Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More solar flares

Another of the recent Stock Trends Picks of the Week broke out today. Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ) surged above $17 and is now trading at $16.30, a 45% gain on the day. CSIQ was a featured solar stock in the Stock Trends reports a couple of weeks ago as its changing trend and building price momentum brought it to our attention.

Stock Trends Report - Canadian Solar Inc (NASDAQ:CSIQ)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Solar flares

Solar stocks are shining. First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) jumped 35% this morning. Also reflecting the rays is Evergreen Solar Inc (NASDAQ:ESLR). It reached a high of $17.55 in early trading - a 25% jump from the previous day. ESLR was a Stock Trends Pick of the Week recently, along with a number of other solar stocks. Stock Trends often illuminates on these sector and industry trends and allows investors to identify breakout points. This group of solar picks is a recent example.

Stock Trends Report: Evergreen Solar Inc (NASDAQ:ESLR):

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Google trend trading

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been a legendary stock since the earliest days of its IPO. It has not disappointed even the most hyped expectations. GOOG added to its golden image with today's close above $700. The model performance of the stock makes for a wonderful chart.

For Stock Trends followers, though, the first cue for entry in this winner was a year ago when GOOG had its most recent Bullish Crossover. The stock suffered a slight summer cold in the previous period (it went Stock Trends Bearish in mid-July 2006), so the Bullish Crossover signal in October 20, 2006 was the first reversal of trend for GOOG. The stock was one of the Stock Trends NASDAQ Picks of the Week then (at $459). Although just about any entry point has been swell to date for this darling stock, the summer period in 2006 was challenging enough to advise an exit - however temporary it turned out to be. Here the Stock Trends indicators helped direct investors when price trend shifted positively. Trading with the trend is the Stock Trends modus operandi.

Stock Trends history- Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Penn West Energizes

Big news on the Canadian oil patch today is the announcement that Penn West Energy Trust (TSX:PWT.UN) is entering a $3.6-billion dollar friendly takeover of Canetic Resources Trust (TSX:CNE.UN) - a combination that would create a considerable light oil producer in Western Canada. Both these trusts are already engaged in separate takeovers, including Canetics buyout of Titan Exploration Ltd. (TSX:TTN.A). Recent price action of PWT.UN and CNE.UN has brought both trusts into the Stock Trends screens for shifting trends: both stocks changed to Weak Bearish in last weeks report.

Stock Trends Report - Penn West Energy Trust (TSX:PWT.UN)

Stock Trends Report - Canetic Resources Trust (TSX:CNE.UN)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bearish trend breadth

The current level of TSX Bull/Bear Ratio (0.4) was last plumbed in October 2002. We will recall that moment as the bottom of a 2-year bear market and the beginning of a tremendous 5-year bullish trend. But the current reading is more reminiscent of two other periods of time: the second quarter of 1998 and Q1 of 2000. In each of these periods there was a significant divergence in the signals of the Stock Trends TSX Bull/Bear Ratio and the S&P/TSX Composite Index. While the Bull/Bear Ratio then scraped below the 0.5 marker, the benchmark index was climbing to new highs. With the index presently doing a final chin-up to once again approach all-time highs, Stock Trends followers should now be wondering if the conflicting spirit of the Stock Trends sentiment indicator - a measure of market breadth - is advising extreme caution. Considering the subsequent downdraft of 1998 and 2000, prudence is advisable.

TSX Bull vs. Bears - Graph of Distribution of Stock Trends indicators:

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gildan joins S&P/TSX 60 Index

Standard & Poors made the long-awaited changes to the S&P/TSX 60 Index yesterday, announcing that Alcan Inc. (TSX:AL), a victim of global consolidation, and two of the index's market-cap weaklings - Cott Corp. (TSX:BCB) and Celestica Inc. (TSX:CLS) - will be replaced. Incoming stocks are InMet Mining (TSX:IMN), Uranium One (TSX:UUU), and Gildan Activewear (TSX:GIL). GIL is a considerable trend improvement over BCB in the consumer category. It has been a Stock Trends Bullish stock since early October 2006. The stock today reached an early session 52-week high of $43.48 as index portfolio managers move to adjust their holdings. GIL was a Stock Trends Pick of the Week on October 5, 2006 at $27.53 (post-split), and would rank as one of the top 6 stocks in the Stock Trends S&P/TSX 60 Relative Strength Rankings with its current RSI of 114.

Stock Trends Report - Gildan Activewear (TSX:GIL):

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stock Trends has ear to the ground

The Stock Trends TSX Portfolio trading strategy is market driven. When the market moves toward a broad bullish trend the portfolio is active with new buys. Periods of activity reflect the general bullish sentiment. Tides are rising.

