Technical | Fundamental Analysis Discussion Stocks Listed In Bursa

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

Thursday, December 31, 2009 0 Comments

FireSnake: HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! WISHING ALL 88888 FOR 2010!!! WOOHOO!!!! CHEERS! See u all next year...hehehe



anony: :... HAPPY PROSPEROUS 2010 TO ALL BC CHATTERS ... especially to Reborn, Pnut, Mikey, Zen, Azeroth. OO. Aduka, Azeroth, Newbie, Winter, Crystalball .... ooh.. not forgetting mamamia also

ZacLim: "Happy new year !welcome 2010!"

Fatchoy: New Year wish, all shares

Tequila: the count down begins......Happy New Year to Bursa Chat! May 2010 be the best year ever

abe: OH YEAH .. HAPPY 2010!! PARTY TIME!!

Joyline Chai: Hello...Happy new Year~ =)

Mikey: Happy New Year 2010

zen, ET, bubble,BB, Ivan-old

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SapuraCrest Petroleum

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 1 Comments
3QFY10 : Sapura3000 inspires confidence
· Above expectations
Annualised, SapuraCrest’s 9MFY10 net profits came in 25% above our full year estimates and 10.5% above consensus estimates. Making the difference this quarter was a RM15.2m JV contribution that is driven by SapuraCrest’s ownership of the Sapura3000 together with Acergy. Our expectation was for RM10m in contribution for the full year hence the group has exceeded our expectations significantly on that front.

· IPF sees margin improvement, drilling performs as expected The group’s IPF segment saw strong margins for the quarter at 9.2% compared to 5.7% recorded in 2QFY10. We believe that newer jobs are more profitable and that charter rates for third party pipelay vessels may be lower hence allowing the group better margin. As for the drilling segment, performance was within expectations, profits held strong from good charter rates while revenue fell due to the completion of a rig agency job.

· Trouble in the marine segment?
Only one segment was a let down, and we believe, could be a cause for concern going forward. The marine segment has seen a significant decline (margins of >10% to <1%)>20yrs, maintenance costs are generally higher.

· Maintain HOLD, TP: RM2.57
SapuraCrest most certainly turned in an inspiring quarter especially in the IPF and for the Sapura3000. As such, we are upgrading our numbers for these two segments but downgrading numbers in the marine segment. The net result is still an increase of 15.3% for FY10, 19.2% for FY11 and 13.5% for FY12. We still maintain our HOLD call on the stock with an upgraded target price of RM2.57 from RM2.16 before. This is based on a 16x PE pegging FY11 estimates.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NEW YORK ( -- Stocks could extend a six-session, year-end winning streak Tuesday if early indications of a higher open carry through to the close.

The Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq-100 and S&P-500 futures were all higher. Futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins.

Stocks rallied Monday, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq managing fresh 2009 highs on some optimism about a recovery in retail sales and gains in select sectors.

But many market participants are taking the entire week off, which means trading volume is low and relatively small moves could cause major volatility during the shortened week on Wall Street. The stock market is closed on Friday in observance of New Year's Day.

Financial stocks could be in the spotlight Tuesday on news that Morgan Stanley (MS, Fortune 500) may overhaul the way it pays its senior executives, according to a Wall Street Journal report, relegating a larger percentage of total compensation to shares rather than cash.

Economy. After the opening bell, the Conference Board will release its December report on consumer confidence. Economists surveyed by expect a rise in the confidence index to 53 from 49.5 in November.

Also after the open, S&P/Case-Shiller issues its 20-city report on home prices for October. Economists predict that home prices will show a decline from the same period last year.

World markets. Stocks in Asia closed slightly higher, with Tokyo's Nikkei index gaining a few points. European indexes were up a little in midday trading.

Money and oil. The dollar was down against the euro, but higher versus the pound and yen.

Crude oil for February delivery fell 47 cents to $78.30 a barrel.

Gold for February delivery eased $3 to $1,107.90 an ounce

Yesterday's Djia = >

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· Umbrella contract win RM1.5bn for 2010 SapuraCrest last Thursday finally announced the receipt of the joint contract by 11 of Petronas’ Production Sharing Contractors (PSCs) for the provision of works and services for the transportation and installation of offshore oil and gas facilities and structures for the PSCs for the years 2010 to 2012. The job will be performed for the PSCs for a duration of 3 years, from 2010 to 2012 with options for 2 further extensions of 1 year each. The scope of works and the project schedule relating to the same shall be specified and determined on a yearly basis. The price for the confirmed scope of works for year 2010 is approximately RM1.5bn.

· A boost of confidence for FY11 numbers
We have been very conservative with our forward estimates on SapuraCrest for FY11 onwards, projecting previously a decline in EPS of 8.6% from FY10. In large part, it was due to the uncertainty of the timing of this job. However, with this long awaited job now coming into fruition, we are raising our estimates accordingly. Judging from previous transport and installation jobs, we view it possible for the Group to achieve up to 10% margin at EBIT level. However, should the job require 3rd party charter of vessels to complete jobs, we believe then that margins would be closer to the 5% range. Hence, we are imputing the latter margin in our
revised estimates for now.

· Upgrading TP to RM2.16, maintain HOLD
We are raising our FY11 and FY12 estimates by 34% and 34.1% respectively (FY10 left unchanged). We also raise our target price to RM2.16 from RM1.55 before. RM2.16 is based on FY11 EPS pegging SapuraCrest average PE of 16x seen over 2007 into 2009. We continue to have a HOLD call on the group and view this news already factored into the stock. A meeting with management is nonetheless due in order to get more details on the job as well as confirm on the margin estimates.

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SHARE prices on Bursa Malaysia remained slightly fimer at midday today as buying interest in selected key heavyweights sustained the market, a dealer said.

The benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (FBMKLCI) fell 1.25 points to end the morning session at 1,271.48, after opening 0.54 of a point higher at 1,273.27.

The Finance Index gained 4.62 points to 11,012.48 while the Industrial Index eased 1.15 points to 2,670.07 and the Plantation Index dropped 9.05 points to 6,372.13.

The FBM Emas Index increased 1.96 points to 8,482.52, the FBM Top 100 Index went down 0.96 of a point to 8,294.27, the FBM Ace Index declined 16.37 points to 4,181.12 and the FBM70 rose 27.75 points to 8,230.39.
Gainers led losers by 269 to 233 while 244 counters were unchanged and 560 others untraded. Volume was thin at 311.734 million shares valued at RM331.666 million.

Among the actives, Scomi lost half sen to 44.5 sen, Scomi-LA was flat at 10.5 sen and Scomi-WA inched up one sen to 17.5 sen.

