Apple liquidation

August 5, 2015

Apple sank 3.2% on Tuesday without any significant news, which smacks of raw liquidation by disappointed holders. Apple has dramatically underperformed the market after being added to the Dow Jones... Continue Reading »

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 »

Daily Issues

Retail Data Show Consumers Opting to Stay Home

November 30, 2015

Stocks fell across the board in the final trading session of November amid a drift toward defensiveness, as Treasurys were firm, the U.S. dollar rose, gold rose and crude oil flattened.

It was a very quiet trading session, with little in the way of news drivers pushing the narrative along. Data from Black Friday showed somewhat weak in-store sales, but an increasing trend toward online buying. At the same time, however, several analysts noted that trends toward earlier discounting and other promotions may be diluting the single-day impact of Black Friday.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll shed some light on the latest market happenings and whether we can expect a 'Santa Claus rally' this year. Then we'll look at our positions, one of which we exited today.

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Big Caps Little-Changed Ahead of Thanksgiving Weekend

November 25, 2015

Stocks closed mixed in very light pre-holiday trading: the S&P 500 and Dow Jones finished flat, while the Nasdaq eked out a small gain. It was an uneventful day ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, with mixed takeaway from a flurry of economic data.

Several economic releases were stacked together today to account for the holiday-shortened week, but none of the data had a strong market impact. Gasoline was one of the worst-performing commodities on the day, despite a stronger U.S. dollar. Crude oil added to yesterday's rally on the back of heightened geopolitical concerns and another inventory build.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll review the current positions, including an option trade that hit both our profit targets and another we just entered after my afternoon alert.

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High Tension Before the Holiday

November 24, 2015

After opening lower, stocks fought their way back to positive territory during the afternoon session. Equity markets appeared ready for another sell-off after reports of Turkey shooting down a Russian jet for crossing the Turkish/Syrian border. However, a couple of hours into the session stocks began to rally, with energy and basic materials leading the gains. Health care and telecom lagged, and consumer discretionary and financials were weakest.

Gasoline led crude higher amid improved demand sentiment ahead of Thanksgiving, while crude closed at a two-week high, with the Middle East tensions helping to support gains ahead of this week's inventory reports. Gold closed higher, too, as a result of the increased global tensions. Our positions largely shirked off the scare, remaining mostly unchanged on the day.

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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