Stock Trends followers are well aware, though, that the mechanical trading system has been largely dormant since the first quarter of 2007. Although the TSX stretched toward new highs into the summer and rallied after the August correction, the trend landscape for the Stock Trends trading system has been unfavourable. Currently, only 30% of TSX stocks are Bullish. The market's volatility over the period since the ST Portfolio downshifted has generated profits for some trading systems, but the S&P/TSX Composite Index 6% advance since Q1 has not been without considerable risk. The cash position of the Stock Trends TSX Portfolio reflects the prudent steps of a trader with an ear to the ground.

Stock Trends TSX Portfolio trading history (1993-present):

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Open Text opening

Tech stocks are generating deserved interest among investors. TSX investors have a limited range of options beyond the marquee name of Research in Motion (TSX:RIM). However, Open Text (TSX:OTC) is on the Stock Trends watch list. The stock will be a Bullish Crossover in the coming week after its staccato advance since mid-August. Trading volume in OTC has been weak or moderate over the past couple of weeks, but tech momentum could help swell the stock toward new highs. Look for another push in the coming week.

Stock Trends Report: Open Text (TSX:OTC):

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Black Monday Eve

Where were you on the eve of October 19, 1987 - Black Monday? Perhaps the date does not stir the same emotions as, say, September 11, 2001, but rest assured there is a solemn population of survivors of that cataclysmic day 20-years ago. The 23% drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Index that day ranks as the most dramatic move in the stock market in modern history. No other major market move comes close. It was an historic day that shook the foundations of our financial system and left many participants shell shocked.

I was no more than a market observer at the time, but the event left a mark on me. As the 20th anniversary of Black Monday hits us tomorrow we should all pause to consider the potential for another Black Swan - an outlier event of seemingly unimaginable possibility. Important to current investors to recall is the ominous feeling that hovered over investors on the weekend preceding October 19, 1987. The Dow Jones Industrial Index dropped 10% in the final days of the previous week and there was palpable concern heading into the weekend. The festering sore did indeed bust, and we should be wary of current day infections that have an equally dangerous potential to cripple the market.

For my part Black Monday Eve was tempered, indeed softened, by a weekend flight with my new born daughter as I introduced her to her grandparents for the first time. A reminder that life goes on - even in the midst of catastrophe.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Peerless Energy

Another recent Stock Trends TSX Pick of the Week,
Peerless Energy (TSX:PRY.A) is advancing in the
heightened oil & gas sector. The stock is now trading
at $4.30 and will be a Stock Trends Bullish Crossover
in the coming week.

Stock Trends Report - Peerless Energy (TSX:PRY.A)

Birchcliff energizes

A recent Stock Trends TSX Pick of the Week, Birchcliff
Energy (TSX:BIR) is surging above the $5.25 level.
With crude oil prices approaching an
inflation-adjusted all-time high, it's hard to avoid
energy exposure. Volume of trading in BIR surged on
Friday and remains high as the stock moves toward
resistance that hovers above. The stock hit a high of
$5.50 in early June before falling off to a late
summer low of $3.70. Look for BIR to show its bullish
potential over the coming days.

Stock Trends Report - Birchcliff Energy (TSX:BIR):

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Technical analysis is all about putting current prices
into an historical context. Market technicians earn
their keep by comparing market conditions now with
conditions in the past, making the assumption that
patterns repeat themselves. But some things are
different. One notable difference is the market
participation - most specifically the number of
transactions that are executed. A decade ago the
average weekly number of transactions on the Toronto
Stock Exchange was about 200,000. Now the number of
weekly trades is 10 times that level. Last week there
were 2,572,170 trades on the TSX. The recent 5-year
bull run has much to thank in this heightened level of
trading. However, it remains to be seen how such an
active market will turn on itself if things go bad.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Petrobank on it

Among TSX-listed energy stocks Petrobank Energy and
Resources (TSX:PBG) has blazed its own profitable
trail for investors. It has outperformed the S&P/TSX
Composite Index by 48% over the past three months and
continues its assault on new highs. With crude oil
tipping $86 the sky may be the limit for PBG. The
stock was a Stock Trends Bullish Crossover at the end
of 2004, back when shares traded for $2.20. Today's
high of $45.18 shows us the sector, despite its
tempered performance as a group, can sprout some
high-flying picks.

