If you broke even this week, give yourself an A. If you made money, give yourself an A+. If you lost money, but still have your sanity, give yourself a B+.
That's right, if you lost money, you can still graduate
magna cum laude
. In fact, forget about the money. If you still have your confidence and enough equity to trade, you're doing fine. Because, face it: We
have losing weeks.
That is, except for one person. A few weeks ago, I received an email from "Market Wizard"
. (See Jack Schwager's excellent
. In the book, Mark claimed he had never had a losing week.) Mark disagreed with one of my charts, something about how my trendline drawing was in error.
Well, we agreed to disagree (my position: I'm a trendline "artist," rigor is secondary). But, I was cordial, and ended the note with a "Never a losing week, Mark? C'mon!" I mean, shoot, the book was written in 1989. You'd think he'd have at least
flub since then.
But, I guess not, as he shot me a quick note back saying he'd bet his equity vs. mine, he wasn't lying.
Well, okay. I guess we
don't have losing weeks. (But, if you do, you're still in the vast, vast majority!)
Part of that majority? Then send any and all to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me know if
never had a losing week!
Big Blue's Big Fall
Hi Mr. Smith, I am looking at IBM's (IBM) - Get Report chart today. With today's Friday's big drop in IBM, does it make a double top for IBM? If it is, will it be safe to go short on the break of $120? Thanks in advance. Best regards, Jim Lu
Meeting Our Maker?
Hey Gary, First time, long time. Although I'm kind of a combination long-term investor/position trader, my entry and exit points have improved greatly since I've become more patient and applied what I've learned from your column. With that being said, I've noticed that a lot of stocks are in the same pattern as Network Solutions (NSOL) , i.e., a descending triangle headed for support (looks like 50 give or take a smidge in NSOL's case), albeit on low volume. This would seem to indicate that many of these stocks could be headed for an explosive move in the not-too-distant future, with the prevailing wind headed downward. Are us longs about to meet our maker or what? Wish I'd have noticed NSOL's chart before the close today, I'd have shorted it right here. Your take? Many thanks, Ken Perkowski
Coach K, We Need an Uptrend
GBS, How about some wisdom on Axent Technologies (AXNT) ? They provide security software for e-commerce and networks. However, based on the big drop in April, there doesn't appear to be anything secure about this company. Fold or double down? By the way, as a North Carolina grad, I was awful sorry, after the huge exodus of players, to see the HUGE gap down in the TA chart for Duke's basketball program. No doubt though that Coach K will build the base and resume the uptrend soon. Joe Frierson
Joe, Coach K is the greatest bottom-fisher of all time! Look for Duke to surprise this year.
Hi Gary, Just read your Saturday column. Thanks for help on Intel (INTC) - Get Report and Nokia (NOK) - Get Report. I was thinking of selling INTC. And I have a small long position in NOK and was thinking of adding to it. Can you help me with Novellus (NVLS) ? I am long at 61 and have a nice profit. I am thinking of selling. Thanks, David Lawyer
Catching the Net
Gary, I couldn't help but notice the relative outperformance of many Internet stocks during the recent market weakness. Two stocks in particular look interesting me. Go2Net (GNET) , and DoubleClick (DCLK) ). Any thoughts you have would be helpful. Thanks. Sincerely, Kevin Toussaint
Bowling for a Breakout
Gary, Best of luck to the girls in the swim season! And I hope I survive another rugby one. But now for the question. Brunswick Corp. (BC) - Get Report has been in a steady downtrend and I was wondering if you could give a clue (I've lost all mine) as to where I should start looking for a breakout. As always thanks for any help you can give. Tommy Reich
Satan and B-Ball
Gary, Wow, I just found out you're a Blue Devil. Give me your take on Informix (IFMX) and this year's hoops matchup with Carolina. Thanks, Todd Holland
Todd, here's my prediction: Duke and Carolina split the regular season. Duke beats Carolina in the
tournament. Duke beats Carolina in the
semifinal. Carolina vainly tries to get
out of retirement!
Hi Gary, I was wondering what you think of the chart for 4Kids Entertainment (KIDE) ? This is the only real Pokemon play out there and it's one of the top performers of the year. It broke out last week but sunk back into congestion post-split. Looks like a series of bullish flag-and-pennants to me. What do you see? Chris Long
Dear Gary, I have a comment and two questions for "the charting method" man (some people have even used the descriptive phrase, technical analysis, ha-ha! Kind of catchy, don't you think?). Comment: You're great on TV, and this week's show did much to dispel the fallacious rumor that your blue button-down shirt and jacket were surgically implanted! Dumb question No. 1: Can you suggest a cheap software package that would allow me to keep track of my trades, particularly for the purpose of IRS reporting? Dumb question No. 2: What do the charts say about Safeguard Scientifics (SFE) - Get Report? I mean, it seems like a great play ... an Internet stock with a P/E of 17. But you are wiser and older; so you talk and I'll listen! I greatly enjoy your insights and look forward to your starring role in "TheStreet.com: The Movie." I'll bring the popcorn! David Garcia
David, I'm doing my best to add sartorial splendor to my sparkling personality. Next week, maybe I'll branch out and even wear a sweater!
Regarding cheap software, I'm betting the package I use is already on your laptop: your spreadsheet. I keep track of all my trades with it, then come tax time, move a few columns around and 20 minutes later have a form suitable for the government.
As for SFE, let's take a look.
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
TheStreet.com has a revenue-sharing relationship with Amazon.com under which it receives a portion of the revenue from Amazon purchases by customers directed there from TSC.