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It's Not What You Think. Market Myths Debunked

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"A lie told often enough becomes the truth" - Vladimir Lenin

Imagine for a minute you lived centuries ago when people believed the earth was flat, or the earth revolved around the sun, or that planets were Gods, or that disease was angry spirits or supernatural powers. You'd have an explanation for everything ... only it would be wrong. And that "wrongness" would stand in the way of true understanding and true progress until they were discarded as falsehoods.

And so it is with the Stock Market. Let me explain.

First, let me be perfectly clear. I'm a statistician so I'm not referring to philosophical or political or gut feelings or anything other than Statistical Misrepresentations. Fact, not opinion.

I can hardly go a day without reading an article or hearing a TV pundit or someone regurgitate misconceptions that are so integrated in our minds ... we believe them to be the truth.

These misconceptions cause us to make investing mistakes because we take them as axiomatic when they are

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Admin

On December 12, U.S. President Elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to rail against Lockheed Martin for the perceived waste of its next-gen fighter jet program. In his tweet, Trump said:

News of the tweet consumed CNBC and other news outlets for much of the day, and Lockheed’s stock tumbled in the immediate aftermath of the comments before rallying to close down 2.5% on the day.


Trump’s comments on the program's cost were made within the context of the government spending that his campaign promised to curtail, and as a heavy government supplier, Lockheed was an expected target. In fact, using FactSet’s Supply Chain data we can see that Lockheed receives a whopping 78% of its revenue from the U.S. government.

 

Which Targets Might Be Next?

Given Trump’s predilection to delivering his thoughts d

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Admin

The Run In Small Caps. Will It Continue In 2017

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The stock market went on quite a tear in the 3+ weeks immediately following the election, with the month of November especially beneficial for small-cap stocks.

Before delving into what it all might mean for small-cap investors, here's a quick rundown to help contextualize just how dynamic a month it was:

  1. This was the best November in the history of the Russell 2000 Index. featuring its highest monthly return since October 2011 when small-caps were just emerging from a precipitous decline.
  2. The performance spread between small-cap and large-cap was the widest in 14 years (since April 2002). The Russell 2000 gained 11.2% for the month versus respective gains of 3.9% and 3.7% for the large-cap Russell 1000 and S&P 500 Indexes.
  3. Small-cap value enjoyed a good year's worth of results in one month! During November, the Russell 2000 Value advanced 13.3% compared to 9.0% for the Russell 2000 Growth.
  4. Small-cap value earned an even bigger advantage quarter-to-date, thanks to better performanc

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Admin

Bank EPS Lifted Ahead Of The Fed Rate Hike

The S&P 500 Financials sector has been a focus sector for the markets in recent weeks. This past week, the Federal Reserve Board increased the target range for the federal funds rate. Earnings for banks and other companies in the Financials sector are particularly sensitive to higher interest rates. In addition, this sector has recorded the largest increase in value (+22.2%) of all 11 sectors in the S&P 500 since the start of the fourth quarter (September 30). Given these developments, have analysts been increasing their 2017 EPS estimates for banks and other companies in the S&P 500 Financials sector over the past few months?

SP500%20Financials%20%25%20of%20Cos%20with%20Increase%20in%202017%20Mean%20EPS.png?t=1481913305012&width=1024&name=SP500%20Financials%20%25%20of%20Cos%20with%20Increase%20in%202017%20Mean%20EPS.png

The answer is yes. In terms of EPS estimate revisions, 38 of the 63 companies (60%) in the S&P 500 Financials sector have seen an increase in their mean EPS estimate for 2017 since September 30. At the sub-industry level, the three subindustries that have the largest percentages of companies that have recorded an increase in their mean EPS estimate for 2017 (sin

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Admin

The Obamacare Post-Trump Dilemma

If you're like me, we're all wondering what is going to occur with ACA (Obamacare) once Donald Trump takes office and the charts from Healthcare (XLV) and Biotech (XBI) certainly reflect the concern.  With the proposed 21st Century Cures Act, due for Senate passage this week, be the $5Billion dollar "game changer"  the sector is waiting for...........or will we be waiting until Congress replaces the unpopular components of Obamacare to see an impact in stock price?