Stock Trends Report - Petrobank Energy and Resources

Dow Theory 2007

Looking for cracks in the stock market's foundation is
a full time job. No surprise that market bears dust
off the Dow Theory to support their prevailing fear
that this Goldilocks market is not without some cold
porridge. A pillar of Dow Theory, however dated its
precepts, is that the Dow Transports should support
the Dow Industrials. What's good for the industrial
workhorses of America should be good for their
carriers. Globalization helps and hinders the theory,
but, in a theoretical sense this correlation has great

The current divergence of the two groups makes for
unsettling evidence of a precarious market moment as
we hurtle toward the October gauntlet. Stock Trends
followers would have noted the early divergence back
on August 3 when the Dow Transportation Index turned
Weak Bullish. The Transports turned Stock Trends
Bearish at the end of September, making the current
Stock Trends Bullish indicator of the Dow Industrial
Index a blaring contradiction with the Dow Transports'
Bearish indicator.

However, the same divergence occurred in the late
summer of 2006. The Dow Industrials pulled through
that period, later to scale 12,000 in fine fashion.
The Dow Transport Index has a ways to go to reverse
the Bearish trend and recover to its previous high.
The coming months will be telling.

Stock Trends Report - Dow Jones Transport Index:

Stock Trends Report - Dow Jones Industrial Index:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Husky's Bullish run ends

Since early 2003 Husky Energy Inc (TSX:HSE) has been
in a Stock Trends Bullish trend. That 246-week period
ended last week when the stock was tagged as a Bearish
Crossover - a signal that the 13-week moving average
trend line has dropped below the 40-week moving
average trend line. HSE is currently underperforming
the S&P/TSX Composite Index by 6% over the past
quarter, joining the sub-par performance of other
Canadian integrated oils.

Stock Trends Report - Husky Energy Inc. (TSX:HSE):

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A noble energy stock

Among the NYSE Stock Trends Bullish stocks Noble
Energy Inc.(NYSE:NBL) has delivered investors ample
return on its four-plus year trend. Last week's heavy
trading showed NBL may have more to give. Today the
stock sits above $75 and has advanced 25% since its
brief flirtation with the Stock Trends Weak Bullish
indicator at the end of August. A Weak Bullish
indicator alerts investors to a critical support area,
a signal to monitor for either selling on further
downside movement or accumulation on signs of price
support. NBL found support along the 40-week moving
average trend line (Stock Trends primary trend line)
and has rallied to today's new high. Energy bulls will
do well to stick with NBL.

Stock Trends Report - Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL):

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tim Bits, anyone?

Canadian Stock Trends followers probably felt deprived
when Tim Hortons (TSX:THI) went public last year.
Without a trading history, and absent the Stock Trends
indicators, THI did not fit our stock picking
criteria. Alas, its time has come. THI is now a Stock
Trends Pick of the Week selection. The stock has moved
above $36 and has potential to regain some lost
ground. Look for THI to hold above $36 with improved
trading volume.

Stock Trends Report - Tim Hortons (TSX:THI)

Canadian equities attractive

Although markets in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, and
Brazil are performance leaders in the past quarter,
Canadian stocks have earned a handsome commodity
premium for investors. In U.S. dollar terms Canadian
equities advanced 7.6% in the last quarter. The
faltering U.S. dollar will continue to attract
international capital to Canadian equities.

A Ranking of Global Equity markets by Stock Trends
13-week Relative Strength Indicator:

Friday, October 05, 2007

TSX Group finds traction

A sign of the times for the commodity strength of the
Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Group (TSX:X) has hit our
trend alerts. The stock outperformed the S&P/TSX
Composite Index by 14% in the third quarter and is now
trading above $48, a resistance level that dates from
the May sell-off. Bullish sentiment for materials and
energy stocks will help drive X higher.

Stock Trends Report - TSX Group (TSX:X)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

ZCL Composites advances

After a couple of weeks of relatively light trading,
ZCL Composites (TSX:ZCL) jumped 10% to close at
$12.69. ZCL, a Stock Trends Weak Bearish stock, was
notable in last week's Stock Trends Top TSX Low Volume
Gains report. Today's trading volume was brisk, more
than the entire five trading days of last week. ZCL
has moved above resistance at $12 and is in a good
position to continue the breakout toward the $14 level.

Stock Trends Report - ZCL Composites (TSX:ZCL)

Johnson & Johnson healthy again?

Consumer staple and healthcare stocks will become
increasingly popular should the stock market stumble.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is a Stock Trends Weak
Bearish stock, an indication that the stock has an
improving bill of health. JNJ is now battling with
resistance at $66. Should it clear this level
investors may be rewarded with a nice move back to the
highs of a year ago ($69.41).

