Results 351–400 of 451 found.
The call for this week: Over the weekend the eurozone agreed to lend Spain up to 100 ($126 billion) to shore up its teetering banks. That decision prompted this from my friend David Kotok, captain of Cumberland Advisors: The fact is the absence of banking collapses is good news. That is correct. Good news! We establish that good news by what we DO NOT see on TV. We do not see banks collapsing and failing to pay depositors. This means we may not witness the euro system collapsing and failing. Bank runs and deposit failures are symptoms of liquidity constraints.
The call for this week: Friday was the first day of hurricane season here in Florida, yet the storm didn't hit our beaches but rather blew onto the Street of Dreams with a 275-point "storm surge." The media attributed Friday's Flop entirely to the disappointing employment numbers, but the truth was the market was already headed down before the release of those numbers. And when the SPX's 1290 level was breached, the rout was on. And despite the break below my 1290 pivot point I can't shake the feeling that all of this is just part of the bottoming process.
The call for this week: I am out of the country seeing institutional accounts, so these may be the only strategy comments for the week. In my absence the stock market will likely resolve its near-term directionality because the "selling stampede" is now 18 sessions long and such stampedes tend not to last for more than 17 to 25 sessions. Despite the decline, by my work there has been no Dow Theory "sell signal," although there are some Wall Street wags who are using very short-term pivot points and believe otherwise.
I Should Have?!
The brilliant Lee Cooperman, captain of hedge fund Omega Advisors, quoted Joe Rosenberg on CNBC last week, You can have cheap equity prices, or you can have good news, but you cant have both! Clearly, we currently have bad news, which in my opinion has resulted in cheap equity prices. Playing to that quote, my father always told me, Good things tend to happen to cheap stocks. As stated, the real question is, If we get a rally from this oversold condition is it the start of a new up leg, or is it just a compression rally that will be brief followed by still lower prices?
The stock market has been consolidating its huge gains from the October 4 undercut low for roughly three months in a ~75 point range (1350-1420). That consolidation has allowed the markets internal energy to be rebuilt and the oversold condition to be worked off. Because of that process, I continue to think the odds that we will see a move below the 1320-1340 zone remain pretty dim. Accordingly, I suspect the stock market is going to put in an intermediate bottom probably this week.
Toto, I have a feeling were not in Kansas anymore.
While most people know The Wizard of Oz as one of the most popular films ever made, what is little known is that the book was based on an economic and political commentary surrounding the debate over sound money that occurred in the late 1800s. Indeed, L. Frank Baums book was penned in 1900 following unrest in the agriculture arena due to the debate between gold, silver, and the dollar standard. I revisit the dollar/gold topic this morning because I think the most important chart in the world may be in the process of breaking down. The chart in question is that of the U.S. Dollar.
Truth or Consequences?
When youre wrong you say youre wrong; at least thats what the pros do. Clearly, I have been somewhat wrong by being conservative, but not by much because the INDU is actually 70 points lower than at the April 2, 2012 intraday high. Given the aforementioned litany of cautionary indicators, my sense remains the S&P 500 (1403.36) will spend some more time below 1425 while the short-term overbought condition is alleviated and the stock markets internal energy is rebuilt. Fridays market action only reinforced that belief with the indices gapping higher and then closing well below those highs.
Dow Direction Dictates
This week we will see more major companies reporting earnings. From our research universe, stocks that are favorably rated by our fundamental analysts and appear positive on our proprietary algorithms are: Brinker ; Baidu; Pultegroup; and Caterpillar. For the past few weeks I have wrongly suggested that my sense is the S&P 500 (SPX/1378.53) will remain mired in the 1385 1425 consolidation zone. Subsequently, the SPX dropped below that envisioned zone, yet has rallied back into the 1375 1385 zone, which has now become an overhead resistance level.
Pigs and Panics!
