Retailers Be Nimble, Retailers Be Quick

At SOI, analyst demonstrates how to predict bull, bear market trends using pricing tools

Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP


ROSEMONT, Ill. -- "Candlestick reversal patterns," "shooting-star tops" and "long-legged dojis" are a few colorful ways observers of stocks or any other bought-and-sold item--be it commodity or contract--use to describe trends made visual when turned into a certain type of bar chart, according to one economist.

Addressing a workshop during the NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Summit, Walter Zimmermann, chief technical analyst for United-ICAP, Jersey City, N.J., said retailers have the ability to see warning signs that a particular stock or commodity is about to take a bad turn in trading, based on even a limited understanding of historical movement.

"Having some knowledge is better than no knowledge," he advised. "So when your broker is telling you to buy a certain stock, you can tell him to hold off, so you can look for yourself to judge how the stock is doing."

Simple software applications can turn historic data on any stock or set of commodity prices into a graph that is at once an ongoing frequency chart and a bar chart moving left to right with the horizontal axis noting hourly, daily or monthly demarcations.

Using a stock example, he showed a frequently used pattern called a "candlestick," named because it combines vertically standing bars, the colors red and green to note rise or fall and lines going through the center. The vertical bars look like candles.

Zimmermann showed how certain candlestick patterns revealed when investors started losing confidence in the sample stock, which promptly followed with a downward spiral in price. He said many of these historic patterns create visually distinctive images, leading those who follow such charts to come up with colorful phrases to describe them. Some of these names include "hammer bottoms," "shining-star tops" and "long-legged dojos."

Zimmermann said other tools exist to help validate candlestick patterns. One of them is a "relative strength index," which charts the momentum of a stock over time. "If the gas is zero, momentum will slow," he said. Such tools will "indicate if I'm going uphill and am about to go backward."

Speaking to the issue of high-frequency trading, Zimmermann felt the controversial use of complex computer analytics gives an unfair advantage to larger hedge-fund traders. The ability to analyze thousands of bits of data in a matter of seconds stirs the velocity of trading, makes the market hypersensitive and creates unprecedented levels of volatility, he said.

Zimmermann addressed the general session of the SOI Summit earlier in the day, predicting that stocks are in a growing bubble and warning attendees that the current economic recovery may belie yet another economic collapse.

For more on the economy from the National Association of Convenience Stores' 2014 SOI Summit in Rosemont, Ill., see Related Content and watch for additional coverage in CSP Daily News. CSP Business Media is the exclusive media partner of the event.

Angel Abcede, CSP/Winsight By Angel Abcede, Senior Editor/Tobacco, CSP
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