It has finally happened! Once again, October proved itself to be the witching month for stocks.
The market barometer of the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged below its 200-day simple moving average (SMA). After falling over 600 points on Wednesday, Oct. 25 without an intraday bounce, fear swept the financial markets. Volatility spiked with the VIX hitting 26 as investors raced to protect their positions with derivatives.
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I am not afraid, yet…
As regular readers know, I am a strong proponent of the 200-day SMA as THE major price support line. Not only is the 200-day SMA used by leading institutions, but it is also the only technical indicator with academic research indicating its worth.
Often the 200-day SMA gets violated for a session or two then comes roaring back as the bargain buying ignites. That said, technical analysis is only a small part of my overall market analysis.
A Proven Stock-Picking Tactic
Sharp down moves with spiking volatility create the ideal environment for a simple, yet highly effective stock picking strategy. In fact, this strategy is used by proprietary traders and other professional stock investors worldwide to identify stocks with strong odds of moving higher.
The tactic is ideal for identifying stocks that deserve further research into their viability for a long-term portfolio. At the same time, technically driven, short-term investors use the stock-picking strategy to find short-term winners relying purely on the price movement.
Here's how it's done. After a sharp overall market decline, screen for stocks making new 52-week highs despite the sell-off. The reason this makes sense is because when a stock shows strength in the face of market weakness, it often outperforms once overall strength returns.
I used this tactic to locate the stocks below.
Here are 3 bulletproof stocks you need to know.
1. J&J Snack Food (Nasdaq: JJSF)
This Pennsauken, New Jersey-based snack food manufacturer and distributor hit all-time highs at $161.82 per share during the aggressive sell-off. The stock is up just under 4% for the year, and 19% over the last 52 weeks. It's hardly a parabolic move, but it appears sustainable.
The company posted decent performance in the last quarter as sales increased 4% to $306.2 million from $295.4 million the same time last year. Net earnings climbed 3% to $26.1 million in the current quarter from $25.3 million last year. Earnings per diluted share increased 4% to $1.39 for the third quarter from $1.34 last year. What I find most appealing is that net earnings grew 46% to $80.2 million in the nine months from $54.8 million last year. Earnings per diluted share increased 47% to $4.27 from $2.91 last year. However, operating income fell 2% to $79.6 million this year from $81.2 million last year.
The current pull back into the lower $150s creates an ideal buy opportunity. Initial stops are suggested at $147.73 per share and the target price is $165.00 per share.
2. Zix Corp (Nasdaq: ZIXI)
In an exploding sector, this email encryption and security company have soared over 52% this year with 38% gains added during the last five dark days for the overall market.
Gross margins of nearly 80% and sales and diluted earnings soaring paint a very bullish picture for this leading internet security firm.
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What I like most is that this low-priced company has zero debt and a healthy cash reserve. As email continues its migration to the cloud, Zix will continue to lead this crucial sector.
Buy now in the $6.50 per share zone with a $10.00 per share target and initial stops at $5.37 per share for a substantial risk/reward trade.
3. Monro Inc (Nasdaq: MNRO)
Another stock that just defies the market moving sharply higher in the face of massive selling. You probably know this company from its chain of Monro Muffler Brake shops across the United States.
The company hit record sales and EPS in its fiscal second quarter helping to fuel the rally. What I like most is the collaboration with Amazon for tire installation.
Get long now in the $75.00 per share zone with initial stops at $68.83 per share and a target price of $95.00 per share.
Risks To Consider: Momentum does not always beget momentum. Also, stocks don't always bounce higher while you are invested. Still use stops and position size correctly.
Action To Take: Consider buying one or more of the above stocks. Try using the strength in the face of market weakness screening tactic when picking stocks for investment.