Posts Tagged ‘price’

Price Before Volume – Don’t Get It Twisted

Joshua argues that we don’t need volume to confirm a stock market breakout. – Ilene 

Price Before Volume – Don’t Get It Twisted

Courtesy of Joshua M Brown, The Reformed Broker 

Here’s a composite quote that could come from the market strategist of virtually any major firm, I’m certain you’ve read something like this over the last few days:

"The stock market is nearing overhead resistance, a punch through would be a positive catalyst only if volume picks up before or during the breakout."

- Any Chief Market Strategist, Any Firm USA


Price rules in this environment.  Volume is completely and totally irrelevant until about 5 to 7% afterthe breakout.

The breakout could come with only 60% of normal volume and be just as meaningful.  In counter-distinction to the conventional wisdom, I would argue that a low volume breakout would actually bepreferable right now.  Here’s how I arrive at this idea…

Nobody is in.  Nobody.  We’ve documented the equity fund outflows ad nauseum, they are bigger than Precious after Thanksgiving dinner.  Fine.  The question becomes, what can we agree is the more motivating condition for investor psychology right at this moment, Fear or Greed?

The answer is undoubtedly Fear.  How else to explain the endless Treasury rally and the full scale retreat from equities?  Fear is the conductor of this train right now, period, end of story.  With that in mind, I ask you to think about the one thing that American investors fear more than anything else – the fear of missing out on the big opportunity.

Nothing freaks out the average investor more than watching the train leaving the station without them.  I could put up 75 charts showing parabolic blow-off tops in various markets or I could just remind you that I’ve worked with over 1000 individual investors over the years and I know this stuff.

Fear of missing out is exactly why a stealth rally in stocks with low participation would be more meaningful and bullish than almost any other scenario.  What could possibly draw hundreds of billions out of money markets faster than a 5% S&P rally that no one was a part of?

So please, stop regurgitating the "we need real volume" pablum, it is functionally backwards.  What we need are higher prices, the lower the participation the better.  That’s the kind of milkshake…
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Economic Value in Aitch-Two-Oh

Economic Value in Aitch-Two-Oh

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog 

trout103001 -- Rainbow trout spawn in Hoyes Run in Garrett County Maryland.

Odd Water

"The world’s supply of fresh water is running out. Already one person in five has no access to safe drinking water. "

Well, so says the BBC. But water’s an odd thing. You can’t live without it but it’s not particularly valuable. In fact the stuff in your faucet is free, it’s just the cost of getting it there that we pay for.

Water is, perhaps, the pre-eminent example of the old truism that price is what you pay but value is what you get. Only thing is, how do you value something that has no market price? Fortunately teams of highly trained thinkers have been working on this, just so we know the price of everything even if we’re not willing to pay it.

Paradoxical Water

While we absolutely require water every day to survive we can live a lifetime without diamonds, although don’t tell my mother. Yet water’s effectively free while if you want a diamond you need to pay an arm and a leg. This is a paradox that Adam Smith noted:

“Nothing is more useful than water; but it will purchase scarce anything; scarce anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarce any value in use; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it”.

As ever, there’s a difference between price and value and that makes all the world of difference. Especially if you’re thirsty. Michael Haneman gives a fabulous review of the economic principles surrounding the use of water in The Value of Water, which we’ll only summarise here, but it’s a great starting point for anyone wondering why intangibles are invaluable.

Man Cooling Off

Marginal Value 

Basically the difference between value and price is a pretty important one for investors and economists because it makes clear that the economic value of something isn’t the same as its market price. There are things that have economic value that price doesn’t accurately measure and this fact makes investment analysis rather more tricky than simple share price followers would like.

The critical key to understanding the difference in valuation between water and diamonds is the idea of marginal value. If you have twelve litres of water to hand – which…
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Is the Stock Market Cheap?

Is the Stock Market Cheap? 

Courtesy of Doug Short

Here’s the latest update of my preferred market valuation method using the most recent Standard & Poor’s "as reported" earnings and earnings estimates and the index monthly averages of daily closes for July 2010, which is 1179.80. The ratios in parentheses use the July monthly close of 1101.60. For the latest earnings, see the accompanying table from Standard & Poor’s.

