If you're going to make it in the long run as an investor or trader, you can't wait for top tick.
This means that you have to monitor your positions and if you're long a stock, any signal of weakness and shift in sentiment should be respected and acted upon accordingly, so that you can lock in profits before the market takes them away from you.
As a reminder, the stock market has no sympathy. It could care less if you don't get to cash out when you're ahead on a position. So take your money and run, especially if your profit target on any given trade has been reached. You will rarely cash out at the top, but by cashing out, at least you have your gains secured to play another day.
For example, I recently noted that a bearish undercurrent was evident from technical signals on the monthly charts in $SPY and $DIA as we approached the end of 2014; since the posting of that analysis just a few weeks ago, both indexes are down notably.
Looking at Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), it's experienced a strong trending move higher since closing above $80 on the weekly chart for the week of 9/1/14.
$NKE went on to trade as high as $99.76 by the end of November, but the bulls were never able to close the stock above $100 on the weekly time frame. Its highest daily close was $99.33 on 12/5/14.
The bears clearly recognized some weakness in bullish momentum and swept in around the beginning of December. The ADX line began to trend lower on the daily time frame, indicating that a range trade was in play. -DMI crept higher and a tug of war between the bears and bulls ensued.
$NKE fell from just below $100 in early December to as low as $92.90 by 12/17/14. Leading into the new year, the bulls were able to reclaim dominance and push the stock back towards $98. However, with recent broad market weakness, the bears resurfaced and picked up the selling pressure.
$NKE is now trading below its 50 day moving average, which is currently at $95.74, and has yet to reclaim it. It has come back down to the mid-December lows. This is a definitive sign of a shift in sentiment taking place, as this the first time that the stock has had consecutive closes below its 50 day moving average since August.
On any continuation of a pullback for $NKE, the next support region seems to be in the trading congestion zone between $86 and $90 a share, roughly $88 as a median foundation to work from. A fall to $80 would be a full circle back test of the breakout that began in September.