The Big Wave Trading Portfolio remains under a NEUTRAL signal, despite the gains this past week. While the gains were decent, volume was completely absent. If the data from Telechart is correct, weekly volume for the NYSE was the lowest total for the year. My main three data providers always have different volume totals for the indexes so I average them out, usually.
Even though volume is so low and there has not been a confirmation rally following the strong rally on 7/27, we were given one new long signal each day last week. Following, the recent action, our portfolio has hit a protective stop and trading has been reduced to the most minimal position possible per trade. This will last the entire month, until there is strong follow-through to these recent gains or a "perfect" signal is generated in an individual stock. These have been few are far between the past two years. The mere fact that our new long signals are still not blasting higher immediately and are instead just holding their breakout levels tells me that there still is not enough pent up momentum to blast stocks higher.
With the VIX now below 15 and with the bulls increasing last week while bears decreased in the Investors Intelligence survey, I wouldn't expect much fire if we do continue to rally. In saying this, it must be noted that the NYSE short interest ratio continuously hits new 5-year highs almost daily. This index now sits at 18.63 at fresh new 5-year highs.
Even if volume remains low-never short a dull market-and institutions do not return, the mere fact that a little bit of HFT/algorithm buying can lift stocks up due to the lack of supply on the market, thus creating a painful short covering rally, means that this low volume rally can continue for some time. If these shorts start to cover and sideline money returns to the market, we will be more than happy to get long some ETFs for a rally. However, if volume continues to be below average, we are not going to bite. There are simply too many uncertainties.
The only thing we are certain about at Big Wave Trading right now is stocks that gap following earnings. We highlighted many stocks the past week that we issued buy signals (and some short signals) on in the AM based on earnings. Those that followed the recommendations in the AM, profited. It was a great week for playing earnings winners and losers.
For the past six months, this has been the only play that has been consistently profitable more so than not. Every other methodology employed this year has more losses than gains. Next quarter, we will increase the capital we normally place in these gap plays as they are just very profitable and continue to trend after their earnings dates. Breakouts and moving average bounces still can not be trusted as algorithms are figuring out how to pick us off in this low volume environment.
For the upcoming week, we will continue to maintain an extremely extraordinary high level of cash until volume returns to the overall market. We will also continue to focus on stocks that gap up due to earnings and stocks that gap down due to earnings. For the stocks that gap down we require a major previous uptrend like MNST and PCLN. A stock like YHOO would not be considered.
Aloha, have a great weekend, and don't forget to go outside at night and check out the Perseid meteor shower tonight and tomorrow night.
Top Current Holdings - Percent Return - Date of Signal
AVD long - 98% - 1/10/12
BVSN short - 81% - 3/19/12
STX long - 38% - 6/29/12
CLGX long - 38% - 6/19/12
PRXI short - 35% - 3/30/12
PHMD short - 33% - 5/11/12
CAMP long - 28% - 4/26/12
MAGS short - 25% - 4/18/12
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.