Watch for These 5 Trade Set Ups

Posted by Tyler Bollhorn -

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perspectives_commentary-1 Perspectives for the week ending September 4, 2010

Watch for These Trade Set Ups

In this week’s issue:

Weekly Commentary
Strategy of the Week
Stocks That Meet The Featured Strategy


Remember, when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he did not fall there.

Achievement requires effort, but there are many paths to the top. In stock trading, our goal is simple; beat the market and make money. There are many ways to do that, as a trader that uses chart analysis as my chosen path to success; there are also a number of methods. Here are my Five Typical Trades, each a strategic method for putting money in your account.

The first variety of chart pattern set up is the reversal. This class of strategies look for a shift in control from buyers to sellers, or sellers to buyers. I look for two different things when seeking reversals. The first approach is to find stocks that are in sustained price trends and then break their trend line. This can be the break of an upward trend line, telegraphing a downward move, or a downward trend that is broken as the stock makes a bottom.

The other set up is a shift from rising bottoms to falling tops (a topping pattern) or from falling tops to rising bottoms. This second approach to reversals is more conservative but also more reliable. You will get in later on the reversal but the success rate will be higher.

Generally, I prefer waiting for a move from falling tops to rising bottoms when looking for a bottom but I will short sell a simple trend line break on a strong stock rather than wait for the break down from a falling top.
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There are a lot of stocks that trade in boring, sideways trading ranges that show little price volatility. These stocks are marking time, investors having little new fundamental information to motivate strong buying or selling and a upward or downward trend. Stocks in these situations are opportunities waiting to happen, for abnormal price breakouts with abnormal volume signal that well informed investors have found a fundamental reason to buy or sell the stock aggressively. Since the spread of information in the market is not always fair, these well informed investors are leading the crowd. When the wider market learns of the information that caused the breakout, the stock will be accumulated by many, initiating a money making trend.

But buying breakouts alone is not effective. You have to be sure that the break is a signal that there is something going on with the company, that there is a significant change in company fundamentals behind the break. Understanding chart patterns is key to doing this.

Run Aways
Once a stock gathers momentum and starts moving up, the emotion of the market may cause it to move too quickly. A stock that goes up or down too fast has a greater potential for a short counter trend, caused by investors who take profits. If you bought a stock and make a very good return in a short amount of time, you will likely want to exit the trade to lock in profits.

One trading strategy is to play this process, shorting a stock that goes up too quickly or buying a stock that goes down too fast. This trade goes against the longer term momentum of the stock and is only a short term trade. For savvy swing traders, it can be a lucrative move.

Where do you choose to go against the grain? Look for stocks that are trading with emotion, high volume and a very steep trend. Recognize that these stocks will find barriers at historical support and resistance and will like begin their counter trends there. Anticipate a counter move at these price levels.

Pull Backs
Stocks have momentum once a stock has been in a trend for a while, and that momentum will dominate to bring the stock back on course when there is a short counter trend. Pull Back strategies look for stocks that have a long term trend in one direction and a short term trend in the opposite direction. Playing Pull Backs require you enter the trade when the stock pulls back to the trend line and give some sort of confirmation that it is likely to bounce off of the trend line and continue with the longer term momentum.

Some chart patterns show a mood but lack a trend. For example, those familiar with charts will know that ascending triangles show optimism, and descending triangles pessimism. However, they are consolidation patterns, which means price in general is going sideways over time.

One strategy is to anticipate a breakout by buying stocks in ascending triangles or shorting stocks in descending triangles. Since price volatility is low, the risk of the trade is less and the upside greater if the stock does what we expect of stocks in these patterns, breakout.

I have mixed feelings on this strategy. It makes good logical sense but in my own trading I have not had great success anticipating breaks. While the risk reward tradeoff is better, the probability of success is lower. I think you can trade this way, but my preference is to wait for the break with the understanding that the probability of a trend developing is higher.


Each day I run a pretty simple Market Scan that looks for stocks trading abnormal volume and breaking through 15 day resistance. The abnormal volume tells me that something has investors really interested in the stock, and the break through resistance is a sign of optimism. I check the charts of these stocks about an hour before the close, looking to see if these stocks have a good chart pattern. If they do, I will feature them in the daily edition of the newsletter.

I did not find anything on Friday that I liked, to be expected because the market was so slow leading in to the long weekend. I did find one stock on Thursday and alerted the daily edition subscribers to it with a real time alert before the market closed. I think that stock is still worth considering.
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EGHT is breaking out from a long term pennant pattern that has been building over a number of months. The volume over the past two days has been very strong so the market is certainly interested in it for some reason. Support is at $1.35.


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Tyler Bollhorn started trading the stock market with $3,000 in capital, some borrowed from his credit card, when he was just 19 years old. As he worked through the Business program at the University of Calgary, he constantly followed the market and traded stocks. Upon graduation, he could not shake his addiction to the market, and so he continued to trade and study the market by day, while working as a DJ at night. From his 600 square foot basement suite that he shared with his brother, Mr. Bollhorn pursued his dream of making his living buying and selling stocks.

Slowly, he began to learn how the market works, and more importantly, how to consistently make money from it. He realized that the stock market is not fair, and that a small group of people make most of the money while the general public suffers. Eventually, he found some of the key ingredients to success, and turned $30,000 in to half a million dollars in only 3 months. His career as a stock trader had finally flourished.

Much of Mr Bollhorn’s work was pioneering, so he had to create his own tools to identify opportunities. With a vision of making the research process simpler and more effective, he created the Stockscores Approach to trading, and partnered with Stockgroup in the creation of the web site. He found that he enjoyed teaching others how the market works almost as much as trading it, and he has since taught hundreds of traders how to apply the Stockscores Approach to the market.

This is not an investment advisory, and should not be used to make investment decisions. Information in Stockscores Perspectives is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. The writers and editors of Perspectives may have positions in the stocks discussed above and may trade in the stocks mentioned. Don’t consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence.