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Category: 2 – Technical Trader

Lee Adler’s proprietary cycle analysis with market trend and position recommendations for investors and a recommended option trade for traders. Click here to subscribe. 90 day risk free trial!

Try Try Again, Extended Market Hits Long Term Resistance Trend

The futures are attacking resistance here in the wee hours Monday morning. This is the second attempt since the opening in Asia on Sunday night. This is a critical level and what happens here will set the tone for the swing trade outlook, and the longer term. This report tells you what to look for today and this week.

Technical Trader subscribers click here to download the report.

9 of the 14 swing trade chart picks hit their trailing stops during the week. That was intentional as I tightened stops to harvest profits. There were 7 profits and two losses. The profits ranged from 3% to 30.8% and averaged +17.3%. The two losses averaged -3.5%.

Including those and the remaining open picks, the theoretical average gain (100% cash, no margin, no options) was 11.3% with an average holding period of 3 weeks, i.e. 21 calendar days. The average gain the week before was 10.3% with an average holding period of 18 calendar days. Two weeks before it was +4.8% and 11 days.

This week I’m again using trend analysis to adjust trailing stops and fixed stops to proactively take out selections where I think the move is probably done, or not going the way I expected.

Looking at the output of our stock screens of 600 large cap stocks, I’ve come up with six picks for this week (table below). I will track these assuming that the buys open above their stop prices, and the shorts open below. If the stops are violated at the open, it would suggest that the trend probably isn’t going where I think. I’ll wait for the next streetcar.

There are six new picks, half long, half short. That’s a big change from the past few months when shorts were few and far between.

I will assume starting prices for tracking purposes based on the notes in the table below (table for subscribers only). I’m hoping for better entry prices than simply arbitrarily picking the opening price. This is based on the pattern I see in the first couple hours of European trading. A lot can change between now and the New York open. We’ll see if it’s worth the extra effort. Probably not. 😄

If all six are opened, that would leave us with 11 open picks. 3 would be shorts and 8 longs. That’s still a heavily bullish bias, but less so than for the past few months.

I noted last week that the lopsided bullishness was a likely sign of end stage exuberance. This slight tilt supports that, but we must not get locked into any conception of what the market “should” do. I will follow the indicators, wherever they point.

Technical Trader subscribers click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Follow Lee’s weekly swing trade chart picks with Lee Adler’s Technical Trader, risk free for 90 days!  

These reports are for informational purposes, aimed at a broad audience of investment and trading professionals, and other experienced investors and traders. Chart pick performance changes week to week and past performance may not indicate future results, as you know. Trading involves risk, and these reports assume that you understand those risks and manage them according to your tolerance. 

Confuse Us Say: When River Flow Uphill, Bear Must Float

About a year ago I began offering both long and shortsale swing trade chart picks as a (potential) value added feature to the usual general market analysis and forecast in these reports. That service has grown as I’ve honed the methodology and gotten better results. This week, I want to share some thoughts not only with subscribers who support the service, for whom I’m eternally grateful, but also with non-subscribers. So please “bear” with me. 

Technical Trader subscribers can skip this and click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Follow Lee’s weekly swing trade chart picks with Lee Adler’s Technical Trader, risk free for 90 days!  

The lesson of the chart picks this week was this. It’s good to be good, and better to be lucky, especially if we learn from it.

List performance for the week was both good, and lucky. It had one of the best performances since I began offering chart picks last year. With an average holding period of two and a half weeks – 18 calendar days – the average gain rose to 10.3%. That’s on an all cash basis, equities only, no margin, no options.

You could juice the return by playing with fire, oops, I mean options, or you could use margin, which works great when they give you free money and you’re generating consistent profits. It works the opposite of great when you’re not.

Now, I don’t like risk. I like to boost returns over the long haul by reducing risk in the short run, avoiding the slings and falling earnings turds of outrageous fortune whenever possible.