Stock Trends Report - Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Dow Jones Industrial Index scales 14,000, but broad sentiment still bearish

The bulls are pumped about the Dow Jones Industrial
Index bursting through 14,000 yesterday. However,
although the absolute level of the index may be at new
all-time highs, the shallow depth of the broad market
sentiment gives investors plenty of reason to remain
sceptical of the future of this rally. Currently, the
Stock Trends Bull/Bear Ratio for the New York Stock
Exchange is 0.6, signalling that a vast majority of
stocks are trending in Stock Trends Bearish territory.
Over 50% of trending NYSE stocks are strong Bearish.
The aggregate distribution of the Stock Trends
indicators warns us of the fragile footing the current
rally rests on.

NYSE Stock Trends indicator Distribution:

Friday, May 04, 2007

Shine on you crazy Platinum

Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX:PTM) has busted through $4, and is now trading at $4.24. The bullish trend has been in place for several months and could provide an even better return for this Stock Trends Portfolio holding. PTM was a portfolio buy November 23 at $2.20. 

Thursday, April 26, 2007

How Stella got her groove back...and kept it

When it comes to Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX:SJ), investors should be impressed with its Bullish stamina. SJ ranks at the top of the Toronto Stock Exchange in terms of Stock Trends Bullish longevity - logging in an incredible 255 weeks to date. In case you have never heard of SJ, today's Report on Business in The Globe and Mail can help:
Ever wonder where all those utility pools and railway ties that line our highways and byways come from? Stella-Jones Inc. of Montreal.
The only public company of its kind in North America was rated "buy," with a price target of $42.50 in initial coverage by Desjardins Securities. The stock is unchanged at $36.03 on the TSX Thursday, after coming from $17.50 last summer.
SJ was founded in 1993 out of Domtar Inc.'s wood preserving assets. Since 2003, it has spent about $110-million on acquisitions that have generated new sales of $160-million, winning a 15 per cent market share in North America. Running at a rate of one acquisition per year, SJ is the industry's leading consolidator, says analyst Pierre Lacroix.
He likes the story both for its internal and growth-by-acquisition potential. Two years ago, SJ expanded into the United States, which is expected to be the main growth platform, including acquisitions, in coming years, he predicts.
Given its growth potential, he is "confident that SJ will be able to maintain high valuation multiples in the next 12 months."
 It seems this bullish trend may reach epic proportions.
Stock Trends Report on SJ:

Friday, February 09, 2007

Toromont Industries advances

Recent strength in industrial stocks has translated into an improved outlook for Toromont Industries Ltd. (TSX:TIH). TIH advanced 10% over the last week, and is now one of the Stock Trends New Weakening Bearish stocks. The stock's move about resistance at $25 signals that the stock may move to its August highs above $26.

Stock Trends Report - TSX:TIH

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Stock Trends TSX Portfolio trading results

The Stocks Trends TSX Portfolio trading strategy has been active for over 13-years. It has generated 43.5% annualized return on average investment (See ). However, this result is not the full story. It is always beneficial for investors to look at the trading statistics of their portfolio record. This analysis reveals the true character of the trading strategy.

The ST Portfolio equity line (see below) shows the path to its current level. In the 690 weeks since inception there have been 393 positions taken to date. The number of winning trades (159) gives this mechanical trading strategy a 40% success rate on individual trades. This may seem low to inexperienced investors, but many successful traders have winning percentages below 50%. Indeed, professional traders expect losses – they are a part of the business of trading. Generally, traders manage to succeed against these odds because they limit position losses and let profits run.

Stock Trends TSX Portfolio Trading Statistics

  • Total Gain $240,912 (577%)
  • # of weeks 690
  • Total # of trades 393
  • Winning Trades 159
  • Losing Trades 234
  • Winning % 40%
  • Average # of weeks each position held 7.3
  • Average # of positions held each week 4.2
  • Average Gain $3,028 (30%)
  • Average Loss $1,028 (-10%)
  • Average Investment $41,737
  • Average trade $10,000
  • Maximum Drawdown (%) -34.2
  • Largest Gain $40,880 (409%)
  • Largest Loss $3,542 (-35%)
  • Maximum losing trades in Succession 12
  • Standard Deviation 7.7%
  • Ulcer Index 9.8
  • Profit factor 2.00
  • Pessimistic Return Ratio 1.97

The Stock Trends Portfolio gives an example of this relationship. The average return on winning trades is 30%, while the average loss is 10%. Although there is some variability in returns – the standard deviation is 7.7% - the sporadic achievement of some hyper-return trades generates the desired positive result. The skewed distribution of returns shows a clustering two standard deviations around breakeven. The vast majority of trades cancel each other out, leaving the portfolio returns determined by the balance of high return trades versus the limited losses of the losing trades. Traders will recognize this pattern: managing losses of frequent infield hits in between scoring periodic “home runs”. Some of highly profitable trades are documented in the Stock Trends TSX Portfolio trading history found at ( ).