Of the heavyweights, Sime Darby rose one sen to RM9.10 and Maxis went up four sen to RM5.37, while Maybank and Tenaga Nasional each fell one sen to RM6.89 and 8.30 respectively.

Other finance stocks which were upbeat was AMMB which gained five sen to RM4.97 and RHB Capital increasing four sen to RM5.26. - Bernama

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Link Exchange

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 0 Comments

Monday, December 28, 2009

NEW YORK ( -- U.S. stock markets are expected to open slightly higher Monday as they begin the final trading week of 2009 Monday, with all three of the major indexes at their peaks for the year.

Dow Jones industrial average, Nasdaq-100 and S&P-500 futures were all higher. Futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins.

Stocks have risen the past five sessions, including all 3-1/2 days of last week's holiday-shortened trading. The Dow posted a 0.5% weekly gain, while the S&P rose 1.8%. The Nasdaq added 4.3% last week.

The year-end holidays will again influence trading. While New Year's Eve, on Thursday, is a full trading day, all markets are closed Friday for New Year's Day.

World markets: Asian markets ended mixed, with Tokyo's Nikkei index up 1.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index down 0.2%. In Europe, markets in France and Germany were higher in morning trading; British markets are closed for the Boxing Day celebration.

Other markets: The dollar eased against the euro, yen and pound.

Crude oil for February delivery rose 20 cents to $78.25 a barrel.

Gold for February delivery rose $7.20 to $1,112 per ounce
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Monday, December 21, 2009

How Much Money Do You Earn From Blogging? I have been asked this question many times, by friends, bursa chatters and fellow bloggers. How much do you guys think I earn per month from blogging? RM50 or RM100 or more than RM1000 per month? The answer to that question is in the pictures below. Just click on the pictures to enlarge.

After you have seen all the snapshots, you do your own maths. Please calculate for me how much I earn from blogging? Not that much lar .... wakaka.... cannot become millionaire. Maybe, just enough for Christmas buffet dinner in KL Hilton for two :).

The picture below is a snapshot from Innity. Innity is a local company (public listed stock code : 0147) that pays in MYR (Malaysia Ringgit). I know many bloggers earn more than RM500 per month from Innity alone. So i am still far from reaching that amount.
The next picture is a snapshot of my income from adsense the BIG BROTHER of all. Adsense is my best paying master, never late. Adsense pays in US dollar. That means I am very happy when dollar is strong, stronger dollar = more MYR for me :). I used to get more than MYR3.60 per USD 1.00, but nowadays, only MYR3.40+ :(.

Next is Advertlets, lousy company. Very bad paymaster. Got to wait for months before I get paid. The reason I choose Adverlets over Nuffnang is ..... Nuffnang pays very low.
There are 2 or 3 more sponsors, but not much. Now I am trying out Infolinks. I just registered with them 2 days ago. Hope they will give me good money.

I hope I have answered many of you out there who are curious to know my income from blogging. And thank you every one for your support.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Everything in nature moves in cycles. . . the cycles of the seasons ... night and day... tides... phases of the moon. Each year animals hibernate... geese migrate... salmon swim upstream to spawn... and every seven years lemmings run into the ocean.

While nature's cycles are very visible, there are many cycles in the futures markets that are not quite as obvious. Often the reason some cycles are not easily seen is because the interaction of many large and small cycles makes individual cycles harder to see.

Cycles are the tendency for events to repeat themselves at more or less uniform intervals. One of the easiest cycles to see and understand is the seasonal cycle. Agricultural commodities have a repetitive annual price pattern called the seasonal price cycle. More than 70 of the time, the lowest cash prices of the year for corn, cotton and soybeans occur during the fall harvest period. Due to increased marketings, cattle and hogs also have price weakness during the fall. Wheat and oats tend to make seasonal lows during their summer harvest. Seasonal price trends are a reflection of regular annual changes in supply and demand factors caused by weather, production and demand.


After a seasonal cycle has bottomed, a trader knows prices should not drop below the seasonal low until after the seasonal high has been made, normally several months later. After the seasonal cycle has topped, the uptrend is over and prices should move lower until the seasonal cycle bottoms. Traders who know the direction of the seasonal cycle are able to follow the profitable maxim of trading with the trend.

Keep in mind there are sometimes some surprising differences in the seasonal pattern of cash and futures prices for agricultural markets.Futures markets try to anticipate the cash market due to expected production and expected demand. Therefore, futures market may bottom as much as two months ahead of the cash market. For example, the hog futures market may bottom in August, anticipating the fall low for the cash market, but the cash hog market may not bottom until October.

July Wheat

While the causes of seasonal cycles are known, the causes of other cyclical patterns are not always known. The Foundation for the Study of Cycles (124 South Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206), a nonprofit organization, has cataloged thousands of cycles using detrending processes. Some of the longer-term cycles they have identified include the 9-year wheat cycle, the 5'/2-year corn cycle, the 5'/2-year cycle for precious metals, the 25-month and 38-month soybean cycles, the 11-year cattle cycle, and the 4-year business cycle.

The theory of cyclical analysis is that events will occur within a cycle to move prices in the expected direction of the cycle. The basic drawback of fundamental analysis is that the events causing changes in supply and demand are not known until after the fact ? well after tops and bottoms have occurred. All fundamental information relative to supply and demand is in the market each trading day. But the market usually moves before the fundamental reasons are known. Cycles help traders pick the direction of price moves before the news comes out.

To analyze a futures market based on cycles, it is necessary to isolate the dominant cycles affecting price activity. Once these dominant cycles have been identified, future price expectations can be established by combining the effects of these dominant cycles. Long-term cycles, such as the yearly cycles identified by the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, tell you the direction of the overall price trend. Shorter cycles, weekly and daily, can then be used to determine when long-term cycles have topped or bottomed and when to enter and exit a market.

Most markets have a dominant short-term daily cycle which may be as short as 14 calendar days or as long as 35 days. Most of the meats and grains, for example, have a short-term cycle averaging 28 calendar days. Combing two or more of these short-term daily cycles forms a dominant intermediate-term weekly cycle which runs 6 to some 20 weeks from low to low, depending on the futures market. When the short-term cycles are combined with a larger cycle, the smaller cycles will look like the drawing at the bottom of this page.

May Wheat

Cycles are seldom symmetrical, and their patterns differ in bull and bear markets. In a bull market, the crest of the cycle tends to lean to the right because the highs are to the right of the midpoint of the cycle. This is called right translation. In strong bull markets, the length of the cycles tend to contract (shorten) slightly.

