Oct 222014

I was recently asked my thoughts on the triple-bottom in gold/GLD last week, to which I replied: On the gold triple bottom, there isn’t really much to say other than so far, so good. I haven’t commented on it much lately because my focus has been on the broad market & nothing much has changed on my outlook for gold (I still believe a case can be made that gold is bottoming and so far, nothing technically has negated that). I still own the PM stocks that I started scaling into a bit too early this last time around and although I haven’t been adding for a while, I may start to add some more exposure if the current strength in gold continues. I have been meaning to update gold, silver & the miners but I’m leaving town for the weekend today so that might have to wait until early next week.

To add to the fact that so far, gold is exhibiting bullish price action lately by bouncing off the mid & late 2013 lows, it is also worth noting that much of the recent rise in gold prices is largely attributed to the decline in the US dollar. As recently discussed, the longer-term bullish case in gold hinges largely on my expectation Continue reading »

Oct 222014

I’ve been making the case for a potential bottom in the US coal sector recently, including several of my top picks in the sector (and three active trades: WLT & ANR, both of which continue to look very bullish near-term as well as potential longer-term bottoming plays, and the etf- KOL). As the technical case for a potential bottom in coal has already recently been made, this 10-year weekly chart makes the case not only for a bottom in crude oil as well but also highlights the tight correlation between crude oil & coal, which typically move in sync with each other including major tops & bottoms.

As this 10-year chart of USO highlights, every single oversold reading over the past decade (and likely beyond) has either accompanied or slightly preceded a major bottom in crude oil prices. Currently we have the first oversold reading (<30 on the weekly RSI 14) since mid-2012 (which coincided with the start of a 36% bull market market in USO that peaked in Sept 2013). As I always say, oversold can always become “more oversold” but at the very least this chart helps make the case that the current bear market in oil (and coal) is more than likely in the final stages, if not already finished. It should also be noted that USO has currently fallen to the top of this multi-year support zone which has contained prices since the financial crisis ended.

Remember, this is a case for a potential bottom in the energy sector, namely coal & oil. By most metrics, these commodities are still solidly entrenched in a downtrend & therefore, any trades at this time should still be considered aggressive, counter-trend trades. My preferred strategy for establishing a longer-term position in the coal sector is to use a scale-in strategy (buying very small lots over time as long as a bullish technical case can be made) using a shot-gun approach (spreading out my exposure to the sector amongst various coal mining stocks with the most compelling charts). With coal prices in a prolonged & severe bear market, the possibility of one or more bankruptcy filings or dividend cuts (which will most likely cause the stock to drop sharply) among my top picks in the coal sector is a very real possibility in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the shotgun approach and/or the use of KOL (coal ETF) as a proxy to gain exposure to the sector is the best way to mitigate risk (along with appropriate stops based off of your average cost basis on each position). As always, DYODD (do your own due diligence) and only consider trades that align with your own trading style & risk tolerance.

Oct 222014

LL (Lumber Liquidators) was a recent Short Trade idea that hit the second target for a 38% gain back in July. I had discussed the likelihood of extending the final target to T3, which was listed as the potential final target on the previously posted charts. However, LL hit the second target before I had a chance to make that official and so I had to go ahead and consider the trade completed when T2 was hit (as it was too late to make T3 the final target). Fast-forward to today & LL has finally reached that T3 level, which is the level where the R/R no longer warrants remaining short (for those that held) as the odds for a reversal are quite elevated at this time. Final targets are set at the level where the R/R no longer warrants holding the position & more often than not, a substantial & often lasting reversal in the stock is expected.

As the updated daily chart (second chart) below shows, LL is trading at the bottom of what appears to be a bullish falling wedge pattern complete with positive divergence forming on both the MACD & RSI, all while trading just above that key horizontal support level (the previous third target). With the current near-term & intermediate-term trends still bearish for now, I’m still considering long trades as counter-trend trades until/unless the charts say otherwise. I also have some concerns about LL as there is a thin-zone just below the T3 support level which runs down to about the 34.25-34.10 level. If LL were to make a solid break below T3 (about the 48.90 level), there’s a good chance that the stock will back-fill that thin zone. Counter-trade or not, I’m looking for some new long trade ideas for both hedging exposure (for those positioned net short) as well as for those traders position net long, with a longer-term bullish outlook.

With that being said, LL offers an objective long entry here around current levels (51.40ish). This holds especially true for those with a longer-term bullish outlook who believe that this most recent sell0ff is over and the markets are headed much higher. My first target would be the former T2 level, with the actually target set just below the bottom of the July 9th gap at 69.65 (target = 69.55) with a suggest stop on a daily close or solid move below 48.60.

click here to view the live, annotated daily chart of LL

Oct 212014

This first chart below is the weekly chart of the $RUT (Russell 2000 small cap index) with my current final downside target of 862 as well as some of the minor support levels along the way. The second chart is the update 120 minute (2 hour period) chart of the IWM ($RUT tracking etf) with the same suggested stop levels that were recently posted on this chart. The $RUT led the US indices on the way down, peaking back on July 1st, months before the $SPX, $NDX, $DJIA, etc.. and falling over 14% into last week’s lows. As would be expected, having fallen the most both in time & scope, the extremely oversold & higher-beta $RUT has been one of the leading indices the way up on the recent oversold rally since Wednesday’s lows, up about 6.5% since then. As impressive as this bounce may appear, so far (as of today’s highs), the $RUT has only retraced 38.2% of that 14% plunge off the highs… a typically minimum Fibonacci retracement or counter-trend bounce of a larger impulsive move.

