Category Archives: Stock trading

NASDAQ dive

Working on some slides for a seminar last week, it was apparent that breadth indicators on the NASDAQ signaled a divergence from the price action of the market.
Looking specifically at AD Ind and HI/LO, although other breadth measures told the same tale.

The AD indicator explained

The Advance/Decline Indicator is an exponentially weighted average of the net advancing versus declining issues. With this indicator, the direction of the trend is of importance and not the actual value of the indicator. When the indicator is increasing, advances are outweighing declines, and when it is decreasing, there are more declining is­sues than advancing.
The  Advance/Decline Indicator is a breadth indicator very similar to the Advance/Decline Line.  However, this indicator tends to be more sensitive and at times will signal a move earlier than the Advance/Decline Line.
The breadth was telling us something was amiss from last week. Take a look at this chart of the NASDAQ clearly a divergence was in place before the downturn.
Today’s (10-10-18) 316 point drop in the NASDAQ a 4% drop and nearly 9% drop from the high is close to the 10% corrective point and some buyers may come in over the next few days and keep the decline in check or not.
The markets are down between 6 and 10% in 5 days. Keeping good stops is a must in your portfolio to protect you from the worst of this. Using trailing stops between 7 and 10 % on stocks that are moving and protective stops 5 to 7 % below initial investment for example can easily reduce your losses in these volatile markets.

New Highs, Check…Now What?

Let’s open with Jay’s Trading Maxim #7.

Jay’s Trading Maxim #7: Being able to identify the trend today is worth more than 1,000 predictions of what the trend will be in the future.

Yes trend-following is boring.  And no, trend-following never does get you in near the bottom nor out at the top.  But the reality is that if you remain long when the trend appears to be up (for our purposes here let’s define this roughly as the majority of major market averages holding above their long-term moving averages) and play defense (i.e., raise cash, hedge, etc.) when the trend appears to be down (i.e., the majority of major market averages are below their long-term moving averages), chances are you will do pretty well for yourself.  And you may find yourself sleeping pretty well at night as well along the way.

To put it more succinctly:

*THE FOREST = Long-term trend

*THE TREES = All the crap that everyone tells you “may” affect the long-term trend at some point in the future

Human nature is a tricky thing.  While we should clearly be focused on THE FOREST the reality is that most investors focus that majority of their attention on all those pesky trees.  Part of the reason for this is that some trees can offer clues.  It’s a question of identifying a few “key trees” and then ignoring the rest of the noise.

A New High

With the Dow Industrials rallying to a new high virtually all the major averages have now reached a new high at least within the last month.  And as you can see in Figure 1 all are well above their respective 200-day moving average.  Long story short the trend is “UP”.

(click to enlarge)1Figure 1 – U.S. Major Market Indexes in Uptrends (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)

Now What? The Good News

As strong as the market has been of late it should be noted that we are about to enter the most favorable seasonal portion of the 48-month election cycle.  This period begins at the close of September 2018 and extends through the end of December 2019.

Figure 2 displays the growth of $1,000 invested in the Dow Industrials only during this 15-month period every 4 years.  Figure 3 displays the actual % +(-) for each of these periods.  Note that since 1934-35, the Dow has showed a gain 20 out of 21 times during this period.

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Figure 2 – Growth of $1,000 invested in Dow Industrials ONLY during 15 bullish months (mid-term through pre-election year) within 48-month election cycle.

Start Date End Date Dow % +(-)
9/30/1934 12/31/1935 +55.6%
9/30/1938 12/31/1939 +6.2%
9/30/1942 12/31/1943 +24.5%
9/30/1946 12/31/1947 +5.1%
9/30/1950 12/31/1951 +18.9%
9/30/1954 12/31/1955 +35.5%
9/30/1958 12/31/1959 +27.7%
9/30/1962 12/31/1963 +31.8%
9/30/1966 12/31/1967 +16.9%
9/30/1970 12/31/1971 +17.0%
9/30/1974 12/31/1975 +40.2%
9/30/1978 12/31/1979 (-3.1%)
9/30/1982 12/31/1983 +40.4%
9/30/1986 12/31/1987 +9.7%
9/30/1990 12/31/1991 +29.2%
9/30/1994 12/31/1995 +33.1%
9/30/1998 12/31/1999 +46.6%
9/30/2002 12/31/2003 +37.7%
9/30/2006 12/31/2007 +13.6%
9/30/2010 12/31/2011 +13.0%
9/30/2014 12/31/2015 +2.2%

