The Power of Really Dumb Luck

In TA, as in life, good timing is key.
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This past week, I was on the subject of intuition, and if you haven't, please read my

Monday and

Wednesday columns. On a related topic, though, I'm starting to wonder just how much pure luck is involved in, well, everything. What made me think of this was a recent headline flashing across my news scroll:

"Thirty-year mortgages rose for a fifth straight week, to an average 7.23%, the highest since a matching rate in the week ended Nov. 14, 1997."

One word on that: wow. I mean, we closed on our home only back in January, when rates were near their

low

. If we had delayed just a few months, boy, our monthly nut would have been significantly higher. Just dumb luck, I guess. Now the question is whether I can backtest all this luck stuff!

Anyway, just random thoughts from a lucky guy. And below? More random thoughts, this time directed at your probing questions. Want to give me a whirl next week? Well, have a go at it, at

technicalforum@thestreet.com. Your full name and predictions on who will win the

Kemper Open

are most appreciated.

Patience, Patience

What do you make of KLA-Tencor's (KLAC) - Get Report chart? It seems as though it is basing wonderfully for a nice move or forming a pretty imposing ceiling. -- Chris Nevil

Meeting Resistance

Just when I thought I was starting to understand TA we get a day like Friday which responded to inflation news. How about a little help with Reliant Energy (REI) - Get Report -- looked like a good clean breakout on Thursday only to pull back on Friday. Did I misread the long signal? I'm still holding -- what would you do? -- Ray Allen

A Bend in the River

Until last Friday's dip on the CPI news, Digital River's (DRIV) - Get Report chart seemed to be indicating an ever-increasing support level coupled with a strong correlation of high volume with gains. How do you read this now? -- Robert Veazey

Wedge Watch

Your chart analysis column has become a must-read for me! Can you take a look at the chart of Pilot Network (PILT) sometime? I bought PILT back at $9 and now find myself stumped by this downturn. It's broken the 50 DMA twice, yet the recent action looks like a wedge. Aren't these wedges bullish? -- Michael Trzesniowski

Watch Out Below

Gary, I am considering Entrust Technologies (ENTU) . What is your view? -- Trevor Gummere

North-of-the-Border Play

Mr. Smith: Could you please have a look at Canadian cable provider Rogers Communications (RG) ? A couple of comments recently on

CNBC

has it as a possible target. -- Stewart Lindsay

Rare Air

What are your thoughts about Rare Medium (RRRR) ? Is this stock ready for an upward move? -- JC Burns

Some Help for the 'Rents

Great column. My parents just made their first stock trade the other day and purchased 3Com (COMS) . Needless to say their lives will now revolve around COMS' performance for the day. Looks like it's on a breakout but may be artificial due to the takeover rumors. What do you think? -- Dave P.

A Murky Chart

I have followed IBP for 10 years. For the last two to three years I have been wrong in what direction the stock will move next. It has a P/E consistently far below the peers in the same market. What do you see from a technical viewpoint? -- William Wallace

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. At the 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 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

gbsmith@ibm.net.