Market Bulding Strength–WW-GMI: +3

The market continued to strengthen today and the Daily QQQQ index turned positive.  Please note that this indicator can go back and forth before the trend is solidified.  I am very pleased by the market’s action.  Many of the growth stocks I follow broke out today.  I have sold all of my puts and  have taken some long positions.  Index509 There were 115 new highs today and only 49 new lows.  The Daily SPY index continues to be positive.  There are 31 stocks that hit a new high 10 days ago and closed higher today than 10 days ago.  This is the highest the successful new high index has been since April 12.  The GMI is now +3 and tells me that I have a rally that I can trade.  It remains to be seen whether this uptrend will last months or just weeks, or days. 

The bottom line is that the odds have shifted towards owning stocks.  And many of the stocks I am watching have moved up.  Among the stocks I like are: IVGN, SHLD, MHS, CVD, MW, SWN, HANS, TOL, ORCT.  These are not recommendations, although I do own some of them.  These stocks are all trading near their highs and such stocks can reverse direction quickly.  I always place a sell stop order immediately after my purchase goes through.  That way I can sleep nights.  I also make small initial buys and wait to see if the stock moves up as I expected.  I never average down (buy more as the stock falls) and I do not average up too quickly. I am not looking for a stocks that will climb for a day or two.  I am hoping to ride a stock up for weeks or months.  I am buying stocks that are behaving well and that seem to be earning money.

Another tactic that I use is to buy an ETF (exchange traded fund) that reflects a market index.  There are many benefits of ETF’s, compared to mutual funds.  Perhaps the biggest is that ETF’s can be traded like stocks in the middle of the day.  A mutual fund can only be bought or sold at the end of the day after the market is closed and the fund’s assets are tallied.  Thus, with an ETF, you can get in or out quickly if the market should become volatile or violent.  The fees of an ETF are cheap and if you use a deep discount broker the transaction costs are small.

So, if I think the S&P 500 is turning, I can buy the SPY which reflects this index.  The nice thing about buying the SPY is if the S&P 500 goes up SPY will go up. How many times have you seen the market go up and your stock doesn’t move or falls!  At least I know that will not happen with the SPY. 

One big mistake to avoid is to buy for technical reasons and then when the stock fails to rise or declines, to hang onto it for fundamental reasons– because good earnings are expected to come out or there is a really great product or the market is strong.  If I buy because of good price action I must sell because of bad price action–no excuses or rationalizations.  I have violated this rule many times, and paid the penalty.

Sometimes my biggest winners have been stocks that keep coming to my attention over and over.  One such stock is NSI (click on chart to enlarge), a diet and fitness firm.  Nsi NSI has gone from a low of $1.09 last August to a close today of $11.20.  The monthly volume is at an all time high since it came public in 2001.  Its revenue is increasing at a fast rate and there sure are a lot of obese baby-boomers who are looking for the fountain of thinness.  I don’t like to buy cheap stocks like this but I sure am going to watch it.  There is a planned stock offering and this could be affecting the stock’s price. (I remember reading that it is legal for underwriters to stabilize a stock during an offering–sounds like manipulation to me.)———————————————————————

Every morning I want to know if the stock futures are indicating a strong or weak market opening.  I found a web site called, morning call, that tells me if the futures are trading above or below fair value.  Above fair value indicates buying pressure that could lead to an up open, below fair value, to a down open.  Hope you enjoy this site as much as I do.

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Please remember that the stock market is a risky place, especially now.  I am not providing recommendations for you to follow.  My goal is to share tools and methods that I have used over the past 40 years of trading, so that you may learn from them and adapt them to your trading style and needs.  While I do my best, I do not guarantee the accuracy of any statistics computed or any resources linked to my blog.  Please consult with your financial adviser and a mental health practitioner before you enter the stock market,  and please do not take unaffordable risks in the current market environment.  See the About section for more statements designed to protect you (and me) as you navigate this market. Past performance does not guarantee future results, but I would rather learn from a former winner than a loser.