Just the opposite is true in a bear market. In bear markets, the cycles tend to be slightly longer than they were during bull markets. Cycles in bear markets tend to peak early in the cycle to the left of the midpoint - called left translation. Note the 13-week cycle from August to November on the K.C. May wheat had right translation up to the seasonal high and left translation coming down from the winter seasonal high. Right translation quickly followed by left translation is often the way a longer-term cycle high is made. Seasonal lows are often made the way Dec. hogs bottomed in September with extreme left translation followed by extreme right translation.

Trendlines are also an important tool to confirm cyclical tops and bottoms. Penetration of a trendline drawn from the crest of two cycles of similar length confirms that the next longer cycle has bottomed. In bull markets, breaking an uptrend line connecting the lows of two similar length cycles will confirm that the next longer-term cycle has crested.

The wheat charts on these pages are a good example of repetitive patterns which are helpful in profitably trading a market. For the long-term perspective, these charts show wheat when it was declining toward the 9-year cycle low, which is expected the next summer. The current seasonal cycle began in August, topped in December and is expected to bottom with the 9-year cycle the following summer.

Cycles Cycles

Near the 13-week cycle low in February, intermediate-term traders would be taking profits with plans to sell again as the next 13-week cycle crests. The next cycle high is likely to come early (left translation) because the dominant 9-year and seasonal cycles are pointing down. The crest of the 13-week cycle may be made with the crest of the first 28-day cycle out of the February low. This 13-week cycle should bottom again about 13 weeks from the February low, which would put the expected low in May (plus or minus 15). The next 13-week cycle low would be due in another 13 weeks in August, which would be the most likely time for the seasonal cycle lows.

On the Chicago July wheat chart, three 28-calendar-day cycles make up the 13-week wheat cycle. Breaking the uptrend line connecting 28-day cycle lows confirmed the 13-week cycle high in November. The winter seasonal high was confirmed during the January collapse when prices dropped below the previous 13-week low (Nov. 25 low). The 13-week cycle low in February was confirmed by breaking the downtrend line connecting 28-day cycle highs. Shorter-term traders would be trading the 28-day cycle highs and lows in the direction of the intermediate-term cycle.

Cycles are most accurately measured from low to low. It is not unusual for a cycle to have a variation of plus or minus 15 of the length of the cycle, and expectations should be established accordingly While the most probable times for cycles to top and bottom can be established, cycles do sometimes stretch, shrink and, on occasion, disappear. It is a common feature of cycles to correct themselves as time passes. A cycle that runs too short, for example, might then make an adjustment by running longer on its next repetition. Chicago July wheat had two short cycles in September and October, which was followed by a cycle that ran more than five weeks from mid-October to late November.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked us to also advise you that trading futures and options is not without risk. While there is opportunity for incredible wealth building, there is also the risk of losing even more than you invested. Of course, that's not unlike most other businesses. But informed traders are the best traders! Opinions expressed by Market Spotlight authors are not those of


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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Although the average directional movement index (ADX) isn't used as frequently as some of the popular technical indicators, the ADX line has definite advantages because it filters out a lot of the false oscillator signals which are frequently given early in a move.

A longer-term trader can stay with trending positions longer by following the simple guidelines for the ADX line. According to research by computer trading expert Bruce Babcock, a climb by the ADX line above 40 followed by a downturn signals an imminent end to the current trend (whether up or down). When this signal is given, traders should take profits on existing positions. More aggressive traders can use this signal to consider taking positions for a possible move in the opposite direction.

Oct. Feeder Cattle

The charts on this page show how the ADX works. The ADX line on the feeder cattle chart gave two signals during the year. The first downturn accurately marked the top in February, and the second downturn above the 40 level signaled a bottom in late summer. Note that the signal in late July was actually more than a month ahead of the actual bottom in September. The ADX warns you of an end to the trend. In this case, it gave you more than a month's warning.

Jan. NYMEX Crude Oil

Like the feeder cattle signals, crude oil's ADX gave two signals during the year, one at the summer low and the second at the winter high. Both signals were given by climbing above 40 and turning down.

Dec. T-Bonds

The ADX signals by feeder cattle and crude oil signaled the end of one trend and the beginning of a new trend. But the ADX is not designed to signal a trend reversal. It only signals the end of the existing trend. A good example of not signaling a trend reversal is T-Bonds. The end of the strong spring rally was accurately marked by the ADX signal in June. Then T-Bonds consolidated in a coil until the upside breakout in the fall. An ADX climb above 40 and downturn in November signaled another consolidation.

Usually, a commodity gives no more than a couple ADX signals during a year, unless the market has particularly volatile price action. The ADX is less helpful during sideways markets. During extended consolidation periods, the ADX line will slip toward 10. When ADX approaches 10, a major move is usually about to take place. But the ADX line doesn't tell you which direction it will go. You have to rely on other indicators for the probable direction of the next move.

The ADX is part of the direction movement system introduced by J.Welles Wilder in his book, New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems. Wilder introduced a 14-day ADX, and Babcock has not found any good reason to vary this time period.

In summary, if the market is trending (whether up or down), the ADX line should be rising. During an extended consolidation period, the ADX line will slip toward a low number.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has asked us to also advise you that trading futures and options is not without risk. While there is opportunity for incredible wealth building, there is also the risk of losing even more than you invested. Of course, that's not unlike most other businesses. But informed traders are the best traders! Opinions expressed by Market Spotlight authors are not those of


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Friday, December 4, 2009

Lesson 8 - Stochastics

Friday, December 04, 2009 0 Comments

Like the Relative Strength Index (RSI), stochastics is another popular oscillator to gauge price momentum and judge the age of a price move. Stochastics is not a new oscillator. The idea was originated by a Czechoslavakian and perfected by Dr. George Lane, editor and publisher of Investment Educators in Skokie, Illinois.

But unlike the RSI, which measures momentum based on the changes in daily settlement prices, stochastics has two lines and the calculations are based on the rate of change in the daily high, low, and close. The concept for stochastics is based on the tendency that as prices move higher, the daily closes will be closer to the high of the daily range. The reverse is true in downtrends. As prices decrease, the daily closes tend to accumulate closer to the lows of the daily trading range. This concept also holds true on daily, weekly and monthly charts.

Stochastics can be calculated for any time period. Choosing the right time period for the stochastics is similar to choosing the right number of days for a moving average. In effect, stochastics is a trend-following method since its lines will cross after tops and bottoms have been made. Choosing too short a time period will make the stochastics so sensitive that it becomes virtually worthless. If the time period is too long, it is too slow to turn and too insensitive to be useful.

