Stocks are holding around the 1400 level and volume continues to be below average. But while many will say low volume shows a lack of buying by institutional investors, the thing to remember is buying and selling is symmetrical, ie for every buyer you must have a seller. Using that logic, we can flip the previous statement on its head and say that the low volume also indicates not many institutions are interested in selling at these levels either. The lack of selling at these high levels means holders of stocks are not cashing in. The low volume also shows bears and swing trades have exhausted themselves because they have nothing left to sell and are unable to lean on the market. So while many are leery of the light volume, I think it is very bullish.
This tight trade after a rally is uncharacteristic of previous pullbacks that corrected rather abruptly once they ran out of buyers. The 1400 price level is holding up well even when buying is slowing down, as indicated by low volume. Again another change in character from this summer’s pattern. All this indicates to me we are leaving the volatile swing trading and moving on to something else, so trading strategies that worked over the summer won’t work going into the fall.
The market is holding up nicely and everything is indicating it is safe to buy high quality CAN SLIM stocks breaking out of proper bases. There are several breakouts in today’s Stocks on the Move section of Investors.com. Many of these are smaller and unfamiliar names. Always do your background research before blindly buying a breakout just because it has a high composite rating from IBD.
While we are seeing a lot of new names pop up in IBD’s screens, we are also seeing some of the old favorites stumble. PCLN yesterday, MNST today, LULU this summer. These old leaders are showing cracks and for many former leaders, these cracks will turn fatal. We need to be looking out for the next leaders, not chasing the old ones. Remember WON’s quote, “All stocks are bad unless they go up.” Don’t let a cheap price or an attractive pullback tempt you into jumping in an old and tired leader. IBD’s research show the average leaders correct 73% after their run is over, meaning there is a lot more room on the downside no matter how cheap they seem. A few of these leaders will recover, but wait for the company to form a new base and have a valid breakout before buying. As I said yesterday, a pullback because of a downgrade can bounce back pretty quickly, but slowing fundamentals is far more terminal for a high P/E stock.
Jani Ziedins (pronounced Ya-nee) is a full-time investor and writer who has successfully traded stocks and options for more than a decade. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA and M.S. Marketing from the University of Colorado Denver. His prior professional experience includes manufacturing engineering at Fortune 500 companies, structural engineering, small business consultant, collegiate instructor, and managing investment real estate. He is now fortunate enough to trade full-time from home, affording him the luxury of spending extra time with his wife and two young children.