This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 18 at 11:04 a.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
A couple of days ago I was
with Michael Comeau about the widespread problems
is having in its ongoing integration of Adelphia customers.
I also mentioned that, while every customer service rep I spoke to (and I spoke with several) was quite polite and helpful, I learned that their department has been inundated with complaints.
I received an email in response that just cracked me up. G.S. said:
"Dan, I had a similar situation with
. I tried and tried to get someone to help me fix an issue with my computer. I must have spoken to everybody in India, but got nowhere.
"Out of frustration, I sent an email to Michael Dell and complained. Two days later, Michael Dell called me on the home phone number that was included in my email.
"I explained my problem, and he sent me a new computer within a week or so. I was also able to ship my old computer back to Dell -- free of charge.
"He also included a direct number to his assistant if I was not happy.
"It actually was funny because my wife was on the phone when he called and she asked him to call me on my cell phone -- and he did.
"So maybe you need to just contact some senior executive and see if he'll assign your problem to his assistant!"
I was able to rest much easier after I read G.S.'s message.
I'm still having a few minor problems with Time Warner, but I'm relieved to know that if Dell ever goes out of business, Michael Dell can always fall back on a career in customer service.
Let's look at some reader requests.
The first chart just has to be Dell. This daily chart shows a pretty solid breakout above established resistance at $23. It's too early to tell if this rally marks the bottom for Dell, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. If this advance is to have staying power, any pullback should not fall below the breakout point. Given that, I'd put a stop just below $23.
I first spotted
more than a
when it was breaking through $10. Since then, the stock has moved higher within a fairly volatile uptrend. Recently, the stock has moved out of a long consolidation around $20. Notice how long the
price-by-volume bar is at this level. With that much financial and emotional commitment, any pullback to that area is quite likely to bring out some bids. If you're long, try putting a stop just below that level.
Since its September low,
has been moving higher at a pretty rapid pace. Notice how the Bollinger bands have been expanding in October. I've circled the most recent part of the lower band. The band had been moving lower, but has hooked upward. This type of hook will typically occur when upside momentum is on the wane. If you're long this stock, expect some healthy sideways consolidation and trade accordingly.
I've highlighted the established channel that
was in during 2004 and 2005. In 2006, the stock really started flying, and ultimately broke through the top of the channel. It's now in a steeper uptrend.
If you're long, congratulations! Even though the stock is moving up sharply, there's nothing wrong with this uptrend. RSI is at the very top of its channel, and the stock could certainly use a rest. However, it rarely pays to try to top-tick a stock. So why not just protect any profits with a fairly tight trailing stop? That way, you can participate in further price advances without taking on excessive risk.
( ESLR) has been in a nasty downtrend for much of the year, but Monday's breakout above resistance occurred on such heavy volume that I don't think this is just an opportunity to sell at a higher price. I'd watch the stock over the next few days -- if it trades back down to the prior resistance line, it should start attracting buying interest.
If this prior resistance level starts acting as support, chances are that the stock has more upside left. But if it falls back to around $8.50, all those who bought Monday will likely be tired of holding a losing position and will probably sell. I wouldn't want to be long then.
Be careful out there.
At the time of publication, Fitzpatrick held none of the stocks mentioned, though positions may change at any time.
Dan Fitzpatrick is a freelance writer and trading consultant who trades for his own account in Encinitas, Calif., and contributes to
. He is a former co-manager of a hedge fund and teaches seminars on technical analysis, options trading and asset-protection strategies for traders and business owners. Fitzpatrick graduated from the McGeorge School of Law and was a fellow at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit public interest firm specializing in constitutional law. He also practiced law in the private sector before pursuing trading as a full-time career. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. While Fitzpatrick cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.