Ian Woodward's Investing Blog

Archive for May, 2012

HGSI Glossary of Terms

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I am reminded by Tim, a friend and supporter of the HGSI Software who gave me good and encouraging advice in his feedback to my previous blog note of terms Ron and I use from time to time that new readers may come across which are unfamiliar to the casual reader.  This Blog Note is to help such readers with a brief description of some of the terms I use from time to time.  I encourage you to go to the Highgrowthstock.com website for additional articles on many of the concepts we have developed to keep us on the right side of the market.

Our approach recognizes that there is no silver bullet of an Indicator, but find that two are better than none and sometimes four are better than two.  You will find that our emphasis is on Managing Fear and Greed through “Impulse Indicators” which are triggered at Oversold and Overbought times in the Market, where most of one’s nest egg is either made or lost. 

Glossary of Investing Terms

High Growth Stock Investor has some very unique features that are characterized by names that are unique to those features.  This glossary provides a brief explanation.


%B is derived from the formula for Stochastics and tells you where you are in relation to an upper Bollinger Band and a lower Bollinger Band.
%B = (Last Close – Lower Bollinger Band) / (Upper Bollinger Band – Lower Bollinger Band)

Base Low
The Base Low is the lowest price a stock has based at in the last six to 12 months. It can be determined on both individual stocks as well as market indexes and can be used to measure stage breakouts as well as extension, i.e. risk. For more information, read the Base Low Concept discussion.

A Bingo signal indicates an oversold condition in a minor or intermediate correction and many more lead to capitulation in a Bear Market. A Eureka signal will usually follow a Bingo signal within 15 days. With a minor or intermediate correction, there will usually only be one or two Bingo signals before a Eureka signal. With a Bear Market, expect several Bingo signals, with the last Bingo being capitulation.

Bollinger Bands
Bollinger Bands can be used to measure the highness or lowness of the price relative to previous trades. The purpose of Bollinger Bands is to provide a relative definition of high and low. By definition, prices are high at the upper band and low at the lower band. Prices moving closer to the upper band indicate a more overbought market, whereas the closer the prices move to the lower band, the more undersold the market is.

Bongo (Bongo Yes and Bongo No)
The Bongo indicators are a signal for markets, industry groups and stocks for entry and exit.
The Bongo Yes criteria (daily and weekly) are as follows:
1. Close > 9 SMA
2. RSI 8>14>19
The Bongo No criteria (daily and weekly) are as follows:
1. Close < 9 SMA
2. RSI 8<14<19

Cha-Cha-Cha Stocks
These types of stocks have strong fundamental and technical credentials and usually small- to mid-range capitalization from $100 million to $1 billion. They often make large moves up very quickly and can make just as dramatic reversals – hence the phrase “buy rockets, sell rocks.”

Eureka Signal
A Eureka signal identifies early up turns in the NYSE Index.  It compliments 1-Day changes in %B of Bollinger Bands to signify the volatility – both up and down. This is a major indication to either a turn-around day after a market bottom or a follow through day(s) soon thereafter.  It also gives an occasional warning to signify irrational exuberance near the end of a strong rally.

Eureka signals use the ARMS or TRIN Index Components for the NYSE.  Eureka signals are infrequent – there have been 38 Eurekas in 7 years (usually 5 to 7 a year, depending on market conditions). Some components of the Eureka signal are as follows:
• It signals a very strong Bullish Up Day in the NYSE Market
• Advancing Issues to Declining Issues Ratio is greater than or equal to 3-to-1
• Advancing Issues to Declining Issues Volume Ratio is greater than or equal to 5.4-to-1
• ARMS Index is less than or equal to 0.9

Follow Through Day (FTD)
The concept of a Follow Through Day can be used to signal a rally.  It is an indication of a potential change of trend in place. After the market has made a new low and a rally has been attempted, a follow through day is identified when a major index (Nasdaq, S&P 500 or DOW) closes up 1.7% or more for the day with an increase in volume from the day before.  Look for follow through days to occur between four and seven days from a potential bottom.

Gas in the Tank
The concept of Gas in the Tank is a simple approach for judging how far a stock might advance when it has paused to refresh for a quarter or more after a recent positive move up in price. “Gas” refers to increasing earnings coming into a stock while it is basing (moving sideways), i.e. the P-E is coming down with increasing earnings to create value. A projected target price can be established by using the difference in the current and next quarters earnings from that of a year ago, multiplied by a P-E range. This difference is the amount of “new gas,” while the P-E is analogous to the miles per gallon. For more information, read the Gas in the Tank article.

