What We Can Learn from the Many Breakouts in AKAM

04/24/2015 6:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Corey Rosenbloom

Founder and President, Afraid to Trade

Citing a real world stock example for support, technician Corey Rosenbloom, of AfraidToTrade.com, shares the first of a two-part series on the lessons traders can learn from repeated breakouts and how to avoid traps by studying the charts from a historical perspective.

Not only is Akamai Technologies (AKAM) triggering another successful breakout trade right now, but we can step inside the history of repeated breakouts and learn a real-world trading lesson from this stock from prior outcomes.

Let’s start with the Weekly Chart, highlight the breakout, and focus on what this stock can teach us now:

chart
Click to Enlarge

I highlighted five prior breakouts (green and red arrows) on the weekly chart above as the uptrend strengthened.

Let’s start with principle #1:

“Stocks which are strong tend to get stronger, not weaker”

In other words, trends—once established—have greater odds of continuing than of reversing.

AKAM exemplifies this trading principle very well.

If we are to assume that trends are more likely to continue than reverse, then we craft our real-time trading strategies to take advantage of that tendency.

The easiest way to do so is to wait patiently for bullish retracements to support (buying as price touches a rising moving average) or on price breakouts to new highs.

Personally, I prefer retracement or flag style trade set-ups but AKAM reminds us that we can gain some quick, easy profits from buying a breakout to new highs.

When price breaks through a resistance level—or prior price high—it forces a decision.

For bulls, the decision is whether or not to buy right now (risk missing profits) or add to existing positions.

For bears, the decision is whether or not to buy-back to cover a position that is rapidly losing money.

The combination of bulls buying (to put on risk) along with bears buying (to take off risk) can create multi-day rallies where swing and intraday traders can profit efficiently.

Note each time price broke to a new level (green arrows) and compare that to the one red arrow through 2014 where a weak, divergent breakout resulted in a trap or failed breakout.

We can zoom-in to the Daily Chart to highlight the most recent breakouts (two of them):

chart
Click to Enlarge

Let’s focus on the $65.00 per share level through 2015.

Price traded up into this level twice after peaking and falling in September.

Buyers were unable to push the price beyond the level and thus a breakout did not occur (or trigger).

As mentioned earlier, there were retracement trading opportunities (blue arrows) during this time.

However, February saw a positive momentum divergence precede a powerful, gapping swing back toward $65, but this time, buyers shattered the level (with the help from short-sellers).

The result was a powerful breakout and three days in a row straight up.

Swing traders can enter as close as possible to the breakout and hold on as long as possible until price breaks under a steep rising trendline or under a reversal candle low.

Intra-day traders can trade more aggressively, buying intra-day pullbacks or smaller intra-day breakouts during the three days of breakout strength.

We’re seeing the same thing happen currently with a Triangle Breakout and (so far) three days of one-sided bullish price action.

Continue monitoring the current breakout and feel free to study any and all prior breakouts in this strong stock.

By Corey Rosenbloom, CMT, Trader and Blogger, AfraidToTrade.com

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