In addition to earnings turds we also have the more pervasive problem lately of lousy entries. All the massive gaps we’ve had on the open in New York since early November have made it virtually impossible to get a good entry price on Monday mornings after these reports are published. So a couple weeks ago I instituted a few changes in how I would open chart picks, recounted as follows:

11/30/20 That [+4.8%] compared with an average of just a 1% average gain as a result of the disastrous entries on Pfizer day, November 9. New York opened on a huge upside gap that day and spent the rest of the week backtracking.

The list has now recovered from that bomb in the pond, but massive opening gaps have become the norm, rather than a rarity. Therefore, I’ve instituted some changes in how I open these picks. I now use a price bracket, shown on the table, outside of which I will not add the pick to the list. Also, I now use 9:45 AM as the entry time price, rather than the opening. There are exceptions, which are noted in the table.

Another difference this week is that the buy picks will not be opened on Monday as usual. Liquidity analysis suggests weakness until Thursday. I’m allowing that to influence my thinking on entry. This is something new. Normally, I stick purely to the technical. It may or may not work out. We’ll see.

When the game changes, we want to change with it. There are only a few immutable rules, like Rule Number One- “Don’t fight the Fed.” And Number Two- “The trend is your friend, don’t fight the tape.” The other rules keep changing, to mess with our heads. So we need to be adaptable.

Being adaptable, and making small tactical changes, helped us dodge a bullet last week. But I can’t take credit. It was pure luck.

Here’s how that went down.

One of the picks (SPLK), which stands for “splat,” or worse, dropped a surprise turd on the Street with its earnings call after the bell on Wednesday. Our planned entry time was 9:45 AM Thursday with a Do Not Enter Stop of 192. It opened Thursday way, way below the stop price. At 9:45, the planned entry time, the stock was trading around 153, after closing on Wednesday around 205.

Phew! We dodged that! Had we entered on Monday, the loss as of Friday’s price would have been 23%.

But what about stops you say? Stops are no defense against earnings turds. These things trigger such rapid, explosive market diarrhea that the price gaps the stop. We’ve already had that experience once before.

In view of that, I propose an entry rule designed to avoid earnings turds. The model will check to see if a prospective pick has an earnings call scheduled within 10 calendar days. If it does, I’ll avoid it.

My swing trade chart picking philosophy is technically based. TA is not perfect. It does not know everything. Shit happens. TA often does not foreshadow bad earnings surprises.

Besides, we’re not trying to trade earnings calls. I have no way to guess who’s going to have great earnings, and who’s going to drop a turd. Other people may do that and do it well. It’s not what I do. So I’m going to stay away from that kind of inordinate, unpredictable, uncontrollable risk. I’ll do so by avoiding bets on who may or may not have good or bad earnings coming within less than the typical minimum holding period of successful picks.

Meanwhile, the decision to delay entries and use a price bracket for whether to enter or not isn’t perfect either. Besides helping to accidentally dodge a bullet, it also cost us some gains. Had we entered SNPS on Monday, we would have been ahead 5.1% on that at Friday’s close. Ditto PKE, up 9.4% from Monday at 9:45 to Friday’s close. But these would not have been enough to fully offset the splat in SPLK.

Here’s a summary how it went for the stuff we avoided.

Chart for subscribers only.

From that small sample, the verdict is to avoid stocks that are due to report earnings.

There’s a good reason for taking a close look at this. We need to know what we missed out on. We need to know what worked and what didn’t, to make a judgment on whether to keep following this strategy, or to make changes.

I’m sorry, but trading models are not immutable. A system can get hot. Then it’s not. Even the best hedge funds with the greatest AI run algos and fabulous supercomputing setups have missteps where they lose money for a period.

Without massive backtesting, I don’t know if this is the best way to handle this, but my gut says it’s better than the alternative. We know that stops can’t protect us. They get gapped when this stuff happens. By avoiding these 15-20% overnight crashes the best we can, such as not entering any position where an earnings report is due imminently, should work better.

OK! We avoided getting hit with the falling turd on this one. Accidentally. So it’s good to be good, and better to be lucky. Not only should we learn from our mistakes, but also when there are lessons inherent in our good fortune. Next time it won’t be luck. It will be use of the knowledge gained from that luck.

