After a week like this, the Slope bar had all its fancy fixtures, elegant bar stools, and top-shelf entertainment either repossessed or otherwise canceled. In its place are complimentary matchbooks, rattan chairs from Pier One, some lighting we bought second-hand from an out-of-business fern bar, and an Ikea table propped up on some plywood as the main serving area. Enjoy yourselves as best you're able.
Slope of Hope Blog Posts
Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.
Just to Round Out the Week
Having gone through the very long-term index charts again, I am emboldened by what I see. I am buying puts on the following stocks, with the following contingent-stop orders.
It's interesting that one of the "horsemen", GOOG, is down over 12 points, and yet the NASDAQ is pushing to new yearly highs. In any case, the only index I trust to short right now is the Russell 2000, which is both at the 38.2% retracement level and mashed up against the top part of its Bollinger band.
I have therefore gone long TWM, the double-inverse ETF.
I like clean charts, but the market gods have decided this isn't the time to produce crystal clear trends and patterns. It's a murky, mucky, mess.
For example, last week, I felt the financial ultrashorts were looking pretty good. Look at SKF and FAZ, below. FAZ in particular (the one with the tinted breakout) was beautiful. But this week, it fell to pieces, and the most I would hope for (as a chartist) at this point would be a retracement back to the broken trendline.
I suppose the reason they're showing any strength at all today, in spite of the Dow being flat, is thanks to GE, which has actually been stumbling lower fairly steadily since May.
I love sharing good ideas here – I really do – but nothing is leaping out at me, and I don't want to offer up flimsy charts.
I guess there are times when things are just really unclear, and this is one of those times. I never want to go through a week like this again.
The Biggest Green Shoot of All
I make a habit of using the Preserve feature in MarketMatrix in order to check what my closed positions did after I closed them. This is a handy retrospective, since I can see which big losses I avoid (and which big profits I managed to duck).
The stand-out among these is Avis (symbol CAR), which I got stopped out of on March 3 at 33 cents. It is at $6.56 now, a 1720% gain in the span of four months. A $4,290 position is now worth $85,280. Ugh.
Here's what the percentage chart looks like from that stop-out point:
Here's the longer-term price chart. You can see how we are just beneath a Fibonacci level here.
What do I take away from this? First, don't sell stocks that are about to go up 1800% (ahem). In all seriousness, it shows the power of percent. The battered stocks from March are the only bright spot in my trading over the past four months. This is why, over the very long haul, the bulls always come out on top, because growth is, by and large, the nature of the human experience, and you cannot beat the power of percentage gains like this.