International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. International Business Machines Corporation was founded in 1910 and is headquartered in Armonk, New York.

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

1-year chart of IBM (NYSE: IBM)

IBM had been trending sideways up until the stock’s large drop in October. The stock then tried to hold the $160 support (green), but the $165 resistance (red) won the day and IBM took another leg lower in December. Over the last 1-2 months the stock has been holding a 52-week low support at $150. A break of that level would most likely lead to much lower prices for IBM.

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The Tale of the Tape: IBM has a key level of support at $150. A trader could enter a long position at $150 with a stop placed under the level. If the stock were to break below the support a short position could be entered instead.

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