Simple Market Secret: Just Look Left

One of the most important jobs of a market participant is risk management. If you’re unable to identify when your position is wrong, then you shouldn’t be entering a position, to begin with. Would we ever enter a crowded room without identifying where the exits are? I don’t think so. We have the same responsibility when entering a new position. At 360 Investment Research, when we enter a new position, we identify risk (and potential reward) by looking left. By looking left on a price chart, we can identify previous changes in supply and demand, which can give clues on where demand or support could appear.

By looking left, we can identify when buying momentum wanes and when selling pressure has entered the market. For example, if over a certain time period, the price is making a series of lower highs and lower lows, we know sellers have more urgency than buyers for that time period. There is more supply than demand and price is trying to discover where the buyers live. So by looking left, we are using economic law (not opinion) to guide our investment decisions, entries, and exits. Using price removes mystery (and emotion) from our trading process. Let’s go through this exercise with the S&P 500 on daily and weekly time frames to identify where we are with the current market.

First, here’s the daily chart of the S&P 500:

(Click on image to enlarge)

Daily Chart of S&P 500


When we look left, we can see price made of series of higher highs and higher lows from November through March. On March 1st, this important index recorded a new all-time-high. A series of higher highs and higher lows is indicative of a bull market. However, for the remainder of March and most of April, the characteristics of supply and demandchanged. The S&P 500 recorded a series of lower lows and lower highs over that two-month period. This was a downtrend on the daily time frame until a new high was established in mid-May. With the exception of recording a lower high and lower low in August, the sequence of higher highs and higher lows in one the world’s most important indexes has been relentless. Relentless higher highs and higher lows are classic bull market behavior.

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Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell a security. You invest based on your own decisions. Everything in this post is meant ...

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