The market feels like it is in wait-and-see mode in front the FOMC interest-rate decision Wednesday afternoon and then two major political events on Thursday. Breadth is still slightly positive and the FAANG names have improved from the early going but the action is mixed and momentum limited.
One of the dangers of action like this is that it is too often characterized as part of a "topping process." That is just a way for bears to state that they are still hoping they may be right after numerous other predictions of a market top. There is nothing in the current action that supports a prediction that a major top is going to occur.
In the last eight years or so there has been no market approach that has performed as poorly as trying to anticipate a market turn. The appeal of that approach is easy to understand. It would be very satisfying to be the hero that nails the exactly turning point. You would be hailed as a savant with remarkable insight.
While that may be a worthwhile goal for career or ego purposes, it is not the way to make money. The way you make money in the market is to stay with trends and strong stocks as long as you can. You don't constantly look for reasons for why the trend is about to come to an end.
An good example of how successful trading works is the action in Intelsat S.A. (I) , which I've been discussing here for a number of months. It would have been easy to find reasons to sell this stock at various times in the last few months. It hit a high in early August and has stumbled around and not show much momentum.
I stuck with the stock because of the potential longer-term 5G story, which will require satellite spectrum owned by Intelsat. Trying to constantly call a top in this stock would have shifted the focus away from what could go right.
Something is going right with the stock Tuesday as it trades up 18% on news of a scheduled satellite launch this afternoon. The satellite being launched is intended to provide direct-to-home services in Europe, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
I've made a small partial sale of Intelsat as part of my trading discipline but this is a story that is going to continue to develop over at least the next year.