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Aug 31st: And the tug-of-war continues. Bulls took this battle, bringing solid gains on heavier volume. The tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] followed through to the upside on their respective bullish harami crosses just as their bearish haramis from early August confirmed a top. The NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100 also closed over their respective 50-day and 20-day MAs as the semiconductor index breached near term resistance. The latter index is the one to watch for leads on the NASDAQ 100 and NASDAQ. If there are new highs in this index it would be reasonable to assume the tech markets will follow suit - it sits some 14 points away from new highs so a few solid days could drive a decent market rally. What of the secondary indicators? The $NAA50 whipsawed back in the bulls favor although Wednesday's gains do look like they could stick around for longer than previous attempts. The decline in the $BPCOMPQ slowed, but we still need a trigger line 'buy' before we can get optimistic here. The $NASI remained resilient and acted as if the bulls didn't exist. I do think after the bank holiday weekend we will see all three indicators in the green which will be a 'Buy'/'Bull' signal for the market. How long such a rally would last remains debatable, but 1-2 months sounds reasonable given the relative position of the secondary indicators with respect to oversold/overbought conditions.

What of the remaining indices? The Russell 2000 was the days winner (another tick in favor of the bulls as traditionally small caps lead) as it cleaved resistance. The larger caps had mixed fortunes; both the Dow and S&P chalked up accumulation days but ended the day below resistance.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: Today's buying kicked out a slew of short plays as buyers forced shorts to cover; TLWT was a Gold member short play from August 10th. The play closed for a 5% loss. PVX was another Gold member short play to hit its stop, it featured for August 24th. The stock closed for a 2% loss. SJT featured as a short play for August 30th and closed for a 5% loss. CONN never made it out of the gates as it was stopped for a 5% loss. CYPB hit it stop price for a 5% loss and looks a decent counter long side play (stop at $12.09 target price of $24.14). It had featured for August 9th. ENB from August 29th also had its stop clipped for a 4% loss. EENC was a swing play with a downside break which counter rallied to hit its stop. The stock is now a decent long side play at Wednesday's close. The stock featured for August 25th and closed for a 1% loss. FORM was a short play from August 2nd which closed for a 4% loss. POOL was a short play from August 19th and also closed for a 4% loss. Of the failed breakout play; NSOL from August 30th hit its stop for a 15% loss.

Aug 30th: There was some volume interest in the market as damage from Hurricane Katrina was brought into focus. The usual suspects of woe rallied; oil and construction, while the 'victims' otherwise know as the insurance industry paid the price. Markets closed lower but there was sufficient support in the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] to close at the highs of the day, completing bullish harami crosses in these indices. The Dow ended the day above 10,400 marking a potential tweezer bottom at 10,350. A similar tweezer bottom at 1,201 could also be developing in the S&P. But there remained concerns; neither tech index closed over its 50-day MA and both possess a downtrending 20-day MA, leaving bears in control. As a footnote, the Russell 2000 held resistance. Chief kill joy remained the secondary indicators; yesterday's sliver of light in the shape of the $NAA50 whipsawed back in favor of the bears, leaving all three secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] in the red and no closer to a bullish reversal. Until these turn green there will be no bull market.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: NICE hit its stop following a gap down move last week, closing Tuesday below its 50-day MA. The stock featured as a Breakout play for April 13th, July 5th and August 2nd, closing for a 18% and 7% gain with the August feature closing for a 5% loss. Gold member oversold pick LLLI featured for August 25th but looks like the worst is not yet behind it.

Aug 29th: Bulls came out swinging, but it was a 90 lb boxer doing the punching. The day closed good but lacked the volume to suggest there was a fundamental shift to demand buying. Short covering probably reflected a large amount of today's trading. The only index which managed some measure of higher volume was the Dow, but with the 20-, 50- and 200-day moving averages overhead it is a long away from emerging out of the darkness.

Although the NASDAQ 100 failed to excel in volume buying it did manage to close over declining resistance, including 1,569 support and the 50-day MA. The move in the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] was assisted by Monday's reversal of Friday's bear flag breakdown in the semiconductor index. The secondary indicators continued their downward descents (the $NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ are great ways to read market direction without the intraday volatility), with the exception of the $NAA50 which reversed to a "buy" signal, but this is the indicator most prone to whipsaw. As a sidenote, Monday's Russell 2000 rally didn't do enough to close about its declining resistance.