To review, for the week, the average gain rose to 10.3% with an average holding period of two and a half weeks – 18 calendar days – as of Friday.

Table for subscribers only. 

Amazingly, UAL, the one stock left from Pfizer day when we had forced entries on enormous upside gaps, has not only recovered, it has done quite well. I was hoping just to minimize the loss. Now the goal is to protect the profit.

It’s also time to think about harvesting profits, so I’ve tightened stops based on cycle line projections on the charts. I have also added information to the list on the amount by which to increase the stop level each day (PPD-points per day). This tactic will keep those picks open that are still within the trend, and close out those that break.

The current performance compares favorably with the previous week which showed an average gain of 4.8% with an average holding period of 11 calendar days. As the average holding period grew this week, the gains accelerated just a tad.

When trends start going parabolic, we must think in terms of, “Gee, this feels close to a top. Let’s add some shorts.” We’ve done a few shorts along the way, and they haven’t worked. This week the screens gave me nothing on the short side. Sorry about that.

There were a few stocks in the screen output with short term sell signals, but virtually all of them came from strong uptrends. So thanks, but no thanks. I want to short stocks that do not feature rising trend support. These uptrends tend to make shorting those stocks a very rough ride at best, if not an exercise in abject futility.

There were 77 potential longs to view from the screening of 600 big cap stocks. Of those I chose 4. They look like late cycle picks, and this could be the end of the line for them, a possible sucker play. I’m prepared to scalp or take losses, hopefully small, on these, but I will let the trend and cycle indicators do their work without imposing my feelings about them.

New picks table for subscribers only.

I’m adding the 4 new picks conditioned on being above their stop prices as of 9:45 AM Monday. I’m foregoing limit prices this week. If all 4 picks are above their stop prices, it will leave us with 14 open picks, all but one of which will be longs.

It certainly seems like end stage exuberance. But that can last for a few months.

Technical Trader subscribers click here to download the report, including this analysis of chart picks, and the broad market trend condition, outlook, and price projections.

Not a subscriber? Follow Lee’s weekly swing trade chart picks with Lee Adler’s Technical Trader, risk free for 90 days!  

These reports are for informational purposes, designed for a broad audience of investment and trading professionals, and other experienced investors and traders. Chart pick performance changes week to week and past performance may not indicate future results, as you know. Trading involves risk, and these reports assume that you understand those risks and manage them according to your tolerance. 

In Weakness, There is Strength, and Other Gibberish

In view of the liquidity outlook, I’m on the lookout for a support test in the first half of the week. Pre market futures suggest that the market is on track for that. The futures tested the 3600 area in the pre market.

The market maintained a shallow uptrend last week. The S&P stayed in the upper half of a weak uptrend channel. The channel has a slope of +4 PPD. The centerline will start the week at around 3623 and rises to approximately 3643 on Friday. That line is initial support. A couple of old intermediate channel lines around 3610 also mark potential support. The bottom of the short term channel starts the week around 3560 and rises to 3600.

This report illustrates where the cycle indicators show the market to be headed.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

I’m adding 5 new picks conditioned on opening within the price bracket at the time specified on the table. 4 of those picks are longs, and 1 is a short. If all 5 picks meet their entry conditions, it will leave us with 16 open picks, of which all but one will be buys. That’s extraordinary and, may I say, scary.

The list showed an average gain of 4.8% with an average holding period of 11 calendar days last week. That was despite getting stopped out of 4 new picks on the short side almost instantly, with losses ranging from 2.1% to 9.2%.  That was offset by solid performances from the winners, all on the long side.

Chart pick performance changes week to week and past performance may not indicate future results, as you know.  Trading involves risk, and these reports assume that you understand those risks and manage them according to your tolerance. These reports are for informational purposes for experienced investors and traders. 

Baby Bears Have No Chance Against This Stampeding Herd

The market started a baby downtrend channel last week. The top of the channel will open on Monday at 3572. Here in the premarket around 5:30 AM in New York, that trendline was being challenged as, once again, Asia and Europe have rallied. This report shows you what to look for this week as it affects the longer term outlook.