Figure 3 – 15 bullish months (mid-term through pre-election year) within 48-month election cycle

Now What? The Worrisome Trees

While the major averages are setting records a lot of other “things” are not.  My own cluster of “market bellwethers” appear in Figure 4.  Among them the Dow Transportation Index is the only one remotely close to a new high, having broken out to the upside last week.  In the meantime, the semiconductors (ticker SMH), the inverse VIX index ETF (ticker ZIV) and Sotheby’s (ticker BID) continue to meander/flounder. This is by no means a “run for the hills” signal.  But the point is that at some point I would like to see some confirmation from these tickers that often (though obviously not always) presage trouble in the stock market when they fail to confirm bullish action in the major averages.

(click to enlarge)4Figure 4 – Jay’s 4 Bellwethers (SMH/TRAN/ZIV/BID) (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)

Another source of potential concern is the action of, well, the rest of the darn World.  Figure 5 displays my own regional indexes – Americas, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Middle East.  They all look awful.

(click to enlarge)3Figure 5 – 4 World Regional Indexes (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)

Now the big question is “will the rest of the world’s stock markets start acting better, or will the U.S. market start acting worse?”  Sadly, I can’t answer that question.  The key point I do want to make though is that this dichotomy of performance – i.e., U.S market soaring, rest of the world sinking – is unlikely to be sustainable for very long.

Summary

It is hard to envision the market relentlessly higher with no serious corrections over the next 15 months.  And “yes”, those bellwether and world region indexes trees are “troublesome”.

Still the trend at the moment is inarguably “Up” and we about to enter one of the most seasonally favorable periods for the stock market.

So, my advice is simple:

1) Decide now what defensive actions you will take if the market does start to breakdown

2) Resolve to actually take those actions if the need arises

3) Enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.

Jay Kaeppel

Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

Four Things to Watch for Warning Signs

First things first: I am primarily a trend-follower (this is based on, a) the relative long-term benefits of following trends and b) my lack of ability to actually “predict” anything – but I digress).
As a trend-follower I love the fact that the stock market has been trending higher and the fact that there is so much “angst” regarding the “inevitable top.”  Still, like a lot of investors I try to spot “early warning signs” whenever possible.  Here are the four “things” I am following now for signs of trouble.
Fidelity Select Electronics
In Figure 1 you see, a) the blow-off top of 1999-2000 and b) today.  Are the two the same?  I guess only time will tell.  But the point is, I can’t help but think that if and when the bloom comes off of the electronics boom, overall trouble will follow.  Here is hoping that I am not as correct here as I was here.
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Figure 1 – Ticker FSELX (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Just asking.
Transportation Index
As you can see in Figure 2, the Dow Transports has a history of making double tops which is followed by trouble in the broader market.  Are we in the process of building another double top?  And will trouble follow if we are?  Dunno, hence the reason it is on my “Watch List” rather than on my “OH MY GOD SELL EVERYTHING NOW!!!!! List”.
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Figure 2 – Dow Transportation Index (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Ticker XIV
Ticker XIV is an ETF that is designed to track inverse the VIX Index. As a refresher, the VIX Index tends to “spike” higher when stocks fall sharply and to decline when stocks are rising and/or relatively quiet.  To put it in simpler terms, in a bull market ticker XIV will rise.  As you can see in Figure 3 one might argue that XIV has gone “parabolic”.  This is a potential warning sign (assuming you agree that the move is parabolic) as a parabolic price move for just about anything is almost invariably followed by, well, let’s just say, “not so pretty”.
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Figure 3 – Ticker XIV (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Let’s hope not.  Because if it does qualify as  parabolic that’s a very bad sign.
Ticker BID
This one may or may not be relevant but for what it is worth, Sotheby’s (ticker BID) has on several occasions served as something of a “leading indicator” at stock market tops (for the record it has also given some false signals, so this one is more for perspective purposes rather than actual trading purposes). Still, if this one tops out in conjunction with any or all of the above, it would likely serve as a useful warning sign.
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Figure 4 – Ticker BID (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert)
Summary
There is no “urgent action” to be taken based on any of this.  Bottom line: Nothing in this article should trigger you to run for the exits.
Still, it might be wise to at least take a look around and “locate the exit nearest you.”
You know, just in case.
Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (Courtesy AIQ TradingExpert) client. http://jayonthemarkets.com/
Disclaimer:  The data presented herein were obtained from various third-party sources.  While I believe the data to be reliable, no representation is made as to, and no responsibility, warranty or liability is accepted for the accuracy or completeness of such information.  The information, opinions and ideas expressed herein are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute and should not be construed as investment advice, an advertisement or offering of investment advisory services, or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any security.