An important consideration for traders is drawdown, or the drain on equity that invariably comes when trading goes sour. Indeed, even with an exceptional winning percentage of 75% there is a 10% probability that a trader will experience a loss run of 5 (See Van K. Tharp’s article on randomness and streaks at ).

That means that even the most prescient stockpicker will face drawdowns. The Stock Trends TSX Portfolio trading record shows the longest loss run (Jan 1997 to May 1997) was 12 trades but only resulted in a 4% drawdown. However, a run of 10 losses lead toward the biggest drawdown (-34%) in mid-1999. As the graph of the ST equity line shows, the portfolio was in a prolonged drawdown phase from mid-1997 until early 2000.

These areas of drawdown are measured by the Ulcer Index. The Ulcer Index was originally devised by Peter Martin in 1987 and described in The Investors Guide to Fidelity Funds: Winning Strategies for Mutual Fund Investors (See ). The UI differs from Standard Deviation in that it measures risk only on the downside and exposes the risk of sequences of losses. As described by Martin: “Ulcer Index measures the depth and duration of percentage drawdowns in price from earlier highs.”

As a comparison of drawdown, the S&P/TSX Composite Index is shown with its Ulcer Index graphed along with the Stock Trends TSX Portfolio Ulcer Index. The ST Portfolio managed to provide risk protection against the considerable 5-year drawdown after the September 2000 market collapse. This shows us that the buy-and-hold approach exposes investors to higher levels of risk compared to market timing trading systems. Stock Trends promotes the use of trend analysis in the timing of trades not only to generate superior returns, but to also limit downside risk.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Platinum Group shines

The shares of Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX:PTM) advanced 18% today, closing at $2.84. This is a welcome move for holders of PTM as the breakout of early Q4 2006 seemed more promising than it delivered since. Until this week the $2.50 mark was setting up as a stubborn resistance level - the prospect of a trading range ever more looming. This week's trading has opened up new ground, and given new legs for this trade. PTM was a Bullish Crossover and a Stock Trends TSX Portfolio BUY on November 23 at $2.37. Trading was active among small retail investors this week, with almost 1,000 transactions. However, trading volume was relatively thin (about half the previous week's volume) considering the big price move. Look for bigger stakes to add to the PTM move.

Stock Trends Report on PTM:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

RIM-ed out

It was a nice ride, but Research in Motion Ltd. (TSX:RIM,NASDAQ:RIMM) has hit the Stock Trends Portfolio sell trigger, closing below its stop loss ($150.41 stop). Volatility this week has taken the fun out of this holding. Closing today at $142.67, investors are concerned about the shifting landscape for the company as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) bids for a consumer telecommunications presence. Word of falling Blackberry prices tip squeezed margins going forward. Whatever the case, stock price volatility and diminishing price momentum has served up the exit door for RIM. The stock holding had its beginnings on September 21 at $97.50, so the return has been satisfactory.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Agriculture chemical stocks fertile

Amid the drop in crude oil prices and the inevitable strain on energy stocks, the market has found good reason to be bullish on the global agriculture economy. Agriculture chemical stocks, in particular, have been especially bullish through the end of 2006...and have piled on even more gains in the new year. Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU, NYSE:AGU) scaled $40 today reaching another new high. Monsato Co. (NYSE:MON) added another 5% to eclipse its 52-week high. Also hitting new highs were Terra Industries (NYSE:TRA), Bunge Ltd. (NYSE:BG), Dupont (NYSE:DD), and Hanfeng Evergreen Inc. (TSX:HF).

HF was a Stock Trends Pick of the Week and TSX Portfolio buy a year ago at $3.09, although the trade was stopped out on volatility in the spring ($3.70). HF has remained a ST Bullish stock and today's move to a new high of $5.15 promises further advances.

Stock Trends Report - TSX:HF:

Monday, January 15, 2007

Resverlogix surges again

Stock Trends followers will remember Resverlogix Corp. (TSX:RVX) as a Pick of the Week stock on November 23. It rallied that week on high volume, closing at $8.19. The biotech breakout was first revealed last autumn as a number of pharmaceutical stocks hit the Stock Trends alerts. RVX surged almost 15% today to close at $17.88.

Stock Trends Report: