Case Study

Let's do another case study.

Check out the chart on SYNL. What do you see? Would you take this trade? If so, why?

I figured I would strike up a conversation since it seemed to have moved elsewhere.

Recommendation: Let's talk before you trade.

I see a break out. huge volume. price target of 6 points or so. Already moved about 4 points and 9%. I would not take the trade since I missed most of the move

Sym triangle, breakout, heavy volume, horizontal resistance/support at $42.50. I see this a new move and not part of a previous. I would take the trade. I didn't load up today on other stuff, would have for real.


SYNL is break out with huge volume.
It has already moves half my target ( about 6 points).
I still take the trade on pull back but my position will be smaller.


I don't think I would take that trade today. It has already moved 50% of it's target. I would for a support bounce at $40.

Of course, I probably a little more conservative than most.

Mark McQ.

If I look at my own chart I can’t make out the symmetrical triangle that you draw Jeff. What I do see is a stock that more than double over a three month period. Consolidated/channeled in a six dollar range for six weeks or so with ridiculous volume compared to its historical volumes. Then, I see it breaking to an all time high on great volume.

I personally would wait for a retest of the breakout. However, if it busts out like it did in February, the retest could be short lived or not exist.

Long term/ 10 months trend up, sym. tri. breakout with double vol., no options available, new support $42.50, 7 points potential target next 3-4 months. Mid to long term investment.

i did, as it fit my trade rules!


The stock has doubled in price since February, impressive. I like that. It just broke out with a potential target of about 7pts, yet another big move for this stock. And it already made half that move in one day. There are better trades out there for me with better history. I'll keep this on my radar and look for a support bounce later down the road....

That's funny, I went to take the trade around 3pm but not optionable and I did not want to tie up all that cash.
I think it is a great trade, volume is there and it ended the day at the high, buyers could not get enough.

I would take it as a low risk trade, my line in the sand would be 41.67 area.

I did take a trade on a similar one TNH

When I pulled up my chart of this, I saw that I had already looked at this about a month ago and drew in a triangle much smaller than yours, which failed (or broke to the down side) on May 24th. I didn't trade it then and I would not trade it now either though the reasons are different.


Just looked at! Do you have a $20 target on that? Wish I had seen that earlier. I'll watch it for a retest.

I wouldn't trade this just because it has moved almost half of it's expected move today, plus just in rating it what kind of bang for the buck I could get I think I could find much more profitable trades to leverage my account better.

Just my to sents


It's totally cool, you didn't have to live with them.=)

two cents(DUHHHH)

I would look for a lower risk entry and wait for it to test old resistace as new support, then get in and wait for it to break trend before I get out.

My $.02 folks.

This Co. had great earnings.A 405% increase in the 1st Qrt. of this yr. On the tech. side I would not take this trade until I see what type of pattern would form from here. Then make my descion on the next entry. Then again I don't buy many stocks anymore. I need to load up on some short positions. If was Cramer I say back up the TRUCK!!!!


GS got killed today even though they beat analyst expectation. I am glad I sold my position yesterday.


Is this a trick question? I really don't know what I would do. That is why I'm here, to learn from the pros. I'd like to comment on ISIL though from the previous blog today. I also had options with a June expiration. I've been following the stock closely this month. Realized last night with the reminder email that they expire tomorrow. Made a mental note to sell them today, which I did with a nice profit. Wish I could chalk that one up to great trading but I'm glad it fell on luck today!

Monica M.


Look at weekly chart, it had been consolidating before it broke out with volume. i see 6 points up from 42. This stock likes to stay in a range for a period of time. If the markets continue to move upward then this big volume move of today will have a leg upward. I will take this trade on a retest at 42.

Kas, you where right and I took a gamble and it went against me. But I position sized my acct. and I knew my risk going in. I'll live to fight another day.

Our guess is that this will re-test somewhere around $40. As it's already gone more than half of the expected target in one day I'd wait for it to re-test. But I wouldn't buy it anyway because I don't buy stocks on patterns (yet.) I'm too young, good looking, and inexperienced to do that. I'm using more fundamentals for my stocks and buying longer term (a year or more is my target range.)

