This column was originally published on RealMoney on Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. ET. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.
I'm starting to hear the occasional comment that we'll know when the market has peaked when we see a cover story on the bull market. If that's the tell, I think we'll be waiting quite a while.
I just can't see a major media outlet going with that story rather than the latest antics of Kim Jong Il or the next provocative remarks of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That stuff is just too juicy to ignore, and there's an awful lot of it these days.
The midterm elections are also a key factor. With Election Day rapidly approaching, a print media that has never been favorably disposed toward the current administration is in no rush to highlight anything even remotely positive about the economy. If you took issue with this last comment, well, don't. I'm not looking at it from a political perspective. Yes, it's a political issue, it's just not my political issue.
I'll let others do the partisan heavy lifting in a more appropriate forum -- I just want to make money. Any argument that might be a component of the wall of worry should be debunked if it's possible to do so.
I don't anticipate seeing any kind of major story on the economy or the stock market for the next few weeks. So, for the time being, the rally is intact.
On Monday, Larry Kudlow was chatting on
about a "Nancy Pelosi Rally."
I tend to agree with Larry that part of the market's current strength is due to widespread expectations that the Democrats will take control of the House. But my take on this is pretty simple -- the market hates uncertainty and seems to love gridlock. Wall Street simply wants those loose cannons in Washington, D.C., held at bay as long as possible.
Looking forward, I only see another two years of excessive heat and minimal light. In other words, nothing gets done. As an American citizen, that's a bummer. But as a trader, I like it.
A few weeks ago, I
wrote about the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
. Today let's start with the
and move on to readers' picks.
One of the most difficult challenges for a disciplined trader is to buy into a market that has been ramping for a while. You're underinvested, yet there is no sign of any kind of pullback that will allow you to take positions at your desired low-risk entry point.
That's where many investors are now.
Standard & Poor's Depositary Receipts
are in the midst of a prolonged daily chart uptrend that began in mid-July. I've drawn the line that defines current support -- any pullback to that line would offer the best chance to buy. And if you're already long, the best place to put a stop is just beneath that same line.
Let's check out everyone's favorite stock:
. You'll notice that I've made one minor adjustment to the right Y-axis of the chart by moving the decimal point to the left. Making this $480 stock look like a $48 one provides a more realistic perspective on the action.
Notice how Google is running along the top of the upper Bollinger band on its daily chart. That's the strongest thing a stock can do, especially if it's accompanied by an overbought RSI and a volume spike on almost twice average volume.
I see a stock that's awfully risky to buy. How far will the inevitable pullback fall? The bears could push this stock clear down to the breakout level before we know whether the pullback is actually a reversal.
What are the chances of that happening? Well, nothing can ever be completely ruled out, especially when it comes to this anaconda, but there is just too much sidelined money that still wants a piece of this stock.
Do you really think this current rally is long in the tooth? Take a look at the weekly chart.
The current breakout began a couple of weeks ago around $41, and the stock is now at $48. That's a two-week advance of about 17%. After a 10-month consolidation period, a pop like this -- especially to an all-time high -- really feels like the start of the next leg up rather than the bulls' last gasp. I've highlighted the price advance that occurred in 2005 during the time that the RSI reading was overbought: The stock more than doubled.
Yes, I understand that the company is "more mature" now than it was back then. I can always find a great bearish argument to knock just about any stock. But when I look at this chart of Google, all I can find are reasons to buy before the rest of the bears finally throw in the towel.
Another stock I've been hearing from many readers about is
. Let's check this one out in two time frames.
On Monday, SimpleTech raised third-quarter guidance in advance of its earnings call on Nov. 8. You can see how the announcement impacted the stock. The bulls gapped the stock above $9 and it briefly traded to a new high before closing lower on the day.
While the 50-day moving average might still be seen as viable support, that's a long way down from current levels. But even if the stock was pegged on the 50-day moving average, I'd still hesitate to buy. With guidance being raised so close to the earnings announcement date, where is the catalyst to move the stock higher?
This monthly chart shows another challenge for the bulls. It seems like every time the stock has run up this high, the buying pressure has been overwhelmed by excess supply and the stock has sustained a deep pullback. I can't say whether it will happen again, or whether the third time will be the charm and it will move into double digits. But I can say that I wouldn't be long this stock until it manages to close above $9 -- and even then I'd set a tight trailing stop.
In early July, the bulls started snapping up
before it even pulled back to established support. The stock subsequently moved up to its upper Bollinger band and has been running along the upper band ever since. I really don't see any evidence that this stock will fall out of its uptrend. Still, I've drawn a red support line as a frame of reference. If you're long, try using it as the basis for a trailing stop.
Be careful out there.
At the time of publication, Fitzpatrick was SPDRs and Google, though positions may change at any time.
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.