Monday, June 01, 2015

Growth Stocks Setup As Market Searches For Direction

Despite the threat of higher interest rates, bad geopolitical news, and heavy stalling and professional selling every time the market nears fifty two week highs, the market continues make higher lows and inch towards fifty two week highs.

Price volume action among Leading Growth Stocks has been much stronger then recent attempts to rally...volume is stronger and heavy on breakouts, stocks are actually following through and hold up exceptionally well during high volume market market stalling/distributions days, and new setups are ready to breakout. Quite a few from earlier stage, tighter consolidations. Exactly the type of action bullish traders want to see.

$PSXP, $EQM, $CMGE, $MDXG, and $BOFI have formed cup and handle bases, and $LXFT, $JD, $BXMT, $TSEM, $AER, and $ATHM are attempting to bounce off or near their fifty day moving averages.

$SYNA, $SWKS, $AVGO, $GTN, $SHLX, $TNK, $SEDG, and $ACT are following through on recent high volume breakouts.

Traders need to be long or considering getting long. The windows of opportunity during recent rally attempts, to enter a profitable trade, have been very small. Even if this turns out to be another fake rally attempt, the good news is that if the market isn't headed for a bear market, only a major correction, leading growth stocks do breakout of first stage bases and continue higher or form second consolidations as the market corrects. Later stage breakouts should be trailed with tighter stops and sold into major strength. Otherwise, stops should protect the trader's capital.

Random Musing

All of these breakouts and setups have been on the leading growth stocks analysis list for weeks. Click to review them now, and review them often.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Tight Market Plagued By Red Flags

Every market attempt to new highs has been plagued by distribution. The Nasdaq and SP 500 have registered five distribution days over the last three weeks, and the DOW six. Volume over the last five months has clearly picked up on sell offs and barely registers a pulse on up days. Yet the market has failed to follow through to the downside despite the heavy overall distribution and stalling action. About the only good news, the market hasn't sold off either, but that could just be a matter of time.

Leading growth stocks held up well over the last few months until the current earning's season. Biogen (BIIB), Twitter (TWTR), LinkedIn (LNKD), and Harman (HAR) were hammered on earning's reports, Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) reversed in heavy volume below their fifty day moving averages. None of the stocks have been able to muster any type of recovery. 

The majority of other leading growth stocks are still holding strong, but cannot manage to follow through when the market does rally. Even strong breakouts like Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) have failed to follow through past their breakout days. Netflix has shuffled sideways (NFLX) while Amazon (AMZN) has backtracked significantly.

There are still some pockets of strength that should be monitored especially in the Media sector. Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST), Sinclair Broadcast (SBGI), Gray Television (GTN),  are forming first stage, flat bases on top cup and handle bases, New Media (NEWM) is forming a second stage cup shaped base, Media General is forming a first stage cup and handle base, and AMC Networks (AMCX) continues to move higher after breaking out of a first stage cup and handle base in January.

Nothing would please me more then too be a flat out bull. Unfortunately, despite the market's inability to sell off in the face of bad news, there is very little evidence that the market is headed much higher, and plenty of evidence that a major correction is looming. 

In my opinion, the market still has its eye on the prize, closing above the Nasdaq's all time high of 5,132.52, but that is probably as high as it is going to get without any significant follow through by the market's leading growth stocks.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Leading Growth Stocks Tightening Ahead of Next Move Higher

Traders have had a tough go of it over the last few months as every rally has been short lived with little follow through. But leading growth stocks have remained stubborn despite the numerous red flags in the market, mainly the high distribution count. There are many leading growth stocks that have tightened up ahead of their earning's reports and are ready to bounce off moving averages and breakout out of bases.

LinkedIn (LNKD) has been forming a flat base, after gaping out, in heavy volume, out of a first stage, cup and handle base in February, on a strong earning's report. 

Apple (AAPL) has been tightening up into the fifty day moving average ahead of its earning's report next Monday. 

Twitter (TWTR) has pulled back to the twenty day moving average after breaking out, in heavy volume, out of a first stage, cup and handle base in March.

Mallinckrodt (MNK) has tightened up into the fifty day moving average ahead of its earning's report May 5th. 