Stochastics signals

Both bearish and bullish divergence are shown on the accompanying S&P chart. There's bearish divergence in late February when S&P prices make a new high but the %D line stays far below its winter high. This divergence accurately warned that a top was forming. An equally good signal of a bottom was the bullish divergence during the spring. The S&P was making new lows into early May, but the %D line held above the lows made during March.

Sept S&P 500 Stock Index

Overbought/oversold zones

Markets seldom go straight in one direction without a pause or correction. When prices move up and appear to be ready to correct, the market is called overbought. When prices have been moving down and appear to be ready to rebound, the market is oversold. As a mathematical representation of a market's overbought or oversold condition, stochastics tells you when prices have gone too far in one direction.

Values above 75 (in the shaded area) indicate the overbought zone. Values below 25 (also shaded) indicate the oversold zone. (Some traders prefer using 80 and 20 as the parameters for overbought and oversold markets.) In sustained moves, stochastics values may remain in these shaded areas for extended lengths of time.

March NYSE Composite Index

Buy/Sell signals

There are at least two popular ways traders use stochastics for buy and sell signals. A conservative approach is to wait for both the %K and %D to come out of the shaded area to issue the signal. For sell signals, a conservative trader waits for both lines to rise into the overbought zone and then fall below 75 again. An opposite pattern is followed for a buy signal. After both lines drop below 25, the buy signal is given when the stochastics lines climb above 25 again. This is a more conservative approach because you will be slower in taking a position, but it may eliminate some false signals.

For more aggressive traders, the buy and sell signals on the stochastics charts are generated when the two lines cross. For most traders the buy and sell signals are flashed when %K crosses %D, as long as both lines have first gone into the overbought or oversold zones. This is similar to the buy and sell signals of two moving averages.

Waiting for the stochastics lines to come out of the shaded area will sometimes prevent false - signals. For example, If you,were watching for a buy signal on the stochastics chart for the NYSE composite index during the August-September period, %K crossed the %D line in early August and at least five more buy signals were given before the trend finally turned up in early October. An aggressive trader who went with the first crossing of the lines would have been stopped out at least a couple times before finally getting on board for a good move up. But the more conservative trader would have been waiting for both lines to climb out of the oversold area before buying, thus avoiding the whipsaw signals in August and September.

Oscillators are notoriously unreliable in signaling trades against the trend. For good stochastics signals, you'll need to trade with the longer-term trend (Giant Footprints) . Follow only the buy signals in uptrends and only the sell signals in bear markets. However, in a trading range market, stochastics will give good buy and sell signals.

CrossingsBuy and sell signals are shown on S&P 500 chart. With stock indexes in an overall uptrending pattern, the stochastics buy signal would have helped traders establish long positions on the buy signals in November, December and March. The sell signals in February, June and July could have been used to take profits on long positions.

Some traders prefer to see the %K line cross the %D line on the right side. This is called a right-hand crossing. In other words, %K is crossing %D after %D has bottomed or topped. When the %K crosses the %D line before the %D has bottomed or topped, it is referred to as left-hand crossing. Of course, this can only be seen in hindsight because, at the time the two lines intersect, you don't know if the %D has reached its ultimate top or bottom.

Left-hand crossings are not as common as right-hand crossings. You can see a left-hand crossing on the S&P chart in early February. The %K dipped below the %D before the %D had reached its ultimate peak.

Stochastics is a very useful technical indicator which helps you with your timing, especially when it is used in conjunction with the other trading tools.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

One of the most useful tools employed by many technical commodity traders is a momentum oscillator which measures the velocity of directional price movement.

When prices move up very rapidly, at some point the commodity is considered overbought; when they move down very rapidly, the commodity is considered oversold at some point. In either case, a reaction or reversal is imminent. The slope of the momentum oscillator is directly proportional to the velocity of the move, and the distance traveled up or down by this oscillator is proportional to the magnitude of the move.

The momentum oscillator is usually characterized by a line on a chart drawn in two dimensions. The vertical axis represents magnitude or distance the indicator moves; the horizontal axis represents time. Such a momentum oscillator moves very rapidly at market turning points and then tends to slow down as the market continues the directional move. Suppose we are using closing prices to calculate the oscillator and the price is moving up daily by exactly the same increment from close to close. At some point, the oscillator begins to flatten out and eventually becomes a horizontal line. If the price begins to level out, the oscillator will begin to descend.

Plotting the oscillator

Let's look at this concept using a simple oscillator expressed in terms of the price today minus the price "x" number of days ago — let's say 10 days ago, for example.

The easiest way to illustrate the interaction between price movement and oscillator movement is to take a straight line price relationship and plot the oscillator points used on this relationship, as shown on this page's chart.

In our illustration, we begin on Day 10 when the closing price is 48.50. The price 10 days ago on Day 1 is 50.75. So with a 10-day oscillator, today's price of 48.50 subtracted from the price 10 days ago of 50.75 results in an oscillator value of - 2.25, which is plotted below the zero line. By following this procedure each day, we develop an oscillator curve.

The oscillator curve developed by using this hypothetical situation is very interesting. As the price moves down by the same increment each day between Days 10 and 14, the oscillator curve is a horizontal line. On Day 15, the price turns up by 25 points, yet the oscillator turns up by 50 points. The oscillator is going up twice as fast as the price. The oscillator continues this rate of movement until Day 23 when its value becomes constant, although the price continues to move up at the same rate.

On Day 29, another very interesting thing happens. The price levels out at 51.00, yet the oscillator begins to go down. If the price continues to move horizontally, the oscillator will continue to descend until the 10th day, at which time both the oscillator and the price will be moving horizontally

Note the interaction of the oscillator curve and the price curve. The oscillator appears to be one step ahead of the price. That's because the oscillator, in effect, is measuring the rate of change of price movement. Between Days 14 and 23, the oscillator shows the rate of price change is very fast because the direction of the price is changing from down to up. Once the price has bottomed out and started up, then the rate of change slows down because the increments of change are measured in one direction only.

Three problems

The oscillator can be an excellent technical tool for the trader who understands its inherent characteristics. However, there are three problems encountered in developing a meaningful oscillator:

  1. Erratic movement within the general oscillator configuration. Suppose that 10 days ago the price moved limit down from the previous day.Now, suppose that today the price closed the same as yesterday. When you subtract the price 10 days ago from today's price, you get an erroneously high value for the oscillator today. To overcome this, there must be some way to dampen or smooth out the extreme points used to calculate the oscillator.
  2. The second problem with oscillators is the scale to use on the horizontal axis. How high is high, and how low is low? The scale will change with each commodity. To overcome this problem, there must be some common denominator to apply to all commodities so the amplitude of the oscillator is relative and meaningful.
  3. Calculating enormous amounts of data. This is the least of the three problems.