Repealing or replacing Obamacare is fraught with at least six major issues, but perhaps the most significant one is a lack of decisiveness within the Republican party itself. What would Obamacare be replaced with, and how would that change be implemented?

Interestingly, there are at least seven Republican plans that have been tabled to replace Obamacare. Within that group, two of the more prominent ones come from Georgia Rep. Tom Price and House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Tom Price, who is Trump’s pick as the incoming secretary for

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Admin

The Future Is Here With Amazon Go

Imagine shopping with no lines and no check out?  All you need is a smart phone with the AMZN app and you're ready to go.  Welcome to Amazon Go.  The first Amazon Go store in Seattle sells ready-to-eat meals, snacks and locally-prepared bakery items but just imagine if this came to your local grocer?  Amazing what technology will bring.

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Admin

Amazon By the Numbers: Cyber Weekend Spending

1291488?profile=RESIZE_480x480Some may say that technical analysis is 'bunk' but it's just that which caused me to short AMZN.  Now you can say they're #1 when it comes to online sales but my question is, has their growth hit a plateau?  Trading at 170x p/e, anything is possible. (click chart to enlarge).  Talk is that MSFT is bringing the smart home to Windows. The feature will allow Cortana to be summoned on any Windows 10 PC lock screen.  It's expected to appear in Win 10 updates starting in 2017 and this software-only feature could trump AMZN Echo and GOOG Home due to the obvious convenience of screen access.  From an investor point of view, I would definitely take some off the table at this point and invest it in banks, industrials and insurers.  But let's take a look at sales.  No growth in 2016?  Now that's interesting.

Amazon sports some pretty startling numbers. Let’s dive into various reports for a close look.

Amazon captured 31% of online spending over Cyber Weekend

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CNBC reports Amazon captured 31%

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Admin

Thanksgiving Weekend E-Commerce Roundup

When Americans started celebrating Thanksgiving in the 19th century, it was about cherishing the blessings of the year, particularly the year’s harvest. These days however, it appears as if many people spend the holiday thinking about what they might need rather than what they already have.

Over the past few years, Thanksgiving weekend has grown to become a huge shopping extravaganza both on- and offline. Retailers try to outdo each other in offering the best Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals and consumers willingly jump at the chance to kick off their holiday shopping and snap up some bargains.

Not surprisingly, this year’s Thanksgiving weekend saw online shopping records shattered once again. According to Adobe Digital Insights, total online sales for the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday amounted to $12.8 billion, with Cyber Monday marking the single biggest online shopping day in history. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were also the first days in history that

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Admin

Bonds Haven't Even Begun To Price In Trumpflation

Since the election the financial markets have been trying to price in “Trumpflation.” This is the idea that the combination of infrastructure spending, tax cuts, rising deficits, immigration curbs and protectionist policies could reverse the disinflationary trends we have witnessed over the past few decades and more dramatically since the financial crisis. The selloff in the bond market amid surging interest rates might be the single most important piece of evidence in this regard.

Over the summer I noted we were likely witnessing the final blow-off stage of the bond bull market (see this and this). Since then the long bond has fallen nearly 15% leading many pundits to conclude it has already begun pricing in the prospect of Trumpflation. However, if you look at the data, it appears it’s just not pricing in as much deflation anymore. In fact, by some measures the yield 10-year treasury bond would still need to double in order to finish the job.

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Admin

With “Black Friday” here, the performance of retailers will be a focus for the markets. As of today, which retailers in the S&P 500 are projected to see the highest and lowest year-over-year earnings growth for the fourth quarter? Which retailers in the index have seen the largest upward and downward revisions to earnings estimates for Q4 over the past two months?

In terms of year-over-year earnings growth, seven of the 13 retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report growth in earnings for the fourth quarter, led by the Internet & Direct Marketing Retail (23.6%), Food Distributors (14.3%), and Home Improvement Retail (13.8%) sub-industries. On the other hand, six of the 13 retail sub-industries in the S&P 500 are predicted to report declines in earnings, led by the Home Furnishing Retail (-16.0%), Hypermarkets & Super Centers (-13.5%), and Food Retail (-9.8%) sub-industries.