Morning weakness was enough to knock out another slew of Breakout and Gold Member plays. If still holding I have listed revised stops that could be used as a last resort.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: AEIS was hit by an aggressive stop placement. The stock closed strong so if still holding I would use a stop at $10.89 but for my purposes the August 15th Breakout closed for a 3% gain. EGLF took a dive down, but for a penny stock this was not so surprising. It featured for August 25th. LKQX was another Breakout stock knocked out by aggressive stop placement. If currently holding one could place a stop at $29.19. The stock was a Gold Member pick for July 26th and was a Breakout feature for August 26th. MMSI stop was also clipped. The stock featured for August 17th as a Breakout and as Gold Member pick for May 13th. If still holding place stops on a loss of $16.79. WCG hit its stop after an extended consolidation. It featured as Breakout play for July 7th. WWW was a Gold Member overold play from August 23rd which hit its stop for a 2% loss although it did find support at the 200-day MA.

Aug 27th: Bears made their second appearance for the week, just the kind of welcome the Bulls were looking for as the vacation season winds down for another year. Downside volume climbed higher in the Dow as Thursday's narrow gains were gobbled up. The S&P was similarly affected, although selling volume was not as great. Bad news for the tech indices came in the form of a breakdown in the bear flag of the semiconductor index which combined with the confirmed loss of the 50-day MA in the NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100 will have traders looking at the respective 200-day MAs at 2,073 and 1,534 for support. As for that proposed bounce in the secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ], look again - both the $NAA50 and $BPCOMPQ took sizable steps down and away from the 5-day EMA trigger line, leaving all three indicators back on the firm decline. The Russell 2000's attempt at a breakout failed as it reversed off resistance and below the last reaction low, holding 648 support by its finger tips.

The precious metal sector provided little solace for the bulls either as silver broke below major support and gold failed to build on an earlier breakout. Rough times ahead for the mining sector.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: SIVBE featured for April 14th and July 11th as a Breakout play but continued to deterioate after losing its 50-day MA. The delayed filing of its 10-Q hasn't helped matters. PTA was a Gold Member pick for July 19th was stopped out by an overly tight stop. USTR was a Gold Member swing play for August 22nd which broke upside intially, but reversed to cut below its stop (and now looks a strong short play using targets as set on August 22nd) on Friday.

Aug 25th: Bulls will have been happy there was no follow through to the downside after yesterday's selling. The day saw the bears back on the beach leaving few traders willing to dip their toes into the water. What was of interest to me was a potential flattening of the secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ]. Its still a little early to say we have a tradable bottom (likely to last 3-6 weeks) but it is worth keeping an eye on. The $NASI is the weakest of the three indicators and will likely be the last to confirm a (bullish) reversal.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: CCK featured as a Gold Member play for August 22nd but cut below gap support. PETC was an oversold play for August 12th which failed to live up to expectations.

Aug 24th: Looks like the Bears caught the early flight home as selling volume climbed above average in all markets. The NASDAQ was the biggest loser on the volume front, but it was the Dow and S&P which were slapped hardest on the face. Early bullish momentum quickly evaporated. The selling was enough to push the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] below their respective 50-day MAs, but it was the point loss in the Dow and S&P which left the bulls in freefall. The Dow looks set to test the 10,200 mark, some 200 points+ away from where it ended Tuesday. The S&P has the 200-day MA to look forward too, it lurks at 1,194 - some 15 points away from Tuesday's close. The Russell 2000 is trying to hang on but the approach of the 20-day MA (its downturn is bearish) will likely send what few bulls remain scampering. The semiconductor index is interesting as it hasn't suffered to the same degree as the NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100. That is not to say it looks particularly bullish but at least there is still an opportunity to get out with little net loss. The 20-day MA acted as a lid on the day's rally and I would watch for some follow through downside on Thursday to complete the bearish flag. The secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] maintained their bearish focus and have barely skipped a beat since the early August top.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: CKR after climbing to gains of 23% falling just over a $1 short of my target it gapped down on heavy volume, declining all the way back to its original stop for a 13% loss. It featured for December 15th. PAL featured for August 4th but never recovered from the black candlestick which followed its feature. GMRK was a Gold Member short play for August 11th which hit its stop price on the back of strength in oil. One to watch for the bulls.

