Asian stock markets were mixed and muted Wednesday, opening higher as oil issues drove higher on strong crude prices, and as property stocks built on profit expectations. But markets turned cautious in afternoon trading in front of the pending US Federal Reserve Board rate announcement. Hong Kong and Shanghai finished in the red, Tokyo was closed on holiday, and other regional exchanges were uneven. 

The Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell 135.41, or 0.43%, to 31,414.52, as losing issues outnumbered gainers 25 to 23. 

Leading the upside were China Resources Land (1109:HK), up 5.3%, followed by China Overseas Land (688:HK), up 4.3%, and then PetroChina (857:HK), up 2.4%. 

Watching the signals for Capital Southwest (CSWC), we have noted that the Chaikin Oscillator is below zero. Traders may be watching for possible bearish momentum on the stock.

Investors might be reviewing portfolio performance over the last six months. Many investors will be tracking shares that are trading near important levels such as the 52-week high and 52-week low. When a stock is trading near new 52-week high, investors may have to decide whether they should sell or hold on for future gains. Stocks that are moving towards a new 52-week low may also be worth keeping an eye on. There are many factors that can have an impact on the health of a particular stock. This is one reason why stock picking can be extremely tough at times. Because there are always so many things to monitor, it may be next to impossible to build a formula that will continually beat the market. Even after all the applicable information has been examined, the investor still has to make sense of the data and figure out what to do with it. Knowing how to use company data can end up being the difference between handsome gains and crippling losses. 

The Average Directional Index or ADX is technical analysis indicator used to discern if a market is trending or not trending. The ADX alone measures trend strength but not direction. Using the ADX with the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) may help determine the direction of the trend as well as the overall momentum. Many traders will use the ADX alongside other indicators in order to help spot proper trading entry/exit points. Currently, the 14-day ADX for Capital Southwest (CSWC) is 28.47. Generally speaking, an ADX value from 0-25 would indicate an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would indicate a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would signal a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would indicate an extremely strong trend.

When applying indicators for technical analysis, traders and investors might want to look at the ATR or Average True Range. The current 14-day ATR for Capital Southwest (CSWC) is currently sitting at 0.48. The ATR basically measures the volatility of a stock on a day-to-day basis. The average true range is typically based on 14 periods and may be calculated daily, weekly, monthly, or intraday. The ATR is not considered a directional indicator, but it may reflect the strength of a particular move.

When performing stock analysis, investors and traders may opt to view technical levels. Capital Southwest (CSWC) presently has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of 22.67. Investors and traders may use this indicator to help spot price reversals, price extremes, and the strength of a trend. Many investors will use the CCI in conjunction with other indicators when evaluating a trade. The CCI may be used to spot if a stock is entering overbought (+100) and oversold (-100) territory.

Shares of Capital Southwest (CSWC) have a 200-day moving average of 18.51. The 50-day is 20.37, and the 7-day is sitting at 21.45. Using a bigger time frame to assess the moving average such as the 200-day, may help block out the noise and chaos that is often caused by daily price fluctuations. In some cases, MA’s may be used as strong reference points for spotting support and resistance levels.

Checking in on some other technical levels, the 14-day RSI is currently at 60.76, the 7-day stands at 60.32, and the 3-day is sitting at 68.01. Many investors look to the Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading of a particular stock to help identify overbought/oversold conditions. The RSI was developed by J. Welles Wilder in the late 1970’s. Wilder laid out the foundation for future technical analysts to further investigate the RSI and its relationship to underlying price movements. Since its inception, RSI has remained very popular with traders and investors. Other technical analysts have built upon the work of Wilder. The 14-day RSI is still a widely popular choice among technical stock analysts.

Stock market investors typically have to deal with the risk element when making decisions about specific holdings. There will always be a trade-off between risk and reward, and this is quite evident in the equity market. In general, the more that someone is willing to risk, the higher the potential gains. Investors might need to be willing to identify their risk levels before attempting to jump into the fray. Some investors will choose to play it safe while others will opt to swing for the fences. Managing risk becomes increasingly more important when economic conditions are cloudy. Accumulating the most amount of understanding and relevant information about a company may be a good place to start. Studying a company’s position in the current market may help with understanding how the company has set themselves up for future growth.