Just a quick reminder to all that the stock market is likely to continue grind around for the remainder of today in a holding pattern as we head into the middle of one of the most important weeks for the market so far this year. On deck we have:

  • AAPL (Apple Inc.) along with AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) scheduled to report earnings after the market close today.
  • The ADP Employment Report at 8:15 am EST followed by the release of the 4th Quarter QDP at 8:30 am.
  • BABA, BA, T, MCD & many more companies will be reporting earnings before the market opens tomorrow with roughly 37% of the firms in the S&P 500 schedules to release results this week.
  • At 2:00 pm during Wednesday’s trading session, the FOMC Meeting announcement will take place and while the Fed Fund Futures are currently pricing in a 0% chance of a change in rates, as usual, it will be more about what the Fed says than what they actually do.
  • After the market close on Wednesday we’ll have a trio of potentially market-moving companies reporting; FB, MSFT & TSLA among many others.
  • Before the market opens on Thursday we’ll have reports from GE, MA, UPS, CELG & others followed by the AMZN (Amazon) after the market close.
  • Finally, we’ll have a slew of potentially market-moving economic reports before & shortly after the market opens on Friday such as the Employment Situation, both the PMI & ISM Manufacturing Indexes followed by Consumer Spending & Construction spending at 10:00 am.

Bottom line, while the markets have been relatively calm so far this week, volatility is likely to pick up as early as tomorrow in the wake of Apple’s report followed by GDP tomorrow morning with things only picking up from there.

I will usually avoid opening new swing trade positions before a slew of potentially market-moving reports such as these as there is often a noticeable increase in whipsaw signals (false breakouts) surrounding market-moving earnings & economic reports such as these.

Regarding any existing positions, I will almost always leave my closing orders (i.e.- sell limit order at a profit target for a long trade) in place while making a case-by-case basis as whether to temporarily suspend or widen my stops. The reason that I leave my price target orders in place is that the goal of any trade is to close it out profitable at your target and I like to use that increase in volatility during a week like this in my favor to exit a position at a profit while also trying to avoid having my stop briefly clipped on a trade in which the charts still look constructive.