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When to Sell Stocks: Why New Highs in Low Volume Can Halt a Big Run - MarketSmith

When to Sell Stocks: Why New Highs in Low Volume Can Halt a Big Run?

A great company is like a high-performance Porsche. Volume is the stock's fuel. If you desire to master when to sell stocks correctly, remember this analogy.

You can go on all day about the Company's potential, its fabulous new product, and incredible CEO. But if the Company's stock, after making a great run, begins to hit new highs on low volume, it will likely cease to act like a high-performance roadster. In fact, the stock may be beginning to put on the brakes on its spectacular run.

When new highs keep occurring on low volume, it's the prime time to be looking for serious sell signals.

After a stock sees a volume dry-up at the peak, be ready to sell at least some shares when it drops very hard through the 50-day moving average on high volume. Or, the stock may shatter a long-term trend line.

When to Sell Stocks: Use the 50-Day Line

A stock's volume often tracks above its 50-day moving average when its price climbs to new high ground. This is where the stock has never been before. There is no overhead resistance, and buyers should be luring offers with their increasing bids.

If this doesn't drum up increased volume, you have a problem. Remember, too, that the up trending stock already has had institutional support behind it. That's how it got to be an up trending stock.

What do you think would happen if the big-money funds stopped buying? The stock would fall under its own weight. And if you find the stock consistently making new highs without solid volume, that's a sign that the tide may be turning. That is, sellers may have more influence over the stock's future prices than the buyers.

Bata India:

After breaking out of its cup-with-handle base pattern in November (1), the stock went on to give 42% returns in the next five months. However, after making a new high of 1,469 on April 24 (2), it showed weak volume action (3). It gained on low volume, indicating a lower buyer demand for the stock.

The stock lost nearly 12% in the next eight trading sessions, breaching its 50-DMA as well.

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