3D Systems (DDD), one of the bull market's biggest winners, advanced over 2,700% after breaking out of a first stage cup and handle base the week of December 4th, 2009. The stock topped at $97.28 the week of January 3rd, 2014 and has been in the process of forming a head and shoulder top. The stock had a false breakdown below the neckline the week of April 11th, 2014, and has spent the past nine months testing the neckline as the market has rallied higher. Each attempt over the neckline and fifty day moving average has come in below average volume (weeks May 30th, 2014, September 5th, 2014, and currently) or stalled (week of July 4th, 2014).
The company missed analysts earnings and sales estimates for the recent quarter and guided lower. Margins have contracted for six straight quarters from 11.2% to 6.1% and return on equity has fallen below 10%.
Traders could attempt to start shorting the stock as it starts stalling around the fifty day moving average around $52.94 and breaks back down below the moving average. Protective stops should be placed just above the thirty day high, currently $54.24, or whatever high the recent multi-day rally establishes. Downside target range is between $36 - 40 (24 - 35% approximately), which also coincides the average big winners fall after topping.