It's a Swiss Miss

January 16, 2015

Global volatility shifted into overdrive Thursday following a surprise decision by the¬†Swiss National Bank¬†(SNB) to scrap its minimum exchange rate. The development led to massive moves in foreign exchange markets... Continue Reading »

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 »

Daily Issues

Trades Update

January 23, 2015

Earnings news continues to underwhelm with McDonald's (MCD) and UPS (UPS) disappointing analysts today. Copper got clocked and hit a five-year low, and oil oozed lower. Volatility remains in play, but remember that upward volatility exists, as well, and it helped us take final profits in our CVS calls.

Despite the major indices closing in the red, a lackluster day isn't likely to deter this market, and I want to stick with what we have going into the weekend. Next week holds some potential catalysts with the latest durable goods orders figures, an important housing report and an FOMC policy statement. But the way this market is moving, we may have booked a slew of profits before those news items even hit the tape.

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Stocks Riding High, But Some See Trouble Ahead

January 22, 2015

Stocks went full Mario today, ripping higher after the European Central Bank (ECB) announced its first round of American-style quantitative easing at a level and pace -- 60 billion euros a month -- that was stronger than expected.

This was the outcome that I had in mind by loading up our Buy List with call options and cyclical stocks, as there were plenty of hints amid the volatility of the past few weeks that ECB chief Mario Draghi would persuade the recalcitrant Germans to accept this plan.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll look at Draghi's statement and other market-moving headlines, then I'll share an interview with a banking expert who sees storm clouds on the horizon for the global economy. We entered two new trades today and enjoyed some profits from two current holdings.

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Trades Update

January 21, 2015

After gapping down at the open, stocks ultimately closed 0.5% higher on Wednesday in choppy trading. IBM Corp. (IBM) reported weaker-than-expected earnings, but Netflix (NFLX), American Express (AXP) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH) all posted positive Q4 numbers. U.S. housing data showed improvement, and the speculation continued about quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB).

According to the Wall Street Journal, the ECB is looking to spend 50 billion euros in monthly sovereign-debt purchases to combat deflation. If so, the flood of money from Europe and Japan is expected to have a significant bullish effect on stocks. In today's Trader's Advantage, we took profits on a stock trade, and I have two new buys for you. I'll update you on our current holdings as well.

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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