Grant. I you spell $0,02 "to sense" then it's no wonder Liz smacks you around from time to time. Catherine saw that and laughed so hard she had a "wine out the nose" incident. She wants Liz's email address so she can mail her the hammers. Beware, my friend.

My too since would be to see if you could get in half way thru that big candle stick and count on the huge volume the last 60 days to keep the stock price up.

Good one. We're going to have to have a competition to see how many ways $0.02 can be said. Yours sounds more like Smokey Mountain Hillbilly than Norther CA, but it's a dandy.

Nice trend and pattern. Industry and fundamentals are solid but it has moved too far above support for me to take this trade right now. I would have to wait for a retest to decrease my risk exposure.
Herein lies the trade-off. Good breakout for confirmation = more risk. Less risk with a smaller break above new support = less confirmation.
My account cannot absorb ~$400 risk per contract before I know if I am wrong.
Mark P

I see a symmetrical triangle. I see it breaking out on very high volume. And breaking above a pretty significant resistance level. I wouldn't take this trade after it's made most of it's expected move already. I'd wait to see if it made a re-test before I took it. But at this point, since it's non-optionable I wouldn't take it because it would tie up too much of my account.


Poor Grant. At least he caught it the "2 cents" comment. Oh, and here's my email address:, so Catherine can send me the bag of verbal hammers. I have to say though kickboxing works pretty well.


Got the email addy, thnx. When we meet up I think I'll leave you and Catherine to sit and sip wine while I take Grant out to the bush and teach him real "he-man" skills, like how to fend of a grizzly bear with just a banana and dental floss. Kick boxing is no defense against a banana and dental floss, when it's in highly trained hands.

Your Honor, I’d like to recant my previous testimony! Earlier, at work, my view was obstructed by less than optimal IT charts. Now that I’m at home and can review the pattern using the superior methodology charts and yes, I will admit, reviewing the cross examination of the other traders, I can indeed see that the candle today indicates approximately half of the expected movement has already occurred. Therefore I would have waited for a retest and then throw myself onto this as I throw myself on mercy of the court!

Seriously, as a result of this exercise, I discovered that using poor charts to make choices, either doesn’t work very well or if I’m limited to that, I have to take more time to 'carefully' review. I typically try to have an idea of what trades I’m interested in at home using Prophet Charts and then mail them to myself at work for further review if/as needed. For the exercise, I was 'only' looking at the ‘chart’ and wouldn’t take this as a stock only trade.

Jeff, thanks for doing this, it helps refine and hone skills, in addition to providing enlightenment about the tools we use. It wouldn't hurt my feelings if you do this more often!

Chris and Catherine I was thinking why go to the trouble of mailing the hammers. Just E-Mail them. Oh well time to turn in. Goodnite all!


Speaking of bears... Grant's dad has actually hunted bears with a bow and arrow. There's one in their house. I think he knows how to use a banana and dental floss too. I'm hoping he can keep the bears away from the market while I'm in Canada.

Since I'm bullish on Canada... Gotta love that POT except maybe the candle today. Is that a shooting star or falling knife or anything that might bring this stock down? And what about CNQ? It had a nice bounce today and it closed above it's most recent high, barely, but still above.

What say you guys?


I remember when there were only 10 posts or so and I could keep track easy, how it is really difficult to keep up if I am out for the day. I had to drive to San Diego and back today (Liz and Grant know) that is a minimum of 2hrs each way which was 3.5hr coming back. Missed everything today but have a couple of comments. Chris, I thought it was a dental floss and duct tape but I could be wrong. Oh and toilet issue...not for the bear.
That candle on POT is not a friendly looking one but if you look at similar candles over the past months and year POT seemed to handle them well.
How come I get here just as everyone turns in to bed. Liz and Grant this week got away from me, so we will have to reschedule that dinner.
Have you seen NOV? Pam is killing it with that one and stupid me I enter the wrong option month by mistake that expires tomorrow! Hammers via email? Tim please don't help Pam with that one as I think she already found the BIG hammer in the shed, got to go - find another place for it.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Goodmorning, CPI reports today at 8:30 EST. Futures up a little, It,s Quadruple Witching Friday...Sounds scary, think I'll stay home today!

