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5 Big Trades for a Ping-Pong Market

Johnson & Johnson

The exact opposite pattern is shaping up in shares of Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ) right now. This pattern is basically the setup in Apple, but flipped upside down.

>>5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings

JNJ is forming a head and shoulders top, with a neckline in place at the $83.50 level. A breakdown below that price is a sell (or short) signal for shares of JNJ. It's no coincidence that JNJ has hefty pharmaceutical exposure, much like our other bearish trade, Pfizer. As an industry, pharma is looking weak technically, and the setup in JNJ makes that weakness tradable. If and when this trade triggers, it activates a downside target at $79.

Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of buyers and sellers. After all, triangles, channels and head and shoulders patterns are a good quick way to explain what's going on in this stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.

JNJ's neckline level at $83.50, for instance, is a place where buyers have previously been more eager to buy on the dip than sellers have been to keep taking gains on shares. A move through that $83.50 level indicates that sellers have gained enough steam to absorb all of the excess demand there. That's what makes it a sell signal.

To see this week's trades in action, check out this week's Must-See Charts portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.


Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to
TheStreet . Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily , and on Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation.

Follow Jonas on Twitter @JonasElmerraji.
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