Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Differing opinions in Wall Street trading

One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor

One of my favorite Wall Street expressions is, “Differing opinions make markets.”  And to quote, Paul Simon, “One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor.”  Man, that was a good song; I think I had it on 8-track.

The cartoon above is a good reminder to keep calm and approach your trading with a cool, unemotional mindset. But how do you do that?

At Options Hotline, our approach is to be prepared for whatever the market does.  That involves having your risk be always known and completely limited.  We have a complete game plan for trading success.  Our plan is built on the cornerstones of mind, method, and money management.

Successful speculation is as much about honing your survival skills as it is selecting winning trades.

We’re heading into a long weekend, with a markets fast approaching a potential curve.  Keep a cool head, eyes open, a steady hand on the wheel, and buckle your seat belts.

Have fun and enjoy the ride, vying for profit.

Best regards,

Steve

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Mandelbrot set fractal

Mandelbrot set, fractal photo by Matthias Hauser

“The market is a fractal of human nature.”
— Basil Chapman

The term ‘fractal” was coined by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in 1975.  Fractals are simply defined as never-ending patterns that repeat at different scales.  Their property is known as “self-similarity.”  Although fractals are very complex, they are made by repeating a simple process.

Fractals are found and applied in: math, science, nature, art, architecture, music, the stock market, and more.  Arguably, fractals appear in all human pursuits, throughout the natural world, and the universe.

Mandelbrot studied financial markets and used a computer to analyze cotton price movement.  This led him to develop “fractal geometry” and the “Mandelbrot set.”

As Mandelbrot wrote, in his introduction to The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1982), “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”

Markets may appear chaotic and rough.  I like to say market prices don’t travel along a one-way street.  Often, a familiar road map to price movement can be found.  Sometimes the market’s moves are natural and sometimes they are not.  I view it as an exciting and never-ceasing endeavor to catch the market’s twists and turns.

Technical analysis is a combination of art and science.

Human behavior (buying and selling) drives market price movement.  That is why Options Hotline uses Japanese charting techniques.  We use our charts to vividly reveal the human behavior behind headline numbers and help you stay a step ahead of the crowd.

We combine Japanese charting techniques with the best of western technical analysis. The addition of pattern recognition and the Superleverage power of options, to play the probabilities, and now we’re talkin’ sensible speculation.

Good luck in your trading!

Best regards,

Steve

 

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

glass half full

Glass Half Full

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.”
— Benjamin Graham

By nature, I am an optimist.  When it comes to markets, one must strive to quell their own nature and be a staunch realist.

Our focus at Options Hotline is on the art and science of sensible speculation.  To succeed, you must understand the difference between investment and speculation.  You also must be able to discern the difference between speculation and gambling.

Best regards,

Steve

PS Click here for rare footage of Professor Graham (2 minutes) speaking to students at Columbia University.

Goodyear Deflated

Goodyear Blimp Deflated

Goodyear Blimp Deflated

Goodyear Tire issued an earnings warning and shares drove south.  Today the overall market extended its rally, albeit on light volume.  As I recently wrote, we may be approaching a turn.

When the market is up and the shares you’re watching are not, that is a sign of weakness.  The opposite is true, as well.  When individual shares are up in a down market, it’s a sign of their strength.

As you can see below, Goodyear literally left a skid mark on my daily candlestick chart.

Chart by Steven Sarnoff

Chart by Steven Sarnoff, h/t stockcharts.com

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Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Irrational mind

Irrational mind

“The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”
— John Maynard Keynes

This phenomenon is seen quite often in markets.   Oversold or overbought conditions can continue beyond your level of comfort.

That is why, as Larry Pesavento says, “Trade what you see, not what you hear or think.”

Best regards,

Steve

Anticipating a Turning Sign

U-Turn sign

U-Turn sign

A week ago, I posted my Analysis and Outlook for the S&P 500 (SPY).  The venerable index was rallying off its Christmastime low and I was anticipating where and when the balance of power was likely to shift.  At the time, I was on lookout for a turn.  That watch is now heightened.  Here’s my update.

As you can see on my daily candlestick chart below, SPY is reaching technical resistance.  Bulls could be slowing their roll.

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Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Stockbroker tie

Detail from my father’s stockbroker tie

“Remember, your goal is to trade well, not to trade often.”
— Alexander Elder

I concur with Dr. Elder.  My father, Paul Sarnoff, was fond of saying in his Brooklynese, “Sometimes da bulls gotta get fed and sometimes da bears gotta get fed.  But da brokers eat wheddah da market goes up or down.”

Accentuate That

When I first went west, in the early-1980s, people made a big deal of my New York accent.

I shook my head, “What accent?”

One morning, after I’d been in Idaho for a while, I was on the phone with my dad and asked him about my brother Mitch being in New York City, down from his home in Rhode Island.  What I heard, kinda shocked me, “He met ya muddah fer lunch at some jernt uptown.”

I was taken aback, “muddah,” “jernt,” what an accent!

I guess there’ll always be a little New Yorker in me.

For thirty years now, our approach at Options Hotline is that the only ones sure to profit from doing a lot of trades are the brokers.

Any way you say it, we strive for quality over quantity.

This week’s action should reveal some valuable information about the market’s intended primary direction.

I hope you enjoyed my little story.

Best regards,

Steve

Your Weekend Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

“One of the funny things about the stock market is that every time one person buys, another sells, and both think they are astute.”
— William Feather

Differing opinions make markets. The battle between bulls and bears is a daily struggle for control of price direction.  Our method focuses on the human behavior (including computer-driven algorithmic trading) of buying and selling.  That is what ultimately drives price action.

Combining the best of western technical analysis with our expertise in interpretation of Japanese charting techniques, we study the character of the behavior of of market price movement (positive, negative, or indecisive).   We strive to identify which side has the advantage, along with when and where the balance of power is likely to shift, to help us stay a step ahead of the crowd.

Subscribe to Options Hotline today to see how our readers are positioning for fun and profit.

Enjoy your weekend!

Best regards,

Steve

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
— Albert Einstein*

Nowadays, market participants have a plethora of technical tools and studies at their fingertips.  A common malady afflicting traders is paralysis from over-analysis.  To break that stupor, we apply the Navy’s KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Find a handful of indicators you like best and use them.

Good luck in your trading!

Best regards,

Steve

* This quote may be misattributed to the great theoretical physicist and philosopher.  I don’t want to exacerbate that, but it is quite widespread and suits him so well.  We won’t quibble.  The horse has left the barn, the train has left the station, the cat’s out of the bag (oh, I don’t like that one:-), etc.  Take your pick.  It could always be worse.

Your Daily Bit of Wall Street Wit & Wisdom

Depiction of time cycle

You can set your watch to time cycles

“Time is the most important factor of all and not until sufficient time has expired does any big move start up or down.”

— W.D. Gann, How to Make Profits in Commodities, 1941

Gann was a master technician.  His work lives on.

My experience has shown that consideration of time cycles, including astronomic cycles, and applied mathematics often proves valuable in developing a complete picture of the vibrations of price movement.

No matter how good the analysis, there never is certainty.

Best regards,

Steve