Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Few Charts to Watch for Friday

All Charts from Telechart, Courtesy of Worden Brothers, Inc.

I have no idea if the market keeps rallying tomorrow and eventually pushes its way to new highs - I still think it is probably too early to tell.   Tomorrow should be a key day regardless.   I always like to be ready, so here are some stocks that caught my eye tonight.   Good luck Friday.

State of the Market - 4/29/10

Short post today because I have to run to a family member's athletic event.   Today was obviously a very strong day on Wall Street, with the market seeing a steady and smooth move higher right from the opening bell.   Volume looks to be heavier on the Nasdaq but heavier on the S&P.  

I said yesterday that I will be watching closely to see if the market recoups Tuesday's losses quickly or if they can't bounce back much at all.  Today was a good sign for the bulls but I don't know that it is an "all-clear" signal.   The potential still exists for a lower low being put in near the current levels if the markets don't continue to bounce tomorrow.   As I look at the Nasdaq and S&P charts, I am also seeing a potential head and shoulders setup on the 60 minute charts.   Who knows if that will play out but it is a possibility I am considering here.

I didn't make any moves today - actually I see just as many stocks that were down today in my watchlist as were up, and that is a bit odd.   BYD had a nice move higher today over some very key resistance - that is one I have pointed out for a few weeks now - but volume wasn't quite as big as I would expect for a key breakout.   I may look for that on a retest of the breakout area rather than chase here.  

Gotta go - still up in the air in my opinion.    Good luck Friday.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

State of the Market - 4/28/10

We saw a slightly positive session today on Wall Street, but from where I sit, it wasn't very impressive when compared to yesterday's action.   The market started the day slightly higher, but the highs for the day were made at the open, at least for the Nasdaq, as it drifted lower into the lunch hour.   It bounced back near its opening highs from there but couldn't get through and finished with small losses and in the middle of its intraday range.  The S&P did very little besides chop back and forth in a sideways range today.   Volume on both indices was lower than yesterday. 

Technically, the fact that the market took back very little (and in the case of the Nasdaq none) of the losses from yesterday is obviously not very bullish.  Perhaps the Fed news affected trading today a bit, but I said yesterday that I think yesterday could be a sign of change for the market and I still think that holds true overall.   For the first time in a long time, the 9 day moving average is now trending down.   A cross of the 9 and 20 day moving averages has been a pretty accurate signal for a correction (usually brief) or at least choppy sideways action since this rally began over a year ago.   I will be watching for that signal over the next three or four days and if it occurs, I would look more seriously at getting short. 

I made no moves again today and I still think treading lightly here makes sense.   To be honest, I don't see that  many individual setups out there anyway on either the long or short side - a few coils that may break soon but nothing that gets me too excited.   If we are entering a bearish period, I would rather wait for a few days of sideways action or light volume bounces before getting short.   How this week ends should tell us a lot - if the market can't take back most of Tuesday's losses, I think it will be telling.   The losses on 4/16 were almost totally recouped in the next two days.   After today's action, I don't know that we'll see the same thing, and that would signal a change in character.   Good luck Thursday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

State of the Market - 4/27/10

An interesting day today on Wall Street, as we saw the type of selling we haven't seen in a very long time.   The market held up just fine for the first hour and a half of trading today, but at 11:00, things fell apart and stocks fell sharply.   They tried to bounce a bit from 12:00 to 2:00, but couldn't and just drifted lower back to the morning lows before crashing through them in the final hour and closing at the lows for the session.   Volume looks to be heavier than yesterday as well.   Both the Nasdaq and S&P posted 2% losses today and the action looks more serious than the few past episodes we have had recently of one-day selloffs.   I think this one could have legs.

Technically, it looks like the uptrends have been broken on both the S&P and Nasdaq as their 3 month trendlines were sliced through today.   The S&P broke its 20-day moving average as well today - I believe this will be the first close below that level since February 23.  The Nasdaq looks like it will close right at its 20 day and it is very important it holds this level.   I guess it's possible that the markets bounce right back up over the next few days, especially with so much news still out there, but with the levels that were broken today, I have to assume the market is ready to pullback at least a little further than where it is at after today.  

Sector-wise, we saw some damage as well across the board.  Financials got rocked and I will be watching $15.70 as a key level of support on XLF (right around its 50 day moving average).   Both XLE and OIH reversed their breakout attempts from late last week and look like they will pullback as well.   Crude oil looks weak as well as USO will close below its 50 day moving average today.  Retail fell sharply as well and is at a key technical level.  The only thing that seemed to do well today was the dollar and gold, which is kind of odd in that they typically trade opposite each other.

I remain in cash and after today I am going to hold off on any longs for the time being.   I have been wrong recently following these selloffs, thinking they had a good chance of developing into something more serious but then nothing happening.  At the risk of being wrong again, I will say that I think today's selloff seemed more serious to me and could very well lead to further pullback.   If we get more heavy selling and then reverse higher, I will start back to the long side, but for now, I think being careful with longs is the smarter play.   If you're aggressively long right now, I would certainly be tightening my stops.