As stated, this is a key week for the equity markets and we continue to wait and see how the equity markets resolve themselves on a short-term basis, a trading stance we have been in for weeks. Meanwhile, for investors, I met with a portfolio manager last week whose investment style I think is suited for the current stock market climate. The investment style of Troy Shaver, PM of Dividend Asset Capital, sub-advisor to Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend Growth Fund (GSRAX/$15.05), is to invest in companies that increase their dividends by 10% per year on average for 10 years in a row.
Shrugging Off Bad News!
March came in like a bear, but went out like a bull, capping the best first quarter since 1998. For the quarter the SPX gained 11.99% for its 10th best start of the year ever. For me it was almost like dj vu as I recalled the best first quarter of my lifetime, which was 1975s surge of 21.59%. Why dj vu? Well, it is because I began writing strategy In November of 1974 with the line, I believe now is the time to accumulate stocks. At the time the Dow was trading below 600, having fallen from its March high of 891 for a 34% decline.
I continue to exercise patience with the equity markets while I sit on the cash raised over the past number of weeks. Unlike many, I consider cash an asset class. Indeed, to assume the investment opportunity sets that are available to you today are better than ones that will present themselves next week or next month is nave. To take advantage of those opportunity sets one needs to have some cash. For those wishing to be more aggressive, it looks to me as if the U.S. dollar is in the process of breaking down.
I do expect stocks to be higher by year end. Last Tuesdays upside breakout turned out to be the first 90% Upside Day of this year. To negate that action would require a sell-off on heavy volume that results in a closing price below the previous rallys closing high of 1374.09 on the SPX. Still, the stock market may have enough forereach to tag 1420, but in my opinion the games not worth the candle. For investors not sharing my counsel, I continue to like the strategy of buying stocks that have recently declined for one-off reasons where the bullish fundamental story is still intact.
The Ambergris Factor!
I had a meeting with two PMs from Switzerland that had 10 questions they wanted answered. 1. Would you buy cyclical stocks or defensive stocks? I would buy cyclicals because I dont believe we are going to see another recession in the U.S. for the near future. 2. 2011 was a risk on/risk off year, so is it a top down or bottom up strategy for 2012? Last year you only had to get two things right. You had to raise cash in March/April and put it back to work during the bottoming sequence of August October. One always needs to employ a bottom up strategy combined with a top down view.
While I remain cautious (not bearish) there are still things to do. For example, I continue to like the strategy of looking at companies whose share price has collapsed for a one-off event. Recall, this was the case with Acme Packet (APKT/$30.26/Strong Buy) back in January, where in our analysts view the stock swoon had taken a lot of the price risk out of the equation. A similar sequence occurred last week with Vocus (VOCS/$13.52/Strong Buy), where our fundamental analyst maintains his positive view.
Fun, Fun, Fun
There have now been 37 trading sessions in 2012 and so far the S&P 500 has yet to experience a 1% Downside Day. This 37-session skein has occurred 11 other times in the past 84 years and has on every occasion except one seen the equity markets higher by the end of the year. Still, the rise since the buying stampede ended, which stopped on January 26, 2012 at Dow 12841.95, has felt unnatural to me. Surprisingly, the Industrials reside only 141 points above their intraday high of January 26th, causing one market maven to exclaim, no wonder I feel like were in the Trading Twilight Zone.
Despite overbought conditions, a Dow Theory upside non-confirmation, the end of the buying stampede on January 26th, a stock market that has used up most of its internal energy in the short-term, a massive downside reversal from Wall Streets premier stock last Wednesday (AAPL/$502.12), saber rattling in the Hormuz Strait, a ~21% rise in the price of gasoline since mid-December, et all the stock market has trudged higher. Manifestly, the SPX has now gone 35 trading sessions in 2012 without suffering a 1% down day.
The System will Hold Together...
