Do pivots work on individual stocks? Yes!
See below for the simplest possible pivot analysis, long term yearly pivots and half year pivots only (no support or resistance) on weekly charts for: AAPL, FB, AMZN, NFLX, GOOGL, TSLA, VRX, BABA, TWTR, YHOO, GPRO.
So whether you are a big fund or managing your own account for retirement, pivots can help with the position. This requires a more active management but hey we all want to ride the next AMZN and avoid the next VRX.
The method below may even seem too simple to accept. Sell or hold FB this year? GOOGL or AAPL? When do I buy BABA? You could rack you brain with these types of questions, but if you are an individual or agile fund there are very easy answers all below. If you are a larger fund, then still there are overweight / underweight and hedging possibilities at signs of trouble.
Here are weekly charts with long term levels only meaning yearly and half-year pivots. So only 2 levels to consider and the price. To make things crystal clear I am showing only pivots and not the usual red resistance or green support levels.
Bullish above both
Mixed above one not the other; i guess if we had to weight one in importance just a bit, it would be the yearly
Bearish below both
AAPL notice bug run early 2012, break of 2HP late 2012 was first sign of trouble; then opened below both in 2013 so there is your underweight, hedge, reduce or cut. You were buying above the 2HP again in July, then crystal clear launch April 2014. Break of 2HP in August like the market first warning sign, and though YP held on first test, very key tell in Q4 with failure to recover that 2HP. Again under all pivots, no reason for big longs here.
Long term investors in FB have an easy job since buying with the jump above both pivots on huge volume in July 2013. Since then it looks to be just 1 fractional weekly close below long term support which came back the next week. Amazing buy and hold!
AMZN nice runs 2012-2013, then a stall. Clear jump again on high volume early 2015; recent weakness and recovery above the YP. So there is a bit of chop here, if you reduced (or hedged) that first weekly bar below the 1HP, then really cut down the bar that broke the YP, you would be buying back.
NFLX also almost worry free from early 2013, though late Q4 2014 was reduce and buying back early 2015. Similar to AMZN, first a break of 1HP then a break of YP that is trying to recover.
GOOGL holding both levels and no trouble in 2016 at all.
Compare to TSLA. Massive run mid 2013 with huge volume breakout and all above both long term pivots except one non threatening bar first week of 2014, until early 2015. Another jump above, but lower high, and since then weaker.
VRX caused a lot of pain for big funds. It looked so steady and strong, but the first sign of trouble was the 9/21 week with the break of the 1HP on high (at the time) volume. At least some reduction or hedge there would have helped, but the fact is one week slam through the YP was a lot of forced selling and not much to do to avoid that rush for the exits.
BABA had all the hype on its IPO but really no reason to own this at all with a quick glance after January 2015, below both long term levels entirely since then.
A few weeks of hope for TWTR in 2015, but just no way after that big massive volume break in April 2015.
YHOO also nearly worry free ride from late 2012 to early 2015, but look how that YP and HP combo changed into resistance early 2015. This one was very friendly and gave you plenty of time to get out.
GPRO also crystal clear avoid for most of 2015.
If you took YPs seriously on XOM, you had bit more shuffle but at least you avoided the big drop from 96 to below 70, and recently been buying back in.