The Wagner Daily


The broad market followed up Monday’s selloff with a mixed session yesterday, as total volume rose back above average levels in both exchanges. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3% yesterday, but the small-cap Russell 2000 and S&P Midcap 400 indices gained 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. Both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrials were unchanged. Although most stocks began the day with an opening gap up, the major indices drifted lower throughout the entire day and once again closed at their worst levels of the session. We finally sold the remaining shares of GLD (Gold Trust) into strength yesterday, locking in a nice gain of more than 6% on the two-week trade. We also closed our long position in TLT (iShares 20+ year T-bond fund) when it hit the trailing stop yesterday, but the trade netted a small gain nevertheless.

Turnover in the NYSE rose by 8% yesterday, while the Nasdaq showed an overall 12% increase in volume compared to the previous day’s level. The Nasdaq’s loss, combined with the higher volume, means that the index registered its second consecutive “distribution day.” Because the S&P closed flat, it technically did not count as a “distribution day.” Regardless, the price action was bearish because the S&P opened higher, trended lower throughout the entire day, and finished at its intraday low. When this pattern occurs, it indicates “churning” beneath the surface and can be just as negative as a day of higher volume losses. It is always healthier for the market if volume declines during such intraday price action. On the plus side, market internals were not too bad, as advancing volume marginally exceeded declining volume in the NYSE. The Nasdaq internals were negative by only a small margin.

As regular subscribers know, we entered a new position in OIH (Oil Service) short yesterday, so let’s take a moment to explain the trade setup on the chart below:

As you can see, OIH broke out above resistance just below the $126 level on November 22 and closed that day at a new all-time high. New highs are normally bullish, which is why we don’t short stocks or ETFs at 52-week highs. However, breakouts to new highs sometimes fail, especially when an ETF has been uptrending for an extended period of time. In the case of OIH, its weekly chart shows that a steady uptrend has been in place since December of 2003. The most recent attempt to set a new high was also the “fourth wave” in the primary uptrend, a level at which is where rallies sometimes run out of gas or reverse. The big red candle on November 28 was bearish because it caused OIH to close well below its breakout level only two days after it set a new high. Although this type of play is a bit riskier than most of our setups in which we follow the primary trend, the risk/reward is very high because failed breakouts often fall very hard and fast. This is why we initiated a new short position in OIH yesterday. As always, our rigid stop placement will protect us if we are wrong or too early.

Going into today, we are stalking BBH (Biotech HOLDR) for a potential long entry. We netted a seven-point gain in BBH when it broke out earlier this month and have since been waiting for a correction to re-enter the trade. Based on the daily chart below, it appears it may indeed soon be time to buy BBH:

The first thing you will notice about BBH on the chart above is that it has dropped down to support of its 20-day moving average. When a stock or ETF is trading at a multi-year high, the first retracement to the 20-day moving average often provides a low-risk entry point on the long side. In steady uptrends, the 20-day moving average often converges with lower channel support of the uptrend line. This is because the minimal amount of overhead supply usually enables the uptrend to easily resume. It is possible, however, that BBH will fall a bit further, down to support of its prior highs from September (just over the $200 level). For this reason, we are not interested in guessing where the bottom is. Instead, we will drill down to a shorter-time frame of the hourly chart and will only enter after BBH rallies above the hourly downtrend line that has formed from the high of November 22. Because daily charts are more powerful than hourly charts, the primary uptrend on the daily combined with the break of the hourly downtrend should enable a resumption of the primary uptrend when that occurs. We will wait patiently for the entry point to present itself, using the trigger, target, and stop prices as detailed for subscribers below.

Today’s Watchlist:

BBH – Biotech HOLDR

Trigger = above 207.32 (above hourly downtrend line shown on chart above)
Target = new high (will trail a stop)
Stop = 203.40 (below yesterday’s low)
Shares = 150

Notes = See commentary above for detailed explanation of the trade setup. Note that BBH is quite volatile and, as such, requires a wide stop. We have addressed this issue by taking only 150 shares for this setup.

Daily Performance Report:

Below is an overview of all open positions, as well as a performance report on all positions that were closed only since the previous day’s newsletter. Net P/L figures are based on the $50,000 Wagner Daily model account size. Changes to open positions since the previous report are listed in red text below:

    Open positions (coming into today):

      OIH short (200 shares from Nov. 29 entry) –
      shorted 123.35, stop 126.75, target 112.90, unrealized points = + 0.65, unrealized P/L = + $130

    Closed positions (since last report):

      GLD long (500 shares from Nov. 11 and 16 entries) –
      bought 46.98 (avg.), sold 49.86, points = + 2.88, net P/L = + $1,430

      TLT long (500 shares from Nov. 16 entry) –
      bought 89.87, sold 90.13, points = + 0.26, net P/L = + $120

    Current equity exposure ($100,000 max. buying power):



      Per intraday e-mail alert, we entered a new short position in OIH yesterday and also sold our remaining shares of GLD into strength. TLT hit its trailing stop, locking in a small gain.

    for glossary and explanation of terms used in The Wagner Daily

    Click here to view MTG’s past performance results (updated monthly).

    Edited by Deron Wagner,
    MTG Founder and
    Head Trader