Alpha – Bubbles and Lists

In stock analysis, the tendency for a stock ticker price to rise, to have the chart going from the lower left to the upper right, is called “Alpha”. So you have sites with names like Seeking Alpha that are doing stock watching.

So just what interesting tools are there to ‘find Alpha’?

One I’ve mentioned before is the sector list at Barchart.com

Another interesting one presents stocks as “bubbles” (the slider at the right on their site lets you get ‘separation’ between the bubbles to read them better). So in theory you want the bubbles that are rising and not the ones that are falling. In the view ‘today’, the financials are shown rising, in keeping with what looks like a short covering rally in those long suffering names on a proposed Debt Deal in the USA.

Here is a low res image capture from their high res flash screen:

FinViz Bubbles 20 July 2011

FinViz Bubbles 20 July 2011

(I’ve not figured out a way to do a ‘capture’ of the live version for inclusion).

Live Bubbles Chart

Compare with the 3 Month Performance Live Bubbles Chart here.

In that way you can see how the 3 Month Alpha is different from the action ‘today’. The 3 month chart has tickers like NFLX, M, TIF, COG, BIIB, COH, AMZN, MA, AAPL. On the bottom in deep red are the financials like GS, BAC, etc.

So as a quick speculation, we could guess that the “financials” that have had high negative Alpha for a long while may well have had a bottoming ‘short cover’ and could then go verify that with closer inspection of the stock charts. It would likely also be a good time to look at those long term High Alpha stocks and see if a ‘sea change’ is underway with the major Hedge Fund players et.al. shifting strategies (and driving future stock movements as they do so…). Basically, is there an ongoing High Alpha Trend to continue to ride, or are we having one of the modestly rare, but periodic, inflection points of strategy?

At Barcharts, they also have a list of the “top 100″ stock tickers. How does their top 100 list compare to the “bubbles”?

They seem to have a much longer ‘time scale’ (I’d guess it’s about a year) and no way I’ve found to pick different time windows, so you ‘get what you get’ and can not do ‘compare and contrast’ with it. (To that extent, the “bubbles” view is more flexible, if more difficult to get a list to search for candidate good charts…)

The list as of today is:

