Exterran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: EXH)

Exterran Holdings, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides operations, maintenance, service, and equipment for the oil and natural gas production, processing, and transportation applications. As of December 31, 2013, the company provided contract operations services primarily using a fleet of 7,765 natural gas compression units with an aggregate capacity of approximately 3,429,000 horsepower in North America; and a fleet of 992 units with an aggregate capacity of approximately 1,255,000 horsepower internationally. Exterran Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.

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

1-year chart of Exterran (NYSE: EXH)

EXH broke its key level of support of $41 (black) in October and the stock has been declining ever since. Over the past month the stock has formed a common pattern known as a rectangle. A minimum of (2) successful tests of the support and (2) successful tests of the resistance will give you the pattern.

EXH’s rectangle pattern had formed a $33 resistance (blue), which was also a prior support, and a $31 support (red). At some point the stock had to break one of those two levels, and on Friday EXH broke the $31 support.

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The Tale of the Tape: EXH broke down from its rectangle pattern. The ideal short opportunity would be on a rally up to or near the prior $31 support. A break back above $31 could negate the forecast for a 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