Good News CPI @.7 Core Inflation .1 No Inflation! Futures up higher!

for all of u that would not take synl. It is opening higher today and 3 dollar move is a 3 dollar move that is left in the pattern.

It could go beyond 3 dollars on a nice up trending stock.

well I would like to hear jeff's comments.

I guess there is no right or wrong answer? you just trade with your own rules

3 dollars left on the pattern like some were saying on a 44 investment is a great return.

PENN getting acquired for $67 per pending

congrats to those long



It isn't showing up in the bid/ask, and i sold mine 4 days ago so if you're right I'm going to be very upset.

Just appeared on CNBC. Unfreakingbelievable.

Brett, it's happened to me twice in the last 30 days .. PCAR and X ... profitted on both but missed high jump/gap up prices ... Somehow, the sun came up the next day and I have lived to tell you about it..

As I have learned from you, there are more where PENN came from.

Just my $.015 cents worth!

there is no quote during the announcement. The stock is halted. I am not sure what to say. Sorry it happened. There will be more takeovers.
GRMN is up $1.19.


Trading on PENN is halted as Jamie states. Other gaming stocks should be up and Trump entertainment is another possible takeout target. I had heard several weeks ago that PENN was a good candidate for a take I'm kicking myself too.

Jamie is right there will be many more!

Anyone get in on GME? I think this is the first time I made a correct call on this site. Hooray!

Actually it was probably one in Jeffs watchlist....

Penn up 12

PENN is open now, up $12+, take-out was for $67, so maybe a little room for a day trade...

My alerts just went off a few minutes ago for MHS & VIP.

MHS-Ascending Triangle that maybe breaking out today. It's above that 80 mark.

VIP-It's above that 104 resistance line today.

Keep both of them on your radar. Looking for volume confirmation.

TNX is down slightly, FXE is up. SLV is up and GLD is up (slightly) this AM. Oh, and EEM... It's up over $2 this am. It just broke above it's 140 mark with a nice little gap (like 10 bucks!)

And despite the bad looking candle on POT yesterday at close it's up today. Though I will be checking closer for signs of weakness.

Bob(and Pam)-

No worries. Life happens. ;-)


Bob Raimo-

Where's our morning poem?


Did you eat a lot of burritos already?


i had a losing position on KDN until today I have the 50 call june with a complete loss.

today it opened higher and now is halted

i must have stepped on dog sh*t

how about little love for PFCB. The market opens up 100 points and it's down about .5%. got to love that.

PENN! Held and got paid

Congrats on those in PENN.

Very nice Tim.

Okay, now that I wrote about VIP being above that 104 resistance line it's back down around 40 cents. Sorry.

All my puts are getting close to be stopped out today but that's okay because my calls are going much higher.


Does anyone like the looks of ACN? I am having a little trouble reading the volume...


ACN doesn't have much volume yet. Did you read Jeff's post "time to trade". He discusses support/resistance and breakouts? Yes, I know it's about time but he also talks about volume. Were you looking to ride this up to its previous high? It looks like it's bouncing off of its trendline.


I got into ACN two days ago on the hammer. looking good to me.

Hi Liz,

Yeah, I was thinking about riding it back up to the high $41 area on the bounce. I will re-read Jeffs post that you mentioned. Thank you for the reminder.


does anyone know what is up with KDN I don't know if should sell my options or not.

what is the reason of the gap?


I didn't see any recent news either.

PVTB-went right back to that 34 resistance level. I think there is this cosmic thing going on...


I love JCOM...


Were you the one that said you knew something about TMX? It looks like it is bouncing today as well as breaking its downward trendline. Might be a decent entry.


Chip, be careful on day trading PENN. The takeover is offered at 67 but does not have to close until JUNE 2008. The spread is probabaly Arbitrage. The market is pretty smart. Takeover at $67 stock at 62.5ish...7% discount. Short rates at 5.25%. Yup...probably the Arb spread...I guess.


Anyone still in PAY? We have a trade, been out of town on vacation and away from the computer for days. I know y'all discussed it a few days ago. Trying to get the quick scoop on some of these.

Randall and Michelle

HANS finally broke today. Volume is increasing. Jeff had this one on his list for awhile. In fact he said he was almost ready to give up on it.

