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How to Make Money in Stocks 2



Author: William ONeil

Summarized by Fernando Boccanera on 2005/8/1 Version 1
This summary is the personal opinion of Fernando Boccanera based on his reading of
ONeils book. It is furnished to you as a fellow investor and not in any professional
investment advisory capacity. You should consult with a qualified investment advisor for
specific investment recommendations suitable to your personal circumstances.

Individual investors

Have advantages over institutions

Can invest in only the very best stock
Can get in and out at any time

Institutional Investors

Can only buy companies with large supply of stocks, which usually under perform
Are limited to a narrow set of stocks because of their stated strategy
Can not move in and out of a stock quickly because of the size of their trades

CAN-SLIM Method in a Nutshell

Buy only stocks of companies with superb growth, whose stocks are performing superbly.
Buy and sell at the right time based on proven patterns

C Current Quarterly Earnings The higher, the better
A Annual Earnings Increases Significant Growth
N New products, new management, new highs
S Supply and Demand Volume drives demand
L Leader or Laggard
I Institutional Sponsorship Follow the leaders
M Market Direction

C=Current Quarterly Earnings

Research has shown that super performing stocks had substantial earnings in the quarter or two before
a major price advance. 3 out of 4 best stocks over 40 years had earnings increase > 70% in the latest
quarter compared to the same quarter the year before. The one in four that didnt, did so in the very
next quarter.
EPS increase in the latest quarter should be at least 25%
EPS increase in the latest quarters should show accelerating growth
Next quarter EPS estimates
o At least 15%
o Increase should be more than latest quarter
Sales growth should be acceleration and in-sync with EPS increase
Signs of financial trouble:
o Large sales increase but low EPS increase might mean company:
Issued shares (diluted)
Took large charge
o One-time earnings
o Cost reduction measures
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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

A=Annual Earnings Increases

Annual EPS ideally should have increased every year for the past 3 years
Latest annual EPS increase of at least 25%
Next annual EPS increase estimate at least 15%
IBDs EPS rating measures EPS growth against all other stocks
o It factors the last 2 quarters and the last 3 years
o Historically, the best performing stocks had EPS rating > 80
ROE at least 17%
Annual cash flow per share = 25% > actual EPS
IBDs EPS stability < 25

N=New Products, new Management, New Highs Buy point

Paradox: What seems too high in price to the majority usually goes higher and what seems cheap usually goes
Search for companies that have important new products or services, or that are benefiting from new
management or new industry consolidation
Stocks close to or making new highs after a consolidation show strength

S=Supply and Demand Volume drives demand

Supply and demand move the market, more important than any analyst opinion.
Shares float = Total shares outstanding shares closely held.
Management should own > 2% of shares
Look for companies buying their own stock back, EPS will grow.
Low debt-to-equity ratio

L=Leader or Laggard

Should buy leaders, number 1 in their particular field

The leader:
o Is not the largest or the one with the most recognized brand name
o Is the one with the best quarterly EPS growth, ROE, profit margin, sales growth and price
Avoid sympathy stocks, the ones you like for no good reason
IBDs relative price strength (RPS) rating:
o Measures price performance against all other stocks for the past 52 weeks
o Best performing stocks from 1950-2000 had RPS average = 87
RPS at least 80
Give preference to the top 2 or 3 stocks in an industry group (leaders)

I=Institutional Sponsorship Follow the leaders

Institutions account for more than 70% of the activity in most leading stocks. They are the sustained
force behind most important price moves.
Too much sponsorship can cause a massive sell-off when a stock tops
IBDs SPON Rating measures institutional sponsorship. It ranges from A (best) to E.
Look at quantity and quality of sponsorship
o At least 10 institutional owners
o Number of institutional owners should be increasing

