Daily Issues

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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Consumer Stocks Outperform as Market Digests Gains

November 23, 2015

Stocks mostly fell on Monday in a quiet session that consolidated gains seen in last week's rally. Treasury bonds were flat, and the U.S. dollar was stronger. As for commodities, crude oil finished flat after a volatile session, and most industrial and precious metals came under pressure in sync with the dollar.

There were no major catalysts for the action, as most reports on the economy and earnings were within expectations. Consumer staples like Pepsico (PEP) and Altria (MO) fared best as a risk-off trade, while most of the other sectors finished a bit lower.

In today's Trader's Advantage, I'll update you on our current positions, one of which just enjoyed an analyst upgrade, and I'm adjusting several targets and stops.

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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