American Equity Investment Life Holding (NYSE: AEL)

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in the insurance business in 50 states and the District of Columbia. It underwrites fixed annuities, including fixed index annuities and fixed rate annuities, as well as single premium immediate annuities. The company also offers life insurance products comprising traditional ordinary and term, universal life, and other interest-sensitive life insurance products. It targets group of individuals aging 45-75 who are seeking to accumulate tax-deferred savings. The company markets its products through a brokerage distribution network of approximately 45 national marketing organizations and approximately 27,000 independent agents.

Take a look at the 1-year chart of American Equity (NYSE: AEL) with the added notations:

1-year chart of American Equity (NYSE: AEL)

After rallying straight up from November into January, AEL then fell back down just as fast. The stock has since stabilized and moved into a sideways range. While trading in that range, the stock has hit a very important area of resistance near $25 (purple). If the stock can break above its $25 resistance zone higher prices should follow.

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The Tale of the Tape: AEL has a zone of resistance around $25. A long trade could be entered on a break through that area. However, if you are bearish on the stock, a short trade could be made on any rallies up to $25.

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