High Jump Indicator
A technique used to establish when a stock is extended and due for a correction. There are three elements used to determine when a stock is fully valued:

1. The current price from the 17-day moving average (MA)
2. The current price from the 50-day MA
3. The current price from the 200-day MA

Hindenburg Omen
The Hindenburg Omen is a strong warning signal for a market top. Named after the crash of the German zeppelin in 1937, it is a technical analysis that attempts to predict a forthcoming stock market crash. The traditional definition of a Hindenburg Omen has five criteria:

1. That the daily number of NYSE new 52 Week Highs and the daily number of new 52
Week Lows must both be greater than 2.2 percent of total NYSE issues traded that day.
2. That the smaller of these numbers is greater than 79.
3. That the NYSE 10 Week Moving Average is rising.
4. That the McClellan Oscillator is negative on that same day.
5. That new 52 Week Highs cannot be more than twice the new 52 Week Lows (however it
is fine for new 52 Week Lows to be more than double new 52 Week Highs). This condition
is absolutely mandatory.

A confirmed Hindenburg Omen occurs if a second (or more) Hindenburg Omen signals during a 36-day period from the first signal.

Kahuna (Little and Big)
The Kahuna indicator measures volatility and momentum by looking at the one-day change in %B. The Big Kahuna is a 1-day change in %B of plus/minus 0.40. A Little Kahuna is a 1-day change in %B of plus/minus 0.24. Big Kahunas are signs of strong momentum (either up or down) and work well with the Eureka signal to identify tops and bottoms.

Limbo Bar
The Limbo Bar is the inverse of the High Jump Indicator. It is used to test stock valuation by looking at negative numbers below the 200 day moving average (DMA), the 50 DMA or the 17 DMA.

Mattress Stuffers
Mattress Stuffers are large cap stocks with solid earnings credentials. They have earnings stability – dependable earnings growth of 15% to 25% year after year. The stock’s chart pattern rises steadily, but not as fast as Cha-Cha-Cha Stocks. These slower growth stocks can be held much longer, thus earning their moniker.

Nine Box Matrix
The Nine Box Matrix is a simple chart used to identify stocks that have a better chance of growing faster in price.  It uses Annual Earnings % growth rate over the past five years in combination with Current Earnings % growth rate for the last two quarters compared with the same quarter a year ago.  For more information, read the Concept of the Nine Box Matrix article at the HGSI Website.


The Phoenix is the reverse of the Eureka and signals potential downturns in the NYSE.  It is a Heads Up on a bad day in the Market.  Two or more of this signal in a week coupled with a “Down” Kahuna or two says “Watch out below” and the Bears are now in Control.

Confirms the ebb and flow for the Kahuna and Eureka signals.

VIX is the ticker symbol for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index. It is a popular measure of the implied volatility of the S&P 500.  Sometimes referred to as the “investor fear gauge,” the VIX is a commonly used measure of market risk.

Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack refers to the idea that stocks move in groups, like a pack of wolves.

I hope this helps, and many thanks to you all for your continued support.

Best Regards,


Stock Market: All Eyes on Greece

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

While we here in the USA look forward to Memorial Day tomorrow, the rest of the World will have all eyes on Greece and the potential skids of the impact of exiting the Euro fast coming to a head.

Although the Major Market Indexes have grudgingly given up ground to the point where they are essentially at or close to their 200-dma, there are underlying signs of hope that with the majority of the Quarterly Earnings Reports behind us there is a fresh set of leaders rising as a result.  Let’s first look at the Gloom and Doom Scenario.  This time I have chosen the Nasdaq 100 (NDX) since these are the Big Cap Leaders we usually focus on to show us which way the wind is blowing for the overall market:

As the Chart above shows we are already within striking distance of the 200-dma and into an Intermediate Correction of 12% to 16%, if there is no recovery from here.  Even an 8% Bounce Play would only get us back to around 2668, where the NDX will encounter stiff resistance at the 50-dma.  To fully understand how weak this Group of 100 stocks is at this stage, I chose to look at the Accumulation/Distribution picture of learning your ABCDEs as I have addressed many times previously.  Note that on 5/22/2012 there were ZERO stocks with “A” Accumulation and only 5 with “B”…hence the Market is essentially Leaderless if we focus only on these Big Cap Stocks:

Big Cap Stocks that are representative of this group are the usual suspects which are shown below, and as the Index shows for these ten stocks the picture is essentially identical to the one above.  Only two stocks…AMZN and BIIB are above their 50-dma, and the Blood Red on the extreme Right Hand Side of the Chart together with the three days of a grey bar line (Bingo) suggests utter weakness.  As you well know by now, we need a couple of Eureka (green) and Kahuna (blue) lines within a week for us to have any confidence that we at least can enjoy a Bounce Play.

