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Daily Issues

Energy Outperforms as Conflict in Ukraine Wears On

April 17, 2014

Stocks finished mostly higher today, pushing the S&P 500 to its fourth straight positive session. It was a touch-and-go proposition early in the morning after earnings reports from market bellwethers IBM (IBM) and Google (GOOGL) that failed to meet expectations. But economic reports issued in the latter part of the morning combined with hopes of a de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine to support a more constructive mood.

Offsetting the disappointments at IBM and GOOGL were some strong earnings from other leaders. Morgan Stanley (MS) reported a great quarter and saw its shares pop 2.9%, and General Electric (GE), which we held for quite a while waiting for good earnings to pop the stock, fulfilled my expectations by confounding the prevalent pessimism and seeing shares zip 1.7% higher.

In today's Trader's Advantage, we took profits on our oil-and-gas play, and I'm recommending a new buy on another company in that field, plus a new trade on an underpriced insurance company. I'm also adjusting the parameters on one of our current holdings that's doing particularly well.

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Trades Update

April 16, 2014

Stocks gapped higher on Wednesday and managed to avoid the afternoon price swings that characterized Monday's and Tuesday's sessions, closing with gains above 1% across the board. Looking at the key S&P sectors, the 'flight to safety' trade seemed to be less popular: health care and utilities underperformed, while industrials and materials led the gains.

Among the day's biggest headlines was an earnings surprise from Yahoo (YHOO). Shares of the tech giant gained 6.3% on strong income figures and a 66% revenue increase in one of its holdings, Alibaba Group, which has a highly-anticipated IPO coming up.

In today's Trader's Advantage, we entered one new option trade during Wednesday's session; I'll share my latest recommendation for that and our other positions, including canceling one unfilled buy order and setting several protective stops.

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Trades Update

April 15, 2014

It was another volatile trading session on Tuesday, as the major averages swooped below their flatlines early in the afternoon before the bulls were able to push them higher going into the close.

The S&P 500 ended higher by 12 points, or 0.7%, the Dow Jones finished with a gain of 89 points, or 0.6%, and even the Nasdaq managed to add 0.3% on the day. All 10 sectors closed higher, with utilities, energy and health care leading the way.

In today's issue of Trader's Advantage, I have three new recommendations for our Buy List, we'll go over one trade that we were stopped out of this afternoon and I'll review the rest of our current positions.

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Poll

Which sector do you think will outperform the major indices in the first half of 2014?

  • Technology/Biotechnology
  • Financials
  • Consumer Discretionary
  • Health Care
  • Energy
  • Other
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