Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: PFS)

The latest Rectangle pattern in the long list that I have highlighted in the Today’s Big Stock Newsletter would be that of Provident Financial Services, Inc.

Provident Financial Services, Inc. operates as the holding company for The Provident Bank that provides banking services to individuals, families, and businesses in New Jersey. The company accepts various deposit products, including savings, checking, interest-bearing checking, money market deposit, certificate of deposit, and KEOGH accounts, as well as IRAs. It also originates commercial real estate loans that are secured by income-producing properties, such as multifamily residences, office buildings, and retail and industrial properties. In addition, the company offers cash management, remote deposits capture, payroll origination, escrow account management, and Internet banking services, as well as business credit cards. Additionally, the company sells life insurance and investment products, including annuities; invests in real estate development joint ventures principally targeted to meet the housing needs of low and moderate-income communities; and manages and sells real estate acquired through foreclosure.

To review Provident’s stock, please take a look at the 1-year chart of PFS (Provident Financial Services, Inc.) below with my added notations:

PFS had been trading sideways within a Rectangle for the last (6) months. Rectangle patterns form when a stock gets stuck bouncing between a horizontal support and resistance. For PFS, the Rectangle pattern formed a $15 resistance (navy) and a $13.25 support (red).  When the stock broke through resistance and out of the Rectangle pattern last month, it also broke to a new 52-week high. Now, it appears as if the stock may be ready to pullback to the old $15 resistance that should now become a new support.

The Tale of the Tape: PFS formed a very common chart pattern know as a Rectangle. Last month the stock broke through resistance and should be headed higher overall. A long trade could be made on any pullbacks to the expected $15 support.

Before making any trading decision, decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the highest probability of success. Do you prefer the short side of the market, long side, or do you want to be in the market at all? If you haven’t thought about it, review the overall indices themselves. For example, take a look at the S&P 500. Is it trending higher or lower? Has it recently broken through a key resistance or support level? Making these decisions ahead of time will help you decide which side of the trade you believe gives you the best opportunities.

No matter what your strategy or when you decide to enter, always remember to use protective stops and you’ll be around for the next trade.  Capital preservation is always key!

Good luck!

Christian Tharp, CMT