Don't Buy the Syria Solution Rally

George Brooks |

News of a response to Syria’s use of gas can come  at any time, most likely tonight or over the weekend and last for several days.  

   It would be risky to buy a “gap” open on the upside if the initial response in the market is a huge rally. Gap opens often give an investor the high for the day, or a poorly positioned buy.

   Next week we get the Employment Situation report, which may have a bearing on  the decision to taper, or not, by the FOMC  during its two-day meeting ending on September 18 followed by a Bernanke press conference at 2:30.

   Playing on investor sentiment at the same time will be bitter debate over raising the nation’s borrowing limit (debt ceiling) expected to deadline in mid-October.


   I have my doubts about taper beginning in September if the economy doesn’t gain traction in the interim.  

   I have my doubts about a U.S. government  shut down over  a refusal of Congress to raise the debt limit.

   Most of the stocks listed below have taken big hits, that’s one of the reasons I added them to this list.  Most have a little bit further to go on the downside, IF the BIG money stays on the sidelines.

   This is a good time to prepare a list of buy candidates, since opportunity to strike may be brief.

TODAY:  Minor resistance starts at DJIA  14,858  (S&P 500: 1,637). Breaking that, the DJIA can move up to14,906  (S&P 500: 1.643).

   A break below DJIA 14,760 (S&P 500: 1,627) calls for a test of the June 24 lows –DJIA: 14,551  (S&P 500: 1577).

Investor’s first readan edge before the open

DJIA:  14,824.51

S&P 500: 1,634.91

Nasdaq  Comp.: 3,593.35

Russell 2000:  1,016.50

Thursday, August 29, 2013     (9:12a.m.)


The following are observations based solely on technical analysis and don’t give consideration to fundamentals or changes in brokerage ratings which can  have an immediate impact on stocks, justified or not.  The idea here is to give readers insight into the likely trends and turns in the stock’s price, short-and long-term.

   I picked up on AAPL and FB last year when they were in a tailspin, and  picked up on IBM, Pulte, First Solar, Target, and Hewlett-Packard recently for the same reason. These are not  buy or sell recommendations, and are not stocks I have recommended.

NOTE: Expect  support and resistance levels to change more frequently under adverse  and uncertain conditions  like those we are experiencing presently..

   WARNING: This market  is highly “news sensitive,” with everything at the present negative. Any break for the better in the mid-East, taper, or in the threat of a government shutdown in October will trigger a rally, especially in stocks below, since they have been hammered already.

  Apple(AAPL: $490.89 ) 

Note: Targeted at $385 the Turn around  Apr. and Jun. 2013 (double bottom). This is a follow up.

Pattern: Positive, consolidating recent up move.

Resistance: $493

Support:  $487 – 489  - AAPL still in consolidation and probing for a level that discounts new negatives in overall market. Icahn must like this.   Can’t get in his head, but I’d guess he’ll nibble a shade below $490, which I am upgrading here.

  Facebook (FB - $40.54 )

Note: Targeted below $18 for a turnaround Sept. 2012, this is a follow up.

Pattern: Positive –

Support:  Yesterday’s rally indicated buyers at $39.50. I can see a slip below $40 to $39.50.

  IBM ($ 182.16 )  No change from Friday

Note: Started coverage  Aug. 7, 2013 after big plunge in stock

Pattern: Negative

Resistance:  $182.40                                       

Support:  Got down to my target on of $181. Look for break below $180, but  after attempt to hold at $180.75.    Be aware that IBM has ranged four times up and down between $185 and $215 over the last two years.  Unless the fundamentals are horrendous  it is due for institutional buying, most likely in this area and possibly at or a smidge below $180.

Right now, there are sellers that must be taken out.

Each point up or down impacts the DJIA by about 13 points.

  PulteGroup (PHM- $15.38 )  Alert -

Note: Started coverage Aug. 12, 2013

Pattern: Neutral, but weakening

Resistance: $16

Support:  $14 –   The price of lumber is dropping, not a good sign. Mortgage rates at two-year high. Should pause briefly at $15.24, but odds favor $14 before the weekend.

First Solar (FSLR:$36.92)

Note: Started coverage: Aug.: 22, 2013

Pattern: Negative, ran into sellers at $40, again at $39.  Big gap between $46 and $42 will be hard to work through.  Yesterday’s action hurt  chances for near-term rally.

Resistance:$37.40, possibly $38.

