What We're Reading

spx (69)

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DeMark Ponders A Bear Market Rally

Has anything changed fundamentally or is this just a bear market rally?  I haven't heard anything from the Fed but crude oil's short covering is definitely a driver.  Ditto for retail seeing short covering ahead of tomorrows retail sales numbers.  For 'how long' is open to speculation.  Let's see what DeMark has to say.

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Admin

Where Money's Been Flowing

When first-generation ETFs launched in the 1990s—such as the SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY) and the PowerShares QQQ Trust Series 1 (QQQ)—lead this year's outflows, that is a sign that institutional investors are scared. These first-to-market ETFs have the ample liquidity that big institutions tend to love, with many trading more than $500 million in volume a day. While newer ETFs that may do the same thing or more for cheaper have been launched in the intervening years, early ETFs still tend to curry favor with large investors that value liquidity. These investors tend to be more tactical, and thus outflows from these ETF stalwarts are a bearish sign. 

Photographer: Balchunas, Eric

U.S. Treasuries of all maturities are raking in cash

According to…

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Admin

Bear Market? Yes It Is

The latest market selloff can be blamed on any number of things.  China slowdown or a possible hard landing in China, basic profit taking after a six-year run, declining earnings, no further QE in the US, a uptick in rates in the US, weak US economy, commodity (including crude oil) collapse, weakening of 'risk' currencies due to the commodity selloff, disappearance of buybacks, dividends being lowered, strong US dollar pressuring balance sheets, bear markets in pc sales, rail fees,.........the list goes on and on.  Bottom line: we need something solid to rally on and I fear any earnings pops will be given back.  Netflix will be a good example tomorrow after the close.  We simply cannot justify going higher without a catalyst.

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that this is not 2008 redux but just 'where' we bottom is open to…

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Admin

Recession Proponents Watching Yield Curve

Is our economic recovery truly as strong as charts would imply?  Are we strong enough to stand on our own at these levels, or have we overshot the boundaries thanks to quantitative easing?  Are economics in the U.S. strong enough or does recession lie ahead?

Curve watchers Anonymous has an eye on the yield curve. Here is a snapshot of year-end-closing values from 1998-12-31 through 2015-12-31.

Yield Curve Year End Closing Values 1998-2015



Unlike 1999-2000 and again 2007-2007, no portions of the yield curve are inverted today (shorter-term rates higher than longer-term rates).

Inversion is the traditional harbinger of recessions, but with the low end of the curve still very close to zero despite the first Fed hike, inversions are…

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Admin

Negative Growth. Thank You Deflation And QE

Investors may wade into unknown territory next month as the Federal Reserve readies the first rate hike in nearly a decade amid a corporate earnings recession.

S&P 500 earnings are on track to close their first reporting season of negative growth since the Great Recession and estimates call for sub-zero growth in the current quarter as well.

Even if the trend reverses next year, as expected, a Fed rate hike in December could mark an unprecedented conflict between a tightening cycle starting at the same time as earnings fall into recession.

"We can't think of any instances when the Fed was hiking during an (earnings) recession," said Joseph Zidle, portfolio strategist at Richard Bernstein Advisors in New…

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Admin

3Q Earnings Worst Since 2009

This U.S. earnings season is on track to be the worst since 2009 as profits from oil & gas and commodity-related companies plummet leaving many to wonder, is the worst behind us or is there more to come?  Is China's growth story over or taking a 'rest'?  We've lived on ghost cities creating demand for so many years; where is the next growth story?

So far, about three-quarters of the S&P 500 have reported results, with profits down 3.1 percent on a share-weighted basis, data compiled by Bloomberg shows. This would be the biggest quarterly drop in earnings since the third quarter 2009, and the second straight quarter of profit declines. Earnings growth turned negative for the first time in six years in the second quarter this year.

The damage is the biggest in commodity-related industries, with the energy sector showing a 54 percent drop in quarterly earnings per share so far in…

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Admin

And They Crawl Out Of The Woodwork

You know it's coming and it won't be any easier to take than when you were small and your Mother said "I told you so".  The blogisphere will now erupt with the force of an annoying snaggle tooth emphatically screaming "I warned you" and "I said it was coming.........now buy my plan so you're prepared"  and ca-ching, you cough up the coin like a kid at the carnival freak show.   Every smidiot and hack will now attack your inbox on how they could have prevented your losses and how (via in their premier plan) you would have benefited this week.......if you had only listened.

Puhlease

Markets correct.  On occasion, they correct…

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Admin

Market Pause. Would You Buy Here?

With all of America's 401k's flowing into equities and with CNBC continually saying bonds are the worst trade around, one has to determine if continuing to buy here is the smartest way to go or take partials, roll up your stops and raise cash rather than buying this top.

Technically the monthly chart shows MACD posed to bear cross although the month is far from over.  The bollinger band is flattening out which does not say to "buy" here but remain cautious and sit on hands.

Here TLT for a quick glance at the monthly and yeah, it's still selling.  Could see a temporary bounce (here or there) but overall, the trend is still down so equities (or cash) it is.…

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Admin

Now Do You Believe? Sell In May Began Early

The majority of sector ETFs closed their week below their 50d with energy having filled the gap.....and found sellers waiting there.

SPX itself found sellers at $2100 (clearly we weren't the only ones selling) which is 17x earnings.  More and more are accepting reality that earnings have dropped the most in six years and the Fed (with no QE) will most likely begin to slowly raise interest rates in September.  Don't believe me, just ask Barclays.

  • US dollar found buyers at the 10week sma, prior support.  Yes, they're taking profits.  Will it continue?  It's nonetheless weighing on U.S. earnings.…

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Admin

Breakouts vs. Breakdowns

According to BTIG Research, there remains cause to be concerned after the stock market's bounce last week.