On the short-side, I put three shorts in the video from this weekened (HOV, SPF, LEN) and suggested looking at them on gap ups Monday.   Hopefully a few readers out there profited from this idea - I watched HOV Monday morning but didn't have the guts to take it then.   I have to look through my shorts tonight - I am sure there are many breakdowns out there.   It's just a matter of confidence - do I take shorts with so much news out there this week knowing the market could turn on a dime?   It's a tough call - one I may make by just staying in cash.   There are times I suppose to try and be a hero - I don't know if right now is one of those times.   Just playing defense might be a better plan.  Good luck Wednesday.

Monday, April 26, 2010

State of the Market - 4/26/10

A really slow day today on Wall Street, as last week's momentum could not continue early on and stock drifted lower in a choppy fashion throughout the day.   Both the S&P and Nasdaq finished with losses but neither were very large although the market did finish at its lows for the day.   Volume was predictably lower.  

Technically, not much changed today from what I mentioned in the video last night - we are still above the 9 day moving average on both indices and as long as we are I don't think you can get too bearish.   I will say however that I saw some reversals in individual stocks I have been watching like SA, BEBE, and FINL that have me thinking maybe we chop around here a bit more.   I didn't see too many stocks moving today.  

I made no moves today and am not in a rush to do so.   Most of the setups I showed last night are still OK but I am taking a few off the watchlist after today for the time being.   I assume we'll keep moving higher but you never know I guess.   I don't know - I really don't have much of a feeling right now either way.  Sometimes I get like that.   Maybe tomorrow will give some clarity to me at least.   Good luck Tuesday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stock Market Video - Setups for the Upcoming Week - 4/25/10

 Hi, traders.   Here's the video for the upcoming week - the market just keeps chugging along and I don't know if we'll ever get a real correction again.   It looked like we might have one early last week but every time the market fell the bulls came in to push it right back up, so for know it remains a market where the only real choice is to look for longs.   I have some setups to watch included in this video.

To see the video in HD, please click "720p" and "Full Screen" on the video bar - HD will be available after processing.  

Here are the results from last week's video - these do not take into account realistic buy and sell points, just an overall look at how stocks did.  I hope some readers are getting some nice gains out of the video - I unfortunately continue to play these stock incorrectly, either by setting stops too tight or passing on the big winners.   I still can't get much going at all and it is beyond frustrating.

Stock Start Price  4/16/2010 G/L
mgm $14.37 $15.89 10.58%
clne $19.59 $21.58 10.16%
bebe $9.35 $9.83 5.13%
byd $11.26 $11.83 5.06%
liwa $8.87 $9.12 2.82%
mdrx $21.44 $21.61 0.79%

Thursday, April 22, 2010

State of the Market - 4/22/10

A good day today as we saw the bulls clearly reestablish themselves for the first time in a few days.  Stocks traded down big in the first hour of trading until the dip buyers came in to push stocks back up.   It was a slow and steady climb that took stocks all the way into positive territory after being down over 1% earlier in the day.  Very bullish intraday action overall. 

The Nasdaq opened below its 9 day moving average for the second time this week but was once again able to close above it.   The S&P tested its 20 day moving average for the second time in a week but also closed well off of it.   The Russell 2000 outperformed by a large margin today, closing easily at new highs for the year - it is always good to see small caps lead.   It is at the top of an uptrend channel so that is something to watch.

Besides financials (which are all over the place), most sectors look good after today.  SMH bounced off its 20 day today and could soon move to new highs.   Retail was strong and outperformed today.  Gold and oil is kind of a mixed bag - they haven't completely broken down but also haven't bounced yet.   Something to keep an eye on as well.

My QID position was stopped out today at $15.58, giving me a breakeven trade.  I went into FAZ this afternoon at $11.87 but was stopped out of that at $11.55, giving me a 3% loss.   That was one of those trades that I kept hesitating on because I thought "why I am doing this?" but for some reason went ahead with it anyway.  I am back in cash but still have some stocks (about 10) I am watching as potential longs.  I have more confidence in taking longs after today's intraday action.

I guess after today you have to lean back to the long side but I think there is also a chance that this up and down action of the past is what may occur for a few more weeks until the news and earnings dies down a bit.   We could just chop sideways for a while as a way of consolidating the large move from February to April.   Hopefully we don't get a breakout and reversal tomorrow - I am sure that would frustrate a lot of traders.  

Lots of sports tonight here in Pittsburgh with hockey and the NFL draft so I am out - crazy times to be a Steelers fan.   Good luck Friday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

State of the Market - 4/21/10

Stellar earnings from Apple couldn't get much going on Wall Street today, as stocks started the day positive but stairstepped their way lower throughout the rest of the session and closed mixed.   It was a day in contrast to recent trading where most of the selling occured near the open and then buyers came in to push stocks higher.    All in all, however, there wasn't a whole lot that happened - even AAPL moved strictly sideways after the open - kind of weird given its earnings from the previous day.   Volume appears lighter on the S&P and heavier on the Nasdaq due to AAPL. 

Technically, it remains tough to get a grasp on where we head next.   From what I read, earnings as a whole have been better than expected but so far the market hasn't really responded with exuberance.   Perhaps that's just because we rose so far so fast going into earnings season, but it does bear watching.   It remains very much a news-driven market and those are always tough.

