Illinois Tool Works Inc. manufactures and sells industrial products and equipment worldwide. It operates through seven segments: Automotive OEM; Test & Measurement and Electronics; Food Equipment; Polymers & Fluids; Welding; Construction Products; and Specialty Products. The Automotive OEM segment produces components and fasteners for automotive-related applications. The Test & Measurement and Electronics segment provides equipment, consumables, and related software for testing and measuring of materials and structures, as well as equipment and consumables used in the production of electronic subassemblies and microelectronics. The Food Equipment segment offers commercial food equipment and related services. The Polymers & Fluids segment produces adhesives, sealants, lubrication and cutting fluids, janitorial and hygiene products, and fluids and polymers for auto aftermarket maintenance and appearance. The Welding segment produces arc welding equipment, consumables, and accessories for various industrial and commercial applications. The Construction Products segment produces construction fastening systems and truss products. The Specialty Products segment provides beverage packaging equipment and consumables, product coding and marking equipment and consumables, and appliance components and fasteners. The company distributes its products directly to industrial manufacturers, as well as through independent distributors.
Take a look at the 1-year chart of Illinois (NYSE: ITW) below with the added notations:
ITW rallied in October and November, traded sideways for two months, and then rallied to new highs again. In addition, over the lat 6 months the $96 price level (blue) has become very important to the stock. Not only was $96 a key resistance in December, as well as support in March and April, but that level has also been a recent resistance in the beginning of May.
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The Tale of the Tape: ITW has a key level at $96. A trader could enter a long position on a pullback down to $96 with a stop placed under the level. However, if the stock were to break back below $96, a short trade could be made 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!
Christian Tharp, CMT
Follow me on Twitter: @cmtstockcoach