February 21, 2010
If you ever hope to re-establish faith in the market by the retail investor, you will install an effective up-tick rule. I watch the tape daily and have clearly seen the professionals paint the charts to yield the interpretation they want from the technical traders. They don't have to take a stock down 5% or 10%. They only have to break support lines in order to get big results from short trades. If you watch large cap stocks, you will see a radical shift in volume just after a stock breaks support in order to get the maximum move downwards. Often times, if they can take out enough support points, they will trigger stop loss orders that will dump enough stock onto the market that they can buy back profitably. This is the type of action that must be stopped and the reason why the up-tick rule was installed originally. If short sales must be entered on the ask side with at least a few cents differential (my proposal would be at the old 1/8 dollar marks
12, 25, 38, 50, 62,75,88,100.) Short sellers would be allowed to place short sells at any of these marks above the current bid price.
The true market mechanism of short selling is when someone believes the underlying company is over valued and that in the future the stock price will reflect this. It is not to overwhelm the underlying support levels of a given stock by dumping shares on the bid price faster than buyers can absorb the stock.
This rule would prevent the type of manipulation that has been so apparent for the last couple of years. And it may begin to restore investors confidence in the market. I, personally, have been struggling with myself about getting out of the market because of what I am seeing daily. If the SEC doesn't take action soon, I believe there will be many who pull out of market and in doing so will endanger the US economy.