As I look through stocks, I do see several warning signs that perhaps we are getting ready for further selling soon.   Financials are a mess - XLF is all over the place, but individual stocks like GS and BAC seem to be forming bear flags on their charts.   GOOG is a mess with a bear flag forming.  GMCR broke down the past three days and looks quite bearish (a strong IBD-type stocks there).   CREE had a very poor reaction to its earnings today.   I am watching AAPL and AMZN carefully here as they are hanging on just fine.  Weakness in those names would certainly give me more pause on the long side.

I went into a short position today via QID at $15.51 near the open today - basically just a gut feel.   I have my stop in place.   I still have some longs I am watching, but not taking any yet as none really excite me that much.   I am not dismissing the chance of a further rally here, but overall I am starting to lean more bearish right now.   If the next week or so is anything like the past few times things have gotten a little dicey, I will be proven wrong soon.   We'll see I guess.   Good luck Thursday.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

State of the Market - 4/20/10

A nice day today on Wall Street overall, as stocks continued to bounce back from some selling on Friday and early Monday.  The day started slightly higher, but the opening gains were given up in the first hour.   The market did however right itself again and climbed higher into the lunch hour.   From there, however, it was just sideways action into the close.   Both the S&P and Nasdaq finished with decent percentage gains but those gains came on what looks like lower volume. 

Technically, both the major indices have taken back most of Friday's losses and could challenge the former highs soon.   However, everything remains very news-driven and that makes technicals take a backseat.   For instance, we have AAPL earnings tonight - that will likely drive trading tomorrow, at least for the Nasdaq. I have to ask myself how much more upside does AAPL have here in the short-term - could we see a gap up with a fade afterwards?   I think it's a possibility.  

I am still quite neutral on this market right now and remained in cash today.   There are some plays on the long side that I am watching (some of which were mentioned in this weekend's video) but for now I am waiting patiently.   I just don't have a good enough feel as to whether Friday was a one-day sell off and that's it or if it will lead to more selling.   It would be a lot easier if we weren't in the middle of earnings season.  

Not much else to say really - be careful right now but stay ready.   Good luck Wednesday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

State of the Market - 4/19/10

Short summary today because I have a lot of things to do around the house this evening.  It was a choppy and volatile day on Wall Street - one that I would consider not very bullish but also not very bearish (if that makes any sense).  The day started out slightly higher, but a little after 10:00, the selling took hold once again and stocks fell into the lunch hour, with things looking very poor overall considering the selling we saw Friday.   However, the market was able to right itself at this point, moving sideways for a few hours before rising around 2:00 into the close.   The S&P finished slightly higher, while the Nasdaq finished slightly lower, but both finished well off their lows, which is bullish.   However, volume was much lower today and the overall it wasn't that strong of a bounce back given Friday's selling.

Technically, the S&P was able to test its 20 day moving average this morning and bounced off of it, which is good.  The Nasdaq did not sink that far but did bounce off a trendline starting at the beginning of February.  Based on today, I would still have to say the uptrend is intact.   Perhaps the morning swoon got enough bulls to throw in their temporary towels for this market to continue back up.   I think it is really to early to say.  But if we don't take back more of Friday's losses tomorrow and instead just sit for a few days, I think the picture looks more bearish, especially if we break today's lows.   Overall, I would say I am pretty neutral on things - not looking to short but not seeing too many longs of interest. 

I am still under the belief that this week will be a difficult one to trade with earnings and other news items taking precedence over any technicals right now.  I made no trades today as I would rather wait a few days to see what happens here. Sometimes that's the best play and I feel it is right now (unless you're a daytrader).   Good luck Tuesday.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stock Market Video - Market Outlook for Upcoming Week - 4/19/10

Hi, traders.  Here's a look at the market for the upcoming week.   After going through my scans, I was kind of torn.   Friday was obviously a tough day and I saw some damage done to individual stocks, but not enough to think that this thing is going to keep pulling back.  Heck, only the S&P closed below its 9 day moving average - the Russell 2000 and Nasdaq still closed above theirs.   What I really think this week is going to be about is news, and that always makes things tough.   With earnings coming in and now the Goldman thing, if anyone tells you they know exactly how the market will react this week, they are lying.  I think it will be choppy and because of that will likely stay in cash.   A close below Friday's lows may have me thinking about a few index shorts, however.   This is all discussed in the video. 

To see the video in HD, please click "720p" and "Full Screen" on the video bar - HD will be available after processing.

Here are the results from last week's video - these do not take into account realistic buy and sell points, just an overall look at how stocks did (for example, CAGC should definitely have had a stop around $22).

Stock Start Price  4/16/2010 G/L
BZH $4.81 $5.48 13.93%
PDO $6.10 $6.71 10.00%
PAL $4.78 $5.23 9.41%
SMCI $17.20 $17.89 4.01%
HOGS $13.14 $13.66 3.96%
OPLK $18.77 $19.38 3.25%
CYD $18.50 $18.93 2.32%
ULTA $23.20 $23.61 1.77%
GES $47.00 $47.02 0.04%
CTDC $3.05 $3.04 -0.46%
FRPT $6.17 $6.12 -0.81%
MPET $2.26 $2.23 -1.33%
XJT $4.02 $3.88 -3.48%
EBIX $16.81 $16.21 -3.57%
LIWA $9.24 $8.87 -4.00%
EGI $3.01 $2.86 -4.98%
CADC $5.35 $5.03 -5.98%
SEED $10.49 $9.86 -6.01%
CAGC $23.14 $17.97 -22.34%