A solution to these three problems is incorporated in the indicator which we call the Relative Strength Index (RSI):

RSI = 100 – [100 / (1 + RS)]
RS = Average of 14 days' closes UP / Average of 14 days' closes DOWN

For the first calculation of the Relative Strength Index (RSI), we need closing prices for the previous 14 days. From then on, we need only the previous day's data. The initial RSI is calculated as follows:

  1. Obtain the sum of the UP closes for the previous 14 days and divide this sum by 14. This is the average UP close.
  2. Obtain the sum of the DOWN closes for the previous 14 days and divide this sum by 14. This is the average DOWN close.
  3. Divide the average UP close by the average DOWN close. This is the Relative Strength (RS).
  4. Add 1.00 to the RS.
  5. Divide the result obtained in Step 4 into 100.
  6. Subtract the result obtained in Step 5 from 100. This is the first RSI.

Smoothing effect

From this point on, it is necessary to use only the previous average UP close and the previous average DOWN close in calculating the next RSI.

This procedure incorporates the dampening or smoothing factor into the equation:

  1. To obtain the next average UP close, multiply the previous average UP close by 13, add to this amount today's UP close (if any) and divide the total by 14.

Steps 3 to 6 are the same as for the initial RSI.

The RSI approach surmounts the three basic problems of oscillators:

  1. Erroneous erratic movement is eliminated by the averaging technique. However, the RSI is amply responsive to price movement because an increase of the average UP close is automatically coordinated with a decrease in the average DOWN close and vice versa.
  2. The question, "How high is high and how low is low?" is answered because the RSI value must always fall between 0 and 100. Therefore, the daily momentum of any number of commodities can be measured on the same scale for comparison to each other and to previous highs and lows within the same commodity.
  3. The problem of having to keep up with mountains of previous data is also solved. After calculating the initial RSI, only the previous day's data is required for the next calculation.

Just one tool

The Relative Strength Index, used in conjunction with a bar chart, can provide a new dimension of interpretation for the chart reader. No single tool, method, or system is going to produce the right answers 100 of the time. However, the RSI can be a valuable input into this decision-making process.

Commodity Price Charts plots the 14-day RSI, updating the chart through Thursday of each week. Contrary to popular opinion, the choice of the number of market days used in calculating the RSI doesn't really matter because the smoothing nature of the exponential averages reduces the effect of the early days as more data is included.

To help you update the RSI values until the next issue of the charts arrives, we list the "up average" and "down average" as of Thursday on each RSI chart.

Simplified formula

The procedure outlined earlier for beginning and updating RSIs is from J. Welles Wilder's book and his 1978 Futures Magazine story, which made the RSI a popular technical tool. The following is a simpler and faster method of computing the RSI. The results are the same as Wilder's more complicated method.

To begin a new RSI, just list the changes for 14 consecutive trading days and total the changes. Divide these totals by 14, and you will have the new up and down average. Then proceed with this formula:

RSI = 100 x U / (U + D)
U = up average; D = down average.

The example below is for T-bills.
Date Up Down
1/28 +41
1/29 -2
2/1 -60
2/2 -7
2/3 +2
2/4 +1
2/5 +6
2/8 -26
2/9 +11
2/10 +14
2/11 0 0
2/12 -11
2/16 +28
2/17 -18
Total 103 124

1.03 / 14 = .074 = Up ave.
1.24 / 14 = .089 = Down ave.
RSI= 100 x (.074 /.163) = 45.39

To calculate the next day's RSI, multiply the up average (.074) by 13. Add the change for the day, if it is up. Divide the total by 14. Do the same for the new down average. Multiply the new down average (.089) by 13. Add the change for the day, if it is down. Divide total by 14.

Then, proceed with the formula:

RSI = 100 x U / (U + D)

For example, if T-Bills closed up 25 points the next day, calculate the new RSI as follows:

New Up ave. = .074(13) + .25/14 = .087
New Down ave. = .089(13) + 0/14 = .083
New RSI = 100 x .087 / (.087 + .083)
RSI = 51.2

Learning to use this index is a lot like learning to read a chart. The more you study the interaction between chart movement and the Relative Strength Index, the more revealing the RSI will become. If used properly, the RSI can be a very valuable tool in interpreting chart movement. Some of its uses

RSI points are plotted daily on a bar chart and, when connected, form the RSI line. Here are some things the index indicates as shown by examples from the silver chart:

Tops and bottoms — These are often indicated when the index goes above 70 or below 30. The index will usually top out or bottom out before the actual market top or bottom, giving an indication a reversal or at least a significant reaction is imminent.

The major bottom of Aug. 15 was accompanied by an RSI value below 30. The major top of Nov. 9 was preceded by an RSI value above 70. The top made on Jan. 24 was preceded by an RSI value of less than 70. This would indicate this top is less significant than the previous one and either a higher top is in the making or the long-term uptrend is running out of steam.

Chart formations — The index will display graphic chart formations which may not be obvious on a corresponding bar chart. For instance, head-and-shoulders, tops or bottoms, pennants or triangles often show up on the index to indicate breakouts and buy and sell points.

A descending triangle was formed on the RSI chart during October and early November that is not evident on the bar chart. A breakout of this triangle indicates and intermediate move in the direction of the breakout. Note also the long-term coil on the RSI chart with the large number of support points.

Failure swings — Failure swings above 70 or below 30 are very strong indications of a market reversal.

After the RSI exceeded 70 during October, the immediate downswing carried to 65. When this low point of 65 was penetrated the following week, the failure swing was completed.

After the low of Aug. 15, the RSI shot up to 41. After two downswings, this point was penetrated on the upside on Aug. 26, completing the failure swing.

Support and resistance — Areas of support and resistance often show up clearly on the index before becoming apparent on the bar chart. Trendlines on the bar chart often show up as support lines on the RSI. The mid-November break penetrated the uptrend line on the bar chart at the same time as the support level on the RSI chart.

Divergence — Divergence between price action and the RSI is a very strong indicator of a market turning point and is the single most indicative characteristic of the Relative Strength Index. Divergence occurs when the RSI is increasing and price movement is either flat or decreasing. Conversely, divergence occurs when the RSI is decreasing and price movement is either flat or increasing. Divergence does not occur at every turning point.

On the silver chart, there was divergence between the bar chart and RSI at every major turning point. The top made in November was "warned" by the RSI exceeding 70, a failure swing and divergence with the RSI turning sideways while prices continued to climb higher.


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You know what point-and-figure charts look like: an elongated version of tic-tac-toe. Yet, they provide another means of determining a trend. In fact, their advantage over a bar chart is the specific buy and sell signals — no personal interpretation is needed.

