There's plenty of interesting and helpful Wall Street terminology out there.
However, it's an unfortunate tendency of pundits and analysts alike to try to sound smarter or more connected by tossing around jargon that can be meaningless and even misleading.
These are cliches, placeholders, and half truths that we see all day on TV and in analyst notes. If you hear them, change the channel. You're not likely to hear anything of use.
Trading in a range
Why it's useless: The "trading range" is an arbitrary construct of the commentator, and a flat stock or market isn't interesting.
Cash is on the sidelines
Why it's useless: Cash doesn't enter or leave the market, it just moves between buyers and sellers.
Why it's useless: It's basically saying that something is headed down, but the commentator has no idea about how much it will go down or how long it will take.
Why it's useless: The phrase is incredibly vague and a blatant attempt by the commentator to seem right whether a market goes up (I was optimistic!) or goes down (I was cautious!).
Why it's useless: Implies that this market is somehow different or unique, when in reality, anybody who trades is always trying to pick winners. Any time a market is going down or volatile can be bad for indexers. That doesn't make it better for picking individual stocks.
Why it's useless: The world has been in a constant state of macro volatility for the past several years.
Why it's useless: It's a vague positive feeling without any real content.
More buyers than sellers
Why it's useless: Every single stock transaction requires both a buyer and a seller. When a stock goes up, it's because the buyer is willing to pay a higher price.
Reversion to the mean
Why it's useless: The fact that something was priced at a particular level in the past doesn't make it the correct or average price.
Black swan/Perfect storm
Why it's useless: They're previously useful metaphors that have been abused and overused to the point that they have lost any impact.
Our thesis remains unchanged
Why it's useless: It's a verbal confirmation of the fact that nobody likes to admit that they're wrong.
Why it's useless: Do you really want analysis on anything from somebody incapable of describing how it works?
Why it's useless: It means something is not a recession or a recovery, often conveniently without a definition of either.
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