Friday, April 16, 2010

State of the Market - 4/16/10

Not a good day on Wall Street today as news about fraud at Goldman Sachs (shocking, I know) caused sellers to take charge for the first time in a long time.   This was a good day to be away from the computer and that is where I was, as we took our boys to Chuck E Cheese's for a family fun day.   I know I had more fun that probably most traders out there given the selling we saw.  Today was the first 1% down day for the S&P and Nasdaq since February 23 by my count so in the grand scheme of things, a day like today was LONG overdue.  However, the two major indices look like they will manage to still close above their 9 day moving averages for the umpteenth day in a row.   So overall, although things look bad on the surface, maybe today was just a long overdue pullback.  I do think we'll have to wait until next week to see if it is the start of something more serious. 

My stops did there work today and got me out of all of my positions.   CISG was stopped out around $27.54 for a small gain (3-4% I think) and CYD was also stopped out at $19.62 for a 2.3% gain I think.   Gold had a major breakdown today so I was stopped out of UGL for a loss, and also stopped out of UCO for a loss.   I don't have the percentages right now.

Enjoy the weekend - if we get further selling, then I would guess we start a pullback of maybe a few weeks, but every dip has been bought for almost 40 trading days so that instinct might take a while to change.  There really wasn't a whole lot of damage in individual stocks either on a cursory look through my scans, so I think we have to wait and see here.  Earnings will make things difficult as well.   I am totally in cash now but will stay biased toward longs as of now.   Take care.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

State of the Market - 4/15/10

Not much to say today - another positive session as stocks started lower but once again did not sell off with any sort of gusto and closed (once again) near their highs for the session.   We are quite extended but it hasn't mattered for a while now so why should it matter now?

I am going out with my family tonight so this won't be a very long summary.  I mentioned yesterday how I was going against my rule of selling before earnings because I had a slight cushion in NEP.  Well, that was a disaster, as it gapped down pre-market after delaying its report and I exited right there at $8.87 for a 6% loss.   I only made one other trade today, playing the breakout of CTDC at $3.19.   It moved as high as $3.45, but in a five minute period this afternoon, it dropped 6% and my stop was hit at $3.16 after I moved it near breakeven.   You'll have that with very thin stocks like this one - they can move up fast but also fall just as fast.

Right now I really have to look at the stocks I am selecting for my regular account, because I have been much more successful in my IRAs this year than my trading account.   I won't be trading much tomorrow due to family outings, but I need to take some time to really refine my selections and stay away from some of these lower-priced stocks that are really frustrating me right now.

Good luck tomorrow - there are a few stocks I am watching but not that many right now with the market extended.   Take care.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

State of the Market - 4/14/10

So far, so good as far as earnings are concerned, as the stock market rose once again today on strong earnings from INTC and JPM.   Volume was strong and it doesn't look like the bulls are going to stop moving this market higher anytime soon.   Maybe they won't ever stop.  

Technically, again, I don't really think they matter as much in the middle of the big reports we are going to see over the next two or three weeks.  If the reports come out positive, the market will likely keep moving higher.   You just have to watch for any potential warning signs right now.   If reports looks positive on the surface but are sold off, then you start worrying a bit.   Today, however, we saw none of that.   Based on today, it looks like the market is more than willing to accept optimistic earnings reports. 

I made a few trades today based on the strength shown by the market.   I entered CYD at $19.09 today on the breakout from what looks like a handle on its cup pattern.  This was a chart highlighted in the weekend video.  It had a little breakdown midday but closed well so I am hopeful this can see more upside.   I also started an IRA position in crude oil via UCO at $13.90 - I like the daily chart on crude right now as it looks like it has further upside.   I also started a position in gold via UGL at $49.29, although that didn't close strong.  

A few of the trades I was stopped out of yesterday were up big today (BZH - 11%) and that is always frustrating.   Hopefully you weren't stopped out and caught some of that nice gain.   There were many other movers today so opportunities remain out there.   I am still holding NEP as I have a little cushion going into earning tomorrow.   I normally don't hold but I am taking the chance for tomorrow morning.  Given my recent luck, that may not be a good decision but we will see.

Not much else to say - the market just keeps moving higher and if earnings remain positive, then it will likely continue to just move higher, at least based on today's reaction.   I'm sure we'll have a few reports here and there that will throw a temporary wrench into things, but until dips aren't bought and clear breakdowns occur, staying long is the only thing to do.   Good luck Thursday.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

State of the Market - 4/13/10

It's starting to feel like Groundhog Day around here - the same stuff happens every day.   Today on Wall Street we saw a drop shortly after the open, followed by a steady climb higher that pushed stocks positive by the end of the session, but only slightly.  Both the Nasdaq and S&P dropped near their 9 day moving averages but closed well above them.  Volume was heavier on the Nasdaq and just slightly heavier on the S&P.

I'm not going to talk to heavily about technical aspects right now because earnings season is now upon us and those will take precedence over any technical levels or moving averages or whatever you want to look at.  It's quite obvious we've traveled very far without a significant pullback and entering earnings season with that setup can sometimes be trouble.   I don't know if it will be - we just have to wait and see.   My guess is that these reports don't have huge margins of error due to our technical position.