Aug 23rd: Another lacklustre day. The Dow was the only index to watch as the bears turned the screw. The index closed below the key moving averages as yesterday's on-balance-volume breakout reversed into todays potential bull trap. The S&P had a similar sort of day as it closed below its 50-day MA on a slight uptick in volume (but well below average volume). The other point of note was the bearish crossover in the +DI/-DI line of the $BPCOMPQ. Bears hold the power but light volume makes for a dull tape.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: WFR hit its stop after last weeks gap down. It featured as a Breakout play for June 9th and August 12th. The June trade closed for a 7% gain while the August trade closed for a 10% loss.

Aug 22nd: Bulls made an attempt at a rally in the morning which was kicked back curbside in afternoon trading. Volume climbed higher but was still well below average and typical for a day when Big Money traders are on vacation. The only index of note for the day was the Dow which managed a break of resistance in on-balance-volume to new 6-month highs as price continued to struggle to regain support of the July/August consolidation. Are bulls setting the bears up? or is the breakout of on-balance-volume misleading? The MACD trigger line (of the Dow index) is holding on to the bullish mid-line although bullish momentum as measured by slow stochastics has declined from July highs (but managed a modest tick up). If this index can close over the 20-day MA it could set up a nice longside play. Tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] remained above their 50-day MA as tech secondary indicators [$NASI and $BPCOMPQ] continued to slide. No change here.

Breakout targets met: SYNC featured as a Breakout play for August 10th, tested resistance and reached its suggested price target for a 23% gain.

Breakout failures: ATMI featured as a Breakout for July 21st and closed for a 11% loss. CNET clipped its stop but still managed to close at support. For my purposes it is a stop hit. If still holding sell a loss of $12.85. It featured as a Breakout for August 18th and as a Gold member play for July 1st. The latter closed for a 10% gain, the former a 6% loss. FLSH, like CNET, closed on a bullish hammer but not before clipping its stop. If still holding I would set a stop at $24.19. For my purposes, the August 4th Breakout play closed for a 13% loss while the Gold Member plays for December 6th and July 25th closed for a 32% and 5% gain respectively.

Aug 20th: All eyes were on Merck as it stung by the $253m judgement against it. There was little else to take the interest of market participants as markets were flat on light volume. The NASDAQ continued to hang around its 50-day MA as it ended Friday on the second of two dojis, a mark of indecision, although the MACD trigger line managed a new near term low suggesting further downside may be on the horizon. The NASDAQ 100 also ended on a doji, but above its 50-day MA and with no new near term low in the MACD trigger line. It also remains above 1,569 support and while the secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] remain weak (and weakening), bulls will hope it can trade sideways along this important support level. The Dow again floundered at new resistance although the 50- and 200-day MA held for another day. It remains debatable how long this index can trade at these levels without making a substantial move one way or the other. The S&P managed a third doji in a row right on 1,219 support. Like the Dow it is unlikely to linger long at these levels without making a rapid move one way or the other. Given new near term lows in its MACD trigger line and slow stochastic the evidence points to a continuation of the earlier downward move. The Russell 2000 remains ill and Friday's small gains will do little to ease bull fears. The [39,1] slow stochastic dipped below the bullish mid-line as its MACD trigger line similarly passed below its bullish zero line; its prognosis negative here. Volatility has cleared its earlier downward decline marking a modest return of fear into the markets although market participants remain deeply complacent ($VXN=16) relative to the bear heyday of $VXN=72. I see little reason to be buying here.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: CPHD was a Gold Member oversold play from August 11th which further weakened on Friday to cut into its stop. It closed for a 5% loss. IM also a Gold Member play from August 15th was similarly stopped out for a 2% loss. JEC clipped its stop but closed on a bullish doji so still has long side merits with a new stop at $55.89. The stock was a Gold Member play from July 27th, it closed for a 4% loss.