For the first time since the October low, breakdowns have outnumbered breakouts. This is a byproduct of the 5% pullback in the SPX over the past two weeks, which naturally saw some stocks break support levels. We are inclined to worry about breakdowns when they are abundant (at least 10% of the SPX, more than this time around) and recurrent (outnumbering breakouts for at least 2-3 weeks).

This last occurred in October, when the market suffered deterioration in breadth that was significant enough to suggest a structural shift may be underway. For this reason, we would be inclined to use strength to sell stocks that…

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Admin

The Big Market Squeeze

Volatility definitely increased leading up to this weeks quadruple witching and the S&P (400, 500 and 600) index re-balancing taking place tonight after the close.  Selling the last two weeks resulted in oversold conditions in the near term charts and massive short covering at the market as every fund and investment bank bought new shares (as they rebalanced ahead of the indexes), resulted in two astounding days of back to back two percent gains.  Bulls were partying in the streets but is it warranted?   Has anything truly changed? 

Yes, the Fed has reassured…

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Admin

According to Ashraf Laidi:  The following sobering analysis on the S&P500 reinforces our expectations that recent record highs in US equity indices will not be revisited before at least six weeks.

A decline of at least 10% is expected to follow.

-        Last week’s 3.6% decline in the S&P500 single-handedly erased all of the prior seven weeks’ consecutive gains.

The last time the S&P500 erased at least three weeks’ of consecutive gains was the week after the October 2007…

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Admin

Energy Contagion - The Big Unknown

Indeed, I've read much concern over this area as oil collapsed so it does merit a warning.  From ZeroHedge:

The S&P 500 Energy sector stocks are down over 12% year-to-date, tumbling over 3% today to fresh 20-month lows. The spread (or risk) of high-yield energy credits surged again today, breaking above 850bps for the first time... The overall high-yield credit market is being dragged wider by this contagion as hedgers try to contain the collapse that is possible. For now,…

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Admin

Are Profit Margins Sustainable: RBC

Stock markets have enjoyed a banner half-decade, forcefully reclaiming the ground lost to the financial crisis, and then some. This vigorous performance has occurred thanks, above all else, to two key enablers: surging earnings and recovering valuations. On the surface, there is nothing especially questionable about either. Earnings naturally rise as economies grow, and valuations recover as risk aversion fades.

However, a closer examination reveals a significant vulnerability within this cozy equation. Corporate earnings growth has been, in a sense, too good – persistently outpacing both revenues and the economy. This has driven profit margins to multi-decade highs.

Worryingly, profit margins have long been assumed to be mean-reverting, arguing that these juicy gains may…

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Admin

Take A Moment To Review

Let’s take a moment and put the market’s current trading action into perspective. Earlier this year bullish sentiment reached levels not seen in years or even decades depending upon data source. Market volatility had also fallen to levels not seen in years as the market was steadily making new all-times highs. S&P 500 actually went 63 trading days without a 1% percent daily move higher or lower. A feat last accomplished in 1995. And it has been more than three years without a 10% or greater S&P 500 correction. This is four times the average duration of time between corrections. Not to mention the market shrugged off tensions in Ukraine, Ebola in West Africa, the rise of ISIS in the Middle East, slowing global growth concerns and the Fed slowly easing up on stimulus. Honestly the market had gotten ahead of itself and was in need of a cool-off period. More likely than not, that is what it is doing.

Yes, weak economic data out of Asia and Europe is a concern as…

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Admin

Is It A Correction Or Bear Market?

“Is the S&P in a correction or Bear market Mom?” is the question I received from my daughter last night. She’s been learning the stock market slowly over the last five or so years and I cringe at times with the questions she poses however no question is a bad question. I’d rather she come to me than blindly follow some pundit or supposed guru to $99/month subscription. After all, if he/she is so smart – why do they even need to charge for anything?  Just sit back and enjoy the wealth.

While the big boys and their algorithms have their calculated strategy, this is how I explained it to her in my simple, 'laywomans' terms.  In my mind big money typically buys at major supports during a correction. They sit back and salivate at an opportunity to, not buy the dip, buy buy on the cheap and define their risk.

For me, I consider the monthly 20 SMA as you can see from my prior post on the subject…

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Admin

The State Of Buyback Programs

Stock repurchase programs as well as dividends, are a great way to "return value to the shareholder" and also a way to "prop up" a stock price or keep funds in the game.  Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and repurchase programs are unsustainable longer term.  At some point the market must heed the fundamentals, earnings growth and if margins contract, the positive effect of buybacks is lessened.   This from one of my favs, Variant Perception

Stock buybacks have been an important feature of the equity rally.  Companies have used low rates and easy credit to borrow money and used it to buy their own shares back.  An identity for a company’s share price is: S = (revenues * margins * P/E) / # of…

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Admin

Ribbon Study And $SPX Expansion

A Ribbon Study consists of 8 or more Simple Moving Average plots having different lengths thus forming a "ribbon". The lengths of those averages are in an arithmetic progression relation: the increment of the progression is defined by the initial and the final Moving Average lengths.

The way I view a moving average, especially a large one, is that is the average price of stockholders who have held since "that" point in time.  So if you're looking at a 50d, it's the average price of shareholders who purchased in the last 50 days.  If it's a MONTHLY moving average............NOW you're talking funds who have skin in the game and HAVE had skin in the game for months or years.  I want to be one of them if I'm a long/hold investor.  I want to "buy" when they buy.

I've always felt, that from a long/holding investing point of view, this study can also be an interesting way to view a coming expansion, after a long market consolidation.  View these…

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