In Part I of this article, I taught you to trade momentum that occurs after an earnings announcement. In this article, I am going to go into some of the chart patterns we can use to trade momentum that is unrelated to earnings or news. And in Momentum Part III, I will show you how to combine news and chart patterns to trade momentum. But, before I get too far ahead of myself, let me recap what momentum is and why I trade it.
I love to trade options on stocks with a lot of momentum. What this means is that I want to trade those stocks, Exchange Traded Funds or Indexes that are moving fast and far. The way I see it, if I am going to put my money in the market, I want to place it where it will work as hard as possible for me. You may have attended my free webshop on Monster Momentum plays during which I introduced a couple of the technical tools that I use to find and trade this strategy, but let me show you today some other pieces to this strategy and how this can be a boost to your trading account.
The first step to trading momentum is that you need to find a stock that has the capability to move fast and far. These stocks generally have a dollar to two dollar average daily range during normal trading. Once the momentum picks up, they can trend twenty to thirty points or so in a matter of a few months. Sometimes this momentum is sparked by news announcements such as earnings or a new drug approval and sometimes it is just a stock that becomes heavily bought or sold by institutions. Whatever the case, once you learn to read technicals, you will be able to spot the building momentum in time to profit from the big move.
Many of my most profitable momentum trades took place not because of any news but just because the chart began to show signs of big buying pressure or big selling pressure. I look for things like breakouts, long candle bodies, and various candle patterns combined with the six indicators I use to signal a momentum trade. The best way I can teach you to trade momentum is to show you some of the patterns that I and others in my Traders’ Talks have recently traded.
The first thing to keep in mind with momentum is that once a stock has made a big momentum move, you know it has the ability to do it again in the future. It will probably take a breather for a while and it may not move in the same direction, but the momentum will almost always pick up once again.
Take Goldman Sachs (GS) for instance. This stock ran with a lot of momentum from $155 to about $205 before it started trading sideways.
If you had been to my Technically Speaking classes or in my Traders’ Talks you would have traded GS all the way up through that run. But at the end of the run, Goldman took a breather for almost a month while it traded in a sideways range between $198 and $203. During this sideways movement, I put my money in other stocks and ETF’s that were moving with more momentum. Don’t forget what I mentioned earlier, that stocks that have moved with momentum in the past will almost always move with momentum again. So when a momentum stock slows down make sure you are ready to trade it once it begins to move again.
I find momentum trades from my Momentum Scans (you can learn more about these in the Ultimate Scans free webshop), and on January 8th GS showed up on my Momentum Scan as the stock started moving toward that resistance level. By the time it had rallied through the $203 resistance level I had entered a bullish trade. There is no trade that is more fun than a momentum trade. When all the technicals are bullish and my momentum entry was hit, all I had to do was kick back and watch the buying pressure drive this stock up to almost $214 where it sits at the time I write this article. You can see how profitable these breakouts can be on momentum stocks. Goldman has run more than $11 in only five days!
Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is another momentum stock that we traded in the past as it ran from $68 to $113. That move took nearly three months and then ICE began to slow down and consolidate. The stock was not attracting enough buying pressure to push it through $110. That resistance became an important price target for the stock. If buyers came back willing to pay higher prices for ICE the stock would rally above the $110 resistance and mark our next momentum entry.
You can see below that ICE broke out on January 3rd , prompting a bullish momentum entry. The stock then rallied to a high of $137 giving us a gain of 27 points in seven days.
ICE and GS are just two examples of the many momentum trades out there. I have shown you a couple important technicals pieces that need to be present to make this strategy work. Make sure the stock has the ability to move at least a dollar or two every day and then look at the price chart to see if the stock has moved with momentum before. Then wait for a breakout from a consolidation area to give you one of the safest, easiest and most profitable entries into the momentum trade. And remember, you may have missed these trades, but there are plenty more momentum trades to come. Learn to read momentum signals in a price chart with my six indicators adding confirmation and you will be prepared to catch the next big momentum trade
Hope to see you soon!
Markay Latimer with Better Trades