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

M=Market Direction
Market Cycles and influence in stocks
Bull markets
o Usually last 2-4 years
o Are followed by a recession or a bear market
Bear markets
o Usually 3-6 months
o 2+years are rare
No matter how good a stock is, 3 out of 4 stocks will plummet with the market
Order of market recovery after a bear market:
1. growth stocks lead (new price highs)
2. turnarounds
3. basic industry groups and cyclical steel, chemical, paper, machinery are last
4. when capital goods, machinery, railroad move up, the bull market is about to end
Bulls and Bears
In bull markets, stocks usually open weak and close strong.
In bear markets, stocks usually open strong and close weak
Bull/bear markets usually end while business is still in an up/down trend. The reason is that stocks
valuations anticipate future events. Use of economic indicators or even stocks fundamental indicators is
useless because they lag.
Bull and Bear markets dont end easily.
o Usually it takes 2 or 3 pullbacks to fake out or shake out the few remaining speculators
o After everyone who can be run in/out has thrown in the towel, there isnt anyone left to continue
in the same direction.
o Only then the market finally turns and begins a whole new trend.
Spotting a Market Top
Market is in a very strong uptrend
Market goes up but volume decreases from the previous day
Market goes down and volume increases from the previous day (distribution)
Three distribution days in a week or 5 distribution days in 2-4 weeks is a clearly signal to:
o Stop buying new stocks
o Sell portion of some positions
Market breaks 50-day MA on the way down:
o Sell all positions
Spotting a Market Bottom
Market is in a downtrend
Closes higher on volume higher than the day before (or volume above average). This is the first
accumulation day of a possible rally.
Market follows-through on the 4-10th day: goes up 1% or more on volume higher than the day before
and possibly higher than average

How to Pick and Time Stocks

In order to select a stock and then time it, two types of analyses are necessary: fundamental and technical.
Fundamental Analysis measures the performance of the companys finance while Technical Analysis measures
the performance of the stock.
In the CAN-SLIM method, technical analysis is done mostly on price and volume charts. IBD uses two bar
charts: daily and weekly. The bottom of the price bar is the lowest price for the period (day or week), the top is

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

the highest price and the small horizontal line is the closing price. The charts also show the 200-day and the 50day moving averages.

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Volume is the best measure of supply/demand and institutional sponsorship. Big volumes move stocks.
Only buy stocks that:
o Have the highest RPS and EPS ratings
o Are performing better than the general market
o Are beginning to emerge from sound base-building periods
o Break resistance lines
Time to sell:
o Advances rapidly
o Too extended from the base
o Showing extremely high RPS
Is an upper price boundary that stocks have difficulty breaking
Exists because institutional investors who made prior purchases at resistance level prices sell to break
even when the price approaches their buy point
Overhead supply
o Supply of stocks bought around resistance price
o Can be sold when price approaches resistance level
Better to buy after price breaks resistance level (breakout)
o Proves that there is sufficient demand to absorb overhead supply sales
Opposite of resistance
Institutional buying

Chart Patterns
Definition: Price correction is a price drop of at least 10%. A healthy market will correct from time to time.
Definition: Price consolidation is the movement of a stock price within a well-defined range (upper and lower
Chart patterns, also called bases, are areas of price correction and consolidation after an earlier price advance.
The price uptrend prior to the base should be clear and definite and have appreciated at least 30%. Many
stocks will surge after breaking out of the base.
Reasons for corrections
General market decline
Sector out of favor
Company conditions changes (bad news, miss expectations, contamination, etc...)
Classification of bases according to percentage correction
1. Flat
- 10-15%
2. Base-on-base - 16-29%
3. New Base
- 30% or more
Classification of bases according to timeline
1. Bottoming base
o Base at the bottom of a bear market
o Best buy points come on breakouts off bottoming bases
2. Stage Base
o Each base after a bottoming base or a new base or after a 20% run-up from the prior base
(investors corner)

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Stage bases are numbered sequentially

o Base counter is reset to 1 after any of the following:
Bottoming base
A new base
Bottom of base is lower than previous base
o Subsequent stage bases are numbered sequentially from 2 on
o Late stage base
o Is a 3rd stage base or higher
o Are risky
3. Base-on-base
o A base after a run-up of less than 20% from the prior base
4. Base on top of a base
o Is the last base of a bear market prior to the bottoming base

Classification of bases according to chart patterns

1. Cup (with/without handle)
2. Saucer (with/without handle)
3. Multiple-bottom (with/without handle)
a. Double-bottom
b. Triple-bottom
4. Flat
5. Ascending
6. Flag
Base Duration
A flat base requires at least 5 weeks of duration
All other bases require at least 7 weeks of duration
Cup Pattern