Why would I say that? Probably just a gut feeling (which have all pretty much been wrong recently) but when you look at this move, there have been some amazing things that have taken place.   I believe today will be the 34th day in a row where the S&P and Nasdaq closed above their 9 day moving averages.   That is an historical event based on all recent data I can find.   It has also been 34 days since either indices has had a one-day loss of over 1%.   That has to be some kind of record, doesn't it?   On February 23, both indices were down 1.2%.   Since then, the biggest loss I could see was 0.68% for the Nasdaq (3/24) and 0.59% for the S&P (4/7).    The rational side of my brain sees these numbers and thinks earnings better be pretty darn good.

What's weird to me is that this month-plus move hasn't had any really big days as well.   For the S&P, I can only see 2 days where gains were more than 1% (3/1 and 3/5).   For the Nasdaq, I see three - 3/1, 3/5, and 4/5.   We've just had a super long string of days where the market has been up just slightly.   It really has "ground" its way higher.

I was stopped out of most of my positions today as I had tightened stops up to breakeven on those ones I had small gains on.   SEED was stopped out at $10.15 for the smallest of gains.   No follow-through there at all off of Friday's move.   BZH was also stopped out at $5.00, giving me the smallest of losses on that position.   Both of those were basically breakeven trades.   XJT reversed today and my stop was hit at $3.97, giving me a 2% loss, and my stop on EGI was also hit at $3.00 for a 3.3% loss.   My frustrations continue.   NEP is my only position of note (along with CISG in my IRA) and with earnings coming out Thursday, I may exit tomorrow.  I'm thinking it will be one of those things that if I hold it into earnings, it will gap down huge, but if I sell, the report will be great and the real move will start.  

We'll see how the INTC report comes out tomorrow but for now I think I will be trading less over the next few weeks.   I want to see not only how the reports look but how they are received.   Are dips continued to be bought, even in the face of disappointing news?   Are good reports bought with vigor, or do we see a lot of gap ups with fades?   These are all things that I think are important to watch over the next few weeks.  

We've come far enough where a pullback certainly makes sense, but we've been saying that for a while.  Nothing has knocked the bulls off their perch for almost 40 trading days now - maybe earnings are the thing that will do it.  Maybe.   I am not putting my money on it - that's for sure, not yet at least.  Be careful out there - things will be interesting over the next few weeks.   Good luck. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

State of the Market - 4/12/10

A slow day today on Wall Street, as stocks closed slightly higher but the trade was lackluster and quite slow based on my quote screen.   The S&P traded in about a five point range the entire session.   Volume looks like it was quite weak and today will likely be the third consecutive day of higher prices on decreasing volume.

Technically, same old story - the market keeps going up on lower volume.   I am starting to get that feeling again that we are due for a pullback (probably just one of those one-day variety ones) but my gut was wrong last week so it may be wrong again.   If anything, I would be a little more cautious about buying stocks after today.   I know I am going to be.   Individual stocks didn't act great today - a lot of fade jobs in the stocks I was watching.

I di made a few trades today - first I was stopped out of DEER at $11.36 for a 3.6% loss.   I really thought Friday could have been an important reversal day but it wasn't.   That's what you get when you anticipate.   I also entered two longs today - EGI at $3.09 and BZH at $5.   Both of these moved nicely higher from there, but EGI gave it all back and I was not impressed at all with the action.   I may be out of that one soon - gold might need a rest overall as well.   BZH faded as well but I have a little cushion so I'll hold it. 

From last night's video, there were some big movers (PDO was up about a $1.70 at its peak - great for daytraders) but most of these movers (ULTA, SMCI, BZH, EGI) closed weak.   FRPT had a decent session but I passed on it early on due to volume.   CADC had a nice little breakout from a coiling pattern but I also passed here as I have enough longs for my taste right now, at least until some of my current longs take off.

In fact, I may look to unload some of these long positions that are just sitting there doing nothing tomorrow.   SEED and NEP are two that have had no movement the past two days and just don't seem to have much momentum.   I hope I am not getting impatient here, but I just get the sense that we are not at a great point for holding stocks for several weeks as swing trades.   I was hoping for some one or two day  moves out of these but haven't gotten that yet.   We'll see how they perform tomorrow.  

That's about it for today - we're in a position where a pullback won't surprise me.   The 9 day moving averages are at 1185 and 2432 for the S&P and Nasdaq respectively and that has been the magic spot for any pullback we've had so I would watch it closely.   And if we grind higher again tomorrow I might just look to unload some longs going into the start of earnings season.   That's going to be a fun time - we'll have to see what expectations look like and how the results will meet up.   Good luck Tuesday.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stock Market Video - Weekend Watchlist - 4/11/10

Hi traders - here are some setups for the upcoming week.  This market keeps chugging higher regardless of how high its already gone so there really isn't a reason to fight it in my opinion.  Hopefully the setups give you some ideas for the week ahead and hopefully the setups work well.

To see the video in HD, please click "720p" and "Full Screen" on the video bar - HD will be available after processing.

Here are the results from this past week's videos and posts.  As always, this is just a day shown to Friday summary and does not reflect realistic entry or exit points (for good or bad)....

