S&P 500 headed to 2,500, courtesy of Japan?

November 12, 2014

Stocks finished a smidge higher Tuesday in a session so quiet that you felt compelled to check your Internet connection because it seemed like prices just were not moving. Knock,... Continue Reading »

Homebuilders are knocking on the door again

October 21, 2014

There are some groups of stocks that are the never-ending object of our attention for months and years on end, and then something happens and you gradually stop looking —... Continue Reading »

'Ebolatility' infects stocks, sparks bonds

October 16, 2014

Stocks keeled over on Wednesday like sawgrass in a stiff wind, bending and trembling but never actually breaking. There was a list of catalysts as long as your arm, even... Continue Reading »

Daily Issues

Trades Update

December 19, 2014

Last week, the market fell just about every day, and this week started off on the same note: it fell on Monday quite heavily, and Tuesday was quite a bummer as well, with stocks plunging in the afternoon. Then along came Wednesday, which was a great day. The Federal Reserve announced that it was going to keep rates where they are, at least through the middle of the year -- it didn't say that, but that was the implication.

On Thursday and Friday, all the investors who had gotten out earlier in the week or last week decided they were going to get back in. We ended up right back where we started, basically, two weeks ago. In Trader's Advantage, we certainly took advantage of all this volatility. Today I'll share my latest take on each of our positions in this week's Markman in a Minute podcast, and I'm making a few changes to our Buy List, including canceling two unfilled buy orders and adjusting some targets/stops.

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Investors Look Past Oil Prices, Focus on the Fed

December 18, 2014

Stocks gapped up and blasted higher today, though frankly there was no major catalyst other than sheer joy that the Federal Reserve had decided to exercise patience before raising interest rates and the Russian ruble recovered a bit.

It seems like once or twice a year, market participants get all worked up about something that they fear the Fed will or won't do, and as soon as it is clear that the central bank plans to stay on an even keel and remain accommodative, stocks charge forward.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll explain why I still don't expect the Fed to tighten policy anytime soon, and I'll update you on the latest happenings in our Buy List. We got into a couple of positions today, and I'm recommending two new trades as well.

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Trades Update

December 17, 2014

Stocks rallied on Wednesday, recouping much of their prior losses, thanks to a rebound in crude oil and in the Russian ruble, as well as this month's FOMC announcement. The latter included additional language from the Fed about remaining 'patient in beginning to normalize the stance of monetary policy.'

The impact on stocks was swift and sharp: the S&P 500 gained more than 2% on these headlines, as did the Nasdaq, while the Russell 2000 small-caps gained 3.1% and the Dow gained 1.7%. In today's Trader's Advantage, I'm adding several new buys in blue-chip stocks to see us safely through year-end, and I'll update you on our current holdings, which did quite well in today's rally.

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Which of the following sectors of the market do you think will outperform for the balance of 2014?

  • Utilities
  • Energy
  • Healthcare
  • Technology
  • Financials
  • Industrials