Nexstar Broadcasting (NXST) is forming a first stage, flat base on top of a cup and handle base, ahead of its earning's report May 7th, and Sinclair Broadcasting (SBGI) has tightened up into the twenty day moving average after breaking out in March, in heavy volume, ahead of its earning's report May 6th.

Netease (NTES) attempted to breakout of a cup shaped base two weeks ago in heavy volume and is currently putting on a high handle to the cup shaped base.

SolarCity (SCTY) is forming a cup shaped base ahead if its earning's report May 6th, along with First Solar (FSLR) and Canadian Solar (CSIQ) forming first stage, cup and handle bases.

With so many leading growth stocks tightening up into earning's reports, and Netflix (NFLX) gaping out in strong volume on its earning's report and following through in a sideways market, it is time to start getting aggressive on the long side. 

Review the leading growth stocks analysis for more setups, and there are plenty of them. Adjust positions for added risk, since the market's red flags cannot be ignored.


Checkout the new site,, for stocks with high yields breaking out of early stage bases. Sign up for free breakout alerts.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Price Action Impressive Volume Not So Much

Market price action has been impressive by any respect. Despite persistent bad news from around the world, and numerous internal red flags, the NYSE advance decline line continues to trade near new highs, and the market marches higher almost unabated. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends, as it has for the past few short lived rally attempts.

The Nasdaq advance decline line didn't confirm the rally, fell short of its November high, and hasn't confirmed any rally since March 2014. If the NYSE advance decline acted similarly, along with the fact that the Dow Jones Transportation Index has not confirmed any new Dow highs since the end of November, the probabilities of a bear market over a major market correction would increase dramatically.

Volume has not confirmed the rally. Over the last eight days, including today, Friday, the NASDAQ has registered four distribution type days, and the SP 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Averages, three apiece. And over the last four months, the majority of the highest volume days have been stalling or full blow distribution type days. Most of the up days have come on below average volume, and when the volume is higher, it is generally during stalling periods.

A narrow group of leading growth stocks have acted especially well. Breakouts were in above average volume, they followed through almost immediately in strong volume, and have held tight during recent market distribution. But many broke out of late stage bases and have exhibited climactic action. Many others are speculative stocks in biotech and semi conductors, running on take over speculation. It's never a good sign when the market has run out of quality stocks to buy and needs to rummage through the dustbin for "good" ideas.

Short trading ideas have started breaking down, especially in oil related names. Many more short trading ideas are tightening and others continue to quiet down. A market squeeze attempt over the next few days, in low volume, and little back tracking by recent breakdowns, would setup the ideal shorting scenario. In the meantime, a few short positions in stocks that have already tightened and are breaking down, should be taken.

There are two events on Monday that could trigger a sell the news reaction over the next few days. Apple (AAPL) is unveiling its smart watch. Expectations are high. And the ECB starts their QE bond buying program. Unlike when the FED announced US QE and the market initially reacted positively, only to sell off into the start of the bond buying program, the market has actually rallied into the bond buying program, instead of selling off.

This market has been difficult to navigate as an intermediate trend trader. Intermediate trends have been too short, lasting only two to four weeks on average, and unraveling within days, sometimes hours. The majority of trading setups fail to follow through, and sometimes round trip down to the stop, same day. The little, the winners that follow through move, barely covers, if lucky, the losses attempting to get into winning positions. 

Rough trading environments come and market years it feels like a decade. Traders that preserve their capital the most, will survive to enjoy the next big trend. Just don't be scared when the time comes.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Rally Attempt In Trouble As Countless Major Red Flags Litter The Market

On the surface it could be said that the market appears bullish. Considering all the bad geopolitical news that keeps worsening with every news report, the market has barely budged to the downside and is sitting in a fairly tight range. But that is where all the good news ends.

Over almost the last two months, volume has been running well above average almost daily. The majority of those above average days have been distribution days. The few accumulation days that the market has mustered, volume never traded higher then the major distribution days, and over that time, the Nasdaq and SP 500 have registered 12 and 10 distribution days, respectively, verses four accumulation days, that were immediately undercut over the next few days.