Stock Start Price  4/9/2010 G/L
LVS $21.30 $24.12 13.24%
LIWA $8.25 $9.24 12.00%
AIG $34.11 $38.14 11.81%
USEG $6.15 $6.87 11.71%
PAP $4.45 $4.94 11.01%
XJT $3.81 $4.02 5.51%
ROYL $2.30 $2.42 5.22%
SEED $10.04 $10.49 4.48%
CHINA $3.03 $3.16 4.29%
CYD $18.08 $18.50 2.32%
FRPT $6.05 $6.17 1.98%
EBIX $16.55 $16.81 1.57%
OPLK $18.52 $18.77 1.35%
OMAB $15.05 $15.20 1.00%
CTDC $3.03 $3.05 0.66%
BZH $4.79 $4.81 0.42%
EGI $3.01 $3.01 0.00%
CSIQ $24.15 $24.10 -0.21%
TASR $5.59 $5.52 -1.25%
TSRA $20.86 $20.56 -1.44%
DEER  $11.93 $11.53 -3.35%
GFRE $11.49 $10.54 -8.27%

Friday, April 9, 2010

State of the Market - 4/9/10

Another up session today on Wall Street - what else is new?   There were some choppy moments early on in the sessiobn, but the market just chugged its way higher as the day went on and really got legs in the final ten minutes or so due to some likely short covering before the weekend.  The count is now at 32 for the number of days the two major indices have spent above their 9 day moving averages.   I got an email today (Marder on the Market) that stated the QQQQ has been above its 10 day moving average for now 40 days in a row, which is the most since this ETF was established in 1999.  Certainly this is a crazy move but it keeps going so why fight it?  Volume today was quite low.

I made a few trades today - I was stopped out of CSIQ at $24.95 for a 3.1% gain and stopped out of USEG (which didn't act great today) at $6.85 for a 4% loss.   That in hindsight was a really careless trade to make at the end of yesterday's session.  I entered two new long positions today - XJT at $4.04 as it poked its head above a downtrend line and showed some heavier volume, and DEER at $11.75 on a pullback reversal.   SEED popped early and looked good but faded late and I don't know how high my expectations are for it now.  CISG keeps chugging slowly higher and I am up about 8% as of now in that one.

There were others on the watchlist from yesterday that moved nicely - ROYL was up over 5% and PAP was up over 10%.  Both charts were shown here and on Twitter yesterday.  I was not able to enter ROYL this morning because Scottrade would not allow purchases online - the message said to "call your local branch".   That is absolutely ridiculous.   Another stock that was shown in Wednesday night's video (LIWA) was up over 14% today after a secondary.   A big gap up made this entry much harder however.   So there are stocks moving out there a good bit - it's just still a bit tricky deciding which ones to go with.

I'll end it here since the weekend is upon us.   I'll be back at some point with a video.  Until then take care and enjoy the time off.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Few Charts to Watch for Friday

A few to watch for tomorrow....

Charts from Telechart, Courtesy of Worden Brothers, Inc.

State of the Market - 4/8/10

We had another very bullish session today on Wall Street, but things didn't start out that way.   After some heavier volume selling yesterday, stocks opened the session lower and looked like they wanted to sell off further.   The recent trend continued, however, as a bottom was put in about fifteen minutes into the session and from there stocks climbed steadily, reaching positive territory by lunchtime.  The afternoon action was a bit choppier, but stocks still finished with small gains which given the start is impressive.   Volume was lower than yesterday's distribution levels. 

Technically, the 9 day moving averages were tested today on both the S&P and Nasdaq but both held, so the streak of closed above that level is now at 31 (I believe).   Simply amazing.  The trendlines from February are still holding for both indices as well.   No need to get too bearish about anything until we close under these levels at least once.   Then perhaps we roll over but until it happens, there isn't a reason to do anything but continue to look for longs as they become available.

Sector-wise, I also see no damage anywhere of note - retail had a very strong day today and is a sector I need to pay more attention to.  Oil has rested the past two days as USO bounced off its 9 day moving average today - a good sign.   All in all, the picture remains bullish.

From the video last night, there was one really big winner - USEG.   I liked the way this coiling pattern developed and it did have a huge move today, closing up about 15%.  Hopefully you got into that one - I unfortunately did not because the move didn't start until 10:10, which is after the period I can watch the open due to work responsibilities.  It didn't do anything for the first twenty minutes of the session, and that's when I trade.  It sucks for me but it happens and there isn't much I can do about it - sometimes I miss entries.   It goes with being a part-time trader.   I actually did enter this late at $7.15 but it was only intended as a day-trade because I thought a move through $7.30 would push this stock even higher and kind of expected it.   I am sort of stuck with it now but will look to get out tomorrow, hopefully a bit higher.   From the video, I also entered a little SEED at the end of today's session at $10.09 - strictly an anticipatory play as it continues to coil tightly.   I will get out quickly if it moves much lower than where it is currently at.

My other longs acted pretty well overall (CSIQ and NEP) - both bounced back off their lows and I will look to hold both for perhaps further upside over the next few days.   I also still hold CISG in my IRA and it was up slightly today. 

