Support and Resistance and Breakouts
Think of security prices as a war. It is a battle between a bull (the
buyer) and a bear (the seller). The bulls push prices higher and the bears
push prices lower. A buyer that feels an area has good value, will buy at
that level. The seller that feels that a stock has reached fair value, will
sell at that higher fair value price. The direction prices actually move
reveals who has won the battle.
Remember when a trade takes place, a buyer and seller agreed to a price.
There was a buyer and a seller involved in the transaction. The buyer feels
the stock will go up. The seller wants to move on to another stock that he
may feel will appreciate faster.
Support levels are the price where the majority of traders feel the value is
a good buy.
Resistance is the level in which the majority of traders feel prices will
When the majority of traders and investors change their expectations, these
support and resistance areas get violated and a new trend may be beginning.
This can occur due to changes in expectation of earnings, new product
development, change of personnel, cut backs or expansions.
One interesting pattern that traders see after a breakout, is that the stock
or index retraces a part of the initial move by about 50%. If the 50%
retracement does not hold, the stock or index can still be in a trend if the
previous breakout resistance holds.
Stocks breaking to new 52 week highs is one of my favorite.
Let's look at Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL).
On March 9, 2000, ORCL hit its last 52 week high.
Over the past few weeks, ORCL has been in a relatively tight trading range.
Although the NASDAQ market had some wild swings, ORCL held fairly steady.
Today, ORCL had a straight up day.
ORCL seems poised to break to new highs.
This stock needs to be watched over the next couple of days for the break.
If ORCL breaks 85, I would be a Buyer.
If the trade were entered, I would place a stop at 83.