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

### Phil's Favorites

#### Jumping the SPAC

Jumping the SPAC

Note: I was not under influence of Zacapa or edibles writing this one … so it’s wonky.  Oh well, my blog.

A perfect storm may be brewing: tech, software as a service (SaaS), and climate change. My podcast co-host, Kara Swisher, believes the first trillionaire will be an entrepreneur who addresses climate change. It’s not unthinkable, as Elon Musk is already 15% of the way there — to a trillion in wealth, not solving climate change. I’m more skeptical and believe the only entities that can begin to reverse climate change are the EU and the governmen...

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### Zero Hedge

#### The Inelastic Market Hypothesis: Exposing The Fallacy Of Fun-Durr-Mentals

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

If you take a quick look at returns for the S&P 500 over the last few years, it is easy to be impressed with how lucrative stocks can be. Total returns above 31% in 2019, 18% in 2020, and 21% year-to-date (as of 8/31) can make a difference. Unfortunately, the levitation at the end of this summer hardly stands out in this context. Instead, it is just more of the same.

When stocks are rolling along thi...

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### Biotech/COVID-19

shutter_o/Shutterstock

Last year COVID-19 seemed simple. It was horrific, but the arguments about what to do were fairly straightforward.

On one side were people rightly horrified by its rapid spread who wanted us to stay at home and stay away from school and work and socialising in order to save lives.

On the other side were people concerned about the costs of those measures — to jobs, to educati...

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### Politics

#### Political orientation predicts science denial - here's what that means for getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19

Political orientation predicts science denial – here’s what that means for getting Americans vaccinated against COVID-19

Protesters at an anti-vaccine rally in Pennsylvania in August 2021. Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Courtesy of Adrian Bardon, Wake Forest University

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effective vaccines have been available for months, b...

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### Digital Currencies

#### Animal Spirits: Crypto's Gateway Drug

Animal Spirits: Crypto’s Gateway Drug

Courtesy of Michael Batnick

Today’s Animal Spirits is brought to you by YCharts

On today’s show we discuss:

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### Chart School

#### Gold and Silver Volume Waves Review

The sign says it all. The professionals want the public to focus on the words, to scare out the weak hands, but the color of the sign underlines the value in a money printing world, its gold stupid.

Point and figure (PnF) charts draw price waves with the sum of volume per wave. PnF charts high light true accumulation underneath price action. This is why Richard Wyckoff favored PnF charts.

In the charts below we see price moving sideways to down, yet volume on up waves are greater than volume on down waves. At the moment there is no heavy selling on down waves. Or in other words price is being moved down at a low volume expense to allow accumulation at a lower price.

This action represents professionals building their...

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### Promotions

#### Phil's Interview on Options Trading with TD Bank

TD Bank's host Bryan Rogers interviewed Phil on June 10 as part of TD's Options Education Month. If you missed the program, be sure to watch the video below. It should be required viewing for anyone trading or thinking about trading using options.

Watch here:

Screenshots of TD's slides illustrating Phil's examples:

&n...

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### Kimble Charting Solutions

#### Crude Oil Cleared For Blast Off On This Dual Breakout?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Is Crude Oil about to blast off and hit much higher prices? It might be worth being aware of what could be taking place this month in this important commodity!

Crude Oil has created lower highs over the past 13-years, since peaking back in 2008, along line (1).

It created a “Double Top at (2), then it proceeded to decline more than 60% in four months.

The countertrend rally in Crude Oil has it attempting to break above its 13-year falling resistance as well as its double top at (3).

A successful breakout at (3) would suggest Crude Oil is about to mo...

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### ValueWalk

#### Managing Investments As A Charity Or Nonprofit

By Anna Peel. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Maintaining financial viability is a constant challenge for charities and nonprofit organizations.

Q4 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

The past year has underscored that challenge. The pandemic has not just affected investment returns – it’s also had serious implications for charitable activities and the ability to fundraise. For some organizations, it’s even raised doubts about whether they can continue to operate.

Finding ways to generate long-term, sustainable returns for ...

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### Mapping The Market

#### Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Suez Canal: Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

Courtesy of Marcus Lu, Visual Capitalist

The Suez Canal: A Critical Waterway Comes to a Halt

On March 23, 2021, a massive ship named Ever Given became lodged in the Suez Canal, completely blocking traffic in both directions. According to the Suez Canal Authority, the 1,312 foot long (400 m) container ship ran aground during a sandstorm that caused low visibility, impacting the ship’s navigation. The vessel is owned by Taiwanese shipping firm, Evergreen Marine.

With over 2...

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#### Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling System Suggests Market Peak May Be Near

Our Adaptive Fibonacci Price Modeling system is suggesting a moderate price peak may be already setting up in the NASDAQ while the Dow Jones, S&P500, and Transportation Index continue to rally beyond the projected Fibonacci Price Expansion Levels.  This indicates that capital may be shifting away from the already lofty Technology sector and into Basic Materials, Financials, Energy, Consumer Staples, Utilities, as well as other sectors.

This type of a structural market shift indicates a move away from speculation and towards Blue Chip returns. It suggests traders and investors are expecting the US consumer to come back strong (or at least hold up the market at...

### Lee's Free Thinking

#### Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia – The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign.

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...

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### Insider Scoop

#### Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

Courtesy of Benzinga

• Data on nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
• US Services Purchasing Managers' Index for March is scheduled for release at 9:45 a.m. ET.
• The ISM's non-manufacturing index for March will be released at 10:00 a.m. ET.
• The Baker Hughes North American rig count report for the latest week is scheduled for release at 1:00 p.m. ET.
...

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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...