stop the tide

What is dry tide?

Blocking a trend is an expression that means trying to stop or avoid a trend. In the context of investing or trading, it is often used to refer to one’s own position. If the value of the position is losing money, closing the position will be called stopping the tide, or stopping the trend of losses.

A similar phrase in the same context is “stop the bleeding”.

key takeaways

  • Stem the trend is an idiom that means to resist or end a fashion trend.
  • The phrase originates from the nautical term that a ship would try to deflect an oncoming wave.
  • Today, the phrase is often used to refer to a series of losses across multiple trades or investment positions, establishing a general trend in the use of currencies.
  • In the context of operating performance, it may refer to shifting a company’s performance from losses to profits.

What it means to stop the tide

Stopping the tide means making a change. However, it does not necessarily constitute a complete or immediate cessation of the unfavorable trend, but rather suggests a weakening or tapering of the negative trend. Since the goal of containing it and eventually eliminating a negative trend is desirable, it is acceptable that it might happen sometime in the future.

Holding back the tide in an investment environment is used as a metaphor for reversing the effects of long-term market trends. This situation usually refers to macroeconomic trends, where tides are trends that can last for months or even years, rather than short-term changes that can reverse over a shorter period of time. Issues such as inflation, high unemployment, or high interest rates fall into this category.

In the context of trading or analyzing individual stocks, stemming the tide can refer to the long-term goal of trying to stem the free fall of a stock price in order to change its direction.

origin of the term

This idiom uses “stem” to mean “stop” or “reduce”. So “tide blocking” was originally used among seafarers to establish a course that would resist tides or waves, especially in stormy conditions, to really block tides.

One of the first technical analysts in the market, Robert Rhea, used this ocean metaphor to describe market trends. Rhea was a proponent of Dow Theory, a form of technical analysis that he would use to identify market tops and bottoms, then profit from those calls. Tidal is often mentioned in the context of triple screen deals. Using this system, traders use long-term charts or market trends as the basis for trading decisions.

For example, if traders plan to trade on a daily basis, they will check the weekly Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) histogram, as its slope provides some indication of market trends.

How Businesses Can Stop the Trend

For businesses bleeding to stem the tide, there are a few general steps that can be taken. The most obvious first step is to identify the source of the loss and stop it. If the loss comes from overhead, reduce fixed costs. If unproductivity takes its toll, get rid of unproductive workers or seek technical solutions. If this is an expensive and ineffective marketing campaign, rethink your advertising budget and branding efforts.

Also, make sure your business has and sticks to its budget and financial plan. Sometimes, a lot of debt can be resolved strategically through bankruptcy and restructuring.

Once the tide is contained, rebuilding profits and growing at a reasonable rate without sacrificing quality or customer service is critical to re-emerging and surviving.

Example of stopping the tide

Stem the tide is often used to convey the meaning of reversing a negative trend and preventing it from getting worse. These trends may include rising crime rates, negative public opinion about companies, the loss of qualified workers in specific geographic areas, negative demographic trends, and causes of environmental pollution, among others.

For example, consider this sentence in the definition of capital flight: “Government restrictions on capital flight are designed to stop capital flight. This is often to support a banking system that can collapse in a number of ways.”

One issue of current interest to businesses is stemming the trend of rising employee healthcare costs. Many U.S. cities are currently struggling to stem the tide of qualified and skilled workers leaving for other, more attractive areas. Another context in which experts want to stem the tide is the decline of U.S. small businesses in the years following the Great Depression. On a smaller scale, companies may need to stem the tide of lost profits due to inventory shrinkage, brain drain or being outsmarted by competitors.

This quote comes from the article “Mall Anchors Hit Multi-Year Lows After Dismal Quarter:” in the context of company-related business results and trading stocks

“Retail bulls have been touting the company’s massive real estate holdings for years, but that hasn’t stopped the slide, especially as malls across the country are now threatened with closures due to declining foot traffic.”

Where does the phrase “stop the tide” come from?

To stop the tide, originally “stemme the tyde” comes from Old English for ocean voyages. There, it means catering to prevailing tides or stormy waves to avoid veering off course or worse.

What does blocking traffic mean?

Similar to stopping the tide, stopping the flow is a phrase but means stopping something from spreading. So stopping the flow of information or disease would mean stopping the reproduction of that event.

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