Most common and reliable after a bear market
Very common during general market declines

Last 7-65 weeks(2 to 15 months)
Most last 12-27 weeks(3-6 months)

Best if in a U-shape, as opposed to a V-shape
Shakes out weak holders
Build a more solid foundation of strong holders who are less apt to sell during next
Symetrical similar number of weeks on left and right side

Prior to correction, stock run up 30%+

Important Points:
A=Absolute peak (start of the cup on the left leg)
B=absolute bottom
C=top of the right leg (highest intraday price on the day price reaches the top)
D=Bottom of the handle

Left Side (correction from the absolute peak):

Top of leg=point A
Might correct 1.5 to 2.5 times the market average
Corrects 25-40%

Volume dries up noticeably near the low for 2+ weeks( shakeout)
Bullish sign if price tightens up
Absolute bottom=point B

Right Side

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Usually spikes
Stays above average

Last dose of selling pressure; prepares for breakout
Downward price drift (shakeout of weak holders)
Top of right leg before price drift=point C
C <= A and C > A 15%
2+ weeks
Volume dries up noticeably near the low
10-15% in a normal market
20-30% in a bear market bottom
Stay in the upper half of the overall cup
Stay above 200-day MA
Tighten up at least some days or weeks
Bottom of the handle=point D
No more selling
Pivot price = Point C
Breakout (can be used as screen rules):
Rally from the bottom of the handle
Surges through the pivot line
Makes new price high
Volume increases at least 50%
Tends to move up 20%+
Buy Point
Point on the handle where it breaks through the pivot line + 0.10
Price no more than 5% over pivot point
Can buy at the point, inside the handle and prior to the breakout, where the stock breaks the
upper channel line, but it is risky.
Can buy at the point, inside the handle and prior to the breakout, where chart shows 3 tight
weeks, but it is risky.
Cup without handle
Can succeed but failure rate is higher

Bullish Signs:
Cup is U-shape as opposed to V-shape
# of up weeks on above average volume > # of down weeks on above average volume
The handle forms within 5-15% of the top of the left leg
Volume decreases on the left side of the cup or left side of the handle, forming a downward
Volume increases on the right side of the cup or left side of the handle, forming an upward
Breaks the 200-day MA on the way down (left side) and on the way up (right side)
There is a shakeout at the bottom of the cup or handle (price decrease with high volume)
Price tightens up close to the bottom of cup
Volume subsidies close to the bottom of the cup
There is evidence of support at the bottom of the cup or the handle:
Churning day or week. Churning happens when price does not decrease much
although volume is above average
Price closes in the top half of the bar
Volume on the breakout week is higher than the week before
Price does not change much for 3 weeks or more (3-week tight pattern)
Price tightens up (for some days or weeks) just before the top (point C)
Up weeks on above average volume followed by weeks of very low volume

Saucer Pattern

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Similar to cup but tends to stretch out over a long period of time
Pattern more shallow
Symetrical similar number of weeks on left and right side

Double-Bottom Pattern
Similar to cup but looks like a W
Not as common as cup-with-handle
Handles are not as essential because shakeout happens in the second bottom area
Symetrical similar number of weeks on left and right side
A = top left leg
B = first bottom
C = top of middle of W
D = second bottom
C should be less than A and greater than (A-B)/2 (top half of the left leg)
Bullish if D < B
D should be no more than 2% below B
Pivot point
o If it has a handle then it is the peak price of the handle, otherwise it is the top of the middle of
the W.
Buy Point
o Point where it breaks the pivot line + 0.10
o Breakout needs to have high volume
o Shakeout + 3
Alternative buy point to the traditional pivot point
Buy point is B+$3 (for $20-$30 stocks, or percentage for others)
Requires D < B
Requires high volume on the breakout
Triple-Bottom Pattern
Similar to double bottom
Weaker and less attractive than double bottom because falls back sharply to new lows 3 times
Flat-Base Pattern
Second-stage base after a stock has advanced 20%+ of a cup, saucer or double-bottom
o Price drifts down in a fairly tight range
o At least 5-6 weeks
o 10-15%
Second opportunity to buy
Pivot point is the highest point at the beginning of the base before the correction
Buy point is the point where it breaks the pivot line
Flag Pattern
Similar to a flat-base
Stock advances 100%+ in 4-8 weeks
o Price drifts down in a fairly tight range
o 4-5 weeks
o 10-20%
Pivot point is the highest point at the beginning of the base before the correction
Buy point is the point where it breaks the pivot line
Ascending Bases Pattern

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Series of flat bases on top of each other

Repeats the following cycle several times:
o Consolidates 10-20% usually due to general market declining
o Rallies
o Breaks out and continues uptrend
Each bottom is higher than the previous one
Most reliable duration: 7+ weeks
Buy point: breakout after the third cycle

Breakout Behavior (

Regardless of pattern, breakout shoud be on high volume
Sometimes a stock needs multiple breakouts. If price declines below the pivot point after the breakout
but the sell rules are not triggered then it might still breakout again
In the crucial days after a breakout:
o Volume should be above average sometimes
o Price should hold above pivot point
Base on Top of a Base
Happens at the latter stages of a bear market
Breaks out of base and advances but it is unable to continue advance because general market begins
another leg down
Pulls back and builds a second back-and-forth consolidation area on top of its previous base
At the end of bear market can spring up powerfully
Signals a possible leadership stock in the next bull market
Provides no buying opportunity
RPS Line
Trend should follow price line
RPS at breakout should be similar to RPS at point A (beginning of base)
Error Prone Patterns

Wild duration
Take too long to form (too wide)

Wild swings
Too deep
Correct > 2.5 times the average
Correct 40-50% in a bull market -> much more difficult to make new highs
Price range too wide
Come straight off the bottom to make new highs

Corrects more than 35%

Late stage bases

Low volume on the right leg up

Too wide
Too deep
In the lower half of left leg
Below 200-day MA
Price range too wide
Drifts upward -> no shakeout (high risk)
Price does not tighten up

With low volume
Price drops below pivot point
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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

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When to Sell and Cut Losses

Nature of Investing
Investment is buying and selling
Cant win the game of investing without a good defense (sell rules)
To be a successful investor:
o You dont need to be right all the time
o When right -> win a lot
o When wrong -> lose a little
How to know when a stock buy is wrong:
o Price of stock drops below what you paid
o The farthest it goes down, the higher the probability it was a wrong buy
Investing in stocks should be like running a clothes store. If a merchandise does not sell you reduce its
price, put in on sale and with the proceeds buy more of the hot merchandise. You take a loss on the
reduced sales price but makes up on the increased revenues from the additional sales of the hot
Typical investor:
o Suffers from price-paid bias.
Does not want to sell until recovers losses. The problem is that the Market does not
care about the price an investor paid for a stock.
o Is a big gambler:
Makes a bet
Stay with it
If things go wrong, lose a lot
Strategy to become successful:
o Develop precise buy and sell rules
o Be disciplined
o Control emotions
Dont become emotionally attached to a stock
Dont let losses scare you, learn with them
Dont be greedy, sell soon
Dont fight or argue with the market
Forget ego and pride
Investor motto:
o All stocks are bad Unless their price go up
Nature of Selling
Individual investors have the advantage of being able to move out of a stock quickly
Only realizes profit when sell
Selling reality:
o Will never be able to sell at the exact top
o Dont be upset because sold and stock still went up in price
Selling to Cut Losses
A good stock bought at the wrong time can go down in price as much as a bad stock
A stock going down in price:
o Is not a good investment.
o Better to sell and put the money in a better stock
o Every 50% loss starts with 10%
o To recover from a 50% loss the stock needs to gain 100%
Cutting losses reduces risk, it is like buying an insurance policy. If you didnt have an accident with your
car, was the car insurance money wasted? Same applies to stocks.
Frequently, the stock sold turns right around and go back up. Thats frustrating but does not mean you
were wrong.