Meanwhile, the after effects of the disastrous Pfizer gap of November 9 are receding and list performance is recovering nicely. The average gain rebounded to +5.6%, with an average holding period of 11 calendar days.

I have adjusted trailing stops on all but one pick. All ten existing picks are longs. I’m adding 6 new picks this morning, including 4 shorts and two longs. Entries will only occur within the order price brackets, and, if so, are assumed to take place at 9:45 AM. With these gap openings becoming common, that has been a better entry time in the morning.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Chart pick performance changes week to week and past performance may not indicate future results, as you know.  Trading involves risk, and these reports assume that you understand those risks and manage them according to your tolerance. These reports are for informational purposes for experienced investors and traders. 

Not Just Liquidity, Why I Can’t Be Bearish Technically

Cyclically, there’s no reason to get bearish here. Cycles of up to 6 months duration remain in gear to the upside. A 4 week cycle high is due now, but it won’t matter if the 6-8 week cycle is dominant. Here are the price targets and theoretical timing of these expected moves.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

 

Stock Market Biden Time for the Bulls

Short term cycles turned up on schedule, triggering the overdue upturn in the 6 month cycle. The 13 week cycle up phase got its expected second wind. All cycles from 4 weeks to 6 months are now in gear to the upside. The 4 week cycle currently projects to 3560. The 13 week cycle points higher–a lot higher.

Chart pick performance was strong last week. The average gain grew from +2.5% to +5.0% while the average holding period fell from 14 calendar days to just 8, or barely over a week. Our shorts got stopped out early, protecting a small net gain on those, on balance. Meanwhile the long picks were able to take advantage of the market surge.

I am adding 6 picks to the list as of Monday including 3 new longs and 3 new shorts. I am closing out one pick. With these changes, that will leave 10 open picks, 7 longs and 3 shorts.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to generate a 5% gain every 8 days? Obviously, that’s not going to happen. But the plus signs are nice. Of course, we’d like to beat buy and hold, too.

A long/short trading strategy won’t do that in a broad, sharp rally like last week’s. That’s because we always have at least a few shorts. That costs us when we have a straight up week in the market. If we consider the last 8 calendar days as a basis for comparing performance, we were about 1 percentage point below a buy and hold SPY strategy.

But always having a few shorts means that we should outperform rangebound and down markets. My technical stock screens will generate lots of shorts when the market is trending down, and hopefully my eyes will recognize the best ones from that group. The goal is that when the market trends down (someday), the chart pick list should not just massively outperform a buy and hold market strategy, not just by losing less. It should be positive on balance.

Another goal I have for these weekly chart picks is for it to be easy to follow. Once a week entries obviously aren’t optimal from a market performance standpoint. But for busy people, it’s a good alternative. We generally have a few picks each weekend that we can enter on Monday morning. Then, setting trailing stops frees us from the trading screen. We can go about having a life!

But I don’t like automatic stops. What about the use of mental stops? I usually put stop levels on the chart pick table. I set an alert to be sent to my phone and computer screen at the stop level. When I’m actively trading my own account, I use a chart trendline or moving average representing my trailing stop line. When I get that alert, I get on that chart quickly. I wait that 2-3 minutes, and if there’s no reversal, I trigger the trade and move on.

Again, this is just my way. I’m sharing it with you for informational purposes. You have to do it your way. I just try to give you useful, actionable, and hopefully profitable, information for you to use as you see fit. If you are not an experienced trader, consult a professional investment advisor for guidance. That’s not what this is.

Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. There’s always risk of loss. Chart picks are theoretical for informational purposes only.

What If?

The bears took control last week, crushing all the uptrend lines I had drawn on this chart. Now we have a well-defined downtrend. The market has also edged below several old long term and intermediate trendline extensions. If these aren’t immediately recrossed, the downside becomes wide open.

Chart pick performance slipped last week, with the average gain falling from +3.8% to +2.5%.  The average holding period rose from 13 calendar days to 14, just two weeks as recent longs got whipsawed.

