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Accurate market timing is a critical component of successful trading, especially for short trades. Shorting the market in general is a bad idea, because the market has a tendency to rise over time, so you need the stock to head down almost immediately after entry. Fundamentals alone may get you into a good short, but what if you get in at the start of an up trend? To increase the odds of winning (for shorts), I look for stocks that not only have weak fundamentals, but also have a negative 5 day expectancy.

The 5 day expectancy is calculated by matching the stock against hundreds of pre-defined patterns. Each pattern is carefully selected using a statistical data mining approach. Using these patterns, I calculate the expectancy based on how the stock has historically performed when matched against those patterns.

The current scan has produced 2 stocks meeting this criteria.

1. Ameriprise Financial Inc. (AMP):

  • Sector: Financial
  • Market Cap: 11.86 Billion
  • Cash: 5.05 Billion
  • Book Value: 46.21
  • Gross Profit [TTM]: 8.68 Billion

Ameriprise's key statistics are significantly weaker than the industry, which is something to look for when shorting. The quarterly revenue growth is only .80% compared to 22.9% for the industry. Gross margin is only 54.37% compared to 70.65%. While a rising market will raise all stocks, this weakness should make AMP a good shorting candidate.

The 5-day expectancy is -2.7%.

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2. The Kroger Co. (KR)

  • Sector: Basic Materials
  • Market Cap: 23.39 Billion
  • Cash: 1.85 Billion
  • Book Value: 26.05
  • Gross Profit : 6.47 Billion

Kroger's quarterly revenue growth is almost half the industry's average at 7.60% compared to 14.50%. The operating margin is also weak 2.51% vs 4.23%. Conversely, the PE ratio is 23 compared to the industry's 18.26. KR is likely overvalued compared to the rest of the industry based on its margins and PE ratio.

The 5-day expectancy is -1.1%.

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Source: 2 Potential Shorts With A Negative 5-Day Expectancy

Additional disclosure: The 5 day expectancy only serves as a guide for how the stock may perform. Historical performance is not indicative of future performance.