Momentum Scan


      It is often possible to catch a stock early in a sustained move by monitoring stocks that have undergone a recent momentum surge.  The Valuator gives the the 10-day momentum of each stock covered.  Remember that a high 10-day momentum figure does not necessarily mean a viable trend has begun.  There may be nearby overhead resistance to any additional upside movement.  If there is, you should either wait and see if the stock breaks through that resistance or look elsewhere.  Look at the stock’s 3-year chart and it’s 1-year chart to get a sense of the context for the recent momentum.  Is the stock accelerating after touching its rising trendline, breaking through its upper Bollinger band, bursting through the neckline of an inverted head-and-shoulders formation, or breaking through the upper resistance boundary of an ascending triangle?  Look for such things to validate that the momentum is probably the beginning of a significant move.  If you do not know what these formations are, learn what overhead resistance looks like.  Many people consider the lack of overhead resistance to be sufficient reason to purchase a high-momentum stock.
       Extreme readings are more likely to be followed by a continuation of the upside movement.    Check a stock carefully before you buy it.  A momentum surge may result because of a possible takeover.  In such cases, a stock will usually gap up to a certain level then level off with little price change from then on (it goes relatively flat).  There might be another surge later or the stock may stay there for up to a few months and then plummet if the takeover collapses.  In short, the upside move may already be over, especially if the stock surged nearly vertically, as would be likely to occur if a buyout offer has been made.  We believe it is better to look for stocks that have not spiked up abruptly then traded flat after that, and that you make sure there is no nearby resistance overhanging the stock.  The bottom line is that stocks with the greatest momentum out of a thousand stocks probably have that momentum for a good reason.

The “10-day mom” column of The Valuator shows how much the stock has gained in the last 10 days.