The VIX, a measure of day to day volatility, has not fallen back as much as it did during the last few rally attempts, showing nervousness continues growing even as the market seems to hold up. Intra day volatility is completely out of control with the market ranging over 1 - 2% on many days. Not the type of action typically witnessed during strong rallies, and more indicative of growing uncertainty that generally precedes major corrections or bear markets.

Leading growth stocks are behaving poorly. Major market leaders, Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) and Gilead Sciences (GILD), are breaking down or falling apart, and Apple (AAPL), Biogen Idec (BIIB), and Facebook (FB), reported strong earnings but have struggled to make further progress while the market has pushed relentlessly higher for the past four days. Even shorter term trade setups are failing to make any progress, or at least enough to offset losses in losers. This is a strong indication that leading growth stocks should be avoided for the time being. They need quite some time to reset and tighten their consolidations before being considered for a longer term trade.

Short trading ideas are squeezing along with the market, but the majority have not fallen apart and continue to try and tighten up around low risk entry points. Short trading ideas need to be reviewed daily and considered for entry as they start to roll over, since the early movers tend to be the easiest to handle. And with the recent history this market has with rolling over suddenly and not looking back, the early birds really do get the worm.

Casino stocks, Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sand (LVS) have pulled back to their fifty day moving averages and getting closer to breaking down. Baidu (BIDU) and Autohome (ATHM) have ignored the market rally attempt and held tight in sideway consolidation within a downtrend. Ready to continue lower as the market rolls over or begins to stall.

Stay prepared and don't wait for too much confirmation. There's plenty of it already. Short trading ideas rolling over and following through will be the death of this latest rally attempt and potentially the start of the next leg of this correction.

Right now these are the facts on the ground. The few pieces of good news or big movers are over shadowed by the bad news and failing leading growth stocks. The market is clearly trying to paint the surface in gold to fool the most amount of traders and investors, but underneath the foundation is shaky looking for a reason to buckle. Keep stops tight if your long or risk major losses in positions with small losses or gains.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Gold and Miners Readying To Breakout Into ECB QE

Gold has been trading inversely to the US stock market for several weeks now, intra-day and daily. A weakening US dollar and anticipation of the ECB quantitative easing program starting, could prove bullish for gold over at least the next month or two. This would most likely coincide with a correction in the US stock market.

In, Gold Silver Ready To Follow Oil and Gas Collapse, I wrote that gold, silver, and related miners were ready to rollover. At the time, December 23, 2014, the commodity and related miners were consolidating in traditional short setups, but those fell up apart as quickly as I wrote the article. 

Instead of breaking down, they broke out over their respective fifty day moving averages and rallied nearer to their fifty two week highs over the last five to six weeks. 

The good news, the majority of the short setups would not have trapped traders into a trade, as the majority did not attempt to breakdown. Those that did attempt to breakdown, would have had tight stops and traders would have lost very little.

Currently, gold and related miners have been consolidating in cup and handle bases. Ideally, they will sell off/shake out, four to five percent more, over the next week or two, and setup a lower risk, higher probability trade. 

Since the market doesn't typically do what I like, the current entry would be a breakout above handle highs. Gold (GLD), Hecla Mining (HL), Rangold Resources (GOLD), Royal Gold (RGLD), Barrick Gold (ABX), and Newmont Minding (NEM), are forming cup and handle bases, with solid accumulation patterns and shook out under cut multi-year lows last year and early this year. Without the shakeout in the handle, the trade might be difficult to handle.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

While Traders Play Investors Should Stay Away

The current rally in the indices is no different then any other rally we have seen over the past few months. Just as a correction starts to take hold and spooks everyone, the market manages to grip onto several pieces of good news and suddenly rally without much warning. But with every rally attempt, while the indices seem fine, the internals continue to deteriorate.

The ECB quantitative easing program was clearly the catalyst for the current rally as the market started to anticipate its announcement about a week before. Unfortunately, we have to ask ourselves how bad are things really that the ECB has to step in?

The hope from the ECB announcement on Wall and Main Street seems to be that the FED will possibly delay raising interest rates and even potentially reactivate QE. Of course this is not the case as the FED is intent, despite potentially deflationary reading in CPI and PPI over the next few months because of the plunge in oil and gas prices, to try and get ahead of any inflationary pressure or asset bubbles that could arise from such a prolonged period of low interest rates and enormous money printing. The FED will stay the course and start raising rates by the middle of the year, if not as early as March or April, to try and get ahead of the US election in 2016. The FED normally tries to avoid changes in monetary policy ahead of elections to try and appear neutral, and has only a limited window to do so before election season goes into full swing.