Aug 18th: Light volume made today a non-event. The NASDAQ finally made it to its 50-day MA ending the day on an indecisive doji - no real commitment from traders one way or the other. The NASDAQ 100 also ended with indecision but has yet to test its 50-day MA or 1,569 support. All Tech secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] spent another day in decline - tech indecision lies more with the bulls wanting to sell than the bears wanting to buy. The Dow spent the day below support but above its 50- and 200-day MA while the S&P lingered for another day at 1,219 support. The Russell 2000 tested 648 for the first time since its reversal from 688. It remains debatable if it can generate anything positive at this support level. Neither MACD, ADX, Slow Stochastics, or CCI suggest this index is going upside anytime soon.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: KAR featured as a Breakout play for February 14th and again for August 1st - but the latter follow through never happened. KEYW last featured on June 21st but failed to build on its modest breakout, retreating below support and into its stop. IMAX has been caught in a period of indecisiveness which was enough to knock the position out. The stock featured on October 29th as a Gold member play and as a Breakout play for June 10th, and January 12th. The October feature closed for a 49% gain, the January feature gained 9% and the June feature took a 10% loss

Aug 17th: Interesting day. In the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] there was a modest accumulation day, only the second for the month of August. The Dow regained its 50- and 200-day moving average also on a accumulation day but it failed to close above support. The Russell 2000 closed flat but there was a bearish crossover in the +DI/-DI line (of the ADX indicator) - this in itself isn't too worrisome as it is in a period of whipsaw but it, like the Dow, remained below support. The S&P fared better as it enjoyed a strong bid (= higher volume) at support. The question here is whether it can build on it?

The secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] remain weak so even if a bounce was to materialize (and there is little to suggest we have a strong shift to the bulls) it will likely last less than 3 weeks.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: ANF finally fell to its earnings. The stock featured for January 7th and closed for a 15% gain. APCC hits its stop on a larger than expected consolidation. Potential bullish doji at support on Wednesday's close - so there may still be upside merits. The stock featured for February 7th and July 27th. PUMP featured for June 27th and continues a decline begun following a gap down. ESLR featured as a Gold Member play for June 16th but ducked below recent $6.10 near term support.

Aug 16th: Today showed who was in charge of the markets. Yesterday, the bulls made a modest attempt to bid the markets up on low volume. Today, the bears reappeared with force leaving the bulls chasing their tails. Inflationary fears sent market participants running and this was keenly felt in the large caps, both of which broke downside from their consolidations; the Dow's sideways trading and the bear flag in the S&P. The Russell 2000 also lost near term support having failed to make any inroads into its early August losses. A mixed bag of after hours earnings saw ANF crushed on a profit miss (likely ending our interest in the stock since its feature on January 7th) while HPQ surged as it raised guidance. This has left futures up a point but there is still plenty of time to change this.

The tech indices [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] and the semiconductor index continued their downward march, their weakness supported by further declines in tech secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ].

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: DRI broke a bear flag to the downside and through its protective stop. It featured for March 28th and July 18th as a Breakout play.

Aug 15th: Weak volume bounce in the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100]. Looks to be a relief rally at best as we ride into the peak vacation season. Back to school should see the return of some higher volume action as crisped up traders return to work. The sideways consolidation in the Dow is perhaps the only point of interest depending on how it breaks. The S&P was little changed in its bearish flag while the secondary indicators remained unchanged. Gold members should note there will be no list for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: WEL managed to crawl back to its stop price after gapping down following its earnings release. It featured for December 17th and August 1st. The former closed for a 48% gain, the latter a 10% loss. Expect supply to emerge on further moves above $1.35 (lots of trapped bulls here). Also stopped out of model portfolio at the same price. MCEL didn't last a week as it reversed its breakout for a 19% loss. The stock featured for August 9th. The only positive was its position above the 50-day MA. TKO was a Gold member oversold play from August 12th which closed the day below support and below its stop price. It closed for an 8% loss.

Aug 12th: Another down day although this time lower volume came with the bears. The NASDAQ ended with a small doji at the lower Bollinger band but there is still some 33 points to go to reach the 50-day MA. NASDAQ slow stochastics lost near term support leaving a void to fall to oversold levels and further downside. The NASDAQ 100 was the only index to log in a distribution day and it is stuck in a limbo between its lower Bollinger band (1,575) and its 20-day MA (1,601). Strong support should be found around 1,569. The governing semiconductor index managed to caress its lower BB band which should give one an indication of what the NASDAQ 100 will do next week. Tech secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] remain firmly bearish.

