West Pharmaceutical Services

A similar consolidation pattern is taking shape in shares of West Pharmaceutical Services ( WST) right now. In this case, West is churning sideways in a rectangle pattern after making a big move higher in the middle of January. You want to trade this setup exactly the same way, buying a move through $60 resistance and selling a drop through $59 support. That tight range makes a signal just a matter of time.

Don't get too caught up with the rectangle classification in WST, however.

Whenever you're looking at any technical price pattern, it's critical to think in terms of buyers and sellers. Triangles, rectangles, and other pattern names are a good quick way to explain what's going on in this stock, but they're not the reason it's tradable. Instead, it all comes down to supply and demand for shares.

Resistance at $60 is a price where there's an excess of supply of shares; in other words, it's a place where sellers have been more eager to take recent gains and sell their shares than buyers have been to buy. That's what makes the breakout above $60 so significant -- it indicates that buyers are finally strong enough to absorb all of the excess supply above that price level.

The opposite is true for $59 support. Here again, momentum favors an upside move in WST, but it's unwise to actually make a trade until price moves outside of the rectangle.

To see this week's trades in action, check out the Technical Setups for the Week portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to TheStreet. Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily, and on CNBC.com. Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation.

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