Celina Jade
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Celina Jade in Markets at a glance,

Let the glamour stocks lead the way

Last week saw the Nasdaq Composite come under a slight amount of selling. Shares could experience more of this, and it would be constructive. A moderate positive has been the post-Labor Day pick up in trading activity from the whisper-quiet levels of most of August.

Chart created using TradeStation. ©TradeStation Technologies, 2001-2014. All rights reserved.

Two things that are being watched are volume and leadership. The former needs to pick up for any rally to sustain itself and be taken seriously. So far, volume is moving in the right direction.

As a barometer of market health, it is hard to overstate the importance of leadership to medium-term speculation. At this stage, the speculator who focuses on the momentum moves of a few weeks’ to few months' duration should be keeping a close eye on the so-called liquid glamours. These are stocks with high relative price strength and high earnings-growth expectations. Preferably, 25%-plus.

For example, Apple AAPL, -0.95% is not considered a glamour, although it was for a number of years. In 2012, once the market sniffed a material earnings slowdown, large investors began exiting the stock. Its expected earnings growth rate is "just" 11% this year and next. While respectable, this is not much more than the long-term, average earnings growth rate of 8%.

By looking at the price action of issues showing higher rates of earnings growth, one can develop a feel for the speculative sentiment of the market.

LinkedIn LNKD, -0.81% is an example of a liquid glamour. Next year, most analysts forecast earnings growth of 47%. Too, the stock has deep liquidity (market capitalization of $28 billion and average daily dollar volume of about $466 million) which appeals to institutions.

At present, liquid glamours such as LinkedIn act well. Most do not show the telltale signs of distribution (institutional selling) that would be worrisome. If large investors all of a sudden start to dump stocks like LNKD, this would be sending a clear message about the conviction level of institutions in taking on risk. And someone has to take chances to create and sustain a bull market.

Among the names, Cheetah Mobile CMCM, -10.09% is special on a few counts. Most analysts who follow the Chinese developer of security software predict earnings to grow 170% this year and 174% next year. These are giant estimates. Of course, estimates can be changed at any time, however, they are what the market trades off of, so they are worth knowing. Revenue growth has been in the triple digits in recent quarters on a year-over-year basis. More importantly, top-line growth from one quarter to the next has exceeded 10% in recent periods, with the most recent being 20.7%.

Technically, Cheetah came public in May at 14. After quickly moving to 25.00 in six weeks, the stock formed its first base. It is currently building its second base. Recent new issues that move up more than 50% in their first several weeks post-IPO are often names that go on to book solid gains. The stock is under extreme accumulation (strong institutional buying) over the last 13 weeks), and is ranked in the 99th percentile for its relative price strength since coming public.

A very aggressive speculator might consider letting Cheetah spend more time basing than the three weeks spent thus far before contemplating a breakout entrance. Either way, the huge estimates for this year and next provide CMCM with the octane to potentially fuel further upward revaluation.

Chart created using MarketSmith. ©2014 MarketSmith Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Spansion CODE, -1.19% produces flash memory and microcontrollers. Most Wall Street analysts who follow the company peg earnings growth at 34% in 2014 and 78% in 2015. Top-line growth has been excellent the past two quarters at 64% and 61%, respectively.

The stock has shown solid accumulation over the past three weeks, as price made its way up the right side of its base. Specifically, accumulation days outnumber distribution days by five to zero over this period. CODE is ranked in the 97th percentile according to relative price strength over the past year.

Price now appears to be two days into the formation of a handle to go with its six-week cup. With a few more days of handle construction under CODE's belt, an aggressive speculator might take the stock on a breakout entrance above the Sept. 4 high of 23.48.

Chart created using MarketSmith. ©2014 MarketSmith Incorporated. All rights reserved.

Trend, breadth, and leadership are positive, while momentum and volume are neutral. While anything can change at any time in the market, at the moment shares, are not showing any technical shortcomings. The backdrop remains quiescent: The economy is in goldilocks mode, underpinned by monetary accommodation. Students of the market would do well to watch volume and leadership, especially the liquid glamours such as Linkedin, which can provide valuable information as to the speculative sentiment.

Earnings estimate data provided by Thomson Reuters.

via marketwatch