The implications are that things are likely going to get a little less fun for investors for a while with the major averages transitioning from a steep price rise to more of a sideways to downward pricing structure. This does not mean you cant make money. On the upside, my algorithms show that our fundamental analysts Strong Buy ratings on 7.6%-yielding CenturyLink (CTL/$38.02) and non-yielding Whiting Petroleum (WLL/$50.89) are setting up for a potential upside breakout. Meanwhile, our analysts Underperform rating on ViaSat (VSAT/$45.22)is being confirmed by my algorithms to the downside.
Compelling Valuation, or Value Trap?
Remember all those Negative Nabobs that caused you to panic and sell-out at the August lows? Or, the Bear Boos who told you the undercut low of October 4, 2011 was the start of a whole new leg to the downside? Then there was the Cowering Crowd that insisted the first half of 2012 was going to be terrible. Such rants have left the world profoundly underinvested in U.S. equities. Revenues and earnings are at all-time highs, yet the SPX is ~13.5% below its October 2007 high; indeed, Strange brew trying to get through to you (Cream 1967; Eric Clapton at his finest).
I have repeatedly commented that earnings comparisons were going to get more difficult because the trailing four quarters earnings reports have been so strong; and, thats precisely what is happening. For example, with 180 of the S&P 500 companies reporting, there has been 1.81 upside earnings surprises for each disappointment versus a more normal ratio of 3:1. Accordingly, it makes sense to screen for companies producing Triple Plays that would be companies beating earnings and revenue estimates and also raising forward earnings guidance.
On January 3 I stated that session felt like an emotional peak and that January 10 felt like the price peak. Subsequently I wrote, The only question in my mind is if the markets are going to have a pullback into the 1230 1240 support zone, or go sideways to correct their overbought condition and allow the internal energy to be rebuilt. So far, it has been a sideways consolidation until last weeks upside breakout causing one old Wall Street wag to exclaim, Breakout or fake-out?! On a short-term basis I think it is a fake-out believing a trading top is due this week ...
The turtle makes no progress until it sticks its neck out; I have been sticking my neck out since Thanksgiving, believing the Santa rally was beginning. I stuck with that strategy until the first day of trading this year, which felt like a short-term emotional trading peak. A short-term price peak occurred on 1/10/12 at 1296.46 basis the SPX. The only question in my mind was whether we were going to get a pullback into the 1230 1240 support zone, or if we would experience a sideways correction as the overbought condition was worked off and the markets internal energy was rebuilt.
The January Barometer
Its amazing that equity markets have rallied in light of the strong U.S. dollar. That action suggests that stocks are not ready for the pullback I have been expecting following last Tuesdays upside blow off. Still, while the Dow Industrials and Dow Transports have tagged new reaction highs, the SPX and NDX have not. Such divergences always leave me cautious, especially since we are past the seasonally sweet spot for stocks. At some point we are going to get a profit-taking event, whether it is from last Tuesdays intraday high or the 1300-1320 overhead resistance zone remains to be seen.
The Year of the Dragon
Since the day after Thanksgiving I have stuck with the strategy that the Santa Claus rally had begun. On November 25th the SPX was changing hands around 1158. We are now 100 points higher. Consequently, I would not chase the dragon right here since I anticipate that an upside blow off is due ...
StockCharts.com defines a bear trap as a situation that occurs when stock prices break below a significant level and generate a sell signal, but then reverse course and negate the sell signal. While that's the formal definition, I have often referred to bear traps as undercut lows. The biggest one in recent history occurred on October 4, 2011. I revisit the undercut low thesis today because it appears that is precisely what happened last Monday afternoon when the S&P 500 (SPX/1265.35) knifed through its previous reaction low of 1209.47.
By The Side Of The Road
For months I have stated, While I guess we could talk ourselves into a recession, like the aforementioned hot dog folks, most of the finger-to-wallet ratios I monitor are not pointing towards a recession. To be sure, railcar loadings (especially intermodal) have been pretty strong for the past few months. State tax receipts are up year-over-year. East Coast port traffic, both inbound and outbound, remains perky. And, one of the best walk around indicators, namely foot traffic at the casual dining restaurants because it is the most discretionary of all consumer purchases, is still positive.
