December Head-Fakes Galore - Raises Risks

George Brooks |

My message here for the next month and couple days is don’t try too hard to win the Heisman Trophy!

   As an investor this just may not be the time to ramp up research, compile lists that will make you all the money you didn’t make  in 2013.

   Year-ends tend to take on an aura that this is the new beginning.  This will be a year to remember.

   As a publisher, that year-end report, “10 Biggest Winners in 2014” ground out in the waning days of December when so much else is being ground out doesn’t have legs beyond February when a totally different scenario will likely take  center stage.

   November/December is  loaded with cross currents. There are more head-fakes in the stock market in December than in a whole season of punt returns in all of scholastic football.

   YET, PRESSURE MOUNTS – for investors to arm up, and institutions to strut their stuff.  A better time for this would be September.


   Look for well-researched recommendations that haven’t hit liftoff yet, stocks  that didn’t jump when recommended, and consequently were forgotten, I prefer non-broker research.

   Look for 2013’s strong stocks  that got clipped recently by profit-taking.

   Look for a few good names that have been crushed during the year and especially during tax season.  Most likely they are oversold.

   Look for new faces, stocks  entering the scene in recent months, and gaining visibility.

List these on a portfolio page that among other things gives “volume: along side of “Average Volume.” Track its technical activity and monitor its fundamentals….and hope  a broker doesn’t  change a rating or CEO his/her guidance.

   Have a great Thanksgiving. Try to extend the same to someone else

Investor’s first reada daily edge before the open

DJIA: 16,072

S&P 500: 1,802

Nasdaq  Comp.4,017,

Russell 2000: 1,134

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2013


   The following are based on technical analysis only and  are not to be taken as buy or sell recommendations, but as one of many factors that must be considered in the decision process. Comments do not take into consideration earnings reports, or changes in institutional ratings, company guidance. Technical analysis is based on one’s interpretation of  the impact buying and selling have on the price of a stock and is therefore not an exact science. News and events can change an interpretation instantly. 

Apple (AAPL: $533.40) Positive.

Three week consolidation was resolved on the upside with yesterday’s high volume $9 breakout at the open of trading yesterday. Support should hold at $530.

Facebook (FB: $45.89) Positive

Yesterday’s post stated: “FB has had a steady seller since mid-October, and the selling accelerated yesterday, as profit takers hustled to lock in gains before they vanished. Facebook has traced out a mini “heads & shoulders” top (distribution pattern) indicating a potential drop to the mid-to-high 30s.  The most valid H&S tops form over a longer period. I think FB can find support around $42.25”

TODAY; mTy suspicions of a phony H&S top were confirmed with FB’s rebound yesterday. Stock must cross $49 to ice the deal.

IBM (IBM: $177.31)  Neutral

Its breakdown from $186 to $181 cut IBM’s move upward short due  a to Hedge fund short seller’s negative comments about IBM’ s future. Stock slipped below  $179.35 support, so more probing for support is needed. It could be $174. Upside is currently limited  $179

Pulte Homes (PHM: $18.95)  Positive

Fed Vice-Chair Yellen’s  assurance before the  Senate Banking Committee that she would pursue an accommodative Fed policy going forward  as Fed Chair gives the bulls a leg up. That couldn’t be more obvious in  PHM’s breakout yesterday to $19. Support is $18.65. Needs good housing news to move higher.

First Solar (FSLR:$59.37)  Positive 

Strong fundamentals and panicky short sellers have  prompted one breakout after another. Year-end portfolio strategies most likely  at work here, which could slow FSLR down. Currently it is in an orderly consolidation. Very volatile. Could go 4 points either way within hours. Break above $60 would be bullish.

Nike (NKE:$79.60) Positive

Another new high possible  Nike  headed for 80s. – A plodder.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: $25.09)  Positive

No change: Potential product recall of  Chromebook II hammered HPQ last week, taking it down sharply. Company will have to define the impact of a recall primarily centered on an overheating charger. Locked in narrow resistance/support channel between$24.85 and $25.60.  Breakouts either way, could result in  a 2-point move.