Some Potential Rockets WW-GMI: +2

“I often think of trading as similar to a hobo trying to catch a ride on a freight train.   The hobo knows he wants to travel West and knows the direction.   So he waits by the track for a train to come by heading West.   He jumps on.   He does not have a schedule and does not know how far the train will go. If the train stops or changes direction he jumps off.   If the train then restarts or turns back towards the West, he jumps back on.   He does not argue with the train and refuse to jump back on. He knows that every move in the right direction brings him closer to his goal.”   (Copyright ©   2005, by Eric D. Wish.   All rights reserved.)

I remember when I was first getting into the market in the 60’s and talking with my uncle about the fact that the NYSE volume would soon break 10 million shares a day.   I also noticed that after each bear market, during the next bull market the NYSE trading volume records would again be smashed.   Things have changed and now we also have the NASDAQ exchange.   It   makes sense that the owners of these great casinos would see to it that they profit immensely during all types of markets.   It takes a financially strong organization to pay a Dick Grasso $140 million in parting benefits.   As you know, in recent weeks both of these organizations have undergone big changes through planned mergers.   Given the huge appetite that people have for stocks it makes sense that these 2 dominant exchanges have a very bright future.

Why am I waxing on about NASDAQ? Because I ran a scan of the market for potential rockets, and what up came up, but NDAQ.   Some institutions are buying an awful lot of it.   It closed Friday at the highest it has ever traded since it came public in 2002.   It has almost tripled since September, 04.   On April 22, it broke out on huge volume and climbed 26.1% when its acquisition of Instinet was announced. Ndaq The monthly price chart (click on to enlarge) shows a huge spike in volume this month and 2 months ago.   Apparently, some institutions were accumulating the stock 2 months before the deal was announced. (Alert the SEC?)

Now, when a stock breaks out on huge volume to an all time high, a rocket has been launched.   Will the rocket keep climbing?   No one knows.   So, if I am interested, I might buy a small number of shares, place my stop loss at a tolerable place below my purchase price and wait patiently for things to develop. If I am right, the stock will rise and I will increase my stake slowly and raise my stops for protection.   If I am wrong, the stock will stall or drop enough for me to be sold out.   No emotion. If the stock misbehaves, I cut it loose on my terms, and pay a small tuition price. Remember I told you that if you cannot accept a lot of small losses in your search for a rocket, you need to find another, less risky avocation.   It is not necessary to buy 100 shares of a new purchase.   Buy 10 or 25 or 50.   Most of the time your timing will be off and you will get out safely with a very small loss. (I assume you are paying no more than $15 per trade at a deep discount broker.) You can always buy it back if it starts to rise again.   As the Loeb quote yesterday on pyramiding eloquently said, the idea is to end up concentrating your money in your proven winners.

My scan found a number of other possible rockets:   IRIS, BLUD, SWN, VLCCF, LB, CMTL, ALDA, AET, ENWV.   These are not buy recommendations.   Just study them and write down what you would have done, along with your purchase price, stop loss point and when you would accumulate more.   Do some research on each company’s products, industry and recent financials.   I go first to, enter the stock symbol, review the information, and then click on “profile” on the left side of the page.   Here is a profile for BLUD.   There are always rockets being launched in the market and you can take your time learning how to find them and ride them. (I own none of the stocks listed today.)

By the way, I have always found it easiest to find winners when the market is in a correction. During those times, there are a small number of stocks hitting new all-time highs and resisting the downtrend. When the market really turns, these stocks   often become the new leaders. Our job is to track the savvy insiders and institutions who are accumulating stocks in businesses only they know will thrive.

The reason I am willing to look for strong stocks now is that the market is acting better.   The WW-GMI is at +2 and on the verge of going to +3.Index506 The Daily QQQQ   Index is almost positive. In my universe of 4,000 stocks, 111 stocks hit new highs and 47 hit new lows on Friday.   In addition, more than one half (26/46) of the stocks that hit new highs 10 days ago closed higher Friday than they did 10 days earlier when they hit their new highs.   So buying new highs 10 days ago had a pretty good chance of proving profitable, a promising sign for those of us who buy rockets. (See my strategy post, 4/30/05)

Regardless of the above promising indications, I don’t like this market.   For reasons that I have gone over the past 2 weeks, I think it should go down.   But who am I to argue with a freight train when it may be turning West?   By the end of this week we should know whether this is a real turn or a head fake.

