What news could possibly knock the
merger off the front page of the
? That's right, the news that
is coming to the
as the new head of basketball operations!
As a player, I'd be excited. As a new chieftain, uh well, I'm snoozing. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and bet he doesn't last more than two years here.
And while we're at it, it's going to be
. And, you know, I live in the D.C. area, so I know what I'm talking about!
There, lest you think I can
talk about my kids, I just gave you plenty of cocktail tidbits.
As for charts, we have plenty. Some tips for our newcomers. Short, sweet, nice requests with your full name go to the top of the heap. Anything else is handled by Special Assistant McCan, if you know what I mean.
My address remains
email@example.com. Unless, of course, your name is Michael Jordan. Then feel free to email me directly.
Gary, This is my third long-distance letter from Pakistan. I'd like your opinion on Compaq (CPQ) , now trading at 29.50. I have been very bullish on the stock since November and I bought the shares at 19.25. Do you believe that it has turned the corner? It seems like all the bad news is behind the company. Nadeem Shaikh
Seared by Sears
Gary: I stepped in Sears (S) - Get Report at 29 1/2 on the last trading day of 1999, thinking its fourth-quarter earnings would be great! I did enjoy a flying ride until 34. After it failed to touch down at 34 twice, it pulled back to 30 3/4 in three days. Geez! I believe pullback is a must, but not like this! Could you shed some light on this one? Bach Chang
Stops on Stocks
Gary: I have made a number of investments in major companies, but have not heard too much said over one of my favorites, ASM Litho (ASML) - Get Report. I have not traded it very much, because stops on this security are not permitted! (Is this true only at Schwab or is this a general rule?) Could you please give me your opinion on this Dutch company? Thanks, Steve Erger
Steve, in fact stops are not permitted on OTC stocks. But, here's the trick: Stops are not permitted by the
, but if you have a broker with the right software (such as
, etc.), they
take stops on OTC stocks and execute them automatically.
Gary: How do you know what time frame to use in tracking trendlines? Chris Morris
Chris, this is a good question and one that gets asked a lot by the readers since I do use many time frames. Therefore, let me break my answer down into two categories: the column and personal trading.
For the column, I tend to use the time frame that presents the clearest picture of what I think is going on. I also use different horizons to give readers exposure looking at charts in a variety of ways.
For my own trading, though, I like to keep things consistent. Therefore, I always look at charts in a six-month time frame. In that regard, I'm consistently comparing apples to apples. Rarely will I look at a chart in a different time frame, and only then when I'm confused. But, if I'm confused, it's probably best to pass anyway.
Second Thoughts on Cendant
Gary: I bought Cendant (CD) last week after that big, high-volume up day -- it looked like a clear breakout. Ever since then it has been slowly going down. Do you think I made a mistake? I am thinking of getting out. Emanuel Tabachnik
Cobalt Networks vs. CacheFlow
Gary: My TA questions revolve around Cobalt Networks (COBT) or CacheFlow (CFLO) . They both exhibit strikingly similar patterns. Both are two months old. Both broke badly from seeming support and have fallen to a new possible "support" level. I suppose you might say "wait for a break and trade in that direction." Or pick a direction and use a tight stop. Could you pick one and do your thing? Bruce Lulla
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 TheStreet.com 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