Fiscal Cliff Looms: 5 Must-See Charts
BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- As the final trading sessions of 2012 tick away, investors are getting antsy about what trading in 2013 could bring if the Fiscal Cliff situation remains unresolved.
The president is meeting with congressional leaders today, in hopes of solving the problem before the calendar flips over to 2013. While the nasty tax effects of the fiscal cliff are the big concern that most consumers have about the cliff, that fiscal cliff is being pushed back a bit -- the IRS is asking employers to continue using 2012 withholding tables until further notice.
Of course, that won't change the impact Mr. Market could see if the politicians in Washington do decide to push Uncle Sam over the cliff.
Right now, some of the biggest stocks on Wall Street are setting up to make big moves in both directions as volatility heats up ahead of the New Year's Day market holiday. Today, we're taking a technical look at five big tradable charts that could pad your portfolio in the new year -- or spare you from losses.
If you're new to technical analysis , here's the executive summary.
Technicals are a study of the market itself. Since the market is ultimately the only mechanism that determines a stock's price, technical analysis is a valuable tool even in the roughest of trading conditions. Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, Wall Street's biggest financial firms, and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And research shows that skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time.
Every week, I take an in-depth look at big names that are telling important technical stories. Here's this week's look at the charts of five high-volume stocks to trade for gains .
SPDR S&P 500 ETF
First up is a look at the broad market. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of the S&P 500 , our favorite proxy for Mr. Market. With the recent drop in the S&P (around 2.2% in the last two weeks), many investors are wondering if this is just the beginning of a bigger downside move. My short answer is no.
There's a lot of evidence that points to this recent drop in the S&P being a minor correction rather than a change in trend. While the selloff of the last couple of weeks feels a lot more potent than 2% and change, the fact is that, as far as corrections go, this one is pretty tepid. Looking at the zoomed in chart of SPY above, it's clear that this pullback isn't coming anywhere near trendline support for the index, and momentum shows this stock coming back to RSI support for a minor correction, not a major one. The fact that we're on our sixth down day in the last seven feels like a change in trend, but the magnitude just isn't there.