Large caps continued their intraday roller coaster but a larger 5-week consolidation is shaping up in the Dow. With the 50-day and 200-day MA lurking at 10,534 and 10,523 there may be some potential for upside if these moving averages can hold as support. Its probably the 'safest' index to be in at the moment (although staying on the sidelines remains favored). The S&P is shaping a bearish flag and with the wide divergence between the 50-day (1,216) and 200-day (1,191) moving average I would be selling this index and perhaps going short with a stop running at 1,246-8.

The drop in Breakout and Gold Member failures signals short term oversold levels. Don't be afraid to cut your losses or take your profits. I suspect we will see strong bullish conditions re-emerge in November and there is no reason to experience headaches while the market sorts itself out.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: WIRE was stung by the second day of selling to hit its stop intraday. The stock is still holding support of $13.80 but for how much longer? The stock featured for July 27th and August 11th. VRSN featured as a Gold Member play yesterday but opened lower and continued to drop beyond its suggested stop before rallying to close with another hammer. If you bought today and are still holding then run a stop on a loss of $12.49.

Aug 11th: Low volume gains in all markets. The large caps managed to close in the vicinity of their recent highs. For the Dow we will be watching for a break of 10,711 while the S&P has a little more to go to break 1,246. Both of the large cap indices regained their 20-day moving averages although the same could not be said for the tech indices [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] although the NASDAQ 100 got close to it. After hours disappointment from Dell won't help these indices get back on track. Chief change today was in the $NASI where the +DI/-DI line of the directional indicator crossed in favor of the bears. The last time these lines crossed was in early May and signaled a three month rally. What the current cross means remains to be seen but it can't be good. The once former high flyer, the Russell 2000 I have not forgotten but there is little action of note going on here.

Breakout targets met: TOM featured as a Gold Member pick for June 16th and closed for a 22% gain and still looks good for further gains. Next target $20.

Breakout failures: DDS limped out after 5 months of declines from a prior gain of 16% to a loss of 12%. It featured for November 8th. NTE hit its stop but not before it closed on a bullish hammer. Still looks to have good support here, a revised stop could be placed at today's lows. It featured for Feburary 4th and closed for a 19% gain. OI was a Gold Member was a short play which clipped its stop for an 8% loss. It featured for July 22nd.

Aug 10th: That was one very brief bounce. Bears stamped their authority at the bullish rebellion with a solid heavy volume day of selling. The tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] were hit by CSCO's disappointment. Oil did its usual and rose to $65 a barrel, by 2025 it will be cheaper to use milk to fuel our cars. The rise in oil prices was trundled out by media folks as the excuse for the failure of the large cap Dow and S&P to hold its early gains following the Fed's positive outlook on the economy. No market closed over its 20-day MA and we can expect this moving average to act as resistance over the coming days. The next point of support to watch for is the 50-day MA/lower BB band. Another slew of Breakout and Gold Member stocks were whipped out of their current, or raised stops as the summer clear out continues.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: EFX plummeted on none company specific news - its earnings were released mid-July. The stock had featured for April 22nd and July 5th. The former closed for a 6% gain, the latter trade for a 4% loss. HSP clipped its stop intraday but ended the day with a bullish hammer on heavier volume. For my purposes it is considered stopped out - but long positions with a new stop at $36.79 would have merit here. The stock featured for May 13th and as a Gold Member play for June 29th. TRDO gapped down through its stop following yesterday's after hours earnings release. The stock featured for June 7th and July 8th. IPMT beat a hasty retreat following its feature for August 5th - it did, however, end the day strong. ULTI clipped its stop intraday on low volume. The stock had featured on March 17th and July 1st. The former closed for a 11% gain, the latter a less than 1% loss. TWTC is clinging on to $6.50 support but it hit its revised Gold Member stop of $6.49. The stock featured for May 11th and August 9th. NGPS featured on June 6th and closed for a 15% loss after racking up a 33% gain at one point.