Sym	Name	Weighted Alpha	Last	Change	Percent	High	Low	Time	Links
FTK	Flotek Industries	+543.70	10.28	+0.11	+1.08%	10.47	10.10	13:25	   
MITK	Mitek Systems Inc	+424.93	9.46	+0.77	+8.86%	9.40	8.82	13:25	   
AG	First Majestic Silve	+416.03	24.40	+0.72	+3.04%	24.76	22.78	13:25	   
AGQ	Ultra Silver	+404.12	209.63	+5.30	+2.59%	213.10	195.91	13:25	   
VRUS	Pharmasset	+390.40	134.07	+4.68	+3.62%	136.99	127.50	13:25	   
ZAGG	Zagg Inc.	+376.31	15.96	+0.64	+4.18%	16.24	15.64	13:25	   
TZOO	Travelzoo Inc	+338.24	87.81	+0.02	+0.02%	90.35	85.00	13:25	   
BAS	Basic Energy Service	+330.80	36.80	-0.19	-0.51%	37.52	36.73	13:24	   
ARIA	Ariad Pharmaceutical	+322.42	12.81	-0.21	-1.61%	13.12	12.68	13:25	   
VHI	Valhi	+319.76	62.03	+0.63	+1.03%	63.25	61.63	13:15	   
GLNG	Golar Lng Limited	+296.86	38.71	-0.44	-1.12%	39.40	38.52	13:25	   
XG	Extorre Gold Mines	+285.60	13.46	+0.31	+2.36%	13.59	13.18	13:23	   
VHC	Virnetx Holding Corp	+282.64	35.58	-1.63	-4.38%	37.75	35.11	13:25	   
JAZZ	Jazz Pharmaceuticals	+282.63	38.19	-0.29	-0.75%	39.08	37.60	13:25	   
MPEL	Melco Crown Entertai	+278.39	14.69	-0.22	-1.48%	15.15	14.68	13:25	   
WNR	Western Refining	+272.56	21.00	-0.20	-0.94%	21.55	20.90	13:25	   
ALLT	Allot Communications	+270.97	18.27	-0.78	-4.09%	19.15	18.16	13:23	   
EGHT	8X8 Inc	+254.50	5.17	+0.22	+4.44%	5.25	5.03	13:25	   
GPL	Great Panther Silver	+253.68	3.85	+0.02	+0.52%	3.90	3.69	13:24	   
MDW	Midway Gold Corp.	+247.37	2.43	-0.14	-5.45%	2.55	2.41	13:24	   
OCZ	Ocz Technology Group	+242.55	9.74	-0.10	-1.02%	10.15	9.67	13:25	   
EROCW	Eagle Rock Energy	+232.60	4.92	-0.11	-2.19%	5.01	4.92	11:37	   
AMPE	Ampio Pharmaceutical	+230.13	6.50	-0.93	-12.52%	7.34	6.50	13:24	   
CVI	Cvr Energy Inc.	+225.82	26.81	+0.36	+1.36%	26.91	26.24	13:25	   
GTLS	Chart Industries	+225.68	60.84	-0.49	-0.80%	61.43	60.08	13:25	   
SIFY	Sify Technologies	+225.48	5.73	-0.21	-3.54%	6.09	5.64	13:24	   
FOSL	Fossil	+224.78	132.10	-2.19	-1.63%	134.98	130.92	13:25	   
CSII	Cardiovascular Syste	+223.70	15.31	+0.11	+0.72%	15.43	15.21	13:25	   
IPGP	Ipg Photonics Corp.	+221.74	68.78	-0.54	-0.78%	70.53	67.81	13:24	   
CCIX	Coleman Cable	+221.26	15.30	unch	unch	15.49	15.15	13:23	   
GENE	Genetic Technologies	+219.30	10.30	+1.52	+17.31%	10.75	8.56	07/11/11	   
DGSE	Dgse Companies	+216.90	8.89	+0.16	+1.83%	9.07	8.60	13:15	   
TNAV	Telenav	+216.55	21.61	-0.25	-1.14%	22.07	21.53	13:25	   
PHMD	Photomedex	+215.60	13.80	-0.20	-1.43%	13.83	13.80	12:17	   
GLUU	Glu Mobile Inc.	+214.53	5.74	-0.10	-1.71%	5.90	5.61	13:25	   
VIFL	Food Technology Serv	+211.00	6.44	+0.04	+0.63%	6.48	6.34	13:11	   
INTX	Intersections	+206.96	18.33	-0.29	-1.56%	18.63	18.17	13:20	   
ATAI	Ata Inc.	+206.95	11.00	-0.20	-1.79%	11.50	11.00	13:00	   
TWIN	Twin Disc Inc.	+206.14	40.25	-0.25	-0.62%	40.44	39.82	13:22	   
WRN	Western Copper Corp	+205.80	3.57	+0.09	+2.59%	3.57	3.48	13:12	   
VRTS	Virtus Investment	+205.51	75.57	-0.18	-0.24%	75.86	74.42	13:25	   
ONTY	Oncothyreon Inc .	+203.67	9.99	+1.15	+13.01%	10.00	9.32	13:25	   
APAGF	Apco Oil And Gas Int	+202.10	90.84	-0.91	-0.99%	92.00	90.84	12:06	   
LULU	Lululemon Athletica	+201.14	63.54	+0.03	+0.05%	64.49	63.15	13:25	   
MCP	Molycorp Inc	+199.05	54.64	-0.49	-0.89%	55.40	53.72	13:25	   
FXEN	FX Energy	+198.86	9.94	-0.16	-1.58%	10.18	9.70	13:25	   
WLBPZ	Westmoreland Coal	+196.20	30.82	+0.32	+1.05%	31.10	30.82	07/19/11	   
CLUB	Town Sports Internat	+195.80	7.98	+0.23	+2.97%	7.98	7.75	13:19	   
CVV	Cvd Equipment Corp.	+195.19	16.03	-0.29	-1.78%	16.40	15.81	13:10	   
MIND	Mitcham Industries	+195.09	19.14	-0.11	-0.57%	19.62	19.01	13:25	   
