Posts Tagged ‘Round Numbers’

# Irrational Numbers: Price Clustering & Stop Losses

### Irrational Numbers: Price Clustering & Stop Losses

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog

Universal Number Theory

One of the odder things about the universe is that the small set of numbers that define its structure, the so-called universal constants, don’t seem to have any structure of their own. You’d have thought that whatever immortal deity breathed life into the whole shebang would have at least have bothered to make sure that reality was defined in simple integer values your average gameshow contestant could remember. Yet someone’s just calculated Pi to more decimal places than you can read in a lifetime. The universe is strangely irrational, it would seem.

More likely, however, is that the irrationality lies in our heads. If you look at the way we treat numbers for investment purposes it’s probably a good job the infinite cosmos is specified in irrational numbers, because if it were otherwise we’d probably have sold it to the lowest bidder eons ago. Humans, it seems, treat numbers as an approximation to reality, unlike reality, which treats humans as an approximation to nothing.

That Friday 13th Feeling

Under standard economic theories one price should be much the same as another but all experienced practitioners know that this isn’t so – some numbers are much more likely to occur than others. Anyone with even a basic appreciation of behavioural psychology would expect no more or no less – people are as arbitrarily inconsistent about numbers as they are about everything else. In western culture, for instance, thirteen has acquired negative connotations to the point where many tower blocks omit the number from their floor numbering plans, presumably on the grounds that the universe can’t count. Beware, for fourteen is the new thirteen. Ha!

Despite the obvious irrationality of ascribing luck to a number many people are petrified of Fridays falling on the thirteenth of the month. Such is the human propensity to translate mental muddle into actual behavioural nonsense that it turns out that more accidents do occur on these days. So either there’s a malevolent demon tripping us up or our incipient fears are causing us to fall over our own feet. Mental confusion in our heads often turns into real problems in the real-world.

Round Number Attractions

It’s no surprise to find this numerological naughtiness feeding across into investment,…

Every profession has its own idiosyncratic superstitions.  In honor of tomorrow being Friday the 13th, I thought this would be a good time to discuss this topic.

Actors performing MacBeth will refer to it only as “The Scottish Play” for fear of being crushed by a stagelight.  Sailors never set foot on a boat with their left foot first.  The baseball player is perhaps the most tormented by ritual, from tapping the bat on home plate to never stepping on a foul line to the prolonged use of a lucky bat or glove way past what its condition warrants.

Traders and investors have their own set of superstitions, and these can seem every bit as silly as those we see in other walks of life.  That said, trading superstitions are very tough to let go of, even for the most logical and circumspect of market players.

Let’s look at a few of them:

Never Sell a Stock Crossing 90 – There is a widely held belief that you never sell a stock you own as it crosses \$90 per share because they almost always go straight to \$100.  This concept is demonstrably specious, but I know 20-year veterans who will never be convinced otherwise.

The Maiden Sacrifice to the Volcano - In times of market turmoil or in the midst of a heavy sell-off, many portfolio managers and investors believe that they have to blow out one position to appease the market gods, tossing a maiden into the volcano so that the island will be spared the wrath.  This thinking is as primitive as you get, but sometimes it feels good to toss out some AK Steel on a down 200 point day only to see the market rally.  If this happens once or twice, logic aside, you will swear by it.

Options Expirations/ Triple Witchings - “Never buy or sell on the third Friday of the month which is when monthly stock options expire.  And no matter what you do, stay away from everything on the four Triple Witching days of the year, when stock option, stock index options and stock indexes futures all expire together.”  Obviously absurd, but deeply ingrained in many investors.

Don’t Go Back Into a Stock the Third Time – This is a variation on the old “sticking your hand

### Chart School

#### Weekly Market Recap Nov 19, 2017

Courtesy of Blain.

Monday, Tuesday, and Friday saw the now usual “no volatility” days – while bears finally saw some action on Wednesday, bulls came right back Thursday with even bigger gains.  So while we have been cautious on the market for 3 weeks now all that has meant is consolidation in the market (granted the Russell 2000 has taken some hits).  For the week the S&P 500 fell 0.3% while the NASDAQ gained 0.5%. Economic news was light (we cover retail sales below), and earnings are coming to their tail end so we are in a bit of a news vacuum as negotiations about the tax reform bills will take the reigns.

Retail sales slowed in October, rising...

