Disney and Halliburton lock in post-industrial death match

July 16, 2015

Stocks finished mostly lower on Wednesday in another sleepy session unmarred by the drama seen recently from faraway lands. Treasurys were a little stronger, the economic calendar was a non-factor, and even... Continue Reading »

Stocks survive Greekmaggedon

July 7, 2015

Stocks sank Monday but finished well off their lows as investors decided that Greek voters’ decision to stiff their creditors might not be the life-threatening event of the century it was presumed... Continue Reading »

Crude Awakening

May 5, 2015

About two months ago, when crude oil was crashing, the airwaves were filled with trend-followers’ predictions that the price was headed for $20 a barrel. As soon as that became the prevalent opinion,... Continue Reading »

Daily Issues

Trades Update

July 31, 2015

Stocks have crawled sideways for the past few days after jumping in the early part of the week. This is the time of year that typically brings a slowdown in trading as major fund managers head out to their estates in the Hamptons and junior personnel are left at trading desks to peck away at the bosses' favored positions.

The S&P 500 rose 1.2% this week, while the S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) fell 11.8%. Now that the anxieties associated with the Greek debt crisis and the Chinese stock market crash appear to be in the rear-view mirror, volatility has re-entered the convent and is engaging in silent meditation.

In today's Trader's Advantage, we took profits on one of our health care plays today; I'll recap that outcome and update you on our other trades as well.

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Select Small-Caps Offer Compelling Growth Potential

July 30, 2015

Stocks traded sideways today after recovering from a mid-morning swoon as investors mulled second-quarter GDP growth that was weaker than expected, another solid jobless claims report and a busy round of earnings.

Utilities stocks were among the leaders for once -- every dog has his day -- while energy and consumer staples retreated. Gold and crude oil were slightly lower, while bonds were slightly higher.

While the big indexes are standing firm, there are a tremendous number of companies struggling. As traders, it is incumbent on us to stick to those few remaining upright soldiers. In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll share a new buy in an under-the-radar stock with attractive prospects, then I'll provide my latest recommendations for our existing trades.

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Trades Update

July 29, 2015

Stocks continued to chug higher on Wednesday, closing near session highs following a Federal Reserve monthly meeting announcement that was perceived as dovish. A busy round of earnings and an unexpected decline in existing home sales also received attention.

All sectors traded higher, with industrials and energy leading the way. Utilities and health care were up but lagging. Crude oil was higher, and gold was flat, hovering right around $1,095 per ounce.

The S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) slid about 7% lower, nearly back to its YTD low, as institutional investors' recent spasm of anxiety abates. In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll review the latest happenings in our Buy List, including one position we closed and two that we entered early in Wednesday trading.

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Which of the following sectors of the market do you think will outperform for the balance of 2015?

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