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I actually added a small piece to my Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT) position Monday on its pullback to support to the 50 day moving average. A fall in Monday's tape is understandable. However, Tuesday's action had me worried, so I am going to take evasive action: aka "better to be safe than sorry". I am just not a big fan of a stock down in an up tape right ahead of earnings. If this is a head fake, so be it, I can add more later at a higher price if need be.

I sold 170 of my 320 shares (53%) of Foster Wheeler (@ $137) - earnings are on Wednesday and this price action is a bit disconcerting. With the 'lumpy revenues' these companies can have, something could be in the air at Foster Wheeler - I like the long term story but don't want to be 'Croxed' by investors who only care about the next 90 days.

Again, a purely technical call; and I am a big believer in "big boys" getting info ahead of little peons, which is what price action is all about. Nothing works all the time, but in general this type of weakness right ahead of earnings does not bode well. Also the rest of the peer group is doing fine today - the McDermotts, Fluors, KBRs - so Foster Wheeler is an outlier in price action.

This sale raised $23.2K and reduced the position from >4% to 1.7% of the fund. If I am wrong, I can reverse and get back in, in larger scale, for a slightly higher price. If I am right, which a part of me hopes I am so I can buy at lower prices; well obviously I can buy a quality company for lower prices. Remember, half the battle is preserving capital. No shame buying at higher prices when the 'coast is clear'.

Disclosure: Long Foster Wheeler in fund; no personal position

FWLT 1-year stock chart

Source: Is Foster Wheeler Telegraphing Bad News?