Monday, many traders were surprised to see the markets finish (just slightly) higher, especially when you consider the explosion of layoffs among some of America's biggest blue-chip companies.
The market can often be a confusing place, driven by forces that don't seem to be logically moving the price of financial instruments.
It's probably true that some investors deemed the layoffs to be bullish news because companies will save money as they enact more cost cutting measures. However, from a fundamental perspective, the layoffs were widespread across different sectors, which points towards more problems ahead for the global economy.
Playing the market is not an easy task for any investor. One way that market players can cut through the noise on Wall Street is to simply examine the charts for hints to the behavior of those who truly control the price of stocks -- institutional investors.
Examining stock charts, also known as technical analysis, can offer investors clues to the future price of a stock. One popular form of technical analysis is the use of chart pattern recognition.
Chart patterns allow investors to analyze and organize all of the buying and selling by the bulls and bears into a concise picture. Patterns are usually formed by identifying support and resistance levels and by drawing trend lines.
Now, since the Russell 2000 (small-cap stocks) was the biggest gainer among the major U.S. indexes yesterday, let's take a look at the charts of four small-cap stocks that could be set to make a big move, including
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