Aug 9th: After three days of selling markets took a breather, moving higher on a slight increase in volume but well below the turnover of a typical buyers day. All three tech secondary indicators [$NAA50, $NASI and $BPCOMPQ] have topped which means the next bounce will likely be short term in nature. A top in the secondary indicators does not necessarily mean we can't go higher - indeed an exhaustive style rally with numerous open gaps could still emerge here but such a rally would likely come down as quick as it went up. It is a time for consolidation of current gains, not one for new positions, or if tempted as such to do so on reduced capital exposure. The NASDAQ 100 was the only index to regain its 20-day MA at the close even the Dow in its attempt to trap bears couldn't close over this important intermediate term moving average. The ease at which this moving average was sliced suggests we could be in for a longer decline, going anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months (or more). We will again use the secondary indicators as a guide to this turninig point. If there is anything bullish to say about them it is the $BPCOMPQ reversal at 55 which is still well below its high of 77. A short, sharp drop in the secondary indicators could set up a nice oversold rally but this will depend on the rate of decline.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: Gold Member feature BLKB revesed its breakout and looks a short candidate given the higher volume bull trap left by the move above then below $14.12. The stock featured for July 29th and closed for a 6% loss. CGI drifted from its June buy trigger to clip its stop intraday. It closed for a 5% loss. CTT was an oversold play which failed to hold the lows of its hammer and closed for a 12% loss. It featured for July 27th. EXAR disappointed as it too drifted into its stop on a lack of buying demand. It featured for July 20th and closed for a 6% loss. FARO gapped down for a second time over the space of a few weeks to hit its original stop after been up 36% at one stage. The stock featured for October 18th and closed for a 10% loss. JSDA failed to cling onto $5 support, slicing through its 200-day MA. The stock featured for July 28th and closed for a 13% loss. ILMN never got out of the gates - although it did fit for a counter bull play for a move to $14.60 resistance (stop at $10.69).

Aug 8th: Secondary indicators are slow to update today but markets were little changed from the last couple of days selling. Higher oil prices sparked by a terrorist warning was enough to keep a lid on any buying from value players. Assuming the $BPCOMPQ hits a 'sell' it will complete the three red markers for the secondary indicators necessary to mark a 'top'. The 20-day MA has failed to act as support in any of the market indices. The ease at which this intermediate term support line was breached suggests a larger reversal is at play (i.e. one which could last longer than 6 months).

Breakout targets met: CERS featured as a Breakout play for June 28th and July 26th. The stock closed for a 68% and 39% gain. Next upside target is $13.50 assuming a break of psychological $10 resistance.

Breakout failures: LFB featured as a Breakout play for March 17th and as a Gold Member feature for August 2nd. The failure of the late July breakout gap to hold as support is bearish and this has short side merits which will be confirmed on a loss of $19.90. RRI featured as a Breakout for July 28th and as a Gold Member play for October 26th. The latter closed for a 18% gain. UHCO featured as a Breakout play for June 6th and for July 7th closing for a 10% gain and 6% loss respectively. This is another stock which now has shorting merits on the next bounce. BFT was a recent Gold Member feature for August 5th but was stung by a note default. The play closed for a 7% loss. GLB was a Gold Member feature for April 19th. The stock closed for a modest 2% loss. NVLS featured as Gold Member play for July 25th but last week's gap down looks to be holding as resistance. The stock closed for a 4% loss.

Aug 5th: The jobs report had all the makings for a good day and had this data been released in April or May it would have sparked a significant rally. But in the space of a few months the table has turned to the extent that strong job growth is attributed to inflation (as if oil prices haven't suggested this already) and so the market continued its Thursday retreat. Volume, or lack thereof, pointed to retail selling as the Big Boys are not likely to get excited until September once the vacation season comes to an end. Of interest was the 'sell' signal in the $NASI to complement the July signal in the $NAA50. The $BPCOMPQ sits on the verge of a 'sell' signal which if it occurs on Monday will complete 2,219 as a top in the NASDAQ and 1,628 as a top in the NASDAQ 100. My 'sell' recommendation for August will remain in place until we see all three indicators giving 'buy' signals - and even then I would not expect the rally to last more than a couple of months given the overbought nature of the secondary indicators. If we enter September with indicators in the 'red' I will shift to a blue cash signal (i.e. sit on the sidelines until we see favorable buying conditions).

