Jani

Oct 302014
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Analysis:

Despite its detractors, the rebound continues, this time pushing up to 2,000.

October has been one of the most painful months in years. Obviously the 10% plunge to 1,820 crushed bulls’ spirits, convincing many to sell reactively at steep discounts. But just as shocking was bouncing as quick as we fell. It started as the selloff bears have been predicting for years and they jumped on the short bandwagon with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, rather than take quick profits, most bears were whacked by this historically powerful short-squeeze. They climbed over each other to buy back their shorts and provided the bulk of the lift from 1,875 to 1,975. But as we return to record highs, most bears have already covered for a loss. Without their buying, what keeps pushing us higher? Now the market switched back to humiliating bulls, this time piling on a mountain of regret for anyone who sold the dip. Two-weeks ago they sold defensively, fearing catastrophic losses, now they are buying, fearing being left behind.

The ironic thing is despite the towering losses many traders took this month, October will be a fairly good month, setting up for a very respectable 1% gain. There is a huge swath of investors wishing they were up 1% for the month. But their pain is someone else’s gain.

But enough reflection, where do we go from here? Expect the rate of gains to slow as the market struggles with 2,000 resistance. This consolidation could last days or weeks, but plan for an eventual upside breakout. The recent plunge flushed out almost all the available supply. Anyone that held through a 10% selloff demonstrated an iron stomach and won’t be selling any time soon. That keeps supply tight and makes it easy for the market to continue rallying on low volume into year-end as regretful sellers crawl back into the market.

Jani

 Posted by at 8:31 pm on October 30, 2014
Oct 292014
 

End of Day Analysis:

Another volatile, but ultimately uneventful session. While the spread between the day’s high and low exceeded 20-points, we ended down less than three.

The headline event was the Fed’s policy statement and ending of QE. This was widely expected, but they also removed language about considerable slack in the labor market. To many this implies a sooner increase in interest rates and was enough to send the market into a quick, 10-point selloff. But rather than cascade lower, supply dried up near 1,970 and the market bounced, nearly recovering all the day’s losses by the close.

The dip tested 1,970 support and the 50dma, but we held both. This is encouraging and gives credibility to the young rebound. If the market was teetering on the edge of another emotional plunge, this weakness more than enough of an excuse to set it off. But instead of rushing for the exits, most owners were indifferent and that apathy tightened supply, leading to the late bounce.

While holding 1,970 is encouraging, we need to keep a close eye on these levels in coming days. If we slip under 1,950 by Friday, things could get ugly in a hurry. But close the week above 1,970 and the market is moving past the fear and uncertainty that gripped us in the first half of October.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:08 pm on October 29, 2014
Oct 222014
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks snapped a powerful, three-day win streak, giving back nearly 25-points from the intraday high. Under normal circumstances this would qualify as a wild ride, but given recent volatility, this was a fairly benign pullback. And we shouldn’t be surprised to see the market run into some headwind as traders lock-in a 130-point bounce off recent lows.

1,950 has been a meaningful technical level going all the way back to June, and it was again today. We rallied up to this level early in the day, but couldn’t break through and that is when the liquidation began. There was no real headline driving either buying or the selling, meaning most traders are still reacting to last week’s emotional rollercoaster.

Right now we find ourselves stuck between the 200dma and the 50dma and will likely remain here for a bit longer. Today’s weakness will rekindle anxiety in those that regretfully held through the dip to 1,820, compelling them to sell proactively before they risk going through that pain again. That doubt and fear could easily push us back to the 200dma, but the real test comes next. Does the market panic and plunge through the 200dma on its way to undercutting the 1,820 lows. Or will calmer and more confident value investors shrug off the volatility and take advantage of emotional selling to buy their favorite companies at a discount?

While the bounce remains fragile, a dip to the 200dma and 1,900 is a normal and healthy part of building a sustainable rebound. The time to worry is if we fail to hold support so soon after reclaiming it.

Jani

 Posted by at 9:34 pm on October 22, 2014
Oct 202014
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Stocks continued last weeks rebound and closed just shy of the 200dma. Quite a reversal of fortune from the breathtaking plunge to 1,820 only days ago. Today’s strength is especially encouraging since it came on the heels of another European selloff. This shows many in the US are coming to terms with global weakness and they feel it is already baked into current US equity prices.

Getting to the technicals, 1,900 and the 200dma are significant resistance levels and seeing the market struggle with them in coming days will be no surprise. But ultimately they should only be speed bumps on our way to the 50dma. How the market trades when we return to 1,950 will be far more insightful in determining what comes next.

The big concern is if 1,950 forms the right shoulder in a much larger head-and-shoulders topping pattern. Failing near 1,950 and then undercutting the 1,820 lows means we have a lot further to fall and this could be the 20%+ correction many have been waiting for. But don’t worry too much about this since it is the worst case scenario. Most likely recent volatility flushed out any would be sellers and anyone who held through the plunge showed they are married to their positions. While this is a reckless attitude for traders to take, if we know they won’t sell, then we also know supply will be tight and that supports prices in the near-term.

A down-day or two is nothing to get excited about as long as the selling is rational and orderly. Some people who were paralyzed by fear during the dip to 1,820 will naturally sell the bounce they were praying for. But once these regretful owners finish selling, look for a surge of buying to follow a break above 1,900.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:25 pm on October 20, 2014
Oct 142014
 
S&P500 daily at end of day

S&P500 daily at end of day

End of Day Update:

Today’s modest up-day halted a three-day, 100-point rout. The question everyone is asking is if this signaled the end of selling, or is just another temporary reprieve on our way lower. Volume was off the chart, even exceeding the pace of the last few days of free-fall. While we are only 7% from all-time highs, it sure feels a lot worse than that.

The disappointing thing about today’s price-action is we were 20-points higher before another late-day collapse pushed us back near break-even. But maybe this isn’t a bad thing. The last few strong bounces turned out of be sucker’s rallies. A more measured response to the selling could be a welcome alternative to this month’s wild volatility.

The tone we set on Wednesday will go a long way to letting us know what happens next. Another free-fall day and who knows where this thing will stop. But a sideways day could indicate buying is finally catching up with selling. There always comes a point in every correction where prices become so attractive, deep-pocketed value investors can no longer resist the urge to snap up discounted shares from desperate sellers.

But that is the rational response and recently the market’s been anything but. In the wild, our ancestors were well served by adopting emotional cues from others in the clan. When everyone else was running, they started running too because those that stuck around to see what all the fuss was about quickly became lunch. And the same thing happens in the market. Few sellers over the last few days could clearly articulate why they were selling, which means they were selling primarily because everyone else was selling.

The VIX is at the highest level in over 2-years. Every other time we approached this level, that signaled an imminent bottom and is likely the case here too. But imminent can mean different things. Obviously that includes a bounce tomorrow. But 48-hours from now also qualifies as imminent, even if it means falling another 75-points.

The thing most investors need to keep in perspective is those with a longer-term outlook, this weakness is a blessing. While it always feels good to watch our accounts swell in value, there are only two prices that matter; what we paid and what we got when we sold. We want prices to be lower when we buy. Anyone who continued to invest in their 401k during the 2008 meltdown has seen those contributions more than double in value. They would be poorer today if we didn’t have that market crash. Markets go up and markets go down. The most successful are the ones who don’t let it get to them.

Jani

 Posted by at 10:28 pm on October 14, 2014