This column was originally published on RealMoney on Feb. 16 at 1:00 p.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
Opinions, opinions -- everyone wants opinions.
Most of the email I get from readers are requests for my thoughts on their favorite stocks and futures or Wall Street buzz. My backlog has gotten so large that there's just space here for a few sound-bites on each subject. I've left out a chart or two to save space, so please pull one up for yourself and follow along.
: I don't think
is a good investment. When Internet stocks turn around, they tend to go the other way for months or years. Just look at the ugly decline of
after it topped out last year. But there's still going to be a profitable trade on this one any day now.
The stock has just dropped into long-term support at the 200-day moving average. This corresponds to the $325 to $350 level. This is a great place to start a substantial countertrend rally.
: Why is anyone even interested in this tech-bubble dog?
has gone absolutely nowhere in the last eight years. Building computers these days is as profitable as building toasters. Save your money and find a stock that has a chance to actually go up over time.
: This one is really interesting. Crude prices have fallen apart in the last two weeks after the Iran crisis failed to carry that market over the Katrina high. The futures contract has fallen well below $60 a barrel, even though we're headed into the summer driving season. (See chart below.)
Note how the contract just broke 14-month channel support. Under normal circumstances, I tell readers to look for a quick recovery over that line in the sand, but the tape says otherwise. The vertical decline predicts that crude oil is headed into a test at $50 in the next few weeks.
: Used to hate them, but now I love them. The market will succeed or fail in 2006 on the backs of semiconductor stocks. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index (SOX) tagged its early 2004 high of 560 earlier this year. This is the level the sector needs to rally above in order to resume its bull advance. I think it's going to do it.
: A vast majority of momentum stocks such as
get hot once and then flame out for good. After the fires have been extinguished, you need to move on and never, ever look back.
Seriously, you're just hoping that lightning will strike twice in the same place. Guess what: It won't, and you're wasting your time waiting for it to happen.
is still trading below its 200-day moving average at $47.60 and multiyear resistance at $51. Ask me again when the stock has mounted both of those major obstacles. Until then, I wouldn't touch the stock with a 10-foot pole.
: This is scary stuff, but reality often turns out better than the apocalyptic headlines shoved down our throats every day. Remember AIDS before Magic Johnson or orange alerts before duct tape?
Real killer bees buzz around our backyard each summer. They're actually kind of cute, as long as you keep your distance.
: Who cares about the Fed and what it does next week or next year? I've got to put food on the table today, friend, and the governors can't help me do it.
: Love them, but I can't trade them. They're so volatile, it would take all of my energy just to focus on their price action. With the same effort, I can track 100 better-known stocks without working up a sweat.
It's called opportunity cost, and the opportunity just isn't worth the cost to me.
. See the entry on Dell above. Who cares about Mr. Softee? I sure don't.
. A reader yelled at me for not including this highflier on a list of hot prospects for 2006. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I traded this stock several dozen times last year and made quite a bit of money. Last year was the right time to play this momentum favorite.
See the chart? This is what a top looks like: A big euphoric high, followed by massive distribution, in which the smartest players are taking profits and walking away. It will usually get a lot worse when you see a rollover like this one. This stock could be trading in the low $20s by the summer.
Alternative energy stocks
: Love the sector and love the stocks. They're selling off after the State of the Union address failed to inspire another rally leg. I believe this decline represents an excellent buying opportunity for a run to new highs this year. My two favorite names in the group:
Tech stars that tanked
Level 3 Communications
Are you serious? Please tell me you're not serious. These are the mangiest of market dogs, every single one of them. It makes more sense for you to buy a real pooch and save the aggravation of losing money in the stock market.
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Alan Farley is a professional trader and author of
The Master Swing Trader
. Farley also runs a Web site called HardRightEdge.com, an online resource for trading education, technical analysis and short-term investment strategies. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Farley appreciates your feedback;
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