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Revisions to Estimates

In terms of upward revisions to earnings estimates, four sub-industries

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Admin

Big Tech Lost A Boatload When Trump Killed TPP

1291359?profile=RESIZE_480x480The giant international trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership died last week. It was supposed to be the largest regional trade deal in history.

The TPP itself was a massive 30-chapter lawbook that would have freed access to markets for things like car manufacturing, data storage, online commerce, intellectual property and medicines.

Hoards of technology and media companies supported the trade deal. Google was pro TPP. As was Microsoft, Apple and Facebook. The Motion Picture Association of America supported it too. The deal would have allowed them to make it easier to store user data across borders, offer stricter copyright protections and clamp down on digital pirating.

President-elect Donald Trump positioned his opposition to the trade deal as one of the defining issues of his campaign. He compared the TPP to the North American Free Trade Agreement of the 1990s that allowed U.S. manufacturers to move jobs to Mexico.

President Obama, on the other hand, was betting on th

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Admin

Industries Most At Risk In A Trade War With China

The U.S. and global economy has reacted in mixed fashion since the election of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States. One of the most significant potential fallouts though, is a trade war with China. Trump has spoken out against the current situation with China on a great number of occasions. Now he is in a position to potentially see through his pledges, some fear the emergence of a tit-for-tat trade war between the two countries. As the infographic below shows, the industries most endangered by any such war would be transportation and tech.

 

Infographic: The US Industries Most At Risk In A Trade War With China | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

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Admin

Repeal Of Obamacare Not A Simple Task

sub-buzz-32504-1478731236-1.jpg?resize=625:417&width=425As the market partied this week, believing that Obamacare would be smashed and their premiums would revert back to lower levels, I sat and chuckled.  You're already spending money you haven't received in terms of lower premiums but there's always a price. Always. Already the "costs" of repealing ACA are being calculated and surprise surprise, it won't be free or easy.  In fact QZ ponders it will cost "us" Billions but let's examine the possibilities.  From BuzzFeed:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning victory Tuesday night, the only certainty for the American health care industry is the end of the Affordable Care Act, at least in its current form.

Everything else for the industry, however, is deeply uncertain. Supreme Court cases have jeopardized parts of Obamacare before, but with a Trump presidency, the industry is for the first time facing the real possibility of a drastic and abrupt repeal of the entire ACA — a scenario that some industry sources say insurance companies and hosp

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Admin

Is The Stock Market Rally Over?

As technicians battle over whether our "hated" seven year rally still has legs, I continue to return and ask myself "has anything truly blown up?".  I do personally believe the US Dollar will continue it strength and that will continue to put pressure on commodities, dividend payers and discretionary.  Financials and insurers will push higher.  Can the rest of the boat survive?  Are earnings guidance showing a 'rosey' picture of the future?  Will Trump win?  Too many unknowns for me.  This post, using monthly charts, brings me back to earth.  While I have no need to catch the absolute top, it gives me specific areas which need to be defined.  I remain cautious and yes, have numerous short positions as well as longs.  That doesn't mean, however, that I'm willing to give up just yet.  I hope you enjoy-

While the technicians usually write about the short tem, I want to zoom out a little and use a monthly chart of the New York Composite ($NYA). For those who follow my webinars, we are foll

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Admin

Energy Of The Future. Demand By 2050

Energy2050_1536x1536_500_Standard.ashx?mw=1536&car=72:35&cq=50&tco=500&width=400When it comes to energy, there is one matter everyone agrees on. For the near future, at least, the world will need more of it—and how it is produced and used will be a critical factor in the future of the global economy, geopolitics, and the environment. With that in mind, McKinsey took a hard look at the data, modeling energy demand from the bottom up, by country, sector, and fuel mix, with an analysis of current conditions, historical data, and country-level assessments. On this basis, McKinsey’s Global Energy Insights team has put together a description of the global energy landscape to 2050.

It is important to remember that this is a business-as-usual scenario. That is, it does not anticipate big disruptions in either the production or use of energy. And, of course, predicting the future of anything is perilous. With those caveats in mind, here are four of the most interesting insights from this research.

