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Recent Turbulence Requires Patience


Stepping into this action here is not wise and will only be met with frustration.


We arise this morning not to the glorious smell of a Turkey Trot in the way of higher futures but rather to the stench of falling futures. It looks as if yesterday's roller coaster ride, which ended on a positive note, has disappeared like a good piece of pumpkin pie. The action we are seeing this morning once again solidifies just how important it is to be doing nothing in this environment. Stepping in for anything longer than a nano-second scalp trade is a recipe for disaster and has only been met with frustration.

Unfortunately, it is all part of the process as dip buyers who step in continue to be turned away time and again until they finally give up and throw in the towel. They are a stubborn bunch but it is only when this group has gone that we will actually see a tradable bounce. Make no mistake about it however that even a tradable bounce won't repair the technical damage that has been done and change the development of what looks to be a longer term downtrend that is shaping up.

Rather than fight in the fray traders should remain with their high levels of cash and start to plan out their strategy. Bear markets last longer than a few days or weeks and if in fact we are entering or have entered one, we will see this through a longer term series of lower lows and lower highs. Any prolonged pattern down goes through strong thrusts higher as shorts cover and reposition while dip buyers step in. It is during this phase where the prudent investor can also reposition, putting their capital to work in areas that correlate with the bigger picture and are in fact also pursuing longer term downtrends.

If we ultimately pursue a bear market I believe it will be sparked by the fall of the consumer. This may already be happening and certain charts such as Starbucks (SBUX), Wal-Mart (WMT) and Circuit City (CC) are telling us just that however there still remain others that look vulnerable to new thrusts lower and is where I will focus my attention.

  • Guess? (GES) has been moving in a sideways channel since its break higher in June and is now threatening the lower support lines of this area after its most recent decline. The stock is not cheap, selling at 17 times forward earnings with an estimated EPS growth rate of 19%. This of course is predicated on the fact that the company meets or exceeds estimates.

  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) is sitting in a mirrored cup and handle pattern with its pivot being a break below $21.07. The stock is sitting on a major support level created through the 2005 top and 2006 multi-month consolidation area. Should this stock not hold these levels it looks as if a would be at least the low teens.

  • Dress Barn (DBRN) has been trending lower since early 2006 and is clearly struggling to find any bids. The stock looks as if it could continue trending lower on a break below $13.50 and find support at the 2004 levels of between $8.00 and $10.00.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) has been in a solid up trend since early 2004. The stock has recently come under pressure and looks to be flirting with a break of this longer term support. The stock is fairly valued, selling at 14 times estimated 2008 EPS which if met would be a growth rate over 2007 by 13%. I am watching for a break of $70.64 to start a position. The company reported earnings this morning, posting a healthy profit increase, but the initial reaction from traders is poor and I will look for this to continue with my trigger price close by.

There is still a small chance of a bounce in here, Minyans, as we have clearly seen that anything is possible, but stepping into this action here is not wise and will only be met with frustration. Continue to sit on the sidelines, adopt patience and let's pick our spots very carefully.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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