Support: Got some buying  at $36.75 yesterday but still vulnerable to drop to $32.75

Target (TGT:63.27)

Note: Started coverage Aug: 22, 2013:

Pattern: Negative

Resistance: $63.40

Support: $61.20

Market  action last 4 days was ugly ! Stock needs big buyer or it is headed for $61 - $62.  TGT’s drop from $73.50 is unnerving and may suggest the consumer is temporarily tapped out.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ:22.61 )

Note: Started coverage Aug. 23, 2013

Pattern: Negative, probing for comfort level

Resistance: $22.85. 

Support: $22 was tested yesterday and HPQ looks like it can hold in this $22 - $23 area.  $19.85 is possible in a bad market.

eBay (eBay:50.43)   Needs good news, or breakdown likely

Note: Started coverage Aug. 28, 2013

Pattern: Neutral/bearish

Resistance: $50.88

Support: $49.90  Stock should get a buyer in here as it has on five occasions when it ranged between $50 and $58 this year. If that happens, the intensity of that rally must be studied.  Failure to develop heavy volume suggests a break below $50 and drop into the mid-40s.  If there are bulls out there, they should find this price attractive and make their move. If  $50 isn’t attractive, the stock has a big problem.  (AMZN: 281.58)

Note: Started coverage Aug. 28

Pattern:  Bullish, but correction must find support soon

Resistance: $283

Support:  $268 - $272  is the “risk” here.  Even though yesterday’s action was unimpressive, there is some buying interest at 281.

 I do not own, nor am I short  AAPL, FB, IBM, PHM, FSLR ,TGT, HPQ, EBAY, AMZN.


Heavy schedule this week, also speeches by Federal Reserve  officials


   For a detailed account of past and current economic reports, including charts go to: -


Durable Goods (8:30)  Down 7.8 pct vs. projection for a 4.0 pct decline, Ex transportation was a drop of 0.6 pct.

Dallas Fed Mfg (10:30)   August index dropped to 7.3 from 11.4.  New orders were 5.4 vs 10.8.


ICSC Goldman Store Sales (7:45)   Index rose 0.2 pct for week ended 8/24

S&P Case-Shiller Home Prices (9:00)  June  +12.07 pct. y/y vs. +12.20 pct May

Consumer Confidence (10:00)  August index better than expected at 81.5 vs. 81.0 July

Richmond Fed Mfg. Ix. (10:00)  Up big in August with index plus 14  from a   minus 14  July.  New orders index  plus 16 vs. minus 15


Pending Home Sales (10:00)  July down 1.3 pct. vs. drop of 0.4 pct June


Q2 GDP (8:30)  +2.5 pct. at annual rate. Comparisons affected by annual revision

Jobless Claims (8:30)  down 6,000 to 331,000 for week ended 8/24 vs. 336,000 for prior week.

Corporate Profits (8:30)   No proj.

Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Ix. (9:45)  No proj.

Fed’s Jeffrey Lacker speaks (2:00)

Fed Balance Sheet (4:30) Proj.:

Fed’s James Bullard speaks (7:45 p.m.


Personal Income/Outlays (8:30) Proj.:  Jul. PI +0.2 pct., Expenditures +0.3 pct

Fed’s James Bullard speaks 9:00) 

Chicago PMI (9:45) Proj.:  Aug. index 53.0  vs. 52.3 Jul.

Consumer Sentiment (9:55) Proj.:  Aug. index   80.0


Aug 15 DJIA 15,337   “October Buying Opportunity at Much Lower Levels”

Aug 16  DJIA 15,112  “Fed Pressed for Clarification – Rallies Suspect”

Aug 19  DJIA 15,081  “Will Fed Intervene to Stop the Carnage ?”

Aug 20  DJIA 15,010  “Rally Ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC Minutes”

Aug 21  DJIA 15,002  “No September Taper = Bad For Stock Market”

Aug 22  DJIA 14,897  “Street’s Angst Not About First Taper, but……”

Aug 23  DJIA 14,963  “Big Day: Rebound or Rally Failure ?”

Aug 26, DJIA  15,010  “Fed Policy Change – Big Impact on Stock Market ?”

Aug 27  DJIA  14,946  “No Quick Solution for Market’s Negatives – DJIA 14,250 ?

Aug 28  DJIA  14,776  “What Now for AAPL, FB, AMZN, FB, IBM, HPQ, etc. ?”

  George  Brooks

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


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:


Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
FSCGF 4Sc Ag 3.12 0.00 0.00 0


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