Sure glad I held on to PENN. It's going to be a great day!



I don't think I ever mentioned TMX. Haven't been watching it very closely, but it does look like a nice trend and a good bounce.

R & M I'm still living with PAY my line in the sand is 37.70 . My option exspires in oct.

Congrats Debbie!


The other day I asked for another set of eyes on VOLV. It's now doing its normal thing, bouncing slowly up.

Randall & Michelle-

It's right at a resistance level but for others it broke it's pattern. I guess it depends on how you played it.



I was just watching PENN as it opened trading, I should have emphasized the word 'may' on the day trading comment, I'm not that bold. I was curious as to why it wasn't going up closer to $67, your response likely answers that question. I, like others missed the move and won't go there now.

Thank you very much for the concern. It's nice that we look out for each other!

R&M, I'm still in PAY, watching to see if it will hold its relative position or drop, if it goes up much more, I'm out, I have resistance at $37.67. JK still believes that it will hit its target by Oct.

Thanks, you guys. It's hard to get back on track after being away three days.

Randall and Michelle

fmx is looking sweet

I am sitting at my computer trading and through my window I can see the launch of NASA's rocket.
Cocoa Beach Fl

Great launch.

Tonya did u see it?

Is anybody else having problems with ThinkorSwim?



Desktop s/w? No, seems okay to me. What problem are you having?

somebody please remind me to stop looking at my account values. doesn't matter whether the account is up or down, all it does is make me emotional.

some days i just struggle with it. aaarrrggghhhh.

thanks for the therapy.

Morning all (Please look away, morning breath is permeating the atmosphere.)

Saw the posts on PENN and thought "YEEEHAAWWW!!! I got one!!" Then I looked at my account and realised I sold my July calls yesterday thinking it was a good re-entry point and forgot to re-enter. D'OH!!! Time to put a little tuna behind my ears and let the cats loose. I guess I won't be re-entering now, huh?

STX looks like it's finally giving up the downward ghost. I'll take it off the market, I think and settle for a small gain. All my other puts are holding their own in this raging bull market. LCC puts are up almost 100% and MRVL and KOMG are up just a tick.

JRCC is up $17.. I TOLD you coal was the next big thing!!


Be at peace with the stock. Watch the stock. Be the stock. Forget the totals. I am just now getting comfortable with not even looking at the total gains on each stock (although you'd never know it from my posts.) All that matters is the trend of each individual stock. Is it continuing? or is it breaking? Or is it @#%*& PENN and giving other people mammoth profits?!?

Breathe... one, two, three... and breathe again... one, two, three.

You are the stock.

Thanks, Chris. I am the stock.

Hey man, will LCC ever stop going down. Geez, I would like to get in on some of that but I've missed it every time and there's never a good entry because it just always goes down.

Incidentally, my dad is a captain for LCC. Thought that might be of interest to you given your captainship.

Does anyone know why today's candle on BNI is solid black?

Thanks Toni

Can anyone offer some tradable bearish picks today? I'm calling on the addict resource forum.

I suggest LEAP and AMAG.

Here are some bullish plays too with good entries:

ARO - nice bounce here

GOOG - the flag break is setting up. Anticipate?

GAP - love this one a LOT.

Tim, remember to stop looking at your account values, that only makes you emotional :)

Brett, UNFI looks like a possible bearish entry today if you're not already in. Also, utilities looking good? Check out XLU? I'm only concerned about whether interest rates continue down and cause XLU to head back up from whence it came.

I got in MRVL yesterday and I think it's still looking good.

Brett, AMAG, retested its breakout. what do you think


Brett, just wondering... Did you bail on CMCSA yet? It keeps going higher with volume.

Neat about your Dad, I'm sorry I'm making so much money off of his company not doing well. Pension issues down there are a bugger.

Brett, I can't find any really good bearish plays. I, too, got into MRVL yesterday and it's keeping it's head above water... barely.

TNH... can't remember who pointed this out but I put it in my 401k yesterday. Up another 4% today. Thanks to whoever it was (or is it "whomever?")

liz, can't wait to hear the "Bear wrestling" stories that are bound to come up. I'll have to drag Grant out and let him tell me all about them without you there to "correct" the stories. Should be good.



