NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- One of the slowest weeks in a long time is finally over.
We started last week slow, buying into a few stocks. We were quickly stopped out for a mix of smallish gains, small losses and a couple at break-even. Getting stopped out quickly ensured we didn't take any real losses. More importantly, it told us that things were still not ready.
Sure enough, we sat out the rest of the week as markets and stocks just chopped around like the Karate Kid.
Many traders are complaining about lack of direction and trend and are taking loss after loss. I've learned that lesson before. It is always best to identify these choppy periods and then decode to sit them out and wait. If you trade the good markets and do well, you always end up giving back your gains and more in this type of chop. So I've learned to stay in a high cash position during these times in order to keep my powder dry and ready to go.
If you can't sit this market out, you will never really get ahead. If you can sit out the chop, you will make a lot of money only trading in strong-trending markets.
It sounds simple, and it really is, but it does take discipline since we, as humans, always want action. The precious metals also chopped around a lot.
Let's take a look and see what moves would constitute an end to the chop. Let's start with gold.
Gold (GLD) lost 0.87% last week and did nothing at all.