Last week the ECBs interest rate cut took center stage, but that cut should be viewed within the context of the 40 world wide interest rate cuts that preceded it. Clearly, there is a global easing cycle underway; and, we think you will see more such news this week when the FOMC announces it policy statement Tuesday. Stocks will continue to grind irregularly higher driven by portfolio managers trying to play catch-up, the upside seasonal bias, low valuations, still depressed sentiment readings, and the knowledge that we have now entered the best performing six months of the year for stocks.
December has been the best performing month of the year over the past 100 years with positive returns 73% of the time. And while last weeks 7.39% romp will likely not be duplicated quickly, the path of least resistance remains up according to our work. That said, while the DJIA bettered its 200-day moving average last week, the SPX and D-J Transportation Index did not. Consequently, a divergence currently exists that could lead to some sort of pause and/or pullback. Therefore, look for opening strength this morning followed by attempts to sell stocks back down.
The week before Thanksgiving has been up eight of the past nine years...that is up until last week. While many pundits cited the failed German Bund auction, Chinas slowing PMI Index, another bank stress test, a downwardly revised GDP report, Euroquake, etc.; my hunch is the real reason for the recent swoon is our own government. The breakdown of the Super Committee has clarified the differences between the two parties. Americans must now decide to accept either serious reductions in their healthcare and pension programs, or substantially higher taxes, and probably both.
The Joy of Cooking
Last Friday CNBCs Maria Bartiromo asked me what was going to happen with this weeks Super Committee decision? After jokingly responding that if past is prelude if the Super Committee doesnt arrive at a decision they will appoint a SuperDuper Committee, I then stated, I dont think the Super Committee will reach a consensus.I also opined, I believe there is a wink and a nod between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner to not implement the mandatory cuts and let the 2012 Presidential election resolve the debate between increased taxes and spending cuts.
Italian Job Redux
On Wednesday, Enel, the major Italian oil company, said, Its time to tell the truth to Italians. Number 1: The party is over. The party referenced is the welfare state that has careened so many Mediterranean countries down the entitlement road. Recently, driven by the sovereign debt markets, reality has arrived at the crossroads along with the realization that the welfare-state needs major austerity reforms. Ignoring lessons our union leaders steered us down the same road as Ohio voted to reverse a law designed to curb the bargaining power of unions representing public employees.
Ich bin ein Berliner
Last week at the G20, like John Kennedy, President Obama tried to emphasize support for a German bailout plan to prevent a Greek tragedy. The tragedys trajectory rose sharply on Tuesday when Papandreou announced there would be a referendum to decide if the new austerity measures for a second bailout would be acceptable to the Greek people. That news shocked the worlds equity markets, which was reflected by the Dows Dive of some 297 points. I was seeing portfolio managers at the time and told them that in my opinion Papandreous prose was telegraphing a Greek withdrawal from the EU.
Websters defines the word crescendo as, The peak of a gradual increase; or a climax. And, thats the climatic feeling I got last Thursday when the D-J Industrials sprinted some 340 points on the European euphoria to close above 12000 for the first time since August 2, 2011. Such action caused one old Wall Street wag to exclaim, Buy on the cannons and sell on the trumpets! Clearly we bought on the cannons back on October 4th when the indexes broke below their respective August 8th and 9th selling-climax lows.
Whether this stampede turns out to be that strong will likely depend on the economy, our changing political environment, and Europe. However, I remain cautiously optimistic, believing there is a change afoot inside DC whereby business people are being elected, fostering the hope of simple, market-based solutions to our Nations ills. And, over the last three weeks the stock market appears to be sensing this as well with winning sectors continuing to be Energy, Financials, Consumer Discretionary, and Materials. Such sector rotation suggests the stock market believes things are getting better.
