Agilent Technologies http://i.thestreet.com/files/tsc/v2008/photos/charts/121112_chart_Agilent.gif
It's been a tough year for Agilent Technologies (A - Get Report). Despite an early 2012 rally, shares have been trending lower since February, dropping more than 12% since the start of that month. With the S&P 500 up more than 7% over that same timeframe, Agilent's underperformance speaks to some significant relative weakness in this stock. And now, Agilent could be pointed even lower thanks to a descending triangle pattern that's been shaping up in shares.
The descending triangle is a technical pattern that's formed by two levels: a downtrending resistance level above shares and a horizontal support level below them. Essentially, as Agilent bounces in between those two price barriers, shares are getting squeezed closer and closer to a breakdown below support -- when that happens, traders have a sell signal on their hands. Agilent's support level is $35.50 right now.
There's some extra significance to this setup in Agilent because it's already at the lowest point that this stock has seen in 2012. As this stock has demonstrated, stocks making new lows have some serious psychological ammo pointed against them -- after all, with everyone who's bought this year sitting on losses, investors are already looking for the most graceful exits they can muster. The sell signal on Agilent doesn't officially trigger until that $35.50 price gets broken.