Polaris Inds. (PII:134.12)  Positive

Positive consolidation pattern . Acts like it wants to break out above $135 and run.  Needs to hold $133.60

Amazon (AMZN: $381.37) Positive

Just like the pink rabbit beating on a drum – up, up, up

Raymond James’ Aaron Kessler  recently raised his rating to Strong Buy from Market Perform. Kessler looks prescient as AMZN may be headed for $400.

Pandora Media (P:$28.79) Positive.

This stock has lovers and haters and its volatility reflects it. Reversed its slide before it got to my target.    Break above $29 opens the door for $30


Prior to Vice Chair Janet Yellen’s Senate Banking Committee confirmation hearing  last week, there was a concern for an early taper.  Her testimony seemed to assure the Street  that the Fed will continue to accommodate the economic recovery if she becomes chairman.  For detailed analysis of both the U.S. and Foreign economies along with charts, go Also included is an explanation of each indicator. If you want to know when the next Employment report or any other key report will be released that info is also there under “event release date.”

The economy is again a major impact factor of the stock and bond market since it stands to dictate Fed policy change.


Pending Home Sales Ix. (10:00) Declined 0.6 pct to 102.1, a 10-month low.

Dallas Fed Mfg Svy (10:30) Rose to 16.9 in Dec. from 13.3 in Nov.


ICSC Goldman Store Sales (7:45) Sales for major retail stores saw a 2.6 pct increase for  the Nov 23 week

Housing Starts (8:30)  Only permits available Oct. +6.2 pct vs. 5.2pct Sept.

FHFA House Price Ix, (9:00) House prices rose 0.3pct in September vs a gain of 0.4pct in August

S&P Case-Shiller   September, HPI (9:00) house prices here were 1.0 pct vs. +0,9 pct   Y/Y gain is 13.3pct

Consumer Confidence (10:00) Index dropped to 70.2 in Nov.  from 72.4 Oct. which dropped from 80.2  in Sept.

Richmond Fed. Mfg Ix, (10:00) Nice jump to 13 in Nov. from 1 in Oct.


Durable Goods (8:30

Jobless Claims (8:30)

Chicago Fed Nat’l Activity Ix. (8:30)

Chicago PMI (9:45)

Consumer Sentiment(9:55)

Leading Indicators (10:00)


Thanks giving day off.


Fed Balance Sheet 4:30


Nov 6  DJIA   15,618   “Bulls Hold the Edge, But What About Interest Rates ?

Nov 7   DJIA   15,747  “Early Profit Taking or Warning of a Correction ?”

Nov 8   DJIA   15,593  “Time for the Street to Get Off the Fed Teat”

Nov 12 DJIA   15, 761 “The Economy, Interest Rates, The Fed, Stock Market”

Nov 12 DJIA  15,783   “Get Ready for Year-End Cross Currents”

Nov 13 DJIA  15,750   “Money Manager Dilemma – Your Problem, as Well

Nov 14 DJIA  15,821   “Feeding Frenzy in 2014’s Winners ? Big Day for “TECH  

                                       WATCH” Stocks”

Nov 15 DJIA 15,876   “Yellen – No Taper – Surprise January Correction ?

Nov 18 DJIA  15,961  “Green Light to Load Up on Stocks ?


Nov 25 DJIA  16,064  Fetch the Blinders – Here come the forecasts

Nov 26 DJIA  16,072   Time to Shop fro New Winners and Old Winners Getting  

                                     Whacked by  Profit-Taking”

  George  Brooks

“Investor’s first read – an edge before the open”

*STOCK TRADERS ALMANAC: The new annual Stock Trader’s Almanac  is off the press.  This is a “must,” always has been, if you are a serious  investor, or intend to be a serious investor. Visit for details


The writer of  Investor’s first read, George Brooks,  is not registered as an investment advisor.  Ideas expressed herein are the opinions of the writer, are for informational purposes, and are not to serve as the sole basis for any investment decision. Readers are expected to assume full responsibility for conducting their own research pursuant to investment decisions in keeping with their tolerance for risk. Brooks may buy or sell stocks referred to herein.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to:


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