Volume-Weighted Moving Average Breakouts

The AIQ code based on Ken Calhoun’s article in the February 2017 issue of Technical Analysis ofSTOCKS & COMMODITIES, “Volume-Weighted Moving Average Breakouts,” can be found at http://aiqsystems.com/Volume-Weighted-Moving-Average-Breakouts.EDS 
 
Please note that I tested the author’s system using the NASDAQ 100 list of stocks on daily bars rather than intraday bars from 12/31/2008 thru 2/10/2017. Figure 7 shows the resulting equity curve trading the author’s system with the cross-down exit. Figure 8 shows the ASA report for this test. The annualized return showed about a 17% return with a maximum drawdown of 19%.
Sample Chart

FIGURE 7: AIQ. Here are sample test results from the AIQ Portfolio Manager taking three signals per day and 10 concurrent positions maximum run on NASDAQ 100 stocks (daily bar data) over the period 12/31/08 to 2/10/07.
Sample Chart

FIGURE 8: AIQ. This shows the ASA report for the system, which shows the test metrics and settings.
The code and EDS file can be downloaded from http://aiqsystems.com/Volume-Weighted-Moving-Average-Breakouts.EDS , and is also shown below.
!Volume-Weighted Moving Average Breakouts
!Author: Ken Calhoun, TASC Apr 2017
!Coded by: Richard Denning 2/11/17
!www.TradersEdgeSystems.com

!INPUTS:
smaLen is 70.
vwmaLen is 50.

SMA is simpleavg([close],smaLen).
VWMA is sum([close]*[volume],vwmaLen)/sum([volume],vwmaLen).
HasData if hasdatafor(max(smaLen,vwmaLen)+10)>max(smaLen,vwmaLen).
Buy if SMA < VWMA and valrule(SMA > VWMA,1) and HasData.
Sell if SMA > VWMA.

rsVWMA is VWMA / valresult(VWMA,vwmaLen)-1.
rsSMA is SMA / valresult(SMA,smaLen)-1.
—Richard Denning
info@TradersEdgeSystems.com
for AIQ Systems

It’s all relative you see

The markets have been shall we say been less than inspiring recently. Brexit came and went with a brief hiccup in the action and only in the last week or so has the volatility picked up. The Dow as you can see in this weekly chart is back the same level as December 2014

 

 

The VXX shows clearly the decline in volatility since the high back in 2011

 

The summer doldrums may be over, but during periods when the market is range bound, segments within the market are often performing very well or very poorly. One AIQ Report that can show the strength within segments is the Relative Strength Strong – Short Term. This report shows stocks in 3 month trend up and is a great report for those who trade with ‘the trend is your friend’. Here is Friday 9-16-2016 report. The report is ranked by the stocks with the best trend.

 

 

I highlighted 6 stocks in the top of this report. All have good trends in place, and all in the Oil and Exploration S&P 500 group. The group has performed quite well recently. The top 2 OILEXPO stocks CHK and DVN have both had a small pullback to their uptrend line. We’ll see how they do this week.

 

The World is Your Oyster – 4 Days a Month

Some things are just plain hard to explain.  I did the following test using all 17 of the iShares single country funds that started trading 1996:
I tested the performance of each single country ETF on each specific trading day of the month (i.e., the 1st trading day of any month is TDM 1, the next day is TDM 2, etc.)
I also examined the last 7 trading days of the month counting backwards (i.e., the last trading day of the month is TDM -1, the day before that is TDM -2, etc.)
The basic idea was to see if there were any consistently favorable or unfavorable days of the month.  I wasn’t necessarily expecting much given that the stock markets of each of 17 different countries could  rightly be expected to “walk to the beat of their own drum”, given that the fundamentals underlying the stock market in any given country may be unique from that of other countries.
Or maybe not so much.
For what it is worth, the results from 3/25/1996 through 6/20/2016 appear in Figure 1.
(click to enlarge)
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Figure 1 – Trading Day of Month Results for 17 iShares single country ETFs; 3/25/96 through 6/20/16
Each column displays the cumulative % return for each individual single country ETF if we held a long position in that ETF on only that particular trading day of the month.
As you can see – and what are the odds of this, I am not even sure how to calculate that – there are 4 days (highlighted in green in Figure 1) that were uniformly “favorable”, i.e., all 17 ETFs showed a net gain on that particular trading day of the month (for the record, there are three trading days – TDM #7 and TDMs -7 and -6 – during which all  17 ETFs showed a net loss (highlighted in yellow in Figure 1.  Go figure).
Using as a Strategy
I am not recommended the following strategy, but wanted to test it out for arguments sake.  Figure 2 displays the results of the following test:
*Buy and hold an equally weighted position in all 17 single country ETFs only on TDM 1, 9, 13 and -4 (i.e., if Friday is the last trading day of the month then – barring a holiday – TDM -4 would be the Tuesday of that week), earn annualized interest of 1% per month while out of ETFs.
*Versus simply buying and holding all 17 single country ETFs from 3/25/1996 through 6/20/2016.
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Figure 2 – Cumulative % return for holding all 17 single country ETF only 4 days a month (blue) versus buying and holding (red); 3/25/96 through 6/20/16
Summary
Yes, this model can probably be accused of being “curve fit”.  Also, does anybody really want to trade in and out of 17 single country ETFs 4 times a month?  I don’t know.  But the bigger points are:
*Why would all 17 single country ETFs all be up (or down) on a particular day of the month over a 20 year period?
*If I were considering buying and holding a cross section of individual country ETF’s, um, well, I can’t help but think that I would be haunted by the thought that there might be a better way.
Jay Kaeppel
Chief Market Analyst at JayOnTheMarkets.com and AIQ TradingExpert Pro (http://www.aiqsystems.com) client

Classic Flag Breakouts on CVX, NFG, TOT

Our Chart pattern Recognition tool had a wealth of gasoline related stocks have breakouts yesterday. The classic flag breakout on good volume could be seen on CVX, NFG and TOT.

Quick reminder on what a flag pattern is.

The flag pattern is considered a continuation pattern after a consolidation period. The flag is a rectangular shape, similar to  the pennant, but the pennant looks more like a triangle.

Usually there’s a strong price movement followed by sideways price movement which is the flag. The pattern is complete when prices breakout in the same direction as the initial price movement. The following move will be in the same direction as the prior sharp move. The move prior to the flag is called the pole.

The flag pattern forms a rectangle with two parallel trendlines that act as support and resistance for the price until the price breaks out. Usually the flag will slope in the opposite direction to the trend.

The buy or sell signal occurs when the price breaks through the support or resistance level, with the trend continuing in the same direction as the pole. The breakthrough should occur on heavier volume.

I’ve put all three charts together and you can clearly see the pole, flag and breakout. As noted above the volume on the breakout on TOT was reasonable. The Quality of the pattern was also considered high.

Incidentally the volume on NFG and CVX was not as significant.

The entire list of stocks that generated completed flags in our nightly report on 5/25/16 is below.

and check out this new video that shows how we automate this reporting every night using the Chart Pattern recognition plug-in for TradingExpert.

Tired of staring at charts time and time again? We have an app for that

Tired of staring at charts time and time again, not certain what is setting up?
Check out this chart of FITB, Fifth Third Bancorp, How would you have traded this over the last 6 months?
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What if you had a tool that shows you the exact pattern that’s setup AND includes the direction the breakout is likely to be? A tool that generates a report every night of chart patterns that have completed and are breaking out. 
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 Wouldn’t that simplify your trading?
Check out this completed falling wedge pattern from 02/12/16. You would have been alerted to this breakout on 2/12/16, the direction indicator suggested that prices will rise and they did.
Check out this completed falling wedge pattern from 02/12/16. You would have been alerted to this breakout on 2/12/16, the direction indicator suggested that prices will rise and they did.
 
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Or this inverse head and shoulders on 3/1/16, the direction indicator suggested prices would rise and they did.
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and check out this new video that shows the most recent price pattern we were alerted to on FITB on 5/13/16 AND how we automate this reporting every night.

Trading Gap Reversals

The AIQ code based on Ken Calhoun’s article in April 2016 issue of Stock & Commodities Trading Gap Reversals”, is provided below. 
AIQ has also posted the EDS file at “ is provided for downloading at 
Save this file to your/wintes32/EDS Strategies folder.
Since I mainly work with daily bar strategies, I wanted to test the gap-down concept on a daily bar trading system rather than on one-minute bars. I set up a system that buys after a stock has gapped down at least 10% in the last two days and then trades above the high of the gap-down bar. The entry is then at the close of that bar. For exits, I used the built-in exit, the profit-protect exit set at 80% once profit reaches 3% or more combined with a stop-loss using the low of the gap-down bar and also a time exit set to five bars. 
I then ran this system on the NASDAQ 100 list of stocks in the EDS backtester over the period 12/31/1999 to 1/11/2016 (Figure 7). The system generated 303 trades with an average profit of 1.09% per trade with a reward-to-risk ratio of 1.35. Slippage and commissions have not been deducted from these results.
Sample Chart
FIGURE 7: AIQ. This shows the EDS test results for the example system.
Again, the code and EDS file can be downloaded from www.TradersEdgeSystems.com/traderstips.htm, and is also shown below.
!TRADING GAP REVERSALS
!Author: Ken Calhoun, TASC April 2016
!Coded by: Richard Denning 2/1/2016
!www.TradersEdgeSystems.com

!INPUTS:
GapSize is 10.
GapLookBack is 5.
MaxBars is 5.

!CODING ABBREVIATIONS:
H is [high].
C is [close].
C1 is val([close],1).
L is [low].
O is [open].

GapD is (O / C1 - 1) * 100.
GapOS is scanany(GapD < -GapSize,GapLookBack) <> nodate()
  then offsettodate(month(),day(),year()).
Hgap  is valresult(H,^GapOS).
Lgap  is valresult(L,^GapOS).
SU if  scanany(GapD < -GapSize,GapLookBack).
SU1 if  scanany(GapD < -GapSize,GapLookBack,1).
SU2 if  scanany(GapD < -GapSize,GapLookBack,2).
LE if ((SU1 then resetdate()) or (SU2 then resetdate())) 
 and H > Hgap.
ExitLong if {position days} > maxBars
 or C < Lgap.
EntryPr is max(O,Hgap).
List  if C > 0.
—Richard Denning

We’ve been watching MIDZ – Direxion Daily Mid Cap bear 3X

We’ve been watching MIDZ – Direxion Daily Mid Cap bear 3X in our barometer the last few trading days. This 3 x bearish ticker has been in a long down trend, but recently Moneyflow has begun to show signs of accumulation and the MACD diverged up when the price was still heading down.
The 5 day barometer readings on Moneyflow and MACD in our Quotes montage are showing some bullish signs either all green or green arrow up. Maybe times are a changing.
How do we do what we do? TRY US http://aiqeducation.com/