Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

General Electric Edition: Do Not Argue With Sellers – Celebrate With Buyers

Published 09/26/2018, 01:11 AM
Updated 07/09/2023, 06:31 AM

General Electric (NYSE:GE) dropped 4.0% for a fourth straight day of high volume selling. At $11.27/share GE sits at a stomach-churning 9-year low.


General Electric (GE) Chart

General Electric (GE) still can’t find a bottom. The last three trading days have delivered fresh 9-year closing lows.

GE’s early June expulsion from the Dow Jones Industrial Index seemed like such natural ignition for a bottom that even CNBC’s Jim Cramer got off the fence to declare the stock a buy. At the time I proposed a lower risk method of playing a potential bottom using call options. The call option configuration certainly helped ease the pain of the recent 9-year lows. Still, with selling accelerating, the temptation to consider the conditions for a bottom is too great to resist. Sure enough, Guy Adami on Fast Money offered his keys for determining whether GE (or any stock) has indeed finally reached bottom:

  • A new 52-week low on heavy [trading] volume: this action can indicate a wash-out of sellers.
  • Management is up-front and addressing the problems with the business: hope remains the company figure things out.
  • The company remains in a viable industry: the business and economic environment still gives the company time to turn things around.

CNBC GE Tweet

I like Adami’s points. However, the title “how to catch a falling knife” is telling. Traders and investors should not actually reach out to catch a falling knife. Instead, they should step in when the risk of catching a knife is sufficiently low to make the risk worthwhile. In other words, I prefer to wait for “confirmation” that the falling knife has finished falling; I want the ground to catch the knife, not me.

Two years ago, I described this confirmation process in a piece titled “Do Not Argue With Sellers – Celebrate With Buyers.” When sellers have firm control of a stock, I want to wait for some sign of buying – like a trading day with a gain. A stronger confirmation occurs after buyers manage to establish control of the trading with a complete reversal of the most concentrated part of the sell-off. My only rare exception to the confirmation rule occurs when I have a strong conviction from some data or analysis that puts me in accumulation mode.

In the case of GE, a close above $11.80 would deliver the first potential sign of a washout and exhaustion of sellers. A close above $12.71 would signal high odds of a complete washout. Since I already have a position in play, I am content to wait for this more definitive confirmation. Shorter-term traders should stop out of their long positions if GE manages to close below the latest low of $11.27. If GE closes at fresh lows, then the first signal of seller’s exhaustion adjusts downward to whatever closing price clears the intraday high of the last day of high-volume selling.

GE will continue to capture the imagination given its iconic status as a symbol of America’s industrial past. Now we wonder whether the future is waiting for GE as it sinks in stark contrast to the strength of the American economy and the near relentless up-trend of the S&P 500 (via SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY)).

Be careful out there!

Full disclosure: long GE call options

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.