Yes, desktop. I'm re-downloading it right now. It's as if all of a sudden the link disappeared.

What trading platform do you use? If it's thinkorswim you could just put on the private setting (I think that's what it's called as I can't look at it right now) and block out your account. Then you wouldn't see it fluctuate so much throughout the day. I tried that. Didn't like it. I like bitting my fingernails. ;-)

Will have to get back to you on bearish ideas. As soon as I stop having technical difficulties.

I can smell that breath from here!

Wow! I think you got everybody's attention with all the CAPS!


Utilties have been weak. I got into FPL, watching that deep sloping neckline holding.

I did bail on CMCSA.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out. Keep em coming. Days like this make great bearish entries.

Hey liz. yes, I use TOS desktop and I enact the privacy setting. problem is, they don't have a setting that can keep me from turning off the privacy setting any time I want to. :)

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'm starting to relax now. This is good practice.

Alright boys,

Going to CMG.

Hey Brett-

I mentioned this one earlier on the blog, but BEBE has continued to look weak. It broke down out of its descending triangle on 6/7 with heavy volume. Maybe too late. Just a thought. I still owe you a burrito for NVT, my trade of the year.

Peter V

JCP will be a good bearish play if it breaks below 75.

Jon P.
OC, Oregon

CRDN is on fire today.


MER is retesting. Bouncing off resistance. Looks to be a good entry point.

Jon P.
OC, Oregon


Will not trade, too extended. Will add to watchlist to see if it gives me an opportunity it get in on a pull back, if not, look elswhere.

Loving SBS about now.

Like AMAG for put play.

Jeff seems to me MIA

Hey Brett

I got a couple


FXY looks the best




looks like PVTB has gone above trend line and resistance.


Anyone get into CAT??

there goes TMX in the last 20 minutes.

Liz, addicts..

Out of town, borrowing a computer just to say hello. Sorry no poem this morning Liz. Go figure, got no time to be on a computer, but I am addicted to the blog!!

My PENN gave me a nice 500% return today.

Still in GOOG...
Still in X..

Have a great weekend everyone, back on Monday..though I am sure I will check in over the weekend, or maybe later today if I get some time.

Brett will keep you all in line!!!!

Cheers, Bob

Long time listener first time poster; Hello options addicts Just wanted to say thanks to Jeff, Investools and all the comments on this site. Without all of you I doubt I would be where I am today. Have been investing in the mrkt via stocks and mutual funds for 20 yrs thought I was getting some good returns with 8-15% a year, wow was I missing the boat. Started paper trading 6 months ago switched to real money May 1st as of right now I’m up 15% on my options portfolio. 21 winners and 4 losers so far. I admit I’m taking baby steps and only going with 1 contract lots for now as I build my confidence and skill. Hope to meet Jeff , Eric and many of you option addicts in Chicago in a couple of months+-. Every day I learn something new from all of you. Keep up the comments and have a great relaxing weekend. Thanks Rob M Buffalo NY

Tres I am in cat as well. So you hace an exit on this?

BNI has had a series of lower highs and lower lows and is bouncing off of resistance. A good entry for this stock with the market up and this going down.

Jon P.
OC, Oregon

Hey Liz,

If you get a second, check out that volume on ACN. The price was pushed up and then back down, so a lot of it is sellers, but the majority are buyers. Flag break coming off tombstone doji and a couple hammers. I like the odds.


DavidS great question, earnings on July 20 and until then watching tend. How about you?

I think If it hit s 82 it will consolidate to trend line and then continue up. I am thinking of getting out and getting back in, i will wait to see how it reacts at 82 and how long it takes to get there.

I am thinking of getting in on ATW today I like the volume

ATW chart looks good but the volume I see is off a little (-26%), I will keep my eye on it.

Okay y'all...
Got out of my June DECK 80s for a 375% gain...

still holding a couple of other positions in it, and I'm keeping an eye on it.

do or die for NYX i think it is going lower, if it can't go up in this market that should ay something.

low risk entry 83 area is my stop


Volume looks great but if you're taking it as a bounce you don't need to worry about volume like on a breakout. I don't know if we're looking at the same stock because I don't see the flag break. But it does look like a very nice bounce with a nice trend behind it. A really good example of a flag break would be GRMN.