To give us a measure of how far away we are from a decent bounce play, leave alone a Rally, the next chart shows the Gap to the “Safe” zone for %B of the Composite Average of these ten stocks.

As I mentioned only two stocks…AMZN and BIIB are above their 50-dma and here are the pictures for the ten plus two more stocks which are all greater than $100 in price.  That has to change quickly if there is to be a Summer Rally.  We are fighting the “Go Away in May” syndrome where most are occupied with Graduations, Weddings and Vacations:

If that is not enough to convince you that we are on the edge of a Major Correction here is the picture for the Small Cap Russell 2000 Index.  The picture is even a shade worse, and so “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” to recover:

Well enough of all this Gloom and Doom Picture…now for “Hope Springs Eternal”.  As I mentioned above, we are essentially at the end of the Quarterly Earnings Season, and this is the time to sharpen your pencils and make note of those Companies that have come through with stellar earnings.  This provides Gas in the Tank for the next leg up and is invariably shown by a few important points to note from the recent chart action:

1.  There will invariably be a recent Gap Up in price

2.  That will usually be accompanied by at least a Small Kahuna (light Blue line) and more often a Dark Blue one

3.  The Quarterly Earnings will be higher and sometimes as much as 100% for the quarter.

Having shown you an ugly Russell 2000 Chart, now let’s look at these 10 which are Leading Stocks from that lot:

…And here is the resulting Composite Chart pattern for these ten stocks.  By the way, the HGSI software is the only one that I know of which can provide this feature of showing the Index for any group of stocks your heart desires:

…And in this case, unlike the other, they are all at or above their 50-dma!

Here for good measure are another list of twenty stocks that are also Leaders bucking the trend:

…And here is the corresponding chart with the symbols on it for you to see more clearly:

So What’s the Message?  We have a Game Plan with two different scenarios to guide us; on the one hand the laggard big and small cap stocks and on the other the stocks already showing amazing strength in a rotten market.  We can use these two sets to get a sense of whether we just head on down further or the laggards get new life to pull the whole Market up with the ones already on their way going higher.

I am delighted to see that my Worldwide clientele is growing with leaps and bounds as a percentage of the total following on this blog.  I trust these messages are of value to you on the pulse of the market and that you have a sense of direction of what to watch for to keep you on the right side of the market.  I don’t recommend stocks but show you where the fish pond is from time to time.  Please send us a comment or tell a friend if you like what you see.  That goes for my regular clients on this side of the pond.  I need your encouragement and feedback.  Just write a comment below this note.

Best Regards,


Stock Market: Floodgates Opening as Facebook Fizzles

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

“With all the hype around the Facebook IPO — and all the talk of excitement at the retail-investor level — who would have imagined that Facebook’s underwriters would be fighting to stabilize shares at $38 heading into the close?  But that’s exactly what happened Friday afternoon, when investors appeared keen to dump the stock before the weekend break.”

Sad to say that the cushion this Rally had developed has completely fizzled and we are now faced with looking for support at the 200-dma.  Note that the NYSE and RUT are the weakest Market Indexes and have already broken down below the 200-dma.  The Bears have the upper hand:

The last three days gave us three Bingos which means we are now into Oversold Territory.  That implies that we are due for a Bounce Play but as you will see it is nip and tuck as to whether we will have the Bounce now or have capitulation first and then Bounce as we review the underlying signals that we have come to trust:

92% of the S&P 1500 Stocks are with %B <0.5 which is a rare occurrence.  We have now had two days in a row with 32% and 33% in the Bottom Bucket of %B <0, which also spells more gloom:

The next three charts show the extent to which the damage has been done this last week:

We now show a 3.3:1 ratio between Laggards and Leaders, but it can still go lower based on our experience from the Debt Crisis back in August 2011.  The next two charts show why and how much:

We are getting close to Capitulation and the key question is whether we already are there or still have more to go in light of all the troublesome News both here in the US and abroad in Europe.