Once again, multiple targets are listed on IWM short trade that was added on Thursday to accommodate various trading styles & price targets. For those just looking to position short on this bounce with the expectation of covering on the next price target of 1010 on the daily $RUT chart, a stop no higher that the 111.10 level would be prudent. For longer-term swing traders targeting a move down to the 862 area, about 20% below where the IWM short trade was added, a stop above the 144.55 level (stop 3 on the 120 minute chart) would still provide an attractive R/R of nearly 4:1.

At this time, just about every major index that I track is still trading well below the recently broken long-term bull market uptrend lines and the intermediate-term trend, as well as all but the fastest short-term trend indicators remain on sell signals. That could certainly change should the markets continue to rally sharply but until that time, most active traders should consider shorting bounces back to resistance. Until/unless the current sell signals flip back to bullish, the odds of long-side breakouts failing before reaching the measure target of the pattern is elevated (referring to typical equities that trade in-line with the broad market).

Oct 202014

The SPY has now reached the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of the 9/18-10/15 drop, a level which may act as a stopping point for this counter-trend bounce. The next solid resistance is the former T3 support zone while the 94 area on the Q’s is both solid horizontal resistance as well as the 38.2% retracement of the Sept 19- Oct 15 drop. 120 minute charts below:

Oct 202014
IWM 120 min Oct 20th

IWM 120 min Oct 20th

I left town for the weekend on Friday & just returned last night and plan to post some updated market commentary as soon as I review the charts. I received several email questions & comments since Friday, along with a couple of donations as well a testimonial (thank you), all of which I plan to reply to as soon as I get my bearings. In looking at the 120-minute chart of the IWM that was posted before I left town, I noticed that the first suggested stop for the IWM short trade was incorrectly listed as 11.10 instead of 111.10 and that typos has been corrected on this updated 120 minute chart. The $RUT continues to struggle around that 1080-1082ish resistance level so far and remains solidly entrenched in an intermediate-term downtrend along with just about all major US & international equity indices.

The triple-bottom in gold (mid & late 2012 lows along with the recent Oct 3rd low) certainly has the potential to be the final low in a 15-month bottoming process but until we take out the July 10th reaction high & especially the March 14th high, it is just too early to say with a high degree of confidence that a new bull market is likely underway in gold although that continues to be my read on the charts. I remain longer-term bullish on silver as well and believe that move over the 18.00 level in SLV (silver etf), which was the former key support, now resistance level, is likely to viewed as a bear-trap with the potential to trigger a short-covering rally & new wave of buyers on both the metal & the related mining stocks.

US coal stocks continue to exhibit was could prove to be the early stages of a lasting reversal or at the very least, a tradeable bounce. However, the coal stocks have been under intense selling pressure & remain very aggressive, counter-trend trades at this time. With that being said, some of the more promising candidates are WLT, BTU, OXF, ANR, CLD, NRP, & ACI.  KOL (Market Vectors Coal ETF) provides another, more diversified option to gaining exposure to the coal industry with both domestic & foreign companies.

Select agricultural commodity ETFs such as WEAT, CORN & SOYB continue to look promising as longer-term trade ideas although the success of those trades will likely to be determined in large part by the next major direction in the $USD, which so far has peaked earlier this month.

Oct 172014
IWM 120 min Oct 17th

IWM 120 min Oct 17th

Here are a few suggested stop levels for the IWM short trade. The first stop would be just above that shaded box which encompasses the 109.80 horizontal resistance as well as a Fib cluster, the 38.2% & 50% retracement levels of the two prior reaction highs. The next stop, stop 2 at 112.42 lies just above the 112.20 horizontal resistance and another tight Fib cluster (50% & 61.8%) with the upper-most suggested stop above 144.55, which comes in around the 61.8% retracement of the move down from the July 1st peak in the $RUT/IWM. Which stop(s) one uses would be based on their preferred downside target(s) in the $RUT/IWM (i.e.- the lower your price target, the higher your stop).

I had mocked up a daily chart of IWM with some potential target areas last night but either inadvertently saved it to the wrong watch-list or didn’t save it at all. If I can’t find it I’ll work up another chart today but as of now, based on my interpretation of the weekly chart, I think a move down to the 875 level on the $RUT (about a 20% drop from current levels) is certainly a possibility in the coming months at this time. Of course, if that proves to be the case, we would almost certainly experience some very quick counter-trend rallies along the way.