I value your comments.   Let me know if I missed something or was unclear.   Alex–Please do not publish any more of my posts without listing my contact information and my caveats below.

I’ll post again Monday evening, around midnight.

Is the Fed Done? WW-GMI: +2

“The right way to do it is to pyramid.   I have a buying power of 1,000 shares.   I think Studebaker is going up.   I buy 100 shares.   It doesn’t go up when it should, or worse, goes down.   I sell it out.   The loss can be charged to insurance, or experience, or as necessary cost of getting started right.   Next, I buy 100 Chrysler.   It begins to advance as I anticipated.   So I buy 200 more.   It still does well, so I buy another lot.   And so on.   First thing you know, if it’s good I am long a big line of the right stock with a small initial risk.   I lost only 100 shares in Studebaker; I risked only 100 in Chrysler.   To a degree, the risk in the stock I bought on the way up was mainly the risk of my paper profits; it was not like entirely risking capital as in the initial purchase.”   Gerald Loeb, The Battle for Investment Survival, 1965, p. 81.

Note the perceptive title of Loeb’s book–battle for survival.   All of the great stock traders speak of pyramiding their purchases.   Don’t plunge into a stock and risk a lot of money.   The idea is to make a small pilot buy, test the waters, and then add more shares as the stock moves as you predicted.   I am not talking about day trading.   I am talking about rockets that will rise for maybe a year or so.   This is how to make big money–it is in the big swing, not the minute daily gyrations in price.   I don’t have the time or interest to be glued to the stock monitor every day.   I would rather select stocks that I think will rise for a while, place my stops, and let them rise or be sold out with a small loss.   I will return to this theme later in this post.

For the past week, I have noticed something strange happening in the short term interest rate index. Interestindex505 The steady rising trend seemed to be stalling.   And then the last 2 days it has been in a steep decline.   Could it be that the Fed is startled bythe news   suggesting a slowing economy, and by today’s announcements of downgrades in GM and FORD’s credit status? It was really interesting to see that the market bounced back from a big decline today.   And the charts of FNM and the housing stocks actually held up well today.   A lot of the big caps also seem to be forming bases or are in uptrends–INTC, MSFT, KO, MO,PFE, C, MRK, JPM, AXP,PG, to name a few.   (I am intrigued by IVGN–check it out.)

Perhaps most telling was the action of the WW-GMI today.Index505 It moved to +2 with a positive reading from the Daily SPY index.   And the Daily QQQQ Index is very close to turning positive.   I do not receive IBD until tomorrow, so I do not know if their mutual fund index has moved above its 50 day average yet. You may have seen it by the time you read this. There were also 115 new highs today and only 44 new lows in my universe of 4,000 stocks.

So, what should I do with all of these indications?   As much as I was comfortable with the bear case, I have to heed them.   I sold out my put options and made pilot buys in stocks that looked strong.   Remember the discussion of pyramiding above?   I always wade slowly into a stock.   The bottom line is that interest rates may have stabilized, the Fed is on hold, and the market may be turning. I do not predict the market action.   I only try to read what is happening now.   Things could reverse tomorrow again.   However, I have found that at the beginning of an uptrend no one believes in it, and the indexes often go back and forth for a bit.   About 5-10 days after the trend begins it becomes obvious to most people. I guess we will just have to wait and see what develops.—————————————————————-

Some people have sent me questions about trading stocks in their IRA.   I found a somewhat dated site about some of the benefits of doing that.   This link is somewhat more timely now, given that most of us recently completed our tax returns.   Most people do not know they can go short in an IRA by buying put options.   IRA accounts do not allow margin transactions, so we cannot actually short stocks.   I will write about these issues in a future post.   Right now it may be more appropriate to think about ways to go long, rather than short.