Actavis plc (NYSE: ACT)

Actavis plc, an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, is engaged in the development, manufacture, marketing, sale, and distribution of pharmaceutical products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and the Asia Pacific. It operates in three segments: Actavis Pharma, Actavis Specialty Brands, and Anda Distribution. The company also develops and out-licenses generic pharmaceutical products primarily in Europe through its third-party business; and provides products in women’s health, urology, gastroenterology, and dermatology therapeutic categories.

Take a look at the 1-year chart of Actavis (NYSE: ACT) below with added notations:

1-year chart of Actavis (NYSE: ACT)

ACT started the year off with a bang by running from about $170/share up to $230. However, since that time the stock has traded mostly sideways, while creating a relatively clear level of resistance at that same $230 (blue) mark. That resistance level was also obviously a 52-week high resistance. Earlier this week, ACT broke to a new high, and the $230 level should now provide support on any pullbacks. A break below $230 could signal a false breakout.

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The Tale of the Tape: ACT broke out to a new 52-week high. A long trade could be made near $230 with a stop placed below that level. A break back below $230 would negate the forecast for a continued move higher.

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