Daily Issues

Trades Update

January 30, 2015

Stocks closed lower on Friday in choppy trading; the selling intensified in the late afternoon, sending the S&P 500 down 1.3% by the end of the session. The theme of elevated intra-day volatility continued -- but, similar to recent sessions, there was no clear catalyst for the weakness.

The U.S. economic calendar received attention, with weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter GDP being the highlight. There were significant moves in oil prices, as WTI crude rallied sharply in afternoon trading to settle 8% higher. It was another busy day of earnings; takeaways were generally mixed, as currency headwinds and the impact of lower energy prices remained the major themes. Utility stocks were the worst performers, while energy was the sole positive sector. U.S. Treasuries rallied, while the dollar weakened versus the yen but was stronger against the euro. Gold prices also rallied 2.3%.

In today's Trader's Advantage, we took profits on a couple of positions, one with a 30% gain, while also opening a brand-new one. I'll recap those outcomes and share my latest recommendations for each of our trades.

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Rumored Policy Changes Trigger Late-Day Rally

January 29, 2015

Stocks closed higher on Thursday amid a very quiet day for news flow. Shares started in the red but gradually gained some steam and then shot higher in the last hour after a rumor swept the Street that two prominent senators were planning to introduce legislation that would allow U.S. companies to repatriate cash home from overseas after a flat 6.5% tax rate, rather than the usual rate in the upper 20% area.

The main debate focused around the meaning and implications of the Wednesday statement from the Federal Reserve after its monthly meeting. Kind of hard to believe, but economists and analysts are arguing over whether the statement was dovish or hawkish. That's ridiculous; it doesn't matter. The Fed has made clear that it's going to be on hold for a long time, which means no rate hikes this spring or summer, in my opinion.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll take a look at the real news that moved stock prices today and provide my latest recommendations for our Buy List. We entered one new trade, I'm canceling a couple of unfilled orders, and I'm revising several of our targets higher.

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Trades Update

January 28, 2015

Apple (AAPL) gained 5.6% on Wednesday after reporting excellent earnings -- but it was an erratic and ultimately dismal session for most other stocks. The latest FOMC announcement had little effect on Wall Street this go-round, while some unsettling new developments out of Greece and yet another tumble for crude-oil prices were blamed for undercutting investor sentiment.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll share my latest recommendations for our trades, including one that we entered today and an unfilled buy order that I'm canceling. I'm adjusting the parameters for the balance of our current holdings, and I have a couple of new trade ideas 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