12 longs were stopped out last week. That was, in fact, all of them. I am adding 5 picks to the list as of Monday, including 4 longs and 1 short. That will leave 8 open picks – 4 longs and 4 shorts.

I read somewhere that past performance doesn’t suggest future results. I’ll say! Of course, considering how the market got clobbered last week, I don’t think that a long-only, buy and hold strategy did too well.

Now I want to do a little “what-if” exercise. Sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake and there’s something that I’ve been noticing for… oh… the past 25 years or so. That something is the evidence that the traditional 4 year cycle died decades ago.

By simply tweaking indicators around that traditional time frame, I have been trying to make a square peg fit a round hole. But they never seem to fit the action. Something has not been right. It has been staring us in the face the whole time.

What if… what if…, skewed by aggressive monetary policy, the dominant cycle since 1994 has been 7-8 years, as it appears to be. And what if that’s still the case? I have superimposed 7-8 year cycle indicators on the monthly chart. And wow! Is that revealing! It’s a completely different message than the one we’ve been trying to make sense of.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. There’s always risk of loss. Chart picks are theoretical for informational purposes only. These reports are intended for professional investors and experienced individual traders. Do your own due diligence before trading.

Monday Monday, Can’t Trust That Day

We have a selloff in the pre market, but the TA says, don’t trust it yet. Or maybe, “Trust, but verify,” for those of you of a certain age, like me.

Meanwhile, as for chart picks, I didn’t see much that I liked in this week’s screens. I didn’t add any longs. We’re already loaded to the gills there. I added two shorts, and one is conditional on a limit price entry.

4 picks were stopped out last week. With the the 2 new picks, that will leave 16 open picks, including 12 longs, and 4 shorts.

List performance improved last week, with the average gain increasing from +2.9% to +3.8%. The average holding period rose from 12 calendar days to 13, which is still less than the usual 16-20 days because I added a slew of new picks the previous week.

Chart picks are theoretical, assume 100% cash stock trades, no margin, no options, no futures.

I once read somewhere that past performance doesn’t indicate future results, or something. Is that true? Hopefully it is, considering some of my past performances.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. There’s always risk of loss. Chart picks are theoretical for informational purposes only. These reports are intended for professional investors and experienced individual traders. Do your own due diligence before trading.

What Selloff? Here We Go Again

Short term cycles have entered down phases. But this looks like a consolidation, not a top.Here’s why and what to do about it.

The chart pick screens are spitting out a ton of interesting patterns. I’m adding 9 picks this week, 7 long and 2 short. 4 picks were stopped out last week and one which was a symbol error was also closed. That will leave 18 open picks, including 14 longs, and 4 shorts.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. There’s always risk of loss. Chart picks are for informational purposes only. These reports are geared toward professional investors and experienced individual traders. Do your own due diligence before trading.

Bullish Signals Abound

Scheduled liquidity data has told us for a couple of months that October would be bullish. That played out like a charm in terms of the technical analysis last week. We also know that liquidity only gets more bullish this week. The technical picture confirms that outlook. We must give the bullish factors the benefit of the doubt.

My stock pick screens confirm that. I’m adding 7 picks from those screens this week, 5 long and 2 short. That will leave 13 open picks, including 11 longs, and the 2 new shorts.

Four chart picks were stopped out last week. Needless to say, all were shorts. The two older picks had nice gains, partly offset by small losses in the short side picks from last week.

The list performance improved sharply last week as the average holding time increased a bit. Gains doubled from an average 3.2% to an average of 6.4%. The average holding period last week was 20 calendar days, up from 17 days the previous week. The average holding period has ranged from 16 to 22 days, or just over two to three weeks.

Technical Trader subscribers, click here to download the report.

Not a subscriber? Try Lee Adler’s Technical Trader risk free for 90 days!  

Past performance doesn’t indicate future results. There’s always risk of loss. Chart picks are for informational purposes only. These reports are geared toward professional investors and experienced individual traders. Do your own due diligence before trading.