Near-term overbought is our short-term call, yet we think the lows are in for the year. Regrettably, we also believe there has been so much technical damage that the May 2nd intraday high of 1370.58 marks the high for the year. Nevertheless, we are buyers of favored stocks on weakness given our sense that there will be no recession and that earnings will continue to surprise on the upside.
What do you mean by an undercut low? was a question I received in numerous emails after last Tuesdays verbal strategy comments. Well, for the past few months I have been talking about the similarities to the declines, and subsequent bottoming sequences, of October 1978 and October 1979. I know that the environments are very deferent but, I am referencing just the pricing action of the D-J Industrials. As often stated, those aforementioned declines were just as severe/quick, as what we experienced from the 7/27 intraday high of 12751.43 into the selling climax lows of August 8th and 9th.
Painful Ups and Downs
Goodbye and good riddance to 3Q11, which has been the worst performing quarter for the SPX since 4Q08. Welcome to 4Q11, and the month of October, which has been termed the Bear Killer since many downtrends have found their nadir in the Halloween month. Indeed, recall that after being bearish since the Dow Theory sell signal of November 21, 2007, we turned bullish in October 2008 when 93% of all the stocks traded on the NYSE made new annual lows. Hopefully, this month will prove as kind for stocks as 2008.
Its 11:01 p.m., do you know where your children are? is a phrase that haunted me reminding my parents that I was out past my curfew. Similarly, investors asked themselves last week, Its 1101, do you know where your stocks are? as on Wednesday the Dow dove through last Mondays intraday low of 1188.36 and headed below the August 9th selling climax low of 1101.54. For 7 weeks I have discussed the importance of holding above the 1100 level, if our analogue to the October 1978 and October 1979 bottoming sequence is going to hold. So far, the correlation between then and now is remarkable.
Over the past 41 years I have observed a few comparisons that have had fairly good correlations to what was occurring at the time and have used them to help allay panic among investors at inappropriate times. Most recently, I have suggested the panic lows of August 4th and 8th showed such extreme panic-selling readings that participants had to go back to May 13, 1940, when the Germany Army broke through the Maginot Line and invaded France, to find similar panic levels. That observation was consistent with the analogue I have been using for two months.
Over the weekend Greece did not default, although for over a year I have expressed the view that Greece has to default; a stance I continue to embrace. This morning, however, rumors are swirling again about a Greek default along with hints that Germany is not going to prevent it. That leaves the pre-opening futures down over 20 points, which would represent a retest of the selling-climax lows. While I am hopeful this will be a successful retest, consistent with the October 1978/1979 bottoming sequence, if 1100 is decisively broken it would imply the rally from the March 2009 lows is over.
Can You Hear Me Now?
In last weeks verbal strategy comments I cautioned to not pay up for stocks since the NYSE McClellan Oscillator was about as short-term overbought as it ever gets. Additionally, I stated that if this is a replay of the October 1978/1979 bottoming sequence we will have opportunities over the coming weeks to buy select stocks at lower prices. Given the European news over the weekend, and yesterdays Euroland equity markets meltdown, it should come as no surprise that the S&P 500 preopening futures are sharply lower this morning.
The Summer Wind
Just like the surfer interviewed over the weekend who grabbed a board and leapt into the Irene-induced waves, investors need to grab a board and catch a wave if they want to achieve success. But to do that, first you need to get into the water! The time to stand on-shore was months ago, not after a ~20% decline in the S&P 500 (SPX/1176.80) from its intraday high on May 2 to its intraday low on August 9. While we have been pretty conservative in our stock recommendations over the past three weeks, we would become more aggressive if the SPX can break out above the recent rally-high of ~1208.
