BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Japan's first currency intervention in six years ruled the markets yesterday, as traders tried to make heads or tails of the surprise move by the Bank of Japan. The decision to weaken the yen comes at the heels of a rally in the Japanese currency over the course of the last few months, a phenomenon that's threatened to derail growth in Japan's export-driven economy. It's still unclear just how much of an impact the decision will have on the yen, one of the world's most heavily traded currencies.
At home, typical Thursday economic data is weighing in as investors absorb jobless claims and lower quarterly guidance at
. But while data continues to push the markets around, technical trading continues on course for Wall Street's biggest blue chips, as they continue to rule the market direction.
uses a stock's price movements to determine where shares are headed in the future. Technical charts are used daily by proprietary trading floors, the Street's biggest financial firms and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And according to some sources, skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time.
Wondering how some of Wall Street's biggest names are shaping up right now? Let's
2010 has been a strong year for Colombian oil producer
. Shares of the company are up more than 60% this year, spurred on by increased domestic demand and a decent dividend payout. That's a significant advantage over U.S.-based oil firms, which are seeing double-digit losses at the heels of churning oil prices and potential new drilling regulations. Still, shareholders should be wary as Ecopetrol gives back some gains in September.
Ecopetrol hit a 52-week high earlier this month at $42.68 before reversing back down toward support. Unfortunately for shareholders, that support level wasn't particularly close-by. Shares have fallen more than 6% in the last week and could have further to go. I'd expect shares to fall down to support at $38 before turning around again.
Much of the reason for the fall was overbought status in shares following the run-up this year. Without basing structures for EC shares to consolidate and build momentum, this stock was stuck with falling back down to support. We'll need to see whether the bulls are strong enough to cause a bounce higher off of $38.
Things could be looking stronger in shares of
, the UK-based bank with major business in the emerging markets. HSBC has long been a beneficiary of growth in key markets such as China and Latin America, but that hasn't stopped the stock from getting knocked around as investors flee financial stocks whenever volatility spikes. This coming week, hold-out shareholders could be vindicated.
That's because HSBC is edging ever closer to a double-top resistance level, one that could either help catalyze a breakout to new highs or push shares back down toward support at the 200-day moving average. At this point, the trade to take won't trigger until we see the bank's share price collide with the horizontal blue line in the chart above.
When that happens, short a bounce toward the 200-day, and buy a push above $53. If the stock does break above resistance, don't be surprised to see shares slide down for a day or two to re-test the newly minted $53 support level.
continues to be a leader in page views, a decade later, this vestige of the dot-com boom is having trouble monetizing them. That's especially true as competitors such as
dominate the search business and build expensive traffic-generating web applications. But shareholders should be happy with recent moves in Yahoo!'s stock.
Shares of Yahoo! broke above trendline resistance yesterday, pushing above the 50-day moving average in the process. Now, the stock looks primed to trade the gap up to the 200-day moving average at $15.52. Watch shares closely for the rest of the week - we'll want to see them stay well above their new support levels for the rest of the week.
To see this week's trades in action, check out the
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.