Major averages finished mixed on mixed volume yesterday. Fed President John Williams said the Fed should wait for stronger evidence of an economic recovery before tapering, sparking an early morning gap-up, but the NASDAQ Composite reversed course and closed down on heavier volume for another churning/stalling day. This morning stock futures are trading up and the euro down after the ECB cut a key lending rate to 0.25%. Easy money has been and will continue to be the way forward. Theoretically this bodes well for hard assets and stocks, yet gold is selling off this morning in response. Keep in mind gold has many cross currents which can affect its price.
While the major averages are trading near highs, a peek under the hood reveals some carnage amongst leading names including YY which had a high volume reversal on disappointing earnings, TSLA's gap down on earnings, YELP reversing on big volume a few days after a weak earnings report, and both SCTY and NDLS gapping down after reporting earnings. Meanwhile, defensive stocks have moved higher including RTN, ATK, and LMT. While this implies rough waters ahead for the markets, quantitative easing, so far this year, seems to numb the markets to bad news as it puts a floor under any major selling, turning what should be a deeper cut into a haircut.
After we reported Tuesday on the pocket pivot in Organovo (ONVO), it broke out of a basing pattern in Wednesday's trade in strong volume. ONVO remains a speculative bio-tech play, as it has no earnings and scant sales and is still trading at less than $10, which is usually the price threshold at which most institutional investors can get involved. Still, we reported on the stock right above the $6 price level when it issued a pocket pivot several weeks ago, and investors who own the stock on that basis and nearer to that price level are in good shape.
Tesla (TSLA) headed lower after it gapped down on a disappointing earnings report underscoring the importance of selling at the open when a stock gaps down. The report was strong, but not strong enough. When a stock has been up as much as TSLA this year, investors are not forgiving.
Zillow (Z) gapped up on a seemingly strong earnings report, then reversed course to finish down on the day on big volume. We were watching Z to see if it could break above its gap up high of 88.69 as a sign the gap up might be legitimate, but it was never able to do so. Thus, just because a fundamentally strong stock with good technical action is gapping up premarket on seemingly strong earnings does not mean we will automatically issue a report on the stock.
This morning SolarCity (SCTY) is gapping down about 10% after reporting earnings last night, underscoring the risk of trying to play "earnings roulette" by holding or buying a stock into its earnings report, even when a pocket pivot buy point emerges just prior to announcement.