Charted Territory: The TV Debut That Wasn't

You won't hear the one-liners from the unseen show, but here are the charts.
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Well, folks, here's the deal. There really is no "" TV show. Frankly, there never was. No, what happened is the


columnists were all running out of things to talk about. So, to get our creative juices flowing, we made up this TV show idea. (Yeah, right, as if they'd ever put Gary B. on the tube!)

And when we did that, the next logical thing was to make up columns that talked


the TV show. Cool, huh? Yeah, we get a column talking about the show before it "airs." A column talking about the show that supposedly aired. Another column that talks about the show that should have aired, but didn't. Get the idea?

I mean, as long as we keep this TV show idea alive, we should have enough column ideas to get us through the rest of '99 easily. At that point, though, you'll probably catch on, but we're ready for that.

By the way, did you hear about -- The Movie


Anyway, about the "show": As you know from


column, my segment -- Chartman! -- is with a real pro,

Adam Lashinsky

. Basically, I put up a chart and tell him where it's going, and he tries to use fundamental gibberish to knock me down. You know, that P/E and revenue stuff, of which I am completely clueless. In fact, while he's talking, I usually step out to the Capitol Tavern and have a brewskie or two. (Don't worry, he never notices.)

No, actually, Adam is a real pro. Like


, in fact, he seems to be a professional journalist as opposed to yours truly, who still feels like

George Plimpton

pretending to be the

Detroit Lions


However, in my defense, I did spend my formative years as a


basketball supporter making up obnoxious brickbats to yell at opposing players. Trust me, those juvenile insults serve me well when Adam is ripping apart my charts with his annoying logic! Really, he has very few comebacks when I resort to my litany of sharp-edged daggers, many of which include the word Nantucket.

But the bottom line is that breaking news pre-empted the debut of the show last Saturday. Disappointing, of course, as you would have liked the show. Trust me, my eBay-

oy vey

line was a killer. The rest of my segment? Oh, who cares because the main thing was I was funny! Not right -- or even lucid, of course, but funny.

But just in case you actually do care, here are the original charts I showed, along with my scintillating commentary. (In fact, these are really the mock-ups of the charts. The real charts you would have seen have a professional touch and look slightly better than these third-grade, paint-by-number renditions.)

The first chart was


(EBAY) - Get Report

, and of course, I was bearish on it. Once that upward trend line was broken, well, yikes. And even since last Friday, when the show was taped, eBay is down significantly.

Adam, on the other hand, was bullish on eBay. And if you're in that camp, it appears the stock's on sale lately, so have at it. Of course, I noted eBay could move to 50-ville, so I wouldn't be in a hurry to scoop up all I could right now.

The other chart I showed was

America Online


. This was almost the inverse of eBay. My thinking was that once that downward trend line was broken to the upside (at about 110 or so), that marked a bearish-to-bullish change, and I'd have gone long. Right now, AOL is hovering at about 116 1/2, so I'd still be in good shape. My feeling is that if AOL can stay above its 50-day moving average, it should be just fine. But if not, it was certainly a low-risk entry.

So, now that you know what I would have said, let me draw a sharp distinction between Gary B. Smith, the columnist guy, and Gary B. Smith, the TV guy.

The TV guy has a four- or five-minute segment, and because it's TV, he wants to be concise, witty and to-the-point. Because of that, you'll find he's pretty black-and-white about both the charts and price projections (if he makes them).

On the other hand, the columnist guy can be just a bit more gray when the situation calls for it and use the 1,000 or so words to expand, clarify and educate. By all accounts, though, he is still extremely witty!

Frankly, I'd much rather have a beer with the TV guy, and you'll enjoy his brief visit to your living room. But always remember: The columnist guy is the one you want to learn TA from.

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 held no positions in any securities mentioned in this column, 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 writes five technical analysis columns for each week, including Technician's Take, Charted Territory and TSC Technical Forum. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he welcomes your feedback at