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

When to Sell and Make a Profit

Reasons for a stock to top and revert down
General market tops
Sector falls out of favor
Company conditions change
Institutional money pushes stock up to unsustained levels
Stock appreciates so much that it attracts lots of buyers. When everybody that could buy have already
bought, the only direction possible is down.
Sequence of events at the end of an up run
1. Stock advances for many months
2. For one or two weeks, advances even faster
3. Looses steam and tops
4. First pull back from the top
5. Rallies but fails to recover to the top
6. Several pull backs and fake rallies to shakeout buyers
Signs of a Climax Top (also called blow-off top)
Four out of five leaders end in a climax top
Price advances 25%+ in 1-3 weeks on rising volume (specially after a stock split)
Price is 70% or more above moving average
Breaks the upper channel line (line connecting 3 high points over a long period)
Exhaustion gap: opens on a gap up in price from the previous close and stays up
Heaviest daily volume since broke out of a first base
Widest weekly price spread since breakout
Largest price increase in a day since beginning of run up
Price goes higher but volume trends lower, suggesting that big investors lost interest
Close at or near the lowest price for the day
Railroad tracks (as seen on a weekly chart)
o Price does not advance, but retraces the prior weeks large price spread
o Sign of heavy distribution
Heavy volume fails to move price up much
The weeks high is the highest high in 52 weeks and todays close is lower than the close last
Signs of First Decline from the Top
Number of consecutive down days > number of consecutive up days
Breaks 50-day MA
200-day MA flattens
Signs of First Poor Rally
Fails to recover to the top
Volume is lower than during previous decline
Stays under the 50-day MA
Signs of significant decline
Breaks the lower channel line on the way down
o Lower channel line -> connect all low points for several months
Head-and-shoulder pattern
o Very reliable
o Left shoulder, head, right shoulder
o Right shoulder must be slightly below the left shoulder

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Sometimes happen just after a breakout of a cup or saucer pattern. In this case the cup/saucer
base is the left shoulder and the top of the breakout is the head.

Guidelines to Hold a Stock

Number of consecutive up days >> number of consecutive down days

Price stays in the middle of the channel lines
Declines bounce back on the 50-day MA
Hold for at least 8 weeks if price increases 20%+ in only 1-3 weeks from pivot

Guidelines to Add Shares

Add if stock develops a short stroke pattern as detailed below:

o After a strong run-up from its breakpoint stock trades in a tight range for at least a week
meaning that institutional investors are reluctant to sell.
o Easier to identify on a weekly chart; looks like a small stroke of a pen
o Buy when stock thrusts higher on higher volume
o Keep new position small so that the average cost remains at least 20% below the current price

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

How to Identify Market Direction

Price level
o 50-day and 200-day price Moving average
o Strong indicator of a change in market direction when 200-day MA is penetrated
o Moving average
o Do not consider the 3rd Friday of each month because it is when options on index, futures and
stocks all expire, which drives up volume artificially.
Ratio of Advances vs Declines
Ratio of Advance volume vs decline volume
IBD Mutual fund index
o Tracks performance of top 20 funds
o Reflects performance of hundreds of the best stocks
Action of leading stocks (IBD 100)
Churning Day
Price changes just a little with volume higher than the previous day (or volume above average).
Accumulation Day
Higher close on volume higher than the previous day (or volume above average)
Distribution Day
Lower close on volume higher than the previous day (or volume above average)
Light accumulation Day
Up slightly
Advances on volume below the previous day
Small spread
Closes in the middle of the daily range
Advancing volume not much higher than declining volume
Advancing issues not much higher than declining issues
Heavy accumulation day
Rises on volume above the previous day and preferably above average
Large spread
Closes higher than open
Closes in the top part of the daily range
More advancing volume than declining volume
More advancing issues than declining issues
Light distribution Day
Index down slightly
Declines on volume below the previous day
Small spread
Closes in the middle of the daily range
Declining volume not much higher than advancing volume
Declining issues not much higher than advancing issues
Heavy Distribution Day
Declines on volume above the previous day and preferably above average
Large spread
Close lower than open
Close in the bottom part of the daily range
More declining volume than advancing volume
More declining issues than advancing issues

