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 »

Dollar surge puts Q4 earnings at risk and two-year stock uptrend in peril

October 8, 2014

Stocks opened this week with solid gains across the board, but sellers moved in on cat feet and began pawing at the highs until they unraveled like a ball of... Continue Reading »

Daily Issues

Defense Spending Contributes to Stellar GDP Growth in Q3

October 30, 2014

Stocks swirled in the red zone at the start of today's session amid worries that the Federal Reserve may start raising interest rates sooner than expected. But a positive report on GDP growth and a fantastic earnings report from Visa (V) saved the day, and by around noon shares were steaming higher en route to a sparkling close on improving breadth.

Surely the major news item of the day was the surprisingly upbeat reading on third-quarter U.S. GDP, which was reported to have been up 3.5% annualized -- much better than the 3% consensus. It was a bit of a comedown from the 4.6% increase in the second quarter, but that is typical.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll take a look at the groups that did particularly well in Thursday's session, and I'll share some eye-opening data concerning the true driver of stock prices. Then I'll update you on our holdings, including one position that we closed today.

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Trades Update

October 29, 2014

Stocks slid lower and bonds moved higher after today's release of the October FOMC meeting minutes, which stated that the Fed will move forward with its previous plans to end QE. The FOMC also reiterated that it will maintain zero interest rates for 'a considerable time,' but its language about the U.S. labor market was more hawkish than expected.

Nearly all S&P sectors took a hit on the news, particularly industrials, utilities and materials. Financials escaped unscathed, however, as did energy since crude oil has finally begun to trade higher above $80 per barrel. In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll recap the outcome of three trades that we closed and share my current recommendations for the remaining positions in our Buy List.

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Trades Update

October 28, 2014

At the closing bell, all of the major averages were ahead by more than 1%, as the market breathed a sigh of relief when the news that the European Central Bank announced further support for more quantitative easing hit the tape. Stateside, the Fed will forego a press conference tomorrow after the FOMC announces its rate decision. Traders took this to mean there's no change coming, which only boosted confidence to buy into a rebound.

Our cache of positions performed well overall today, with one stock netting us double-digit gains overnight. I'm adjusting a few trading perimeters in tonight's issue, and I also take a look at Facebook's (FB) earnings announcement and how that impacts our open position.

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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