Mish's Market Minute

Making Better Trades with Market Timing


Our president and first lady contracted COVID. That yielded a morning gap down, followed by a rally; that rally was partially based on hope for the stimulus.

These are some of the biggest thoughts on trader's minds as of Friday. And, of course, on everyone's mind is the thought of what I should do next?

If you're unsure of what to do, days like these can be good to sit on the sidelines, but if you want to put on a position, it can be very useful to time your entry into the market. What I mean about market timing is lining up your trade entry with the major market indices.

This can help you get a better price on your entry and keep you on the right side of the market. It's also very easy to set up and the basics are easy to grasp.

Here we have the SPY, QQQ, DIA and IWM. These are ETFs of the 4 major indices.

We will be using 5-minute charts, meaning each individual red or green bar you see represents 5 minutes. The vertical dotted line shows the divide between last Thursday and last Friday.

One important piece of information to keep in mind is where the current price is compared to the high/low of the day before. This can give you a good sense of the market's strength or weakness compared to the current day. For instance, breaking above Thursday's high is a bullish sign and, if multiple indices were to do so, that could be a great spot to enter a trade. Conversely, if the market is breaking below Thursday's low and you see a stock you want to trade, it could be wise to wait until there are signs of the market finding support.

A little after 11:00 AM ET on Friday, you can see all 4 found support. SPY looked the strongest at that point, when the low from the initial open became the support for price. However, by the end of Friday's session, although SPY held the lows, the rally stopped just shy of clearing the 50-DMA or $335.00.

Conversely, IWM broke out above Thursday's high. An interesting rotation, IWM also managed to clear the 50-DMA. Once IWM began to lead the pack, trading opportunities emerged in that index or in various stocks in the IWM basket.

The NASDAQ 100 or QQQs were weakest, with evidence of a new intraday low in the middle of the session, while the SPY, IWM and DIA held their initial lows made on the open. What that told us was that tech was particularly weak and definitely not presenting with any kind of buy opportunity.

Using 5-minute charts can be a helpful tool to either keep you sidelined or give you a good signal if it clears the prior day's highs, like IWM did. Shorter timeframes on big gap opens can help you time your trades better.

Make sure to check out Mish on Yahoo Finance here. And to see and hear her top Lucky 13 picks, click on this YouTube link for the latest Mish's Market Minute StockCharts TV segment.

  • S&P 500 (SPY): Did not confirm bullish phase. Support 330
  • Russell 2000 (IWM): Closed just over the 50-DMA. Needs a second close to confirm bull phase
  • Dow (DIA): 273 support, resistance 280
  • Nasdaq (QQQ): Back into an unconfirmed caution phase, with 275 the 50-DMA to get back above
  • KRE (Regional Banks): Finally a strong close over 36; 38 is the next major resistance level
  • SMH (Semiconductors): 181 resistance. Needs to hold the 50-DMA
  • IYT (Transportation): Held support at 193 and also closed green on the day. 200 pivotal.
  • IBB (Biotechnology): Needs to clear back over the 50-DMA. 137-138 resistance, 133.25 support.
  • XRT (Retail): Strong day confirming the bullish phase

Mish Schneider


Director of Trading Research and Education

Forrest Crist-Ruiz


Assistant Director of Trading Research and Education

Forrest Crist-Ruiz
About the author: is the latest member of the MarketGauge team, working closely with Mish Schneider as Assistant Director of Trading Education and Research. Forrest has experience as a trader, having successfully invested in his own personal account for several years. Currently, Forrest assists Mish with trade selection and management. He also helps with writing the MarketGauge Daily Blog. Learn More
Mish Schneider
About the author: serves as Director of Trading Education at MarketGauge.com. For nearly 20 years, MarketGauge.com has provided financial information and education to thousands of individuals, as well as to large financial institutions and publications such as Barron’s, Fidelity, ILX Systems, Thomson Reuters and Bank of America. In 2017, MarketWatch, owned by Dow Jones, named Mish one of the top 50 financial people to follow on Twitter. In 2018, Mish was the winner of the Top Stock Pick of the year for RealVision. Learn More
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