March 19th, 2012
I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last post. Please accept my apologies. I’ve been doing exactly what I said I would do in that March 2nd post, I’ve been “shooting fish in a barrel”. And for the time being, I believe my fishing respite is coming to a close.
The market crossed above April’s high and is slowly climbing to what might be the next resistance at approximately 1435-1440, or a mere 2.5% above Friday’s close. Last week, the market ended 2.43% higher for the week so the next resistance may be reached by the end of this coming week.
Why could 1435-1440 be the next resistance area? Not because so many others are talking about it (and they may because they look at the same charts) but because that’s approximately the level of the higher of two alternative necklines of the 2007-2008 reversal top of the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis Crash. The lower is where last year’s correction began and the extension of the upper neckline is where the market is heading next.
It would be nice to think that once the market recovers a trend will continue unabated for an extended time. Unfortunately and disappointingly, that’s not the way market’s work. The market has risen 16.49% since December 16 and needs to digest this extended move.
I’m guessing that the market was recovering from the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis Crash until the European Debt crisis and the Congressional Federal budget stalemate last year stopped it in its tracks. Even though we will soon enter a consolidation there should be plenty of further room on the upside before a major correction along the lines of last year’s. Too many stocks haven’t yet fully participated in the unbelievably beautiful, stealth bull market that’s occurred since the beginning of the year. For example, even though many of the banks and other financial stocks have led the market higher so far this year, most are still just now crossing the necklines in their chart patterns indicating that there should be another an equal amount of appreciate left in their move.
The challenge up to now has been to put money back to work without severely increasing risk. The next several weeks will present a different sort of challenge: determining which stocks you own are 1) consolidating previous gains, 2) late bloomers and will begin their move after the market correction or 3) will be forever doomed and should be sold. Here are examples of some that I’m evaluating:
- BR: I recently added this stock on the expectation that a strong market will help it cross above its long-term resistance into all-time new high territory. Was I premature by not waiting for that cross? I didn’t follow a discipline of buying only after a breakout and now wonder whether I will soon pay the price of that violation.
- EMN: Purchased the stock in the hope that the “buyers’ remorse” correction had ended and it was able to realize the potential of its ability to cross into all-time new high territory. Should I patiently wait for that realization or should the stock be abandoned while I can exit with a small profit.
- EXPE: Another stock I purchased on the expectation that a strong market will help it cross above a long-term resistance level. But now a market consolidates will probably hinder the stock’s ability to cross above the upper boundary of the ascending channel and the long-term resistance level. Wait it out or sell? That is the question.
I’ve always found that the simplest way of deciding whether to hold on to a stock is thinking the mirror image of the question: “Would I buy the stock today if I didn’t own it?“