up than down. But don’t get complacent because those down days will be enough to make us doubt ourselves. We don’t need to look any further than Friday to see how strong the second-guessing can be. But as I said earlier, we are still in the early days of this rebound.

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