I have been pounded with questions about the Dow Theory sell signal I spoke of; and, that occurred three weeks ago. The ubiquitous question has been Hey Jeff, how can you tell people to buy in light of the signal? My response has been that such a huge amount of energy had been used up in rendering the Dow Theory sell signal that the market, at least on a short-term trading basis, is likely a buy. Reinforcing that view are numerous oversold readings of epic proportions.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
While people who live in glass houses should not throw rocks, I have to observe how the media has trotted out super-bear Robert Prechter at every major stock market low for the past decade. They featured him again last week. Combine such anecdotal gleanings with the aforementioned market valuation metrics and it suggests a downside inflection point may have been reached. And while the bottoming process should take weeks, many individual stocks have likely already bottomed.
When asked how he made his money, Mr. Rogers answered, I sell euphoria and buy panic. Currently, gold and Treasuries are gapping on the upside; and, stocks are gapping on the downside. The implication, though I believe gold is in a secular bull market, suggests positions should be sold in metals and the freed-up cash should be used to buy sound stocks with decent dividend yields. The weeks ahead will determine if this is the correct strategy. All said, IMO it is too late to panic. The time raise cash, was months ago. Now it is time to selectively redeploy that cash into select equities.
We have many great campaigners inside the D.C. Beltway, but far too few have the ability to govern given that their main concern is to get reelected. Maybe Warren Buffet had the right idea when he said, I could end the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than three percent of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection. As for the Nations AAA rating status, I think we are in for a downgrade no matter what happens inside the Beltway as the pendulum always swings too far in each direction.
Name That Tune?!
Last week saw the U.S. Dollar Index decline by ~2.6% and gold tag a new all-time high of $1610.70. The real star of the week, however, was Sugars Surge of 7.87%. I cant imagine the President would want to go down in history as the Captain whose watch saw America lose its AAA status. Accordingly, I would continue to cautiously favor the upside, on a risk-adjusted basis, for if the debt ceiling is not raised we see another downside "hit." And this morning it looks like another hit, at least on a short-term basis, as our elected leaders continue to talk to the wind.
Last Monday proved to be a 90% Downside Day whereby 90% of the total volume traded came on the downside, while 90% of total points were likewise negative. Typically, 90% Downside Days are followed by rally attempts lasting five to seven sessions. Obviously, that wasnt the case last week and it concerns me. Also concerning is the fact the often mentioned 1320 level was violated and despite the three separate rally attempts that were staged to recapture 1320, it was all of no avail. This brings us to this week, where 2Q11 earnings reports will be Wall Streets focus.
Indeed, I visited 10 European cities over the last two weeks, and spoke with roughly 200 PMs, most of which were bearish and/or very bearish on U.S. equities. Their fears centered on our countrys debt situation, the dollar, and the debt ceiling. It seems there is a genuine belief in Europe that the U.S. debt ceiling wont be increased, leading to a default with an attendant rating downgrade. The Europeans dont understand the political gamesmanship currently being played that will be resolved with a debt ceiling increase at the last minute.
Happy Birthday America
For the past few weeks I have been suggesting the equity markets were in the process of bottoming. While my ideal pattern was for a downside selling-climax into the 1230 1250 zone, it just doesnt look like that is going to happen since the SPX tested, and held, its 200-DMA three times over the last few weeks. Yesterday our nation celebrated its 235th birthday. I commemorated the day by re-reading the lyrics from the Star-Spangled Banner in honor of our forefathers courage. While most citizens know the first stanza of said anthem, few know the other three. Nor do they know it's history.
Greetings From London
It is depressing that the equity market couldnt build on its 90% Upside Day of June 21. It is also depressing that the NASDAQ broke below its 200-DMA (COMP/2652.89), since we like leadership from the NASDAQ. Importantly, the recent decline is all about the fact that Selling Pressure has increased modestly, rather than a significant decline in Buying Power. Nevertheless, we are in defensive mode until the SPX can close above the 1292 1296 level, followed by a close bettering the 1316 1320 zone. To get really bullish would require a close above 1346. Until then, we remain circumspect ...
Results 351–400 of 451 found.