The Russell 2000 completed a 'three black crow' sequence of candlesticks which can be traded by shorting a bounce to the open of the second of the three candlesticks and placing stops at the highs of the first candlestick. Shorting here is more aggressive but short term oversold conditions will likely see a relief bounce either Monday or Tuesday - so it is best to wait. I have marked in the fib retracements to get an idea how far this may drop and the 200-day MA looks the best place to watch for a bounce or a downside target for a short position. The large caps were a day late to the breakdown; the S&P broke its sideways consolidation to the downside as the Dow did likewise.

Further hits taken on the Breakout and Gold Member stocks. Even those which failed to hit their stops took significant downside hits. Stocks which took a big enough hit to warrant a 'sell' but have yet to hit their suggested stop price include; SE, ANF, AVX, BOL, BSTE, CCCG, GTF, DRI, EFX, HAYZ, LFB, MAC, RRI, UHCO, CPN, ELON, GLB, LEAP, and PPS.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: DESC gapped down after yesterdays after hours earnings report disappointed. The stock featured as a Breakout Play for June 20th and July 26th and as a Gold Member play for June 10th and August 1st. The largest gain of 81% was attributed to the Gold Member feature. NSM clipped its stop but could still be considered bullish given the tight trading - for my purposes it is a stop hit, if you haven't acted then place stops around $23.69. The stock featured as a Breakout on August 3rd and as a Gold Member play for June 10th. The Gold Member play closed for modest 10% profit. SCH featured as a Breakout play for July 7th and August 2nd and as a Gold Member play for April 22nd. The Gold Member play closed for a 32% gain and the Breakout play for a 10% gain and 5% loss respectively. SWK stumbled after its big one day gain. Shorts take note - it has merits here. Featured as a Breakout Play for July 19th and closed for an 8% loss. TSA featured as a Breakout play for June 15th and as a Gold Member play for March 28th. The Breakout play closed for a 5% loss, the Gold Member play closed for a 18% gain. CRME was a Gold Member play for July 20th got stop whipped in afternoon trading for a 6% loss. FBP was a recent Gold Member play for August 4th but didn't find support at the bullish hammer eventhough the consolidation still looks normal for a retracement. Closed for a narrow 2.6% loss. MLI was a Gold Member play for July 11th and closed for a 5% loss. PWEI featured as a Gold Member play for August 2nd but was whacked by earnings for a 14% loss.

Aug 4th: The thin air rally exhaled today, sending markets below short term support levels. The tech indices [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] and the semiconductor index confirmed bearish haramis while the Russell 2000 sliced below support. The larger caps remained relatively unaffected by the sell off. Lower retail sales was the push over the edge of uncertainty driven by Friday's job report (to come). The secondary indicators were mixed. The $NAA50 is now firmly in retreat with a crossover in the +DI/-DI line, the last time this occurred was at the May bottom. The $NASI retreated to its 3-day EMA but held its 5-day EMA, no bearish signal here. The $BPCOMPQ has remained firm against each of the mini-pullbacks and consolidations and today was no exception. As long as this indicator stays in the green the rally is intact.

Not surprisingly, retail associated stocks took a hit after today's figure, these included ANF, and TSA. Plenty of Breakout and Gold Member stocks also took a switch in the opposite direction, and some never even left the blocks (CGNX). Taking money to the sidelines looks the best course of action if in the market and wait for the Big Money folks to return from their vacations before deciding if there is still value to be found in this market. Not much value left for August buyers.

Breakout targets met: ENWV was a Gold Member swing trade from July 26th reaching its downside target.

