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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Earnings Summary Week of Feb 22

Reporting a quarter of accelerating growth: EXAC, HCKT, NVEC

Reporting a quarter of decelerating growth: ASGN, GTLS, ICLR, MDF, VSEC

Reporting a quarter of negative growth: ASTE, CIR, CSGP, GEF, INWK, PQ, VSNT

The earnings spreadsheet will be uploaded later tonight after I update the upcoming reports. The relative strength sheet has already been uploaded.

Relative Strength Scans

Here are the results of this week's relative strength scan, stocks within the top 25% of their 52 week high-low range. Despite the lousy week last week, the number of relative strength stocks has increased over last week.

IBD 100

It was a brutal week in the IBD 100 as the medical sector came under assault (thank you, Mr. Obama). Very few escaped the carnage, and many dropped off the IBD 100 this week, including ebs, which had been number one for several weeks running. OOverall, the IBD 100 was down 6.7%, and is a good indication of just how weak this market is.

DLTR was the top gainer last week. Last month this got crushed on an earnings miss, but a trend I have noticed in the past is that when a stock in an uptrend has a dip due to an earnings miss, it will sell off for 2-3 weeks, then reverse and resume it's uptrend. I would be more confident about that in a bull rather than a bear market, but it seems to be happening here. One clue here is the price relative line, which ramained high and is about to break out.

SXL was the second biggest gainer. It is not a very exciting chart, and there are some flaws. It did pull back to the 50dma, giving a good entry point, but did it on higher than average volume, which would have scared me out. This is a breakout candidate for this coming week.

GTIV was last week's big decliner. I have not seen the details of Obama's health care reform plan, but something in there caused panic selling. Ther wasn't a whole lot of warning, but a break of the 200dma should have been the signal to get out.

LHCG was the second biggest decliner. This one was showing signs of weakness before the big selloff. When it failed to retest the 50dma after it's first pullback, that should have been a red flag. Eventually, the bear comes to get them all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday New Highs

Friday's new highs.

The high volume advancers on the relative strength list.

The high volume decliners. Medical stocks have been destroyed. This weekend's relative strength scan should be interesting.

Welcome To New Low Hell

Add ImageC came under extreme pressure today as nationalization is becoming more and more possible. It would be disastrous, not only for the shareholders (who should have been out long before now), but also for the national psyche. It would be a major step in the "sovietization" of the U.S., and a major power grab by the Pelosi/Frank wing of the Democratic party. Karl Denninger mentioned an interesting strategy (I can't remember if it was in a post, or on one of his podcasts), in that when these big caps drop this low, buying them would be like buying call options that never expire. I can see taking a position of, say, 100 shares and sitting on them. Worst case, it is nationalized or bankrupted and you lose, in this case, $150 plus commisions, best case, it recovers and you are sitting on a ten-bagger or better. It's actually a pretty interesting idea.

I said yesterday that we were sitting right on the pivot point and could go in either direction. Unfortunately, it was down, and while 741 held for a while, when it broke all hell broke loose.

I mentioned this morning that the TNX was making a rocket shot up. 30.41 became a pivot point as it hit it and pulled back a little, then went through it, pulled back again, broke it 2 more times before sttling right on it. With equities getting smashed, this should not have been going up. Somebody is getting out to them, and I sure hope it's not somebody big.

The Nasdaq was the strength again today. This and the Russell 2000 are probably what have kept us from another crash. Technology, which you would not expect to be a "defensive" sector, was strong, along with consumer staples and consumer descretionary. Helath care got totally cheesed again, taking out a lot of the leading stocks and reversing several recent breakouts.

This is the chart I will be watching next week. If the Russell breaks support, this market is toast.

The casino that the financials has become is a daytrader's dream. This keeps trying to find support, and keeps breaking it. I'm pretty sure it has solid support, though, at zero.