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Uptrend Market
Lots of heavy accumulation days
One or two heavy accumulation days are followed by a couple of light distribution days
Growth industries (medical, retail, technology) lead market
Defensive industries (utilities, oil&gas, metals) do poorly
Rallies on any good news
Recovers quickly from any bad news
A lot of times opens low but closes high (improves during the day)
Downtrend Market
Lots of heavy distribution days
One or two heavy distribution days are followed by a couple of light accumulation days
Churning day
Growth industries (medical, retail, technology) are taking a beating
Defensive industries (utilities, oil&gas, metals) are up
Declines significantly on bad news
Does not rally much, if at all, on good news
A lot of times opens high but closes low (deteriorates during the day)
How to Determine a Market Bottom
100-day MA points down
Downtrend loses steam (sellers shakeout):
o Goes down on volume lower than the day before
o Churning day(s)
Downtrend Reverses
o First day of accumulation: closes higher on volume higher than the day before (or volume
above average)
o Follow-through on the 4-10th day: market rallies > 1% on volume higher than the day before and
possibly higher than average
o MA starts to flatten
o Declines, if any, are gentle and barely break the MA
o MA line is totally horizontal, no inclination at all.
o Breaks the 100-day MA on the way up
o MA starts pointing up
How to Determine a Market Top
Uptrend loses steam (buyers shakeout)
o Goes up but volume is lower than the day before
o Churning day(s)
Uptrend reverses:
o 2-3 distributions in 5 days or 5 distributions (or churnings) in 2-4 weeks(10-20 days)
Summarized sequence of technical events on the NASDAQ (1999-2003)
Bull market picks up steam
Bull market loses steam and reaches top
Bull to bear transition:
o 2 or 3 declines and rallies that fail to move back to the top and barely break the 100-day MA
Bear market:
o Several declines (3 in the 2000-2001); rallies fail to break the 100-day MA
o Several more declines/rallies but not as sharp as before (bear losing steam). May break 100day MA.
o Reaches absolute bottom
Bear to bull transition:

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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

1st rally from absolute bottom breaks 100-day MA

1ST decline is gentle and does not break the 100-day MA much. Bottom is higher than the
previous bottom.
Bull starts with an advance that is not as sharp as the previous ones.

Detailed sequence of technical events on the NASDAQ (1999-2003)

Bull market picks up steam:
o Price increases speed up
o Volume increases
o Runs away from the 100-day MA
o MA line becomes steeper
o Liquidation on 3 to 5 days over 1-3 weeks while the market still advances (smartest people
selling at the top).
Bull starts to lose steam and reaches top:
o At the absolute top, the weekly volume is the largest of the bull market
o In the following weeks:
Price does not advance much (stalling action)
Spread becomes wider
Daily volume
Might stays high or might subside
Not as high as the absolute top
Bull to bear transition (buyers shakeout):
o 1st decline:
Sell off for 4 days is sharp and breaks the 100-day MA
Volume stays high
o 1st rally
Barely breaks MA
Recover less than half from the absolute top
Volume is lower than during the decline
o 1 or 2 more declines followed by rallies that:
Are as sharp as the first one but not as long
Fail to move much further up than the 100-day MA
MA line flattens
Bear starts:
o 1st bear decline:
MA line starts to turn down
Goes down further than all previous declines since the market top
Volume is higher than all previous declines (desperate people selling on the way down)
o 1st bear rally:
Fail to break 100-day MA
Volume is as strong as in the previous decline
Bear continues strong:
o 100-day MA points down
o Volume on the way down picks up and at a certain point is higher than the volume at the
absolute top
o Several more declines/rallies (2000/11,2001/2) that:
Have bottoms lower than the previous one
Fail to break the 100-day MA
Rallies tend to get further from the MA and then the trend reverses
Bear loses steam:
o Previous rally was the closest to the MA
o MA starts to flatten
o Next decline and rally are not as sharp as previous ones (2001/5)
o Rally breaks 100-day MA (bull within bear)
o MA line almost flat
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How to Make Money in Stocks Summary

Several more declines/rallies that:

Bottoms are lower than the one before
If break the MA on the way up, does not advance much further
o MA line turns down
Bear to bull transition (sellers shakeout):
o Reaches absolute bottom
o Rally breaks the MA
o MA starts to flatten
o Decline is very gentle and barely breaks the MA
o MA line is totally horizontal, no inclination at all.
Bull starts:
o Rally is gentle
o MA starts to point up

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