The Big Wave Trading portfolio remains under a SELL signal that was triggered on 10/19/12.
It was another down week for the overall stock market and it was another above average weekly volume sell off for the Nasdaq composite. This now brings the total of above average volume weeks on the downside this year to 6 vs. 0 up weeks on above average volume. Despite the constant distribution that we have seen the past four years, it simply has not mattered as we are in a QEn environment.
This means that despite the weak action in the overall market, and stocks following earnings lately, it would be unwise to assume that the next rally attempt, if it does come on lower volume, will fail. We have seen time and time again how higher volume sell offs are supported around the 200 day moving averages on lower volume and then the next thing you know we are hitting new highs on below average volume.
Therefore, despite being under a SELL signal with short positions in the DJIA and SP500, we have an overall neutral/cash bias at Big Wave Trading across the board. We are prepared for the market to find support here and rally and we are ready for the magic bullet of QE to finally run out of firepower. Either way, we are ready.
The most telling issue in this downtrend is two fold, for us. One, we still have long positions that were initiated in the previous uptrend that continue to trend higher above key short-term and long-term moving averages. If more of our longs were outright breaking down on huge volume, we would be more "worried" about falling prices. Second, we continue to receive zero extremely high reward/low risk ratio short signals. Without these "screaming" shorts, we find it best to stay neutral on the overall downtrend taking only the 50 DMA trend following signals in the market indexes.
Since June we have not had a single stock produce what we would call a 10 out of 10 long or short signal. The new signals that generate, since June, have at best been a 7 or an 8 out of 10. This is not terribly surprising considering the magnitude of this artificial low volume stock market rally the past four years. However, it is annoying as it prevents us from making any substantial money to the upside. Until we receive these "near-perfect" signals, we will continue to operate on a shoestring basis giving preference to trend following signals in high priced stocks, extremely high quality CANSLIM stocks, and index ETFs that trade significant volume.
If the market finds support around the 200 day moving averages of the major indexes and we can rally back above the 50 day moving average, obviously the SELL signal will be negated and we will be back looking to operate on the long side. However, until we start to rally on higher volume, sell off on lower volume and then rally on higher volume, on the market indexes, there is no way we will even think about increasing our size. That is unless that 10 out of 10 shows up but it is hard to believe they will when the overall market's volume is artificial. Low volume rallies followed by heavy volume sell offs that are then followed by more low volume rallies do not produce the quality chart patterns that we require (along with growth in the fundamentals) before going heavily long in any one position.
For now, we remain under a SELL signal and will operate accordingly. Cash is king, right now, for those with a time horizon longer than one day. Aloha and have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Top Current Holdings - Percent Return - Date of Signal
AVD long - 143% - 1/10/12
NTE long - 59% - 8/17/12
CAMP long - 56% - 4/26/12
VRNM short - 46% - 4/10/12
MAGS short - 30% - 4/18/12
HEB short - 29% - 9/24/12
CSU long - 29% - 9/4/12
SHF long - 28% - 8/1/12
TAYC long - 26% - 6/15/12
ASTM short - 26% - 7/17/12