  • TTM P/E ratio = 18.3 (17.1)
  • P/E10 ratio = 21.7 (20.3)

A standard way to investigate market valuation is to study the historic Price-to-Earnings (P/E) ratio using reported earnings for the trailing twelve months (TTM). Proponents of this approach ignore forward estimates because they are often based on wishful thinking, erroneous assumptions, and analyst bias.

TTM P/E Ratio 
The "price" part of the P/E calculation is available in real time on TV and the Internet. The "earnings" part, however, is more difficult to find. The authoritative source is the Standard & Poor’s website, where the latest numbers are posted on the earnings page. Free registration is now required to access the data. Once you’ve downloaded the spreadsheet, see the data in column D.

The table here shows the TTM earnings based on "as reported" earnings and a combination of "as reported" earnings and Standard & Poor’s estimates for "as reported" earnings for the next few quarters. The values for the months between are linear interpolations from the quarterly numbers.

The average P/E ratio since the 1870′s has been about 15. But the disconnect between price and TTM earnings during much of 2009 was so extreme that the P/E ratio was in triple digits — as high as the 120s — in the Spring of 2009. In 1999, a few months before the top of the Tech Bubble, the conventional P/E ratio hit 34. It peaked around 47 two years after the market topped out.

As these examples illustrate, in times of critical importance, the conventional P/E ratio often lags the index to the point of being useless as a value indicator. "Why the lag?" you may wonder. "How can the P/E be at a record high after the price has fallen so far?" The explanation is simple. Earnings fell faster than price. In fact, the negative earnings of 2008 Q4 (-$23.25) is something…
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Courtesy of The Pragmatic Capitalist 

By Decision Point:

FROM A SUBSCRIBER: Hi Carl. I’ve never written but have followed you for many years (since AOL) and have learned more about reading the market from you than any other source. You have such a clear and common sense view that it is really refreshing. I love the new daily blogs and am so glad Erin is learning the ropes. I would write her directly, but don’t see her email address anywhere. I rarely disagree with what is said, but in this case I am very suspicious of a bullish interpretation of today’s (May 27) rally, mostly due to the low volume. It seems more like a bear market, short covering rally to me. Was wondering what you think of the volume issue. Thanks for any comments. 

Thanks for the compliment!

I try not to engage in discussions in order to reconcile differences of opinion about the market, because, even if I manage to convince my “opponent”, it doesn’t mean I’ll be right about the outcome. We try to be methodical in our analysis and clear in presenting our conclusions.

After several days of sloppy, downward-sliding price action, on Thursday the market finally had the first day of what could be a full rebound from very oversold conditions. Sloppy action in oversold conditions signals a very dangerous situation, one from which a crash can result, and on Thursday we breathed our first conditional sigh of relief.

While we have emphasized the danger involved “buying into weakness” with oversold markets, we have believed that the odds favor an end to the correction because we are technically in a long-term bull market, and corrections rarely morph into bear markets in those conditions.

It is true that volume was pathetic, but volume has been unimpressive throughout this bull market, and for Thursday there is also the issue of the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. People are leaving town early.

We can also see a clear descending wedge pattern, a bullish pattern which has a high reliability for resolving to the upside.


Most important is our philosophy that price is primary, breadth and volume are secondary. Not that we don’t look at breadth and volume, but they need to be subjectively interpreted based upon the bull or bear bias of the market. As a result, none of our mechanical timing…
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Anchoring, The Mother of Behavioral Biases

Anchoring, The Mother of Behavioral Biases

Courtesy of Tim at The Psy-Fi Blog

Anchors underwater

Behavioural Biases (5): Anchoring

Just as an anchored ship rarely strays too far away from its tethering point, a human being prefers to stick close to the references with which they feel most comfortable. Anchoring is an easy-to-demonstrate, hard-to-eradicate behavioural bias that has all sorts of nasty implications for investors, many of them not obvious. In fact, along with availability, it has the claim to be the mother of all biases.

The fundamental investment problem lies in the difficulty in deciding what something is intrinsically worth. A skilled negotiator will start from an extreme position, such as a very high price, in order to frame the subsequent discussions. Anywhere and anytime someone presents us with a number in order to start negotiations we’re being anchored. So if it really matters then you need to start from your own number or walk away.

