Trader Mike's Notes

  • MRK - Merck & Company, Inc.


    This is more a broad market note rather than a MRK one. If you haven't been solely trading (or holding) large caps the last few weeks you've probably noticed a lot of choppy trading. The major indices have been hiding a lot of sloppy & choppy trade. You can see it a bit by comparing IWM to SPY.

    Based on the alerts I was getting on my watchlists today I couldn't believe the indices were basically flat for the day. Lots of names got crushed today. That's what got me to look at MRK. I saw on the General Market Overview that "Expansion Breakdown" appeared 5x more than normal today. When I clicked through to view the charts breaking down there were a lot of healthcare names on the list. Many of those were killing it just a few weeks ago. It's almost like a hedge fund holding these stocks has blown up.

    But it's not just the medical stocks, a lot of the hot tech stocks are also sucking wind while things look fine based on SPY or QQQ. That's also borne out by some of the other indicators on the General Market Overview page. Advancers-to-decliners was 19:31 today. The % of stocks above their 50-day moving averages is at 54% -- not what I consider healthy when the major indices are cruising along near all-time highs. As a friend of mine likes to say when discussing the market: be careful out there!

  • SWAV - ShockWave Medical, Inc.

    Just noting that certain medical stocks are going bonkers day after day in this current environment. This recent IPO was up 16% today to a new high and has now more than doubled from its IPO price. Also see NVTA, GH, INSP, TNDM, NSTG, etc. Definitely a sector to pay attention to these days.

  • FLDM - Fluidigm Corporation

    Here's a chart I love when looking at the last year or so but when I zoom out multiple years it's a nightmare. It does appear that the company is turning the corner -- I haven't yet looked at their earnings. (Along with being in the life sciences space, this is reminding me of the charts of two of my recent big winners -- TNDM and NVTA.) So it's going on a watchlist and I'll be looking for a pullback setup I like.

  • ESTC - Elastic B.V.

    I really like the pullback here. It's got *potential* nearby support from the 50-day moving average and its lower Bollinger Band. The wildcard here is that the IPO lockup just expired, so there are potentially a lot of shares ready to be sold. I like the company (well, their technology) and may buy some in my IRA where I'm more lenient about letting a position move against me.

  • GH - Guardant Health, Inc.


    Moves like this make me rethink my trading rules. I won't enter a position just before earnings. This had earnings today but late last week it had back-to-back days of my favorite combination of signals -- a Calm After Storm with a Non-ADX 1,2,3,4 Pullback. It's now up 50% in 3 sessions... without me.

  • SPLK - Splunk Inc.

    This one is interesting to me. I know the company from working in the IT industry, so I might be a little biased. It's another one which had a good initial earnings reaction but then sold off. I'm a little concerned that the now 3-day drop has gone a little too far and has done some technical damage. I'm expecting the bulls to at least be able to create a little bounce some where around the current price or the 50 DMA which is just a few points lower.

    I should add that one of the things I like about running my scans and/or looking at the site's signals is that can help to overcome my feelings that I'm not being objective. The reason I saw this is because, as usual, I ran a Combo Scan combining the "Calm After Storm" and "Non-ADX 1,2,3,4 Pullback". So I can justify my trade (if I make one) based on that alone.

  • PANW - Palo Alto Networks, Inc.

    This has now filled its post-earnings gap and I'm on watch for a reversal. September had a resistance zone from about 230 - 238 and that *should* be able to now turn into support.

  • MRNA - Moderna, Inc.

    I thought this IPO would have done much better had it not came public in the middle of the worst market in 10 years. It reports earnings tomorrow and I can't wait to see how it reacts. I think the IBD crew will be all over this "IPO base" if it can make a new high.

  • GKOS - Glaukos Corporation

    This stock pops up on my radar a lot. I've traded it 3 times over the years, with 2 winners and 1 loser. That's not surprising to me looking back at the chart -- it just doesn't trend very well. There are a few huge gaps followed by weeks of sideways trading or slow drips back to fill the gap. I've decided this is one I just won't trade. Too bad I didn't buy it in my long term account when I first traded it at 26 in June of 2016. Oh well.

  • EBIX - Ebix, Inc.

    If I was a true believer in this company (I'm not, I know nothing about it) I'd give this a shot on the long side here. It looks to me to be turning the corner. It had a good initial post-earnings reaction but got crushed at its 200-day moving average. It's now trying to bounce off the 50 DMA... but here's where the true believer part comes in. When the 200 is above the 50 DMA I consider the area between those two lines to be "no man's land". By definition it's long(er) term bearish and short(er) or intermediate term bullish. There are easier trades to take, IMHO.

  • FTCH - Farfetch Limited

    Here's an interesting recent tech IPO that broke out of a Bollinger Band Squeeze today. The company reports earnings on the 28th though so it could be dangerous to get in and hold through that report.

  • EA - Electronic Arts Inc.


    Some wild action in this after falling on earnings and then rallying on the release of its Fortnite killer/competitor. It appears to be trying to bounce off its 20 DMA & I'm looking for some follow-through, like a close above Friday's (Feb 22nd) high.

  • ADTN - ADTRAN, Inc.

    A nice set of signals on this today -- Bollinger Band Squeeze + Upper Band Touch, Expansion Breakout and a Pocket Pivot. Looks like it's ready to complete the cycle of range expansion to contraction back to expansion.

  • W - Wayfair Inc.


    Just one of many huge "under the radar" (of most people) gainers today. I encourage you to run the "Expansion Breakout" and/or "Percentage Gainers" scan today and see some of the charts. There's a ton of strength in this market right now. check out Z, ACIA, TTD, OLED, IQ, ROKU, etc.

  • WIX - Ltd.


    A bad earnings reaction earlier this week but it looks like $110 and/or the 20 DMA are becoming support.

  • GRMN - Garmin Ltd.

    A huge breakout today to about a 10-year high. Many thought this company was dead after smartphones and smart watches came on the scene but they've mounted an impressive comeback. Not my style to chase it here, above the upper Bollinger Band but it's going on a watchlist.

  • TNET - TriNet Group, Inc.

    A major breakout on this today as it closed at a new all-time high on 6x normal volume. Not sure I'd chase it here but it's definitely going (back) on one of my watchlists.

  • SPY - SPDR S&P 500


    You'll definitely want to pay attention to the 50-day moving averages for the major indices over the next couple of days. SPY, DIA, QQQ and VTI (The Wilshire 5,000 ETF) fell below and then rebounded back over their 50 DMAs today. Bulls will *really* want those important levels to hold. If they break it could get ugly again real quick.

  • BBBY - Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.

    Another "Calm After Storm", plus it's showing some bullish pullback setups. Beware the declining 200 DMA just a couple of points above though.

  • OLLI - Ollie's Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc.

    The "Calm After Storm" is always the first scan I check each day and that's where I found OLLI. It had a pop (the storm) after updating their guidance on the 11th. It's been consolidating since then. I'll be looking to get long if it can clear its 200 & 50-day moving averages, which it's been struggling with.