FBP-E	First Bncp 7.0 Pfd E	+189.90	18.10	-0.22	-1.20%	18.10	18.00	07/19/11	   
HFC	Hollyfrontier Corp	+188.63	73.85	-0.46	-0.62%	74.98	73.52	13:25	   
HCCI	Heritage-Crystal Cle	+187.40	21.88	-0.12	-0.55%	21.99	21.69	12:16	   
ELN	Elan Corporation Plc	+187.28	12.46	+0.06	+0.48%	12.49	12.20	13:25	   
CBRX	Columbia Laboratorie	+186.25	3.25	+0.09	+2.85%	3.26	3.18	13:24	   
VVTV	Valuevision Media	+185.18	7.93	-0.15	-1.86%	8.07	7.82	13:25	   
FBP-B	First Bancorp 8.35 B	+184.90	18.25	+0.43	+2.41%	18.25	18.00	07/19/11	   
HSTM	Healthstream	+184.17	13.75	-0.05	-0.36%	13.88	13.63	13:23	   
PDC	Pioneer Drilling Co	+182.75	17.14	+0.39	+2.33%	17.26	16.51	13:24	   
FBP-D	First Bancorp 7.25 D	+182.10	18.00	-0.60	-3.23%	18.14	18.00	07/19/11	   
FBP-C	First Bancorp 7.40 C	+180.90	18.01	-0.71	-3.79%	18.01	18.01	12:24	   
GMCR	Green Mountain Coffe	+179.75	92.36	-2.22	-2.35%	94.65	91.24	13:25	   
LXU	Lsb Industries Inc.	+176.04	44.90	-0.58	-1.28%	46.00	44.51	13:25	   
SHS	Sauer-Danfoss Inc.	+175.86	50.38	+0.24	+0.48%	50.88	49.88	13:23	   
QCOR	Questcor Pharmaceuti	+175.68	26.69	+0.94	+3.65%	26.95	25.60	13:24	   
WTI	W&T Offshore	+175.65	27.84	-0.19	-0.68%	28.17	27.32	13:25	   
USATZ	Usa Technologies	+173.50	1.23	-0.02	-1.60%	1.23	1.23	12/31/69	   
CRD.B	Crawford Co Cl B	+173.04	7.79	unch	unch	7.84	7.54	13:20	   
JVA	Coffee Holding Co.	+172.28	23.11	-0.31	-1.32%	24.43	22.09	13:22	   
TSTF	Teamstaff	+172.20	2.21	+0.32	+16.93%	2.22	1.75	13:23	   
GGS	Global Geophysical	+171.48	17.37	+0.28	+1.64%	17.28	16.90	13:25	   
EMKR	Emcore Corp.	+171.01	2.90	+0.01	+0.35%	2.90	2.81	13:23	   
APSA	Alto Palermo S.A.	+170.80	22.98	+0.22	+0.97%	24.00	22.96	11:38	   
IOSP	Innospec Inc.	+169.96	33.68	+0.22	+0.66%	34.03	32.47	13:22	   
AREX	Approach Resources	+169.30	26.51	-0.61	-2.25%	27.18	26.06	13:25	   
PHC	Phc	+169.23	3.08	-0.02	-0.65%	3.10	3.05	13:20	   
MAKO	Mako Surgical	+168.55	31.88	-0.36	-1.12%	32.69	31.05	13:25	   
WILN	Wi-Lan Inc	+168.19	9.22	+0.45	+5.13%	9.29	8.80	13:17	   
RVM	Revett Minerals Inc	+168.19	5.04	+0.08	+1.61%	5.01	4.87	13:24	   
ULTA	Ulta Salon Cosmetics	+166.55	65.10	-0.65	-0.99%	66.43	64.64	13:25	   
CLFD	Clearfield	+165.10	7.16	-0.18	-2.45%	7.41	7.06	13:20	   
SPPI	Spectrum Pharmaceuti	+164.97	10.70	-0.03	-0.28%	10.84	10.54	13:24	   
ACHN	Achillion Pharmaceut	+164.22	7.51	-0.04	-0.53%	7.56	7.44	13:25	   
LNG	Cheniere Energy	+163.68	10.15	+0.57	+5.95%	10.40	9.66	13:25	   
ADLR	Adolor Corp.	+162.08	2.63	+0.24	+10.04%	2.74	2.49	13:25	   
FBP-A	First Bcp Hldg Pf A	+161.60	17.29	-0.32	-1.82%	18.14	17.12	07/19/11	   
HNH	Handy & Harman Ltd	+161.56	17.01	-0.49	-2.80%	17.50	16.76	13:22	   
SGY	Stone Energy Corp.	+161.04	33.13	+0.05	+0.15%	33.49	32.71	13:25	   
DDS	Dillard's	+160.90	59.62	-0.66	-1.09%	61.08	59.10	13:25	   
DK	Delek US Holdings	+157.35	16.89	-0.01	-0.06%	16.95	16.72	13:25	   
ACTG	Acacia Research Corp	+157.29	39.26	-0.35	-0.88%	39.98	38.74	13:22	   
ATX	Cross [A.T.] Company	+157.02	13.75	+0.29	+2.15%	13.79	13.08	13:22	   
AZC	Augusta Resource Cor	+156.70	5.39	-0.01	-0.19%	5.43	5.34	13:25	   
SINA	Sina Corp.	+155.69	118.69	-0.90	-0.75%	121.19	115.40	13:25	   
ISTA	Ista Pharmaceuticals	+155.63	8.09	+0.02	+0.25%	8.13	7.92	13:22	   
AEA	Advance America Cash	+154.17	8.54	-0.01	-0.12%	8.75	8.51	13:24	   
AH	Accretive Health	+152.59	30.02	+0.78	+2.67%	30.18	29.00	13:25	   
PPO	Polypore Internation	+152.39	68.71	-1.09	-1.56%	70.00	68.18	13:23	   
XPO	Express-1 Expedited	+151.82	3.77	+0.22	+6.20%	3.83	3.60	13:24	   
EXK	Endeavour Silver Cor	+149.19	10.83	+0.20	+1.88%	10.87	10.18	13:25	   

