AvalonBay Communities Inc (NYSE: AVB)

AvalonBay Communities, Inc. engages in the development, redevelopment, acquisition, ownership, and operation of multifamily communities in the United States. As of January 31, 2009, the company owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 164 operating apartment communities comprising 45,728 apartment homes in 10 states and the District of Columbia. It also held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 14 communities under construction, as well as held rights to develop an additional 27 communities. The company’s markets are located in New England, the New York/New Jersey metro area, the Mid-Atlantic, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northern and Southern California regions of the United States. AvalonBay Communities has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust and would not be subject to federal corporate income taxes if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its stockholders.

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

1-year chart of Avalonbay (NYSE: AVB)

AVB may be forming a bearish chart pattern known as a double top. Double tops are reversal patterns and are as simple as they sound: Rallying up to a point (T), selling off to a support, and then rallying back up again to approximately the same top (T).

AVB appears to have formed the double top price pattern (blue) over the last 3 months. As with any price pattern, a confirmation of the pattern is needed. AVB would confirm its pattern by breaking the $163 support (red) that was created by the double top pattern.

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The Tale of the Tape: AVB has formed a potential double top. A short trade could be made on a break of the $163 level. Since there is no guarantee of a breakdown, a long trade could be made at $163 if a trader is willing to disregard the pattern.

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