Global energy demand will continue to grow. But growth will be slower—an ave

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Admin

Election Day in the United States is, at last, almost here. Similar to any other major event, investors will be looking to what effect the presidential election will have on the stock market for the rest of the year and beyond. One way we can predict this movement is to analyze the historical price performance of the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average during past election cycles. Here we'll examine:

  • How does the stock market perform in the final two months of presidential election years?
  • What effect does the elected political party have on stock market performance in the years following the election?
  • Which sectors are the top performers during election years and post-election?


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S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average Underperform during Election Years

During presidential election years going back to 1928, the S&P 500 index has been in the positive 73% of the time (16 out of 22 years). The average price gain of the S&P 500 during election years was 7%, which trailed the 7.

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Admin

ap187914845154-1.jpg?width=400Alphabet's investment arm, Google Capital, has quietly made an investment in Snapchat parent company, Snap Inc. 

The investment was only revealed after Google Capital rebranded itself to CapitalG on Friday and added the Snapchat logo to its portfolio page. Business Insider confirmed that it is a portfolio company of the growth equity arm of Alphabet. Snap Inc did not immediately respond to comment. 

The two companies have had a cozy relationship. In 2013, it was rumored that Google once tried to buy Snapchat for $4 billion after it turned down a Facebook acquisition. To this day, Snapchat remains one of the largest users of Google's cloud infrastructure, although it's recently brought a data center specialist in house

Before it renamed itself to Snap Inc in September, Snapchat had most recently raised $1.81 billion in a May 2016 round of funding. That funding round valued the company around $20 billion. 

Courtesy of BusinessInsider

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Admin

Get ready for the era of augmented humanity.

Global research powerhouse IDC says the next era of IT transformation will marry technology with biology to take the human mind and body to unprecedented levels of mental and physical capability.

That was one of the top worldwide IT predictions for 2017 as outlined Tuesday by Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC.

Gens dubbed IDC’s augmented humanity concept its new “fourth platform.” Over the past few years, IDC has been laying out its view of a “third platform” consisting of cloud, mobile, social and big data/analytics. As described by Gens on Tuesday, the fourth platform of augmented humanity pushes the current wearable technology trend beyond skin-deep layers into “cellular and sub-cellular levels” of our biology.

“The fourth platform will be the penetration of the human body and the integration of technologies with human biosystems,” he said. “This means the fourth platform is us.”

Major tenets of the fourth platfo

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Admin

27UP-Trade-master768.jpg?width=400The constant flow of goods from Asia to the United States was briefly interrupted last month after Hanjin, the South Korean shipping line, filed for bankruptcy, stranding several dozen of its cargo ships on the high seas.

It was a moment that made literal the stagnation of globalization.

The growth of trade among nations is among the most consequential and controversial economic developments of recent decades. Yet despite the noisy debates, which have reached new heights during this presidential campaign, it is a little-noticed fact that trade is no longer rising. The volume of global trade was flat in the first quarter of 2016, then fell by 0.8 percent in the second quarter, according to statisticians in the Netherlands, which happens to keep the best data.

The United States is no exception to the broader trend. The total value of American imports and exports fell by more than $200 billion last year. Through the first nine months of 2016, trade fell by an additional $470 billion.

It i

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Admin

The stock market continues to weaken, as evidenced by these ETF charts.    If you zero in on a sector you wish to short, I would bear in mind that ETFs are comprised of market leaders.  I would look for names "outside" of the ETF components; consider them leaders and you want the weaklings to short.

The reasons for weakness are numerous. 

Consider the election weight (a Trump win would weigh on equities but Clinton weighs on pharma pricing).  Then there are flat-to-dropping sales.  Of course the USD movement (up will weigh on commodities and large caps with overseas exposure).  Then there's those who feel we are already at or above maximum value and they're not buying here.  They're hedged, short some and long financials ahead of the Fed rate hike.  Then there's that Fed hike itself.  High dividend is flushing down the toilet (SDY) in September.  Overseas weakness with China not helping boost confidence for demand.  And we also have more failure at the OPEC talks with no offer from o

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