These reports may be getting rather boring because it seems my description of the market has been the same for a long while now, but I don't know what else to say.   Markets can always stay "irrational" much longer than supposedly rational thinkers such as myself can believe, and the past month or so is a great example of that.   Someday, perhaps soon, this market will have a significant pullback.  Until it actually happens, however, it makes sense to keep riding the trend as long as possible.   Good luck Friday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stock Market Video - Watchlist for Thursday - 4/7/10

Here's a short video traders on some setups I am watching for tomorrow - I am seeing quite a few coiling patterns out there which makes me think we have a big move coming up one way or the other.   Hopefully it is up.  If it is, some of these stocks can run.   Good luck Thursday. 

Please click "720p" and "Full Screen" to view the video in HD.

State of the Market - 4/7/10

We had a volatile session today on Wall Street, as stocks started the day lower.   They did their normal bounce off a gap down until around 10, then fell back to test the opening lows.   Those lows held and from there it looked like we would move to positive territory yet again.   That was not the case, however, as stocks hit their highs around 1:35 and fell sharply for the next hour and a half on debt news.  There was a strong bounce back into the close, but stocks still finished with decent losses for the day.  Volume was heavier, giving the indices another day of distribution.

Technically, a day after talking about the 9 day moving average and how it hasn't been tested in so long, the two major indices closed right near those levels today(actually they bounced slightly off of them).   They were able to stay slightly above the former highs from a week ago as well which is bullish.   All in all, the selling doesn't appear to have caused any damage to the indices or sectors, so as of now it's probably not a big deal.   If we get more selling tomorrow, then we'll have to reassess things. 

Gold had a super strong day today and staged a nice breakout from what appears to me to be an inverse head and shoulders pattern.  I was really tempted to enter late (and I still may) but the lack of heavy volume had me pass for now, as well as the way it closed.   This move today is something to watch however. 

 Chart From Telechart, Courtesy of Worden Brothers, Inc.

I had a decent day today but not nearly as good as it could have been.   Due to work commitments I was not able to catch the open and only saw about three minutes of action around 9:40.   CSIQ and AIG both spiked nicely at the open, especially with a down market, so I moved my stops up to yesterday's close on both figuring it would lock in at least some gains if they reversed.  CSIQ was no problem as it closed up about 6% and didn't give much of its early pop back.  Hopefully you caught this play a few days ago as I pointed out solars as an area to watch.

AIG on the other hand sold off its early pop and my stop ended up being hit at $35.94 for a measly 1.6% gain.   Well, that was only two cents away from its lows for the day, as it slowly climbed back and then absolutely shot out of a cannon in the final hour, closing up over 10%.   I can't tell you how frustrating that is.  Getting whipsawed so much last week probably hurt me on this trade as perhaps I set my stop too tight.   Maybe I should have just moved it up to breakeven.   Being rushed time-wise didn't help either.  Either way, I am not very happy.  Hopefully you caught this setup as well from the weekend video and didn't get stopped out like me as it looks very nice right now. 

I also entered NEP this morning at $9.44 as it was breaking above a nice coil pattern.   This is another one I wish I would have caught at the open but there was little I could do since I couldn't be at my computer.   It had a sharp pullback midday but closed fairly well and was up on huge volume today.  Hopefully it can keep climbing from here.   Not much else moved today so I didn't force anything else.

We'll see tomorrow if the selling today was just a one-day event or not.   For the longest time, dips have been bought aggressively so I am not going to guess that this time will be different.   If we get some signs, then I will change my outlook but I'll basically just keep looking for longs as they come and manage the positions I have.   Not much else to do.  Take care and good luck Thursday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

State of the Market - 4/6/10

We saw a slightly higher session today on Wall Street, but the intraday action was much more bullish than the final numbers will show.   Stocks started the day with a gap down, but as has been the trend recently, that was the bottom and stocks rose steadily from there back around yesterday's closing levels.   They consolidated from 11:00 to 2:00, and then broke to new highs for the day at that point.   They could not keep the momentum going into the close as they pulled back around 2:30, but overall it was a bullish session.  Volume looks to be weak, but what else is new?

Technically, I mentioned yesterday that the Nasdaq lagged the S&P but it did move to new highs today along with the S&P and Russell so no worries, I guess.   Semis were lower which is interesting in the face of the Nasdaq's outperformance.   As I said yesterday, if these get going, watch out for the Nasdaq.  Financials broke to new highs which is good (although it came on weak volume).   The dollar reversed off of its opening highs and looks poised to fall after a weak two day bounce.   This would likely be good for the overall market if it occurs.  

So far, my weekend hunch about things getting just too "easy" has been totally incorrect.  I've come to the conclusion that the market is simply never ever going to go down for more than one day (or a few hours) in a row.  The last sentence may read as if it was written in jest, but I am starting to actually believe it.  This run is really amazing to me.   If you follow this blog, you know I like to use the 9 and 20 day moving averages as short-term support levels.  Well, the last time either the S&P or Nasdaq closed below their 9 day moving average was February 23, 2010 (and that was by a whopping point).   That's 29 trading days ago by my count.  I don't have the software (or time) to check if we have had any streaks longer than that in the past few years, but visually I only see runs from 7/14/09 to 8/14/09, 9/18/07 to 10/11/07, and 3/30/07 to 5/10/07 as comparable in the last few years, and those were all shorter than this.   If anyone has the ability to get more exact numbers, I would be interested in hearing about them.   Again, simply amazing, especially when you factor in volume.  It is what it is, I guess - no need to argue against it.