The pork belly chart is shown for the same time period in both bar chart and point-and-figure form. The differences in appearance are striking. This is due mainly to the lack of a time scale on the point-and-figure chart. Time is irrelevant; price movements are charted only when they occur. On days when no new high or low is made, no additional entries are made on the chart.

Also, on a point-and-figure chart, the price scale marks the space between the lines rather than on the lines as bar charts are marked.

Pork Bellies Pork Bellies Point and Figure

Upward price action in a point-and-figure chart is indicated by X's; downward movement by 0's.

The point-and-figure chart gives a simple buy signal when an X in the latest column has filled a box that is one box higher than the preceding column of X's. A simple sell signal appears when the latest column is in 0's, and the 0's fill the box below the previous column of 0's. These simple signals are marked on the pork belly point-and-figure chart on this page.

Each point-and-figure chart you see will have a box size and reversal number. In this case, it is 40 x 6, which means each box is worth 40 points, and it takes a price change of six full boxes in the opposite direction to start a new column. When beginning a new column, the box adjacent to the last entry is always left empty.

Rules for plotting

  • When plotting X's, wait for the price to rise to fill the entire box before adding another X to the current column. Likewise, when working with a down trending column of 0's, wait for prices to drop to fill the whole box before adding another 0 to the column.
  • Based on a single day's price action, you don't add to the current column and then plot a reversal. If you continued the current column of X's or 0's, don't start a new column based on one day's price action.

For example, if the most recent column is X's, look at the daily high first. If the high is high enough to require drawing one or more additional X's in the current column, the daily low is ignored, regardless of how low it might be. If the trend has truly reversed, it will be revealed the following day Only if you can't add an X do you check the low to see if you can fill the required number of boxes for a reversal.

A similar procedure is used when the current column is 0's. Look at the daily low first and ignore the high if you can add to the 0 column. As before, only if you can't add an 0 do you check the high to determine if you can add enough X's for a reversal. A flow chart for plotting a 3-box reversal chart is below.

Point and Figure Flow Chart

Each vertical column will always have at least the number of X's or Os needed for a reversal. For example, the pork belly illustration of a 40 by 6 box size and reversal will always have at lease six X's or 0's in each column.

There are many formations on point-and-figure charts, but breakouts of double or triple tops or bottoms are probably the most reliable ones. The last rally (the June rally) on the pork belly point-and-figure chart to just over the 70 f level was a breakout of a triple top.

Trendlines can also be used on point-and-figure charts. Most traders agree that the 45-degree trendline, which cuts each box diagonally, is more useful than connecting highs or lows as you do on a bar chart.

An uptrend line is started at the lower right hand comer of the box with an 0 and drawn up to the right at a 45-degree angle. A downtrend line begins at the upper right hand comer of a box with an X and is drawn down at a 45-degree angle to the right.

Advanced Point and Figure

Selective use

Breakouts of point-and-figure formations must completely clear the 45-degree line, and, if applicable, move one box higher or lower than the previous column of like letters.

The disadvantage of point-and-figure charts is that they may be slow to signal trend changes. Since point-and-figure traders are buying and selling breakouts, follow through is needed for a profitable trade. Similar to moving averages, they don't work well in sideways markets.

One way to use the point-and-figure selectively is to ignore minor trend reversals when a new column is started. Some whipsaws may be reduced by ignoring minor signals unless they are in tune with the major trendline on the point-and-figure chart.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moving averages are one tool to help you detect a change in trend. They measure buying and selling pressures under the assumption that no commodity can sustain an uptrend or downtrend without consistent buying and selling pressure.

A moving average is an average of a number of consecutive prices updated as new prices become available. The moving average swallows temporary price aberrations but tells you when prices begin moving consistently in one direction.

Trading with moving averages will never position you in the market at precisely the right time. They are intended to help you take profits from the middle of the trend and hold losses to a minimum.

The risks and the magnitude are intrinsic to the speed of the moving averages. Professional traders lean toward the faster averages and portfolio managers generally prefer slower signaling moving average approaches.

Moving averages are a simple way to gauge the direction the tide is flowing in a commodity market. They are not always right, but they provide a wide variety of possible uses.

Soybeans Moving Averages

Lag prices

Moving averages lag prices because of their makeup. You can make a moving average for any number of days you choose, but remember that the more days you average, the more sluggish the moving average becomes. Most commodity traders find a 3-day moving average alone is too volatile. However, 4-day and 5-day moving averages are common as short-term indicators.

To start a 4-day moving average, add the last four days' closing prices and divide by four, The next day, drop off the oldest price, add the new close, and divide by four again. The result is the new moving average. Use the same system for any moving average you might want to develop.

Moving averages give signals when different averages cross one an- other. For example, in using 4-day, 9-day and 18-day moving averages, a buy signal would be given when the 9-day average crosses the 18-day. However, to avoid false signals, the 4-day average should be higher than the 9-day.

Just the opposite is true for sell signals. To sell, the 4-day average must be below the 9-day. The sell signal is triggered when the 9-day average crosses the 18-day.

There are other conditions you might wish to place on your averages to avoid false signals. One possible requirement is to make the 4-day exceed the 9-day by a certain percentage before acting on the appropriate buy or sell signal.

The caveat to moving averages is that although they work well in trending markets, they may whipsaw you in a sideways, choppy market.

It helps to "tune" the moving averages to a particular market. A bit of brainwork is necessary to use a moving average. You can use the moving average studies on MarketClub streaming charts to find whether a fast or slow moving average is best for your trading style.

Soybeans Moving Averages

Some traders who use moving averages follow the slower moving average signals to initiate a position but a faster moving average to exit the trade, especially if substantial profits have been built up.

A linearly-weighted moving average also could help eliminate false signals. A 4-day linearly-weighted moving average multiplies the oldest price by four, the next oldest price by three, etc., and divides the total by 10.

This weighted average is more sensitive to recent prices than a standard average. The term, "linearly-weighted," comes from the fact that each day's contribution diminishes by one digit.

The rules for trading a weighted moving average are the same as using a combination of three moving averages. The weighted average must be above or below the other moving averages, or the signal is ignored.

A more sophisticated average is the exponential moving average, which is weighted nonlinearly by using a specific smoothing constant derived for each commodity to allocate the weight exponentially back over prior trading days.

However, it requires high mathematics and a computer to determine each optimum smoothing constant.


Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Picturing Technical Objectives

When prices form pictures on charts, you can obtain realistic objectives for later moves. One of the most reliable chart formations is the head-and-shoulders top or bottom. This easily recognizable chart pattern signals a major turn in trend.

