There are various ways that the individual investor can approach stock picking. Starting from the top-down, investors may study overall market trends. This may include examining different sectors looking for the ones that are poised to prosper in the future. Once potential industries or sectors are identified, the investor can then start to sift through individual stocks within those groups. Investors starting from the bottom up may do just the opposite. They may choose to study individual companies that have been displaying strong performance, regardless of which sector they belong to. 

Monitoring the signals for Martin Marietta Materials (MLM), we see that the Minus Directional Indicator is currently higher than the Plus Directional Indicator. With the -DI above the +DI, traders may be looking for a possible bearish move.

Investors who are new to picking stocks may find themselves tempted to buy shares that have been recently rising the most. Although the traditional advice is to buy low and sell high, novice investors often do just the opposite. Buying a particular stock just because it has been rising recently may end up leaving the investor shaking their head down the road. Expecting that a stock will continue to ride the wave higher can lead to disappointment when momentum suddenly shifts. Studying the fundamentals of a certain company can help the investor gauge if the stock is a worthy buy at current levels.

Investors and traders using technical analysis to examine stocks may be interested in taking a look at the ATR or Average True Range. Currently, Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) has a 14-day ATR of 4.63. The Average True Range is an investor tool used to measure stock volatility. The ATR is not used to figure out price direction, just to measure volatility. The ATR is an indicator developed by J. Welles Wilder. Wilder has developed multiple indicators that are still quite popular in today’s investing landscape. The general interpretation of the ATR is the higher the ATR value, the higher the volatility.

Checking in on some other technical levels, the 14-day RSI is currently at 47.34, the 7-day stands at 42.67, and the 3-day is sitting at 43.81. 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.

Checking in on moving averages, the 200-day is at 196.50, the 50-day is 222.46, and the 7-day is sitting at 225.43. Moving averages may be used by investors and traders to shed some light on trading patterns for a specific stock. Moving averages can be used to help smooth information in order to provide a clearer picture of what is going on with the stock. Technical stock analysts may use a combination of different time periods in order to figure out the history of the equity and where it may be headed in the future. MA’s can be calculated for any time period, but two very popular time frames are the 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

Currently, the 14-day ADX for Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) is sitting at 9.92. Generally speaking, an ADX value from 0-25 would indicate an absent or weak trend. A value of 25-50 would support a strong trend. A value of 50-75 would identify a very strong trend, and a value of 75-100 would lead to an extremely strong trend. ADX is used to gauge trend strength but not trend direction. Traders often add the Plus Directional Indicator (+DI) and Minus Directional Indicator (-DI) to identify the direction of a trend.

Traders may be focusing on other technical indicators for stock assessment. Presently, Martin Marietta Materials (MLM) has a 14-day Commodity Channel Index (CCI) of -111.28. The CCI technical indicator can be used to help determine if a stock is overbought or oversold. CCI may also be used to help discover divergences that could possibly signal reversal moves. A CCI closer to +100 may provide an overbought signal, and a CCI near -100 may offer an oversold signal.

When examining current stock market levels, investors who have been staying on the sidelines may be wondering if now is a good time to get back into the ring. Nobody can say for sure if momentum will continue to push to the upside, and investors may be overly cautious at this stage. Studying company financials and paying attention to pertinent economic data can help the investor make more educated decisions when it comes to the stock market. It is obviously very hard for a new investor to become highly successful in the stock market right out of the gate. Doing all the homework and dedicating the proper amount of time can help the investor get on the right track to accumulating profits down the road.