Breakout failures: AFCO mentioned yesterday as a potential failure, today it didn't disappoint. The stock featured as a Gold Member pick for February 28th, closing for a 13% gain, and as a breakout for July 18th closing for a 7% loss. DRRX featured as a Gold Member long side pick for June 14th, a swing trade pick for July 29th, and as a Breakout play for June 29th. The Swing trade buy signal was stopped out today exiting the entire position at $5.79. This marked a 4% loss for the Gold Member swing trade, a 42% gain for the Gold Member long play, and a 20% gain for the Breakout feature. HIH was hit by the low liquidty as it experienced a roller coaster day. The stock featured as a Breakout feature for July 19th 2004 and again as a Gold Member feature for August 3rd. It was a major underperformer managing only a 4% gain on the year and closing for a 4% loss as a Gold member feature. NOVA got stop whipped in lunchtime trading, $7.30 is now resistance. Interesting the sell off would come well after today's donwgrade was issued. The stock was a Breakout play for July 29th and a Gold Member long play for July 5th. Both closed for a loss. CGNX featured for as a Gold Member pick for today but was soon whipped out for a 4% loss. EPIX eventually hits its stop after failing to regain its 50-day MA. The stock was a Gold Member long play for June 28th. FRED featured as a a Gold Member for July 7th 2005 and was hit hard by earnings, losing 19% on the day but closing for a 7% loss on the suggested trade. LOJN hit its stop after 3 days of selling in a row. This was a Gold Member feature for August 1st closing for a 6% loss and a Breakout play for June 13th closing for a 11% gain. Technicals remain favorable as part of a bullish consolidation but this go on to test $15.50.

Aug 3rd: In a relatively quiet day for the markets it appeared the return of the 30-Year Bond was the only point of discussion. Markets continued to inch along with the secondary indicators advancing in line with recent form. It was interesting the $NAA50 remained weak since the 'sell' signal in this indicator in late July, and immune to the tech markets [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] recent gains. The tech markets (and the semiconductor index) ended on bearish haramis - the strength of which is increased by the overbought nature of the technicals (slow stochastics in particular). It will take a close below Tuesday's lows to confirm, or Tuesday's highs to negate.

Points of weakness in a number of breakout stocks reared their ugly head. None of these 'failures' are close to their suggested stop price (yet), but given the disappointment further declines appear likely. BGC most recently featured on July 5th shed over 5% on disappointing earnings. LUK gapped below its recent consolidation but there was no company specific news for the drop. The stock featured on July 6th, the current stop price lurks at $37.69. PSTI was hardest hit as it lost over 11% on its earnings. The stock had been a sterling performer up to today. It last featured on May 5th. AFCO featured on July 18th but was hit with a downgrade which erased three days of gains.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: none

Aug 2nd: The media may have given the day to the small caps, but it was the semiconductor index which was the key mover and shaker. After days of sideways trading, the semiconductor index made a soild leap above 478 resistance (now support) and should be good for a run to 530. The impacts on the tech indices [NASDAQ and NASDAQ 100] were obvious as they closed higher on increased volume. Overall in all markets, volume was higher - but in the context of average trading volume it wasn't that impressive. To give the media its dues, the Russell 2000 did have a strong day, but it remains confined by the ever tightening wedge which should eventually bring a breakdown. Its good to see the index rally but today's gains were not a solution to an overbought market. The larger caps also improved, the S&P was the chief beneficiary. The Dow also closed higher, but yet remained trapped below last week's highs with a technical picture still awaiting a confirmation breakout. Given tech strength it was not surprising to see gains in the appropriate secondary indicators - however, it should be noted there was only a narrow point gain (+5) in the NASDAQ stocks above their 50-day MA ($NAA50) indicator. For the hoopla over the upward leap in the tech markets, this gain in the indicator is disappointing - we are seeing an ever decreasing circle of stocks carrying this rally. Buyer beware.

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: NXTP was a Gold Member short play feature for July 15th but managed to recover to hit its stop price. OSCI had a volatile day, clipping its stop at the lows of the day. The stock featured on July 22nd.

Model portfolio: KSWS added

Aug 1st: Very little change in the markets. The surge in oil prices did not spark a sell off which is bullish. The lower volume is not, but we are now in the vacation/holiday season so volume information is going to be less useful for us. As with the key indices, the secondary indicators remained relatively unchanged, closing up slightly. In summary, wake me up when its done....

Breakout targets met: none

Breakout failures: AM was a Gold Member feature for July 28th gapped down at the open but closed the day strong. Gap down may be a tick error but for my purposes this has been stopped out. AMIS was another Gold Member feature from June 20th which was stopped out although on-balance-volume is running contrary to price trend which should be bullish for the stock.

Pease remember to vote!

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