There is an interesting article on Market Watch about ETFs, particularly USO, which is supposed to track oil price, but has grown so large and hold so many oil contracts that it is being investigated by the CFTC to see if it actually moves the oil market. I have been trading mostly ETFs for the last year, and like to trade the 2X leverage index ETFs, but I have been hearing a lot about how they are using derivatives to get results, which is a little scary. Anyway, one of the weekends I'll do some more research and post an article on it.

There was another stealth earnings report on the earnings sheet today, HURC, down 17%. In about another month I will be doing my quarteerly update, and I suspect there are going to be a lot of removals.

I'll have the new highs (both of them) up shortly.


APSG was one of the stocks from the relative strength list to report earnnings this week, which it did on Tuesday. It gapped up, pilled back a little on low volume, then had another high volume move today, briefly hitting a new high before coming under pressure as the rest of the market tanked. This could make another breakout try on Monday, could go into a consolidation, or just collapse completely. With this market, I'm not guessing.


I posted on RGR a couple of days ago, and made an error when I said it was not actually at a new high. For some reason I saw 9.90 as the previous high, but it was actaully 8.90. Anyway, this got a gap up on earnings two days ago, and made a follow through move today. The earnings weren't particularly impressive, but it was reported that pistol sales are going through the roof due to fear that the administration and Congress will pass legislation restricting them. I don't normally buy stocks based on stories, and this looks awfully extended to me. Volume is still high but declining.

Here is the other handgun manufacturer, SWHC, which is doing the same thing (i haven't checked to see if they reported earnings recently).

Treasury Sell Off?

This is odd. this is a 3 day one minute chart on the TNX, yield on the 10m year treasury. It gapped down this morning, not surprising as the market was also preparing to gap down. Right around 9:55, this starting moving up, and fast. Somebody is dumping treasuries.

The market did gap down this morning. The SPX has hit a low of 734, busting the November low,
and is attempting a rally. Strength is in basic materials and technology, weakness in financials and utilities. The Nasdaq lagged yesterday, so it's time for it to lead today. The Russell 2000 is about 20 points away from a retest, and I will be watching that today.

Once again, not a single new high in the market. Nothing on the earnings sheet is scheduled to report today. ANDS, on of the relative strength stocks that was reporting, reported last night and is tanking today, down about 10%.

As I write, the TNX has hit some resistance at 30.41, but refuses to pull back. I don't know what this is, but I'll bet it's not good.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday New Highs

Thursday new highs. Enough said.

Today's high volume advancers from the relative strength list.

The high volume decliners from the same list. Medical stocks got hammered today, mainly due to Obama's plan to take over the health care system.

Just Plain Ugly

Today was just plain ugly, especially aftern getting off to a decent start. The news was all bad and getting worse. Besides the gargantuan budget deficit, we now have 5 million people collecting unemployment benefits, and GM and Fannie Mae both reported huge losses and need more government aid. That dragged the market down, despite a pretty decent bounce in the financials and strength in energy. The SPX is sitting right on the pivot at 752, and could go either way.

I've been hearing a lot about the Dow theory sell signal we got on the transports and confirmed on the industrials when they hit new lows. I'm not a big follower of Dow theory, but I should do a little reasearch and do a weekend post on it. Dow theory or not, this chart says the market is in a whole lot of trouble.

The industrials confirmed the sell signal when they hit a new low on the high volume day we had last week. They are in a narrow range with a pivot around 7250, and not much holding us up after the support just above 7000.

The Nasdaq is valiantly trying to hold this market up, but sure looks to me like it is weakening. 1388 looks like the "stay above me of else" level.

Here is the performance year to date of the sectors. there really isn't anything significant about year to date, but it did happen to mark the high point of the rally attempt. As I have been saying, the financials are the drag, but industrials are surprisingly weak, energy and basic materials need to get it in gear. Consumer staples haven't been the safe haven they are supposed to be, and technology is the surprise leader.

I waited all day for new highs to appear, and got one, near the end of the day. It was NNA, a stock that s not in's database, so I don't have any individual stock charts tonight. I will have the new highs update (such as it is) shortly.