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### Zero Hedge

#### "Worst Case Scenario" Looms As Merkel's "Jamaica Coalition" Collapses; EUR Sinks

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

We warned on Friday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a 'night of the long knives' in her efforts to bring together the co-called 'Jamaica' coalition of four parties and after a desperate weekend of talks, Bloomberg reports Merkel's efforts at forming a coalition have failed meaning a second election looms and sending the euro sliding...

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### Phil's Favorites

#### A Fiscal Disappointment - Of Tax Reform & Growth Fairies

I encourage you to take a few minutes to review my previous analysis of the effectiveness of tax cuts on the economy.

The Committee For A Responsible Budget penned after the passage of the tax bill:

“The House approved debt-financed tax cuts based on predictions of magical...

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### Digital Currencies

#### Bitcoin Soars To Record High Above \$8000 After Mugabe Speech

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

With Bitcoin trading at \$13,499 on Golix, the chaotic environment in Zimbabwe has spread to the global price of the cryptocurrency driving it beyond \$8000 for the first time in history as President Mugabe fails to resign in a national address following the nation's coup.

It appears many Zimbabweans have found an alternate way to store/transfer wealth away from Mugabe's prying (and co...

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### Biotech

#### The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Reminder: Pharmboy and Ilene are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

The two obstacles that are holding back Alzheimer's research

Courtesy of Todd GoldeUniversity of Florida

Family members often become primary caregivers for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. tonkid/Shutterstock.com

Thirty years ago, scientists began to unlock the mysteries regarding the cause of Alzheimer’...

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### Insider Scoop

#### 10 Stocks To Watch For November 17, 2017

Courtesy of Benzinga.

Related AMAT 8 Stock's Moving In Thursday's After-Hours Session 12 Stocks To Watch For November 16, 2017 ...

http://www.insidercow.com/ more from Insider

### ValueWalk

#### Robert Mugabe Under House Arrest, Military Takes Control Of Zimbabwe

By Andjela Radmilac. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Zimbabwe’s head of state, 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, has been placed under house arrest after what seems to be a military coup took place in the nation’s capital.

By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jesse B. Awalt/Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsRobert Mugabe is safe

Following numerous reports on social media late Thursday night about the increased military presence in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, the country’s military took...

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### Members' Corner

#### An Interview with David Brin

Our guest David Brin is an astrophysicist, technology consultant, and best-selling author who speaks, writes, and advises on a range of topics including national defense, creativity, and space exploration. He is also a well-known and influential futurist (one of four “World's Best Futurists,” according to The Urban Developer), and it is his ideas on the future, specifically the future of civilization, that I hope to learn about here.

Ilene: David, you base many of your predictions of the future on a theory of historica...

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### Mapping The Market

#### Puts things in perspective

Courtesy of Jean-Luc

The circles don't look to be to scale much!

...

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#### Swing trading portfolio - week of September 11th, 2017

Reminder: OpTrader is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

This post is for all our live virtual trade ideas and daily comments. Please click on "comments" below to follow our live discussion. All of our current  trades are listed in the spreadsheet below, with entry price (1/2 in and All in), and exit prices (1/3 out, 2/3 out, and All out).

We also indicate our stop, which is most of the time the "5 day moving average". All trades, unless indicated, are front-month ATM options.

### Promotions

#### NewsWare: Watch Today's Webinar!

We have a great guest at today's webinar!

Bill Olsen from NewsWare will be giving us a fun and lively demonstration of the advantages that real-time news provides. NewsWare is a market intelligence tool for news. In today's data driven markets, it is truly beneficial to have a tool that delivers access to the professional sources where you can obtain the facts in real time.

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### Kimble Charting Solutions

#### Brazil; Waterfall in prices starting? Impact U.S.?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble.

Below looks at the Brazil ETF (EWZ) over the last decade. The rally over the past year has it facing a critical level, from a Power of the Pattern perspective.

CLICK ON CHART TO ENLARGE

EWZ is facing dual resistance at (1), while in a 9-year down trend of lower highs and lower lows. The counter trend rally over the past 17-months has it testing key falling resistance. Did the counter trend reflation rally just end at dual resistance???

If EWZ b...

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#### Mid-Day Update

Reminder: Harlan is available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

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Philip R. Davis is a founder Phil's Stock World, a stock and options trading site that teaches the art of options trading to newcomers and devises advanced strategies for expert traders...