I think it would be a nice ride up to prior highs and then if it gets a push, a higher high.

(Nice seems to be my favorite word today. Sorry for the repetition.)

liz ;-)


Now that you mention it, your right - it is not much of a flag. I remember Jeff saying that you dont want to see your flag dragging on the floor and it looks like it is doing that. Thanks for your input. By the way, I got in on GRMN early on the 11th - now that is definately a flag:) Thanks Liz.


Here are a few other bearish ideas…

WABC - Broke support of a DT on 6/7 and failed the retest today.

ASFI - Has made lower lows and lower highs since its peak in early April. Turning down from its recent high and, if it makes another lower low, will dip below 37.50. No support below that until 35.

HNI, KMX and KOMG are all close to their descending support lines and all are in fairly weak sectors.


DavidS did you enter NYX today? I agree when it breaks 80 it has a long way to fall!!

I'm liking NYX for a put play. However whey you look at a weekly chart, it's more like a "falling wedge", though it's not really "falling" so much as getting stopped at an area of support.

It seems like it has a great deal of support here. I'd definately advise waiting for the breakout (down?). If it breaks up, it may be good for 40 points. it's been a strong mover up over the last three years.

This will surely be "one to watch"...

I did I bought Sept 75, but I think I boufht too much time in the event i am really wrong I will sell the 80 puts against them

Tres & Lisa

I've got NYX on my watch list as well. I'm waiting for it to break below 80 or so with volume. There's a lot of support there so it needs an extra push. But I'm definitely waiting for confirmation on this one.


I dont think you bought to much time, if it falls here your looking good if not you have time to reverse it!

I agree, I am waiting for it to break 80 since that seems to be strong support.


I don't think we've discussed the topic of 'pinning' at expiration. Could you elaborate on this? Is that perhaps what we're seeing from GOOG?

if you are looking for a bearish play check out the bear flag on WOR. the volume on the down days outweighs the up days. i believe the candle pattern formed today is bearish - its called a lost toddler or abandoned baby - something to that effect. i cant remember exactly....


XEL - nice bear flag.

Bloomberg reports that NMX is exploring a sale to NYSE Euronext (NYX) or the CME. This is from think or swim news about NYX.
unsure if that was mentioned.


learn it.


damn nice brett.

new video...

Dear fellow addicts. I'd like to share a little experiment I undertook and some lessons I learned.

Lesson 1 -- Gamma gets crazy high at expiration.

Lesson 2 -- Price always trumps time decay if you are right on the trend.

I bought a June 55 call on CCJ back around 4/26, speculating on earnings. It cost $45.

Well, it didn't jump as big as I thought on earnings, but I risked the whole premium anyway and the stock was still in an uptrend, so I held onto it, just to see what would happen.

Well, the stock never hit 55 and my time value just kept melting away until, as of yesterday, my option was worth 5 bucks. Then today, on the day of expiration, it jumps up over 55 and I sold the call for 60 bucks.

I don't think that this will really help anyone with their trading, but I thought it was interesting none the less.

Do I dream or someone also see an ascending triangle in FXI.?
It broke resistance on 6/13. I am in a call but I am not sure how to draw the triangle properly.the resistance is clear at 116.68 but for the diagonal support do you go from 108.20 on 5/30 or from 112.80 on 6/7.
I would appreciate any input.



I would draw my diagonal support starting from a lot farther back like around 3/5 starting around 92 or so. Sometimes if I'm having a hard time figuring out where support is I will change my chart setting to line. That can give you a very clear indication where support and resistance are. Go under chart setting, graph style and check line. Then I will go back to candles.


Jeff, TMX is all over the board. I,m nuetral now! Bought more DO on the fade. CLF made a nice rebound. Thanks for the picks.

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About me

  • I'm Option Addict
  • From Saratoga Springs, Utah, United States
  • I am a professional trader and an instructor for Investools. I've had relations with the markets for 9 years. Born in Concord, CA, but reside in Saratoga Springs, Utah. Father of THREE, Husband of one.
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