The main advantage of the head-and-shoulders pattern is it gives you a clear-cut objective of the price move after breaking out of the formation. Measure the price distance between the head and the neckline and add it to the price where the neckline is broken. This projects the minimum objective. Although the head-and-shoulders gives no time projection, it predicts a very strong trend in the future.

In most cases, a head-and-shoulders formation will be symmetrical, with the left and right shoulders equally developed. Although the neckline doesn't have to be horizontal, the most reliable formations stray only a little.

Flags and pennants are consolidation patterns which give objectives for further moves. As the formation develops, price action in an uptrending market will look like a flag flying from a flagpole as prices tend to form a parallelogram after a quick, steep upmove. Flags "fly at half-staff." The more vertical the flagpole, the better.

A price objective is obtained by measuring the flagpole and adding it to the breakout point of the formation. The flagpole should begin at the point from which it broke away from a previous congestion area, or from important support or resistance lines. Flags in a downtrending market look like they are defying gravity and slant upward.

Continuation patterns

A pennant also starts with a nearly vertical price rise or fall. But, instead of having equal move reactions in the consolidation phase like a flag, pennant reactions gradually decrease to form short uptrend and downtrend lines from the flagpole.

The same measuring tools used in flags are used in pennants. Add the length of the flagpole to the breakout point to get the minimum objective. Remember,flags and pennants are usually continuation patterns in an overall trend which resumes after the breakout of the consolidation area.

Also, the coil formation, or symmetrical triangle, appears while prices trade in continually narrower ranges, forming uptrend and downtrend lines. This pattern doesn't tell you much about the direction of the next move. After breaking one of the trendlines, the objective is found by adding the width of the coil's base to the breakout point.

Cattle Monthly Futures

Springing from coils

The formation gets its name from the way prices contract and suddenly spring out of this pattern like a tight coil spring. One caution about this formation: It's best if prices break out of the formation while halfway to three-quarters of the way to the triangle's apex. If prices reach the apex, a strong move in either direction is less likely.

Ascending and descending triangles are similar to coils but are much better at predicting the direction prices will take. Prices should break to the flat side of the triangle.

Price objectives from ascending and descending triangles can be obtained two ways. The easiest is to add the length of the left side of the triangle to the triangle's flat side.

Another method of projecting price is to draw a line parallel to the sloping line from the beginning of the triangle. Expect prices to rise or fall out of the triangle formation until they reach this parallel line.

Gold Weekly Futures Corn Weekly Futures

More objectives

In the chapter on trends, we mentioned double and triple tops and bottoms. These formations also provide us with objectives. Once a double bottom is completed, prices should rise at least as far as the distance from the bottom of the "W" to the breakout point.

A double bottom is confirmed when prices close above the center of the "W" formation. This is referred to as the breakout. The difference from the bottom of the formation to the top gives a price objective. Targets for price declines from double tops are figured the same way.

Often, prices will retest the breakout point after completing the formation. After a double top is completed, prices may briefly rebound to test the resistance, which is the same point where the original double top was completed.


Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Technical Price Objectives

Traders who believe in price charts make them work.

Chartists try to find repetitive price patterns which have a high degree of accuracy and usually are self-fulfilling. Gaps and specific formations frequently meet these criteria.

Gaps are one of the most easily recognizable technical indicators. A gap is simply an empty spot formed on a chart when price lines don't overlap the previous day's price action. Sometimes market psychology changes overnight or over a weekend. That change in psychology forces prices to open and stay above or below the previous day's range.

Time-tested rule

Gaps are filled is another time-tested rule of the market. That is why gaps become future price objectives. Quite often, prices retreat to fill a gap in a bull market before continuing the move. Likewise, prices often rally in a bear market to fill gaps.


Gaps may serve one of three purposes. They are used to spot the beginning of a move, to measure a move and to signal the end. There are four different kinds of gaps: common or temporary, breakaway, measuring or runaway, and exhaustion.

The most frequently occurring gap is the common gap. When this gap occurs because of a slight change in psychology, traders expect it to be filled soon. Once a gap is filled, it no longer has significance.

The early portion of the soybean chart on this page shows common gaps during the December and January period which were later filled.

The breakaway gap on this chart occurred on May 7 and begins a major bull move. Breakaway gaps often occur after a stretch of sideways trading and in the leading days of an uptrend or downtrend. This type of gap remains unfilled for a long time.

It sometimes is difficult to tell right away that it's a breakaway gap and not a common gap. When the market fails to fill this gap after a couple of weeks, this confirms the breakaway gap.

Additional gaps

A measuring gap typically occurs in the middle of a price move and predicts how much farther the move will go. It is also called a midpoint gap and a runaway gap.

On this soybean chart, the measuring gap, which occurred on June 8, left an empty spot from $6.16 to $6.26. The April 5 low at $4.90 marked the beginning of this move. The distance from the low at $4.90 to the measuring gap is $1.26 to $1.36. Adding this distance to the measuring gap projects a move to at least $7.50. Whether you add the distance to the top, bottom or middle of the measuring gap depends on your preference.

Cocoa Monthly Futures

An exhaustion gap shows frustrated bears giving up and aggressive bulls trying to make the market go their way. It is the first sign of sputtering before the end.

Though prices may go higher after an exhaustion gap at the top, the rally will not last long before the market dies. An extreme exhaustion gap may form an island reversal.

What about gaps that remain unfilled? They become future chart objectives.If gaps are unfilled when a futures contract expires, there are usually corresponding gaps on the charts of subsequent contract months.

Gaps also appear on longer-term charts such as weekly commodity charts, but gaps on monthly charts are rare because they generally are constructed to avoid gaps caused by contract changeover. Like those on the daily charts, gaps on weekly charts are also "made to be filled".

A downtrend may slide to a slow, gradual halt in the saucer bottom formation. Open interest and volume follow the same pattern as prices in this formation, reflecting speculator disinterest in a market with little action and little profit potential. Our example on the monthly cocoa chart took three years to form. Saucer bottoms on daily charts may take at least four weeks to become visible.

Although this bottom formation doesn't meet the requirements of other bottom formations, it's just as significant in signaling a trend change. Usually, the longer it takes to form a saucer bottom, the more violently prices will rise out of their lows.

Key reversals

One of the most easily recognizable technical signals in trend change is the key reversal. A key reversal often has an unusually wide trading range. Its requirements are a day's range outside the previous day's range with a close higher than the previous close for an upward turnaround and a lower close for a downward turn.

Here again, this chart formation reflects market psychology. A key reversal is the climax of a period of buying or selling fever. In extremely volatile markets, two or more key reversals may occur. The key reversal on the silver chart defined the top of its rally and signaled a fall in prices.

