Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

GBS even officiates family squabbles! Well, indirectly, perhaps.
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Many have asked (well, two folks did), so here goes: Diana nabbed a second in the 50 free and a third in the 200 free last Sunday. (Katherine did not swim in this meet.) So, a future freestyler is born? Well, nothing like a taste of "Hey, I'm not so bad at this" to get the juices flowing.

But the kids are off now, and so, it appears, is the market. Broken-record time, but it looks like up, down, up, down is the battle cry of 1999! Tell me, is there anyone who really

gets

these gyrations? Well, not I!

But, what I do get is questions. Loads of 'em. So, another dull reminder on the ground rules:

    Send your queries to technicalforum@thestreet.com. Include your full name. If I'm out of "capacity" you'll get a clever note saying so, so at least you'll know I received your email.

Above...

Gary, Please comment on the chart for AboveNet (ABOV) . I rode RealNetworks (RNWK) - Get Report up nicely, and think ABOV will similarly go to 140. What is your opinion, please? Thanks,
Jim Keys

The River Wild

On March 26 Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report crossed 140 on greatly expanded volume. It was unable to hold above 140 and closed at 139. My question is what to do next. Is this a time to short, or wait and see if AMZN tries to attack 140 again? I found the chart pattern to fit into the GS pattern of congestion while using my newly acquired TC 2000 service. Trying to learn what to do if this was a true failure of a breakout from congestion. Thanks,
Mickey Schleiffer

Mickey, let's forget AMZN for a second and focus on the guts of your question:

What to do if this was a true failure of a breakout from congestion.

The answer to that is, do nothing. Many times a stock will attempt a breakout, but either lack the required volume or close within congestion. I used to find myself gazing at those charts planning my next course of action, but after a while found it fruitless. Instead, I just ignored those charts and moved on. If AMZN appears at a later date as a breakout, then I'd act. If not, well, there are plenty of other good candidates around.

Insight

Gary, Your weekend technical analysis column provides great insight, and is one of the main reasons that I sign on to TheStreet.com before any of the other online newsletters. I would like your opinion of the chart on a mid-cap stock in the telecommunications distribution sector called CellStar (CLST) . There are about 140 companies involved in this business of cell phone distribution, but the standouts recently have been Brightpoint (CELL) and Cellstar. The past several months, CLST has been maintaining a market price of 12 or better, until the negative news it received three weeks ago about CELL. Seems CELL was having a few problems and it brought CLST down with it. Most of my fellow longs in this stock have been enormously disillusioned lately, with the lackluster performance of CLST given its recent earnings release. CLST reported record earnings of 27 cents a share Tuesday night, but the stock fell 1% the following Wednesday. Volume was rather heavy on Wednesday, suggesting that investors knew this stock might have some value, but somehow the bid was pushed down. One day later, Zacks showcases CLST with record earnings, but nothing develops. Looking at the chart, it appears that CLST may be breaking out of its moving average, even if the fundamentals and positive news have had no effect. Do you have any Brightpoints on a Cellstar? James Hanson

Merry Land

I'm pleased to hear you've found your Maryland community a friendly one. But Gary, the last time I wrote I suggested the gastronomic delights of a crab feast and you rave about chain store pizza!! Summer will be here soon. Try the crab feast. At the very least you'll have more than enough material to fill a TSC article (and your stomach). P.S. Can you comment on the basing pattern of Union Pacific (UNP) - Get Report?
A. Dombrowski

AD, you're just lucky I can't get Domino's delivered: That's a pizza I REALLY love!

What a Gas

Gary, Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Do you see any interesting long-term plays in the oil-and-gas exploration industry? It was great seeing a request from Paul Olden. He previously broadcasted in the New York area for the Yankees and Jets. Please let him know he is missed! Thanks,
Keith Weinkauf

Keith, it was nice of Paul to write in, and I'm sure he appreciates your comments. As for oil-and-gas exploration companies, I have to say I've been bullish on them for a while, partly based on the "bottoming" formation, and partly based on the consistent negative bias against them lately. A look at the SLB chart illustrates my current thinking.

Earth to Gary

Dear Gary: I enjoy your columns. I got in early on Earthlink (ELNK) , and I'm still holding onto it, even though it's basically stagnated of late. How do you see it, technically speaking? Thanks,
E. Scholnick

Red Ink

Gary, I have been following Inktomi (INKT) and Micromuse (MUSE) for a while now. I hold positions in both. It appears as though these stocks will go higher. In your opinion, looking at the charts, will INKT and MUSE hit new highs soon, or is it too early to tell? Thanks,
Adam Mancino

... and Beyond

Hi Gary, I enjoy your columns and was wondering about your take on Beyond.com. Sincerely,
Mohammed Khurrum

Love the Site

Well, let's wait till you see how you like the summers off! Did you move just for the swimming? Love the site and your light-hearted approach. Questions: Thanks very much,
George Oram

  • CMGI (CMGI) graph and thoughts, please. I am out for the moment, as it is so far above the 50-day line, but will be back in as soon as I make my fortune in @Home (ATHM) - Get Report! Short or hedged on most everything else, except my stash of 10 shares of this and that on the Net hidden away in the IRA.
  • I use Clearstation for graphs. Is there a site that has the handy lines you use drawn by computer, or must I engage my brain?

George, if you mean summers off for the girls' swimming, the answer is NEVER! In fact, Katherine and Diana get exactly 10 days off and then start in with the long course season. First meet: early May at the Naval Academy!

As for sites which you can draw on the charts, check out this link:

www.equis.com/java/ms4java1024.html.

And as for CMGI, see the attached chart.

Getting Involved

Gary: Maybe you don't get involved in giving family advice. Nevertheless, here is my problem. My brother is the executor of my father's estate. He has never run a portfolio in his life, as he was a civil servant. I have. He and I have an ongoing disagreement over Applied Materials (AMAT) - Get Report. He is the engineer type. Would you chart AMAT for me and give me your take? I want to sell. My brother wants to hold -- and we have agreed to do whatever your charting says! Thanks,
Darlene Bothell

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At time of publication he had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Smith also writes Technician's Take, which appears every Monday, and Charted Territory, which runs Wednesdays. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at

gbsmith@ibm.net.