Thursday Deficit Shock

New homes sales fall at a record pace, JPM is axing 12,000 jobs, and the budget deficit is on course to be 1.75 trillion dollars. Despite the bad news, the market is rallying, although it's half hearted so far. The XLF is leading by far, up over 6%, followed by XLB and XLE at 3%, XLV is the only negative sector but is down less than 1%. The SPX has spent the first hour of trading flopping around between 768 and 778 after a gap up at the open. Relative strength is in the Russell 2000, relative weakness in the Nasdaq 100.

We are over one hour into the trading day, and there are no new highs. Not one. So I don't have any breakouts.

DAIO was scheduled to report today, but rescheduled for 5 March. That is almost always bad news. SNAK did report this morning and is down 3%. CIR reported last night and is up about 3%.

If I seem a little disconnected today, I'm in shock. 1.75 trillion dollars. Deficit. One year. Let that sink in.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday New Highs

Wednesday new highs, sorted by industry. I already mentioned that CTIC and RGR are not actually new highs.

Today's high volume advancers on the relative strength list. APSG was on earnings.

Today's high volume decliners from the same list.

Tomorrow I have DAIO and SNAK confirmed to report.

Market Gives Traders A "Stress Test"

Tonight's post is rushed because I am pressed for time and had some computer problems (which I narrowed down to Firefox browser, which seems to crash more with each update). Anyway, today got off to a bad start as home sales numbers were awful, the President's speech failed to instill confidence, and, I would imagine, yesterday's big gain became another opportunity for the big guys to get out. We quickly bounced of 752, which looks like it is going to be a key pivot point. 780 is developing as a key pivot on the upper end, and of course, 804 is key resistance that we really need to get back above. We have worked off much of the oversold condition we had on Monday, so another test on the downside is not out of the question.

The Dow Industrials continue to get weaker, despite strength in BAC, JPM, and C. These are the megacaps, the biggest, baddest of them all, and some of them are starting to look like they need to be moved to the Russell 2000.

XLK was the only sector to finish green today, although if not for a last 15 minute sell fest, the entire market would have finished green.Gold miners were leading the market early, but reversed and finished down. The strongest industry index was sthe SOX, semiconductors.

The Russell 2000 continues it's dance, alternating strength/weakness, just the sort of thing we don't need to see.

There were a couple of "stealth" earnings reports on the earnings sheet today, MDF up 4%, and GTLS, up 12%. CIR reported after the close and is up 2% in after hours trading. GEF also reported after the close and is up 4.5% in after hours trading.

As usual Wednesday nights I hasve business to attend to, but as usual I will have my laptop, so I should have my late update in about the usual time.


SXCI broke out of a base back in December, then went into another, very short cup and high handle base, which it tried to break out of today, closing just below resistance. This has really gotten a big increase in average volume in the last few months, and has been undergoing pretty steady accumulation. The price relative line has been in a very steady uptrend.


RGR has a 52 week high of 9.90, so I don't know why it is on today's new high list, but there are a couple of oddities. This reported earnings yesterday after market close, but as you can see made a big move on volume starting on Monday. Either somebody made a lucky guess or they had advance information.


This was on the new highs list today, but as you can see it's nowhere near a new high. Apparently it is also traded in Italy, where they halted it. The Nasdaq also halted trading, and it apparently dropped out of Finviz's database. Now Finviz has it back and is saying it is at a new high. The reason I am pointing this out is that in a raging rally there will be way to many new highs for me to ferret these things out, so you will have to be on the lookout.

Wednesday Morning Update

We are about one month into the new administration, and Obama gave his first major speech last night The market is reponding with a big reversal of the rally from yesterday. Apparently the market has little confidence that the administration is putting efforts in the right places, and with the exception of energy, I would agree. Most of the spending is more of the same we have been seeing for the last 40 or so years, which got us nowhere.

The market dropped on the open and headed right for the pivot at 752, bounced off it, and is trying to rally. The yields on the 10 year and 30 year treasuries are rising. Relative strength is in technology, energy, utilities, and the Nasdaq, relative weakness in financials, industrials, consumer descretionary, and the Russell 2000. XAU, after getting trashed yesterday, is leading again today. We are going back to the alternating strength/weakness scenario we have been seeing for several months, the kind that chew up traders' accounts to bits.