The VIX drops quickly with every rally attempt, but continues to make higher lows over the last few months. A strong indication that nervousness is building in the market, while complacency seems to set in real quick with every rally attempt. The buy the dip mentality is firmly in place and the perfect bull trap.

Leading growth stocks look awful. With every rally attempt, the number of stocks able to make any progress diminishes, with this one being particularly very narrow...under a dozen stocks, if that much. The majority of the good, trade able moves occurred in stocks that were reporting over the last two weeks and bouncing off bottoms, not breaking out to new highs, and most needed to be sold before the actual report. Otherwise there was almost no participation to the upside by the strongest stocks that managed to buck the previous pullback in the market. Any stocks that did manage to breakout did so in anemic volume, with little follow through, and diminishing volume as they climbed. The remainder of the consolidations are late stage, wide and loose bases with lagging relative strength.

Medical stocks have led the market for quite sometime but most seem to be asleep while handful are still making progress but are too over extended to chase. Actavis (ACT), Incyte (INCY), and Pharmacyclics (PCYC) broke out to new highs, but ACT and INCY breakouts were in anemic volume. Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) bounced nicely off their bottoms, but stalled around their fifty day moving averages. Apple reports tonight and could be a catalyst to lift the market for a day or two, but MSFT was down over 10% on its earning's report.

Short trading ideas worked very well at the beginning of January, but forced traders to cover them last week as the market turned. Most of the profits could have been booked quite easily by alert traders. The short trading ideas list is still littered with stocks that are pulling back to moving averages to digest previous sell offs and new setups are getting ready to rollover. Not the type of action that would be present if the market were truly getting ready to lift off on a big move.

3D systems (DDD), Gerdau S.A. (GGB), Ford Motor (F), and Juniper Networks (JNPR) are all rolling over near or at their fifty day moving averages, with plenty of others waiting in the wings.

I started to alert traders on Twitter and StockTwits Tuesday, January 20th, that short positions needed to be tightened up to protect profits and minimize losses in new positions, and that several large capitalization technology and medical stocks could run into their earning's reports. Which is exactly what has occurred. At this point, many of these stocks should have been sold before their actual earning's reports, and many others are now starting to trigger tighter stops reducing long exposure to the market.

Traders can continue to hold the few stocks that are acting well still moving into their earning's reports, but should continue to trail a tight stop to protect profits and minimize losses on new positions. Traders should not initiate any new positions on the long side as recent setups have gotten wilder, failing to follow through, triggering tight stops very quickly, and are now lagging a strong move by the indices. A recipe that has been deadly over the past few months for anyone over staying their welcome. Continue to monitor the short trading ideas list for entries too.

We've entered the period where late traders are at risk of being chopped to death while the market, once again, begins to setup another pullback that should turn into a major correction. This has been the theme for the last few months and many hecklers point out how wrong it has been. But, even the buy and hold crowd has not made any progress over the last few months, and would be better served on a long vacation until the market manages a major correction. The easy money has been made, and now the market is in the hands of the traders. So while the traders play, investors should stay away.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Why Today's Rally Is Nothing More Then A Short Squeeze

After suffering four to six straight distribution days, slicing through their fifty day moving averages in above average volume, and getting a bit over extended, the Nasdaq, SP 500, and DOW, naturally needed to consolidate their losses. Heading into the close, all three indices were trading up over one percent, but volume has been drying up as the day has progressed.

The VIX spiked over fifty percent during the sell off and continued its pattern of higher lows even as the market made new highs. A clear sign that while the markets were luring traders into complacency, anxiety has been slowly rising, and spiking with every pulback, despite the markets ability to make new highs, quickly, after every pullback.

