This column was originally published on RealMoney on June 13 at 12:03 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
It's informative to take note of stocks going up while the broad market is going down.
Issues that move against the tide have special qualities that make them resistant to the emotional forces moving the ticker tape. These quiet leaders may also point to buying opportunities screaming for attention.
You might recall that not every stock went down during the last bear market.
In particular, education and medical device companies continued to act well during that challenging period, hitting one new high after another.
And it was easy to find those market-leading issues if you took the time to look for them.
The spring selloff reached far and wide, knocking down shares in almost every sector.
But a few mavericks keep going their own way, grinding through uptrends that just won't quit. I just ran my databases to uncover these top stocks.
Let's take a look at the top six members of that elite list.
is a small biotech company that specializes in the oral delivery of therapeutic macromolecules and other compounds.
It has a variety of promising products in the pipeline. The stock rallied to a two-year high in May while the rest of the market was hitting new lows. It now looks like it's headed down to test support at $9.
This pullback might work as a setup I call the Rule of 10. The entry strategy waits for a strong stock to break through $10, sell down to strong support and bounce.
The buy signal comes when the stock closes back above $10 for the first time on a closing basis. That entry could be fruitful because the stock shows no resistance above the last high until $14.
Smith Micro Software
develops wireless communication products and services. It's also the strongest tech stock in the entire market right now. Price broke out to a six-year high on the first day of June and then stalled at $16.01. It's just starting to pull back after moving sideways for the last week.
Price now could break short-term support at $13.80 and drop into the six-month trend line at $12. The best plan is to stand aside here and let the stock show its intention. That pullback might offer an excellent entry for a bounce back to the May high, or even a summer breakout.
mines and develops all types of industrial metal products worldwide. You might notice it's the only metal stock you'll find that didn't get beaten up during the recent turndown in commodity prices. Of course, there's a reason: The company is trading off a takeover proposal from competitor
So this particular stock is a specialty play that needs to be avoided by most traders. However, some players understand potential arbitrage opportunities in this merger or might want to speculate the current offer will go higher before the deal is consummated. In any case, don't trade the chart pattern, because it's deceptively bullish.
is an independent energy company with major operations in Texas and West Africa. I first discussed the virtues of this single-digit play
last February. The stock shows incredible strength considering the deep correction now underway throughout the energy sector. And it might get even stronger in the weeks ahead.
The stock completed a long basing pattern in May and then broke out to a new high on heavy volume. It's now filling the breakout gap and trying to consolidate its recent gains. This is a bullish setup as long as price holds above the 50-day moving average at $7.10. A bounce at or above that level could yield a quick run-up to "round number" $10.
Last week I noted growing strength in the broad retail sector.
is a popular retailer that specializes in products for women and children. It's also been the strongest play in the entire sector in the last six months. But all good things must come to an end sooner or later.
The stock has rallied into major resistance at its 10-year high near $37. You might ask why this ancient level would come into play at this time. Simply stated, other traders will notice it and use it an excuse to take profits or enter new short positions. The best course of action, in my opinion, is to stand aside on this one, even though the daily pattern still looks bullish.
Smith & Wesson Holding
is a well-known gun maker that's also a current pick in my service,
The Daily Swing Trade. The small stock rallied into six-month resistance below $7 in April and started to move sideways. It broke out on heavy volume two weeks ago and has been consolidating its gains in a volatile pattern since that time.
The pattern shows two successful tests down to new support. This is constructive, suggesting that price will hold current levels and eventually move higher in a steady uptrend. Smith & Wesson is now trading at an all-time high, so momentum could escalate in a stable market and carry the stock into double digits later this year.
Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Emisphere Technologies, Smith Micro Software, Vaalco Energy and Smith & Wesson Holding to be small-cap stocks. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.
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At the time of publication, Farley had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.
Alan Farley is a professional trader and author of
The Master Swing Trader
. Farley also runs a Web site called HardRightEdge.com, an online resource for trading education, technical analysis and short-term investment strategies. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Farley appreciates your feedback;
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