I have 3 new highs, no breakouts. I have been watching ZN for a collapse, which it is doing at the moment, down 33%. I have one confirmed report today, CIR, after market close. The 2 that reported last night, VSNT and HCKT, are down 1.7% and 5% repectively.

For all the crap that Obama is going to get for this speech, there were a couple of things that I thought were important. First, he placed the blame for our problems squarely where it belongs, on the previous President. Second, buried in the middle of the speech, was this statement:
" We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."Scoff if you must, but I for one will accept nothing less. Mediocrity sucks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday New Highs

Tuesday new highs. Pretty sparse for a big up day.

The high volume gainers from the relative strength list. I cannot find a reason for CATT's move, other than just being oversold.

The high volume decliners. Gold miners got hit pretty hard today.

Bernanke Calls Another Bottom: This Time He Means It

"Stocks jump as Bernanke says recession may end this year" screams the headline on Yahoo finance. Yes, aBernanke has been right about everything all along, why wouldn't he be right about this, too. Maybe he means the recession will turn into a depression. Why anyone pays attention to him anymore is beyond me. Besides, this sure looks more like na technical bounce to me. Traders look for a retest of lows, and we came very close yesterday. We also fell a bit below 30 on the RSI, a level that usually produces bounces. So, this is day one of a rally attempt, and we are looking for a follow through, ideally on days 4 through 7. Check IBD's website for more information (most of their investor education portion of their website is free, and well worth some study).

The Nasdaq was nowhere near retesting it's lows, and was relatively weak today, but if we do get a follow through, it will probably be here.

The Russell 2000 is also far from retesting. If this is "THE bottom", it will be several weeks, or even months, before we know it, but with the bottom callers on CNBC in full force, it's not likely.

This is the new lows on the Nasdaq. One thing we need to see is a lot of improvement here, and we actually are seeing some longer term improvement. We haven't reached the levels that we saw back in October and November, but we need to see this drop, not rise.

The same thing on the NYSE. Short term the trend is up, longer term, down. Let's see it stay that way. Until proven otherwise, this is an oversold bounce.

Formeer winner of "Idiot of the Week" Barney Frank and Senator John Kerry are certainly putting in a good effort to win the award again. They are criticizing Northern Trust Bank, which has recieved TARP money, for sponsoring a golf tournament. Well, gee, guys, too bad you didn't think of that BEFORE you voted to give them the money.

ASTE reported this morning and was up 18% on the day. HCKT and VSNT both reported after market close, but neither has traded after hours.


Despite the big move in the market, there were incredibly few new highs, and nothing breaking out. AIPC popped up as a new high very late. The last gap up is providing a support zone as this works it's way up. It seems to be getting some attention as the price relative line keeps rising. I would say it's pretty extended here, but another good earnings report could send this flying again.


One of the stocks I mentioned over the weekend that were reporting this week. It reported after hours and beat estimates, but apparently is not trading after hours. Technically this chart is terrible, with a break of the 50dma yesterday, but it was on low volume. If it gaps up big it might be a decent buy, otherwise I would pass.

Tuesday Update

No crash today, at least not yet. After getting thrashed yesterday, energy is leading the market up, along with financials. As I write, we are still under 752 on the SPX, but in no imminent danger of heading for 741. Treasury yields are down, gold is down, oil is up but still below 40. Consumer confidence came out this morning, and is again at a record low.

So far I have 3 new highs, none breakouts. ASTE reported this morning and is down 2%, HCKT and VSNT are reporting after market close.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday New Highs

Monday's new highs, this time sorted by Dow Jones industry. I just noticed that ZN isn't in Zacks' database this week, and MJN is a recent IPO that entered Finviz's database today. IWOV is an acquisition.

Today's high volume gainers from the relative strength list (minus ZN, for the reason I stated above).

Today;s high volume decliners.

Tomorrow I have 3 confirmed reports: ASTE, HCKT, and VSNT.

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