The corner drug lord

February 17, 2015

With the market back to trading at all-time highs, it’s time to look at some unsung heroes — a few companies that don’t normally spring to mind as industry leaders... Continue Reading »

Gas windfall blown on burgers and Buicks

February 13, 2015

Economist and investors are dying to know what consumers are doing with their gasoline savings windfall. Will they save it, invest it, or splurge with it?To answer this question, the... Continue Reading »

Why solar eclipsing oil may first cause a year-long crash, then a 17-year bull market.

February 9, 2015

One of my closest friends, a longtime mentor, passed away last month. Hewas the research director and risk manager of a large East Coast hedge fund,and very secretive. I depended... Continue Reading »

Daily Issues

Trades Update

February 27, 2015

Much like last week, stocks closed on Friday about where they started on Monday, down less than half a percent. There were no factors that ultimately had much of an impact in pushing stock prices and investor psychology to any kind of extreme.

U.S. companies did pretty well in the fourth quarter, Greece's conflict with the rest of the eurozone seems to have come to a positive conclusion, Ukraine has given in to Russia's military blitz, crude-oil prices halted their free-fall, and we haven't heard much from China's propaganda machine lately. All of this leaves positive and negative forces in the market largely in balance.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'm adding two new short trades, and I'm adjusting the parameters of a couple of our current trades.

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Market Remains in a Holding Pattern

February 26, 2015

Stocks put in another rather confounding session on Thursday, as the Dow Jones Industrials and the S&P 500 spent most of the session in the red, while the Nasdaq and Russell 2000 blithely paid them no mind and powered forward.

The S&P 500 is scraping against the top of its channel -- a condition that typically leads to desultory activity until some new factor comes into play to persuade bulls or bears to lay down their arms. At the moment, optimistic and pessimistic forces are mostly in balance, which accounts for the grinding, flat quality to recent sessions.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll recap two trades that we closed in Thursday's session, and I'll share my latest recommendations for the balance of our trades.

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Trades Update

February 25, 2015

Stocks halted their advance on Wednesday, with the major indexes ending the session roughly flat. The day's biggest headlines concerned better-than-expected data on new-home sales, a mixed bag of earnings, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's second day of testimony before Congress.

During a brief mid-session spike in stock prices, the S&P 500 Volatility Index (VIX) touched its lowest levels since December, but ultimately moved back up to close at a 1.5% gain. Sector-wise, consumer discretionary and energy outperformed, while utilities and tech lagged. In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll update you on the latest happenings with our positions.

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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