Silver Japanese Yen

To be a valid key reversal top, trading volume must be heavy and the daily trading range should be wide. Prices first surge to new highs, but fall back and close lower for the day.

For a key reversal bottom, the characteristics are the same. The selling climax has to have heavy volume with a wide trading range which first breaks to new lows, rebounds above the previous day's high and closes higher. Frequently, the highest trading volume and the highest or lowest price of the year will be set on a key reversal day.

An island reversal takes gaps to the extreme. It receives its name for obvious reasons. An island reversal can be only one day or a few days of trading above (or below) the previous and following day's trading activity The action is isolated by gaps on both sides. Thus, it leaves a day or a few days of price action surrounded by empty space.

The Japanese yen chart shows two island reversals. The 1-day island top of marked the climax of a bull move and the beginning of falling prices. The 3-day island reversal bottom in mid-May signaled a halt to the decline and the Island reversal beginning of a bear market rally.

Island reversals occur less frequently than key reversals. The exhaustion gap which marks the beginning of the island reversal will remain unfilled for a lengthy period because the island reversal is usually the climax to an existing trend.

Technical analysis is not an absolute tool. Because it is more an art than a science, individuals will interpret formations and trends differently.

"Thin markets" — those with very low open interest and trading volume — will create false technical signals. These markets, as well as deferred contracts which also have low open interest, should be avoided by inexperienced traders.

Despite these cautions, technical analysis is a powerful tool and if used with common sense, can enhance a trader's perspective and profits.

Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

"The trend is your friend" is an important trading guideline.

Because trends persist for long periods, a position taken with the trend will more likely be successful than one taken randomly or against the trend. Trading with the trend in a bull market means buying on dips; in a bear market, selling on rallies.

On a bar chart, each vertical line connects the day's, week's, or month's high and low. The horizontal tick to the right of the line indicates that time period's closing price.

A trend is easily spotted on a bar chart. An uptrend is a series of higher lows and higher highs. Uptrend lines are drawn under the lows of the market and give support. A downtrend is a series of lower lows and lower highs. Downtrend lines are drawn across the highs and give resistance to the market. The soybean chart shown below has both uptrend lines and a downtrend line.


Lows and highs vs. closes

A trendline can be drawn when two points are available. The more times a trendline is touched, the more technically significant this support or resistance line becomes.

While some chartists draw trendlines through lows and highs, others may prefer drawing lines through closes in hopes of detecting a change in trend more quickly.

Trendlines may change angles, requiring another line drawn through new high or low points. For example, the sideways trading action in March and April broke the steeper uptrend line connecting the Feb. 13 and March 20 lows. But when the uptrend resumed in early May, a more shallow uptrend line can be drawn connecting the February and late-April lows.

The most reliable trendlines are those near a 45° angle. If about four weeks have elapsed between the two connecting points, this increases the trendline's validity. However, steep trendlines that don't fit these guidelines, like the uptrend line in the early portion of the soybean chart, may be just as useful.

Often, minor uptrends or downtrends will confuse the beginner. It may seem the market has turned around. However, sharp chartists will see these minor trends as small ripples within a major wave. Remember, if the trendline isn't broken, that trend remains intact. Two closes outside the trendline are the criteria for detecting a change in trend. However, very seldom do markets go directly from uptrend to downtrend. At the end of a move, traders become less aggressive and prices may swing in a sideways pattern or consolidation period.

Many times, markets break into an uptrend or downtrend out of a sideways trading pattern or consolidation period. In the soybean chart, prices traded in a 50

Because traders need time to be convinced that they should put their money into the market, sideways patterns are more likely to occur near the bottom of a move. The beginning of a downtrend often will be sharp and sudden as investors pull money out of the market.

False breakouts

Another way beginners might be fooled is seeing false breakouts of tops and bottoms. As prices begin to make their move in switching from a downtrend to an uptrend, traders with short positions will "cover." This buying many times will cause the market to rally above the downtrend line. This short covering rally seldom holds, and prices may drop back to the breakout point. The uptrend is confirmed when prices close above the high of the short rally.

On a topping formation, long liquidation takes prices through the uptrend line on a short break. Before the downtrend begins, the market sometimes rallies back to "test" the uptrend line as shown on the soybean chart in September. As the downtrend unfolds, the second reaction rally could not top the highs of the first rally.

Channel lines are an extension of the trendline theory. The October through January downtrend on the soybean chart shows prices staying in a "channel" between the downtrend line and a line drawn parallel to it, connecting the lows. A channel line in a downtrending market helps identify where support may be found.

Speedlines are another line which show where prices may find support or resistance. Frequently, speedlines and trendlines will overlap, emphasizing that line's importance to the market.

The speedline on the soybean chart starts from the June 29 low. To find the points to connect with the low, divide the range between the low ($6.40) and the high($9.94) into thirds and subtract from the high.

Plot the point obtained by subtracting one-third of the range from the high on the day the high was made. A line drawn between this point ($8.76) and thelow established the 1/3 speedline. The 2/3 speedline is drawn through the point that is two-thirds of the range subtracted from the high ($7.58) plotted on the day the high was made.

Another way to detect a change in trend is by looking for a price from which the market reacts two or three times.

13-Week T-Bills

A double bottom, such as the one on the T-Bill chart, indicated the 87.10 to 87.20 area gave support to the market. Although a recovery had begun from the late-May low, prices broke the short-term uptrend in mid-June. The question then became: Will aggressive short-selling and long liquidation overwhelm the short-covering and new buying that come from support at the May low?

The soybean chart displays a triple top, where prices met resistance in approximately the same area three times before falling. Just the inverse of making the double bottom goes through traders' minds as the market makes a top: Will new buying and short-covering be able to overwhelm the new selling and long liquidation coming from the triple-top resistance area?

As with trendlines, the more time that elapses between the tests of support and resistance in double or triple tops or bottoms, the more valid the formation becomes. Also, the greater the reaction between tests of the support or resistance, the more likely the point will hold.

Though these examples are from daily bar charts, technical analysis works just as well on weekly and monthly charts. Because the longer-term charts cover more time, their trendlines are more important in identifying areas of support and resistance to the market.

How do I know?

In identifying the trend in a market, it is wise to start with the longer term charts to identify the long-term trend. The daily charts offer trends for the shorter-run.

Technical analysis is more an art than a science. The answer to your question, "How do I know where to draw the trendlines?" is, "They're your charts, draw them wherever they seem to work best for you."


Lesson 5 - Trending With Moving Averages
Lesson 4 - Picturing Technical Objectives
Lesson 3 - Technical Price Objectives
Lesson 2 - Finding A Friend In The Trend
Lesson 1 - The Psychology of Commodity Price Movem...

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