I made one trade this morning, entering CSIQ at $24.10.   Buying breakouts hasn't worked well for me in particular recently so I figured I would mix it up and buy the dip.   AIG acted well today (surprisingly) and I am still in that as well.  CISG is still in my IRA as well.   I will continue to look for longs as they pop up as that is the only game plan that makes sense until we get a signal that the market wants to start acting more like its historical norms.  

Good luck tomorrow - I'll share some new plays and setups if I find any that stand out later tonight. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Some Setups to Watch

All charts from Telechart, Courtesy of Worden Brothers, Inc.

These setups are in addition to the ones mentioned earlier today.   Good luck Tuesday.

State of the Market - 4/5/10

We saw another up day to start the week today on Wall Street, as stocks climbed in strong fashion for the first hour and a half of trading.   From there, however, things got rather boring and the action was slightly lower and tight.   It would have been nice to see momentum grow throughout the day, but that's just how it's been for a while now - most of the action takes place early and then things stagnate.   Based on totals around 3:30, volume was absolutely pathetic, but you know the drill by now - volume doesn't really matter anymore.   Maybe people were still enjoying the holiday.

Technically, the S&P and Russell 2000 broke to new highs today which is nice to see, but the Nasdaq did not follow suit.  Right now, commodities are the ones leading the market higher and tech is lagging just slightly.   Watch semis however as they are very close to clearing key resistance and a breakout there (if it holds) could get the Nasdaq back to its leadership role.   Speaking of commodities, oil spiked again today, putting in consecutive gaps on the USO chart and looking very extended in the short-term.   Gold was not up as much however.   As the dollar closes in on what should be support, I wouldn't be surprised to see a quick pullback soon in the commodity sector.

I made one trade today, entering AIG at $35.26.  I've been burned so often the past week by whipsaws on breakouts that I wanted to wait until later in the session before taking any shots at longs.  Didn't really matter however - it did nothing but drift lower after I entered and based on my recent luck, I would not be surprised to be out of this tomorrow.  It was probably too obvious of an intraday breakout.  From the video last night, LVS had a great session, closing up around 9%.   I did not chase early and therefore missed out on that one as it gapped up.  BEE had a nice session and was on my watchlist, although I did not include it in last night's video.   Besides that, not much moved a whole lot, at least the stocks I was watching.   Some names I will be watching for tomorrow include SGI, OPLK, CSIQ, and GFRE. 

Story remains the same - longs seem to be the only play right now and the market seems like it will never go down.   My gut is still telling me this is getting too easy (unfortunately not for me, but for the overall market) but until we get a clear sign, I am not making any bearish moves.   If more longs show up, I will cautiously play them but don't plan on going crazy.   Good luck Tuesday.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Stock Market Video - Weekend Market Summary and Watchlist - 4/4/10

Hi, traders, hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.   This is a little late, but here is a two-part look at the upcoming week.   Everything seems to point to the bulls remaining in control of things this week, but my gut sort of tells me that is part of the problem.   Are things getting too easy?   Are too many people bullish?   I discuss these topics in the video.   Hope it helps you out.  

To see the video in HD, please click "720p" and "Full Screen" on the video bar - HD will be available after processing.

Here's a list of setups shown in last week's video - as always, this is just a Monday to Friday summary and does not reflect realistic entry or exit points.

Stock       3/26/2010      4/1/2010      G/L
CAGC (sh) $27.36 $22.99 15.97%
CRTP $4.04 $4.20 3.96%
DSW (sh) $26.26 $25.76 1.90%
FRPT $5.94 $6.05 1.85%
FTEK $8.19 $7.85 -4.15%
CCME $13.49 $12.80 -5.11%
PEIX $1.99 $1.40 -29.65%

Thursday, April 1, 2010

State of the Market - 4/1/10

Quick comments for today - my streak of picking stocks that put in major reversals right after I enter them continued today, as I made three trades, all of which were stopped out.   I entered two earnings trades last night after hours - XRTX at $18.73 and CNAM at $10.23.   Both opened OK, but soon fell and I was out of XRTX at $18.69 and CNAM at $9.97.   I also entered CCME on the morning pop at $14.28 as it came on very heavy volume.  This also fell almost immediately afterward and I was out of that at $13.98.   So not a very fun day for me - just no strength or follow-through on names that started well.   The only positive was that CISG (which I still hold in the IRA) was up a bit today(4%).   My "addiction" to China names is killing me.

I saw some nasty action today in many stocks (some of which had earnings catalysts that should have pushed them highs) and this makes me think we could be setting up a meaningful pullback very soon.   I have given plenty of longs chances to move the past few weeks, and very few have done so.  Most have reversed lower.   There is a very good chance I am picking the wrong ones, but at the same time, I see this action in the ones I don't pick for the most part as well.   Something still doesn't seem right to me.  The intraday market action was certainly not very bullish either.

I'll try to be back this weekend but I am done with longs for the foreseeable future, as I just can't seem to make any progress with them - I am obviously missing something in regards to my selection process.   Sometimes instead of spinning your wheels, it just makes sense to turn the car off and do nothing, and that's where I am at as of now.   Take care and have a blessed Easter holiday.