Peabody Energy Corporation (NYSE: BTU)

Peabody Energy Corporation engages in the mining of coal. It mines, prepares, and sells thermal coal to electric utilities and metallurgical coal to industrial customers. The company owns interests in 30 coal-mining operations located in the United States and Australia, as well as owns joint venture interest in a Venezuela mine. It is also involved in marketing, brokering, and trading coal. In addition, the company develops a mine-mouth coal-fueled generating plant; and Btu Conversion projects that are designed to convert coal to natural gas or transportation fuels; and clean coal technologies. As of December 31, 2011, it had 9 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves. The company was founded in 1883 and is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

To review Peabody’s stock, please take a look at the 1-year chart of BTU (Peabody Energy Corporation) below with my added notations:

1-year chart of BTU (Peabody Energy Corporation)

BTU created a couple of short-term price levels over the last (3) months. First, the stock formed a clear support level at $24 (red). In addition, the stock had also formed a down trending resistance level (blue). These two levels combined had the stock stuck within a common chart pattern known as a descending triangle that would eventually have to break one way or another. Well, last week the stock finally broke the support and should be moving lower overall from here.

The Tale of the Tape: BTU broke out of the bottom of a descending triangle. A short trade could be made on BTU on any rallies back up to the $24 area.

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