On this list we see some others that we’ve identified from other methods: WNR and BAS in the oil patch. Some silver miners along with the AGQ leveraged silver ETF. LULU Lululemon in specialty athletic goods. MCP Molycorp in “Rare Earth” mining. JVA and GMCR in the coffee space. DDS Dillars in retail. So there is some inherent confidence in the list as we’ve got partial confirmation by independent means.

Yet there are some “stinkers” in the list. It is not ‘quality filtered’ very well. USATZ is a “penny stock” with a price of $1.23 and with no ‘profile’ or financial data at Finance.yahoo.com. So you have some “QA” to do before you can just toss money at a ticker off of that list.

Similarly, we find a ‘bottom 100′ list at Barchart as well:

http://www.barchart.com/stocks/sectors/-BOT

It lists some we could clearly state are ‘already known’ as an avoid, such as “ZSL Ultrashort Silver” and “FRO Frontline” in the shipping business (where I’ve speculated a bottom may be “soon”, but has been falling steadily to date). On that page we can also see evidence of a ‘short cover’ in the banks, with BFSB Brooklyn Federal Bank up 2.86% today and AIG-A American International Group Preferred A shares up 2.61%. (Some other banks on the list are showing down days, so are still stinkers).

This, too, gives some confidence in the list (and hints that watching for ‘exit from the list’ after some up days would be a nice ‘bottom call’ signal…)

So, a nice place to pick up “Alpha” ideas, with the only real “problem” being that the “time scale” is ill defined and there is little you can do with their site to pick out ‘changes’ from a long term dog to a new bottom or a long term buy to a ‘topped out’ until some long time after the fact as it slowly leaves the Alpha list.

OK, we can ‘fix that’ with our “race charts”. So take the “Alpha Ideas” and “race them” to find the ones with High Alpha and more room to run to the topside.

FWIW, they also have a “Signals” section that makes ‘picks’ (via a system I’ve not investigated). The one for ETFs has a “pick” of the Indonesia ETF IDX and the NZ Dollar (both of which we’ve seen here before as “doing well” – though I had to have the NZ Dollar pointed out to me by a Kiwi… many thanks for that, BTW..) The “signals” today also include GLD and the SPDR Gold Trust (that are getting a bit ‘long in the tooth’ but likely still have some upside depending on just how stupid Congress and The Fed can be…)

http://www.barchart.com/etf/signals/

So I’ve used BarChart from time to time to get ‘ideas’. Generally a useful tool, but with a slightly long ‘time window’ and a bit slow to change direction at market tops / bottoms. So for that, you need to set your context with the charts from the WSW postings… and know that when the tide turns, you need to turn away from BarCharts until it has had time to ‘catch up’ with the new direction.

In Conclusion

Hopefully this gives you some ideas you can use to find “hot stocks” and “hot sectors” in your own search for More Alpha in your portfolio.

That is, after all, the whole game. On your time scale of interest to find what’s got the most Alpha and ride it for the duration of that Alpha Ride…

Just remember to seek out some alpha, but QA screen the rides for the long term good ones, and watch out for market inflection points with decent market charts; then, and only then, hop on the ride: but use a nice chart of the SMA stack and the inflection identification tools (‘failure to advance’, RSI 80, MACD inflection, etc.) to avoid buying into an old stale Alpha Dog just before it heads south..

Yeah, it’s a bit more complicated than a simple ‘trend follow of an index’; but you have more potential for big gains that come with that added work.

Subscribe to feed

About these ads

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics, Trading, and Money and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Alpha – Bubbles and Lists

  1. JRadig says:

    ” but you have more potential for big gains that come with that added work.”

    Dang it E.M.. Don’t you know that we want guaranties, not potential, if we have to do that added work. ;)

    Thanks once again for helping educate us.

  2. Pingback: WSW, Wedneday, 21 December, 2011 « Musings from the Chiefio

  3. Pingback: WSW, Tuesday, 3 January 2012 « Musings from the Chiefio

  4. Pingback: WSW, Saturday, 25 February 2012 « Musings from the Chiefio

  5. Pingback: WSW, Saturday, 14 April 2012 | Musings from the Chiefio

  6. Pingback: WSW, Sunday, 6 May 2012 | Musings from the Chiefio

  7. Pingback: WSW, Sunday, 20 May 2012 | Musings from the Chiefio

  8. Pingback: WSW, Thursday, 20 Sept 2012 | Musings from the Chiefio

Comments are closed.