Penn Virginia Corporation (NYSE: PVA)

Penn Virginia Corporation is engaged in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas liquids, and natural gas in various onshore regions of the United States. Its operations include the drilling of unconventional horizontal development wells in shale formations primarily in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. The company also has operations in the Granite Wash in the Mid-Continent, the Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley in East Texas, the Selma Chalk in Mississippi, and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. As of December 31, 2013, it had 1,213 productive wells; owned approximately 280,400 acres of leasehold and royalty interests; and had proved reserves of approximately 136 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Take a look at the 1-year chart of Penn (NYSE: PVA) with the added notations:

1-year chart of Penn (NYSE: PVA)

After hitting a peak of $18 on three different occasions, PVA finally gave up the good fight and started a decline. In May and June the stock found a repeated area of support at $14 (purple). PVA finally broke that support back at the end of July and eventually found a lower level of support at $12. The stock seems to be getting ready to retest $14 as resistance before heading lower.

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The Tale of the Tape: PVA had a key level of support at $14. Now that the stock has broken support, a trader might want to enter a short trade at or near the $14 with a stop placed above the level of entry. A break back above $14 could negate the forecast for a move lower.

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

Follow me on Twitter: @cmtstockcoach