Investors might be trying to figure out an investment plan that is right for them. Some may opt to go with a short-term plan, and others may choose to invest in stocks for the long haul. The thought of creating a defined plan may be overwhelming to some. Comparing the plusses and minuses of both may be a good way to start forming a strategy. Investing for the short-term may offer chances to capitalize on gains over a few weeks or months. There may be more fluctuations to deal with in the short-term, but the rewards may be greater if managed properly. One drawback of investing for the short-term is that it may involve more risk. The element of correct timing comes into play when trying to enter or exit a position, which may not be for everyone. Investing for the long-term may be a safer way to go as investors are typically looking for smaller gains over a longer period of time.

Investors tracking shares of Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC) will note that since the stock opened at 32.39, shares have seen a change of -0.23. During that period, the stock has touched a low of 32.16 and tipped a high of 32.39. Volume on the day is presently 200. 

Conducting technical analysis of the stock may include following the Keltner Channel indicator. A recent check shows the 20 day lower band at 29.120785 and the 20 day upper band at 30.202246 for Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC). During a clearly defined trend, a break above or below these levels may point to the underlying strength of the trend. A break above the upper band may signal continuing bullish trend strength, and a break below the lower band may signal continuing bearish trend strength.

The SMA or Simple Moving Average can be calculated for different time periods. The SMA helps smooth out volatility and makes it a bit less difficult to gauge the price trend of a stock. Let’s view some popular SMA levels below:

Simple Moving Average 20 day: 29.334
Simple Moving Average 100 day: 28.6759
Simple Moving Average 10 day30.498
Simple Moving Average 50 day: 27.8997
Simple Moving Average 30 day: 28.323166
Simple Moving Average 200 day: 34.185677

The 20 day Chaikin Money Flow indicator is currently -0.2924983. This indicator was developed by Marc Chaikin who observed that the pressures of buying and selling could be figured out by where a period finishes relative to the range of highs and lows.

Investors are always trying to get an advantage in the equity market. Everyone wants to find that next great stock pick that provides a solid boost to the portfolio. Investors often identify risk preference when trying to sort out asset allocation. In general, a higher amount of risk may offer a greater potential for growth. Many investors may struggle with the concept of leaving emotion out of picking stocks. Equity research may involve a high degree of patience, determination, and lots of homework. Learning everything possible about the markets can help the individual investor better navigate the waters. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Being able to filter through the data to determine what is relevant information may assist the investor with making those tough investment decisions.

Traders may use a variety of moving average indicators when examining a particular stock. Checking on some Exponential Moving Averages, we note that the 200 day is 32.429035, the 100 day is 29.860159, and the 50 day is 28.774569. Zooming in closer, we note that the 30 day EMA is 29.106855, the 20 day is 29.661514, and the 10 day is noted at 30.61459.

Investors will typically be keeping track of historical highs and lows for a particular stock that they are researching. Watching levels for Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC, we can see that the all time high is currently 50.82, and the all time low is 1.0125. Let’s look at some alternate high/low price data:

Six month low: 24.25
Six month high: 36
One year low: 24.25
One year high: 46.73
Three month low: 25.51
Three month high: 33.56
One month low: 28.7786
One month high: 33.56

Traders might be keeping tabs on the Hull Moving Average. The current HMA reading is 31.82926. Traders may use the HMA to help identify the prevalent market trend. This may also lend to spotting useful exit and entry points on the stock.

Occasionally, a certain stock may perform much higher than expectations, and it may become a much greater percentage of the portfolio. This is typically a good thing, but it may require some decisions on what to do with the portfolio allocations. If one stock is making up a high percentage of the total, it may create the risk of higher than normal average losses if the shares take an unforeseen dive lower. Even if the stock has the potential to go much higher, it can be tricky to know when to sell and find other stocks that might be a better value. Selling a winner might leave the average investor frustrated if the stock goes higher, but there may be nothing wrong with taking profits and not leaving gains on the table. As we move into the second half of the year, investors may want to compare first half gains with goals that were established at the beginning of the year. This may help narrow in on what needs to be done in order to stay in the green for the rest of the year and beyond. Setting portfolio goals may be a good way to stay the course when things get a little hairy in the markets.