Wednesday, March 24, 2010

State of the Market - 3/24/10

We saw a slight down session today on Wall Street, as debt issues in Portugal caused a spike in the dollar and some selling on most markets. The selling really wasn't that bad however, as most of the intraday action was choppy and sideways in nature. Stocks did finish close to their lows for the day but again the losses were not very big. Volume looks to be lower. '

Technically, we still hanging out in the middle of this tight ascending channel - not much else to say. 1160 and 2380 are numbers to watch on the S&P and Nasdaq respectively as the represent the bottom of the channels as well as the 9 day moving averages. A break of those levels and maybe we get further selling.

Sector-wise, gold got killed today as the dollar was up huge due to Portugal and that is one thing that stands out as I look at my scans. My short selection of LIHR from this weekend's video is up about a $1.50 so far - not bad for three days work. Too bad I didn't enter it on Monday as the overall market looked good. Typically, I would think a strong move in the dollar (which is what today looks to be signaling) would be bad for the markets, but who knows anymore? I am surprised the markets were down only slightly given the chart of UUP. Financials also outperformed today so that is bullish.

Not a great day trading for me - just one of those days where I inevitably went with the wrong stock and missed out on some good ones. Early on, I saw both ZANE and ZOOM moving and went into both (without thinking much about it). I entered ZANE at $2.34 and ZOOM at $8.58. In choosing these two, I passed on a few others that were on my watchlist from last night's scans like BEE and ASTC. I also passed on an earnings trade (CBPO) that popped up early as well. I did have ZANE on my watchlist as it closed right at its 20 day MA last night, but I didn't focus on it enough early on and bought too late. I ended up being stopped out of both of these positions for losses - ZANE ast $2.14 and ZOOM at $8.30.

I was also stopped out of my NEP position from yesterday as I moved my stop up to breakeven when it opened as high as $9.50. I was hoping for immediate follow-through there but didn't get it. I am still in my CISG position but that is it. My real mistake today (and something in general that I feel I need to work on) is not having a clear enough plan for the day and just kind of doing things at the spur of the moment. I had BEE on my quote board and knew it was a possibility, but ZANE and ZOOM took my focus elsewhere, even though I didn't go into the day expecting to be in either of those. This spontaneity cost me today and hopefully I will learn from it. Today reminded me that I do need to work on being more selective in the stocks I focus on - watching too many stocks can get you into trouble.

Overall, I am still not very bearish yet and will continue to take longs as they show up, but it remains a stock picker's market on the long side. It's not a market where just everything is running - you have to be selective and maybe a little lucky. There are a lot of setups that look good but not all are working well. Today, I had four main stocks that I focused on five minutes into the session, and for some reason I chose the wrong two . It's my fault because I let myself get distracted, but it proves that this market can still be tough. You have to be careful with what you buy if you want to do well. Maybe I'll choose better tomorrow. Take care and good luck Thursday.


Jason said...

Looks as though well be flat to down tomorrow also. Your right about being selective right now, some areas look as though they will be strong tomorrow, and other have a bit more red to see.

Anonymous said...

I trade index type symbols as I've found individual issues are less correlated to the trend. If you get the trend correct why add the variable?

Lee said...

Rino is still moving BTW. Earnings next week.