The Big Wave Trading portfolio remains under a NEUTRAL signal, despite the strong gains this past week in the stock market. The gains from last week were very strong but it came from a very oversold condition and was straight up in a V-shaped formation backed by zero accumulation.
While we are used to the stock market rallying on zero volume following heavy volume selloffs, we are at the same time still not used to it. Its a learning process adapting to the current market we have been in the past two years, following 200 years of normal price and volume relationships in equity and futures markets. Therefore, despite the strong gains, we remain in a NEUTRAL condition.
This being said we do see constructive action underneath in the stock market. We had a lot of stocks fly past logical buy points that we were watching the past week. These stocks, instead of pulling back and allowing for a "safe" entry, continued to rally higher. Some examples include PRLB, FB, GMCR, and HIMX. We also see other stocks working on possible basing formations in big heavy volume leaders such as GOOG, PCLN, AAPL, and AMZN. We also see some new leadership in the form of 3D-printing stocks like SSYS and DDD. So while we remain under a NEUTRAL condition we will be more than willing to switch to a BUY mode.
We would like to see the market base sideways or move lower on lower volume and then begin a strong move higher before this signal is generated. If we do not see the market pullback and instead are up 2% on lower volume Monday we will be obey the model and switch to BUY. However, we would make any position small as we are overbought short-term and simply have no volume. Historically, December is a bullish month for the stock market and it does rise on little volume most of the time. Therefore, volume is not much of a concern right now as the overall overbought condition following the V-shaped rally in the indexes.
The bottom line is that while we see some constructive action in the market and it is seasonally a time to be bullish it still is not good enough to press bets here. We will continue to operate on the smallest level we have ever operated on at Big Wave Trading, continuing to keep an extremely high level of cash until better chart patterns can build in the stock market. 2012 has been the worst year ever going back to 1996 in terms of win/loss pain/gain ratios. Thankfully, due to trading small and getting smaller and smaller and smaller as the year went on we avoided the losses that the trend following wizards were dealt in the month of October and surely have been dealt in the month of November. In that regard, the past two months have been "wins." Overall, though, losing money is never a winning situation. Still a 10% drawdown sure as hell beats a 50% drawdown. When you are wrong, get smaller. When you continue to be wrong, get even smaller. If you are still wrong, get as small as you can or do not trade at all.
This has been the ultimate lesson from this trendless yet extremely choppy/volatile low-trading range market the past two years. The other lesson learned is to never overly trust one particular system. Diversifying amongst a bunch of different backtested systems that perform differently in each market and knowing how to weigh each system in each market environment has been another lesson well learned.
Aloha and I wish you all the best during the upcoming week!
Top Current Holdings - Percent Gain - Date of Signal
AVD long - 130% - 1/10/12
NTE long - 124% - 8/17/12
VRNM short - 56% - 4/10/12
CAMP long - 54% - 4/26/12
CSU long - 43% - 9/4/12
ASTM short - 34% - 7/17/12
MAGS short - 30% - 4/18/12