The short trading ideas list is littered with strong downside follow through and new setups tightening as the market squeezes. Nimble traders who started shorting as short setups started to rollover last Friday and over the last two days, are sitting on comfortable profits even after today's short squeeze. It is hard to find a single short setups from Friday or Monday that has fallen apart or is currently threatening to fall apart. The majority are tightening to resume their downtrends once market selling pressure resumes.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Terex (TEX), and Priceline (PCLN) continue to follow through to the downisde, while stocks like Advance Micro Devices (AMD), Waddell & Reed (WDR), and Mattel (MAT), are holding tight near their respective fifty day moving averages ready to rollover.

Leading growth stocks continue to behave poorly. There are almost no long term setups, and the few short term setups that were available can't follow through and are stalling even as the market pushes higher during the day. Outside of a few stocks that could run into earnings, the long side needs to be avoided until there is at least some evidence that leading growth stocks are resisting downside market pressure and nearing breakouts on reversal days. None of this is happening in today's short squeeze.

Apple (AAPL), Baidu (BIDU), and Ali Baba (BABA), held up strongly yesterday and attempted to follow through at the open along with the market. But as the day has progressed, all three stocks have started to stall, even as the market continues to push into new intra-day highs.

Without any solid longer term setups, poor follow through by shorter term setups, weak volume on today's rally attempt, and short positions holding recent gains, the probability of a sustained rally is almost zero. The indices may continue to squeeze to their short term, ten and twenty day moving averages, but be on alert for stalling action as they do.

Traders should use any rally attempt to initiate new short positions or add on to existing short positions. Any long positions that might remain in a traders portfolio that is not reacting to today's rally attempt, should be sold.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Fifth Straight Distribution Day Kills Rally Attempt

Going into Christmas, Santa delivered a rally, but not anything you wanted under the Christmas tree. Outside of the huge rally day on December 17th, the first day of the rally attempt, volume dried up, and the market began to stall as it approached new highs. 

Over the past five days the Nasdaq has suffered five straight distribution days, including today, the SP 500 is working on its third straight distribution day, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the first to signal trouble ahead, has suffered five distribution days in the last six trading sessions.

Four to five distribution days in a two to three week time frame is enough to kill any rally attempt. But a cluster of distribution in a weeks time is a clear signal for investors and traders to clear out of the long side and consider shorting the weakest stocks in the market.

Leading growth stocks initially bounced and moved past their moving averages, but in anemic volume, and price performance lagged on a daily basis going into the end of the year, even as the market tried to push higher. Stocks like Apple (AAPL), Baidu (BIDU), and Ali Baba (BABA), appeared ready to run into their earning's reports after clearing or bouncing off their fifty day moving averages, but stalled almost immediately and started to drag the market lower daily, finally slicing back through their fifty day moving averages. The majority of other leading growth stocks barely reacted and lagged during the entire rally attempt. 
Not the type of action traders are looking for during a strong rally. 
Short trading ideas did a nice job tightening up into year end and began rolling over from their moving averages on Friday. Alert traders could have started initiating positions, and adding additional positions this morning on new setups. Foregin banks, UBS AG (OUBS), Credit Suisse Group (CS), and Deutsche Bank (DB), by far the weakest group, were the first to roll over. Continue to keep an eye on the gold (GLD) and silver (SLV) miners (DUST), as that trade is not completely dead yet. High end retailers Michael Kors (KORS) and Coach (COH) have also rolled over at key moving averages. Review the short trading ideas list for additional setups over the next few days.

Writing in my daily journal the same two statements on a daily basis, leading growth stocks lagging again and new setups trapping bulls in and triggering tight stop losses daily, most of the time in the same day, forced me to cash on December 31st, once several of my tighter stops to protect profits and control losses began to trigger. This is similar action we have experienced over the last few rally attempts where the market starts to kill traders by a death of a thousand cuts before rolling over into a new correction attempt.

Those who follow me on Twitter, StockTwits, SeekingAlpha, or LinkedIn, were alerted with the following post on December 31st: "Cash is the best position going into the New Year. Leading growth stocks behaving poorly."

Traders should be clearly out of any long positions, and investors can probably pack up their bags for a little while. In fact, long term investors could have spent the past few months on vacation.

The market may still attempt to rally into earning's season, but any attempt will most likely be lead by a narrow group of growth stocks that are expected to deliver strong earnings. The remainder of leading growth stocks are going to need several weeks, if not months, to consolidate and digest the two year, almost unabated, bull run.