I first presented the next two charts and their implications all of six weeks ago in the April 9 Blog Note, and it is good to see confirmation of being on guard with these clues of what to look for:

Now let’s look at our favorite charts of the VIX and Learning your ABCDE’s which confirm that we are now on the hairy edge of either Bouncing from here or going down for a “Major Capitulation”:

There you have it…Chapter and Verse to help you stay on the right side of the Market.  I’m backing  “I’ll Have Another” for the Triple Crown having just won the Derby and now the Preakness today during writing this Blog Note.

Best Regards,


Stock Market: Last Call at “Custer’s Last Stand”?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

As the Stock Market has trotted down over the last ten trading days, it is now sitting essentially at Custer’s Last Stand?”  We see Lower Highs and Lower Lows which suggest more on the downside and although we are not completely oversold, the market is weighed down by the Major Problems in Europe and a Poor Jobs Report:

The two critical items the US market is focused on are the shennagins in Europe and the Facebook IPO to come:

The chart of the Market Indexes shows that all key Lines in the Sand are broken today and we are now at Custer’s Last Stand:

The critical 2900 on the Nasdaq has been broken and for sure we are on the Low Road Scenario at this time:

The Latest Breaking News is that we had a Bingo Signal today on the Nasdaq and that means we are either close to a bottom with an oversold signal or it is the start of heading down a lot further…just look at the previous grey bars:

Two of the Canaries are gasping for Oxygen and they are AAPL and PCLN!

It is not surprising with all the uncertainty in Europe and the rotten Jobs Report that the VIX is stirring:

Net-net, it is no news to you that the S&P 1500 is now oversold with ~52% in the Bottom Three Buckets:

Likewise with regard to Accumulation and Distribution, Laggards are leading the Leaders by approx. 2:1.

The Bottom Line is that we are close to the Floodgates being opened and the only hope to turn this market around is to see a strong BOUNCE Rally with the Facebook IPO on Friday.  If the reception turns out to be anemic then we wait to see where the Market Indexes find support and hope that it is no worse than a 10% Correction.

Best Regards,


Stock Market: In Early Correction

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Everything was looking promising this time last week, but the Jobs Report on Friday was very bleak.  The Bears are rubbing their hands with glee as they have been thwarted several times the past month since we had that strong warning sign on 4/9 and 4/10/2012, when the poor Jobs Report last month first gave a strong signal and the Market swooned.

The Game Plan I have given you before shows that we have now slipped down to Custer’s Last Stand and the real test will come if the Nasdaq droops down to 2900, the 12 Year Line in the Sand between New Hope or back into the Doldrums:

2900 on the Nasdaq takes on even more significance as it is 7.5% down from the High at 3134, and as I am sure you well know by now the Nasdaq has turned back up 70% of the time at -8% down from the high.  So let’s not forget that this statistic coupled with it being the 4th Year of the Presidential Cycle where there has been only one occasion in 72 Years or 18 Presidential Cycles that we suffered a Bear Market to not panic yet.  However, you are forewarned to be on your toes, especially if all the Market Indexes and Leading Canaries give up the ghost:

…And here is the picture of the Canaries which are tilting down:

Here is a New Chart to chew on…I have combined the A+B Accumulation  and the D+E Distribution stocks for above $5 for the past five months history and you can readily see that Leadership stocks slumped this past week to the point where we are at Stalemate on this score.  We need to quickly get above the down-trend line to 3000 and higher for A+B.

The next Pie Charts show the deterioration last week in leadership with A+B Accumulation giving up ground:

What’s new?…the Monthly Jobs Report was dismal and we finished Friday with a 3.6 Bucket down day…bad news:

Yes, we are Playing Snakes and Ladders and we are once again in the doldrums:

The Leaders Index looked promising a week ago, but it doesn’t take five seconds to see that this Index is Struggling:

…And last but not least, the item to watch next week is the VIX as it has NOT Exploded as yet and therefore if there is a big down draft and a run for the exits, the earliest clue of Major Abnormality will come from the picture below:

Let me once again thank the Worldwide viewers of the Blog for their support…Today I had 17 hits from Thailand!

Best Regards,


Copyright © 2007-2010 Ian Woodward
Disclaimer: Commentaries on this Blog are not to be construed as recommendations to buy or sell the market and/or specific securites. The consumer of the information is responsible for their own investment decisions.