Random Pricing

Anchoring is almost trivially easy to demonstrate and it’s been replicated many times by many researchers in many situations. Perhaps the simplest example is to use peoples’ social security numbers as a reference. As Dan Airely shows here, by simply getting people to write down the last two digits of the number and then asking them to submit mock bids it’s possible to get people with higher numbers to bid up to twice as much as their lower number companions. Unconsciously the brain sets the social security derived number as the reference point and then adjusts accordingly.

It’s worth dwelling on that. I think it’s simply astonishing and truly shocking that highly evolved, smart primates like ourselves can be fooled into utterly stupid behaviour through a trivial piece of misdirection. And it affects us all.

Anchoring is a particularly pervasive problem and occurs in all sorts of scenarios, being particularly beloved by opinion poll surveyors, real-estate agents, stockbrokers, car salesmen, supermarkets and, well, virtually everyone who wants us to buy things. Wherever and whenever anyone presents us with a number and then asks us to do something with it you can be sure we’re be tricked into behaviour that probably isn’t in our best interests.

Multiple Choice, Multi-Buys

Multiple choice surveys on some kind of sliding scale are an especially fun source of anchoring issues since people will invariably anchor

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Price, Demand, and Money Supply as They Relate to Inflation and Deflation

Price, Demand, and Money Supply as They Relate to Inflation and Deflation

Courtesy of Jesse’s Café Américain

There are three basic inputs to the market price of something:

1. Level of Aggregate Supply
2. Level of Aggregate Demand
3. Relative Value of the Medium of Exchange

Let’s consider supply and demand first, since they are the most intuitively obvious.

The market presents an overall demand, and within that demand for individual products in particular.

Supply is the second key component to price. We are not going to go into more detail on it to here, since what we are likely facing now is a decrease in Aggregate Demand.

It can seem a little confusing perhaps. Just keep in mind that if the demand decreases for products overall for whatever reasons, like unemployment, if supply remains available the prices will drop overall with some variance across products because of their inelasticity to change. This is known as the Law of Supply and Demand.

How we do know when Demand is decreasing?

Gross Domestic Product = Consumption + Investment + Government spending + (exports − imports),
or the famous economic equation GDP = C + I + G + (X − M).

Consumption, or Aggregate Demand, is a measurable and key component of our GDP figures.

Given the huge slump in GDP, it should be obvious that we are in a demand driven price deflation on many goods and services.

Now, that covers supply and demand as components of price, but what about money supply?


Notice in the above examples we talk about Price as a value without a label.

Money is a medium of exchange. It is the label which we apply to give a meaning to our economic transactions.

If you are in England, or France, or Argentina, or China, the value label you apply to Price is going to be different.

Money is the predominant medium of exchange that a group of people have agreed to use when engaging in economic transactions.

The source and store of wealth are the ‘credits’ within the system which one uses to exchange for products. The money is the medium of exchange.

If you work for a living, you are exchanging your time and your talent, which is your source of

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Phil's Favorites

Why Trump will weather Stormy


Why Trump will weather Stormy

Courtesy of Monika L. McDermott, Fordham University

Donald Trump’s opponents have long been waiting for some sort of scandal to bring him down, and they may think they have finally found it in pornographic film star Stormy Daniels.

Daniels alleges she had an extramarital affair with Donald Trump in 2006 and was subsequently paid off by a Trump lawyer to stay silent during the presidential election. These types of charges, if proven true, have felled many politicians in the past.

But Trump’s opponents probably shouldn’t get their hopes up.

While political science research has shown that politicians are generally hurt by political scandals like extramarital affairs, the context is key. ...

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Zero Hedge

Trader Shares "A Few Ideas For Avoiding A Friday Faceplant"

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

From Bloomberg macro commentator, Richard Breslow

Don’t mistake this as a trade recommendation, but it is all right to do nothing. Trading when you believe you have an edge is when it is time to step in. If you are there, then go for it. But trading merely because things are moving around is a day-trading concept, not an investment thesis.

It’s important to match trading style, objectives and realistic liquidity assumptions to how you view volatility vs risk. They are very much not the same thing. Made even more so if you think the Fed equity put has been eliminated. It hasn&#...

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Insider Scoop

41 Biggest Movers From Yesterday

Courtesy of Benzinga.

  • Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMEX) shares climbed 118.42 percent to close at $8.30 on Thursday after the company disclosed positive Mexico Court Decision nullifying a previous denial of application for Don Diego project.
  • Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER) shares gained 35.31 percent to close at $15.75. The maker of a cataract surgery drug called Omidria realized a "big win" from Wednesday's release of the U.S. government spending bill, according to Stat News. Specifically, a policy included in the spending bill includes a pass-through exte... more from Insider

Chart School

Bitcoin Cycles Review

Courtesy of Read the Ticker. uses Bartel's logic to find dominant cycles in a time series.

Cycles are present in markets, as shown below the 22 and 40 day cycles on calendar days looks like the best fit. Therefore the chart below suggest we can expect a bitcoin low either now or in a few weeks.

Bitcoin has not been effected by the SP500/Dow sell off which is a very bullish sign, bitcoin may see safe haven money chasing price very soon, add to this the sister coin, litecoin, isgetting ready for wider use with the massive e-commerce payment market (litepay, litepal, atomic swamps, lightening network).

The bitcoin move is not over!


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U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Speaks With CNBC's "Power Lunch" Today

By VW Staff. Originally published at ValueWalk.

WHEN: Today, Thursday, March 22, 2018

WHERE: CNBC’s “Power Lunch”

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” (M-F 1PM – 3PM) today, Thursday, March 22nd. Following are links to video from the interview on

]]> Get The Timeless Reading eBook in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Timeless Reading in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.


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Digital Currencies

Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Why accountants of the future will need to speak blockchain and cryptocurrency if they want your money


Courtesy of Anwar Halari, The Open University

If you haven’t already heard of Bitcoin, you either haven’t been paying attention or you’re a time traveller who just touched down in 2018. Because by now, most of us will have heard of Bitcoin and some of us have even jumped on the bandwagon, investing in cryptocurrencies.

But despite its popularity, many people still don’t understand the technology that underlines it: blockchain. In...

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Members' Corner

Cambridge Analytica and the 2016 Election: What you need to know (updated)


"If you want to fundamentally reshape society, you first have to break it." ~ Christopher Wylie

[Interview: Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video]

"You’ve probably heard by now that Cambridge Analytica, which is backed by the borderline-psychotic Mercer family and was formerly chaired by Steve Bannon, had a decisive role in manipulating voters on a one-by-one basis – using their own personal data to push them toward voting ...

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How your brain is wired to just say 'yes' to opioids

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


How your brain is wired to just say ‘yes’ to opioids

A Philadelphia man, who struggles with opioid addiction, in 2017. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Courtesy of Paul R. Sanberg, University of South Florida and Samantha Portis, University of South Florida


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Mapping The Market

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

Via Jean-Luc

How propagandist beat science – they did it for the tobacco industry and now it's in favor of the energy companies:

The tricks propagandists use to beat science

The original tobacco strategy involved several lines of attack. One of these was to fund research that supported the industry and then publish only the results that fit the required narrative. “For instance, in 1954 the TIRC distributed a pamphlet entitled ‘A Scientific Perspective on the Cigarette Controversy’ to nearly 200,000 doctors, journalists, and policy-makers, in which they emphasized favorable research and questioned results supporting the contrary view,” say Weatherall and co, who call this approach biased production.

A second approach promoted independent research that happened to support ...

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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. 

Please feel free to participate in the discussion and ask any questions you might have about this virtual portfolio, by clicking on the "comments" link right below.

To learn more about the swing trading virtual portfolio (strategy, performance, FAQ, etc.), please click here ...

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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.

Join our webinar, free, it's open to all. 

Just click here at 1 pm est and join in!

[For more information on NewsWare, click here. For a list of prices: NewsWar...

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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.


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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All About Trends

Mid-Day Update

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

Click here for the full report.

To learn more, sign up for David's free newsletter and receive the free report from All About Trends - "How To Outperform 90% Of Wall Street With Just $500 A Week." Tell David PSW sent you. - Ilene...

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About Phil:

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...

Learn more About Phil >>

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About Ilene:

Ilene is editor and affiliate program coordinator for PSW. She manages the site market shadows, archives, more. Contact Ilene to learn about our affiliate and content sharing programs.

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