The last five days of April damaged my gains in several positions, some I’m still holding within trends and others I sold or stopped out of. Application of short-term swing trading would have preserved some profits, however my desire to utilize longer-term trend following timeframes for select trades ruled out in the end. I opted to take heat on some positions in order to hold them for hopefully larger moves down the road. I’m finding that in this market environment, choosing the correct strategy for any particular trade is as increasingly important as choosing the correct stock to employ it on.
April Net P/L: -6.0%
Year to Date Net P/L: 1.5%
- RTI Surgical (RTIX) 16-day trade for +20.5%. A very good entry was made on a late March 61.8% retracement level preceding a straight line up swing trade.
- Cheetah Mobile (CMCM) 8-day trade for +19.1%. I snatched this gain way too early on the first day of a four-day surge higher and regrettably left a lot behind.
- C&J Energy Services (CJES) +12.8% on a 62-day trade. I had been through enough ups and downs to decide to take the profit after April 14’s doji candle printed.
- Advanced Semiconductor (ASX) +8.4% on a 13-day trade. This was a Fibonacci calculated swing trade with two 1/2 position buys made near 50% and 61.8% retracements of the 2015 uptrend, then all sold on April 27 at the 61.8% retracement of the March-April downtrend. While it proved I could have waited for the 61.8% level to buy a full position, this was still my best utilization of fib levels in that my 7.00 basis was sold at 7.59 before price returned to 7.01.
- Array Biopharma (ARRY) -12.5%, 54-day trade. I bought what looked to be a range break higher which failed, and then I held far too long until it broke down at the end of April. That is why I prefer to buy support rather than resistance.
- PMC-Sierra (PMCS) -7.6%, 69-day trade. Dead money going sideways before breaking down and stopping out in late April.
Despite the down month, I avoided changing up strategies in mid-trade on current positions I’m holding in response to negative market action, something I’ve been successfully working on. My biggest mistakes were taking profits too early in CMCM and CJES, however it’s often difficult to let some positions run without snatching gains, particularly in volatile stocks like those, when buy and sell points were determined with a high degree of accuracy in other positions such as RTIX and ASX.
Points to ponder.
Long – AAPL AXAS BCOR BERY BXC CYTX HNNA HW JUNO LPI PLNR QRVO RICE RLGT RUBI XENE
Short – None