Notes for Tuesday:
Monday starts lower and then finds buyers to move higher, but managed to give back gains the balance of the day to close basically flat on the S&P 500 index and the NASDAQ 100. Small caps were up 1.2% at one point and closed with a gain of 0.86% and pushing back towards the March highs. The rotation toward the growth sector continued today and may be willing to play catch up near term. Technically the markets do look extended, but until the sellers are willing to exert themselves the buyers are in control.
Acquisition of Idenix Pharma and Hillshire Brands kept the dream alive for more M&A activity to stimulate the broad markets. Carl Icahn has found another company to help in Family Dollar and Apple’s completion of their 7/1 stock split brought some buzz to those stocks and GMCR fell 6.5% Monday erasing Friday’s gains. Overall we remain in positive shape and the buyers have control of the bus for now.
Market Story & Outlook:
Current Story of the market still involves some uncertainty about why we have started the next leg higher, but for now everyone is willing to accept the move. Despite the rally off the recent lows and the move to new highs on the major indexes, we still have unresolved issues economically, fundamentally and with growth in earnings. As we have discussed the markets underlying challenge is the economy. The tug-o-war is, ‘buyers’ believe the economic improvements currently being prognosticated at 4% growth for the second quarter are a given. That means we must ignore the first quarter contraction in GDP (minus one percent). This week the data reports were better relative to May over April. The buyers are getting some validation (not four percent worth) and they are putting money to work in stocks. The ‘sellers’, on the other hand, believe the economy is growing slower at a rate of maybe 1-1.5%. First quarter GDP validates that belief, in their opinion. The buyers are winning currently as the uptrend resumed the S&P 500 index hitting a new closing high. We… have to be cautious, take the trades we are comfortable with and keep looking forward, and managing our risk as we go.
The second phase of the story line is, bond yields were believed to rise this year as the Fed tapered (cut stimulus) and the economic growth improved. The yields to start the year on the thirty-year bond were 3.94%, currently they are 3.45%. That is not what was prognosticated and the story line has not helped the current lack of direction in the markets. The bonds are telling us something different than the Fed and economist. We have to watch as this plays out going forward.
The Third phase of the story line is earnings, or declining growth in them quarter over quarter. First quarter data has not been good overall. The rate of decline in earnings is the primary concern from my view. The focus from the media is the number of companies that beat expectations, but the rate of growth in earnings will determine the rate of growth in stocks looking forward. They are and remain a concern for investors longer term.
This all adds up to uncertainty and a lack of clarity for stocks. Despite the move higher in stocks the underlying concerns have not been removed or dealt with. We are now in the last month of the second quarter and the next phase of report will begin in five weeks. June’s reports will be forth coming shortly and it will all add to story going forward. As we always say and attempt to do, take what the market gives and protect the downside risk of your portfolio. Until we will have clarity stick with the trend and for now that is back on the upside. Patience and discipline are key to success long term.
Sectors to Watch:
- Small Caps (IWM) – Past the test of the $111 mark as the index breaks higher gaining nicely again to start the week. Clearing resistance at the 110.20 level was the basis for the upside position. We persevered along with others and now the trade has panned out on the upside. Made the move through the $115 level now. Raise the stop to $114.50.
- REITs – The sector remains in a uptrend following the break higher near $73. Monday however, presented a test lower towards the $71.40 mark. I am still interested in holding and managing this position with a longer term time horizon, but we will have to go back to managing the risk of the position following the drop on Monday. Adjust your stop and hold positions moving forward.
- Emerging Markets – Uptrend is in play, but the uncertainty of the markets is still a concern with the current topping formation in play. Broke through the resistance Friday and followed through on Monday. The uptrend remains in play following the consolidation as we adjust our stops and manage our risk. Still have a 12-36 month outlook on the sector to move higher. Entry $43 on EEM hit. Stop $41.76. Equally a move above the $43.50 level was a plus for the upside.
- Bond yields moved to new lows last week on the thirty year bond. The bounce of 14 basis point the last three days pushed bonds lower. Still watching TBT as an opportunity or hedge against the bond short term. The sentiment on yields is lower short term, but I would not be overly aggressive with that stance. TBT hit entry point of $62.50 Tuesday. Add if we move above $63.30.
- Energy (XLE) remains a leader as the sector move to a new high. Be cautious and adjust your stops according to your time horizon. Poised to run higher on the positive outlook in the US and EU stimulus. Crude had positive day with a move back above $104? This is something to watch short term along with any impact.
- Semiconductors broke from the wedge consolidation pattern to the upside and followed through with a three week positive upside. Added a position to our model (SOXX @ $80.35 entry). I like the upside as the technology stocks have recovered some of the lost momentum. Adjust your stops on positions. XLK moved back to the current highs at $36.80 and broke above $37 (added position)… now managing the risk of the trade going forward. Hit new high with the index gaining traction again.
- S&P 500 index moved through the 1900 level and to new high for the index at 1951. What does it mean as we accelerate to another new high? Uptrend remains in play and watching for the upside momentum to continue short term with some checks and balances along the way. Financials has been adding a boost of late on the upside.
- NASDAQ 100 (QQQ) broke to a new and closed at $92.75. Large cap stocks are leading the way for the broad markets currently. We maintain our positions, adjust our stops and let it run for now.
- Natural Gas – UNG fell 1.6% on Monday testing the upside and adding question marks to the move higher. Still watching and managing our stop at $25. FCG made nice move above resistancea the $22.75 level early, but faded to close right on the number. Still like the upside looking longer term. (hit entry at $22.16). Watch and set your stops accordingly.
- Healthcare – Biotech (IBB, BIB) broke above the resistance point and completed a bottom reversal pattern. We added the sector in the models. This will be a key indicator if investors are willing to return to the risk trades. Tested modestly, but still looking positive for now with a renewed push higher. Pharma stocks XPH moved to the upside as money rotates back into the sector.
- Global – Europe (IEV) moved to new highs on Draghi’s news and holding. Germany (EWG), Spain (EWP) and Italy (EWI) have all made moves higher. The EAFE (EFA) hit new highs and the move higher continues. The Emerging Markets (EEM) broke higher as well and showing some signs of moving higher.
- Utilities (XLU) breaking higher from the test lower. Cleared resistance at the $42.40 level. Reversed on Monday to test the move to the previous high. Mixed outlook as bond yields play into the outcome short term.
Pattern Trading Setup:
- Manage your positions and adjust your stops accordingly.
- C – entry $49.65. Bottom reversal from trading range and move through the 200 DMA. Banks are moving higher currently.
- XOP – entry $78.40. reverse head and shoulder. part of the energy sector attempting to break to new high.
- FB – entry $64.22. cup and handle. Break higher as continuation of the trading range breakout attempt.
- YELP – entry $66.80. cup and handle. Break higher from the bottom reversal in play.
Pattern Trade Tracking & Follow Up:
- NPSP – entry $33.80. Pennant. Continuation of the upside breakout in biotech stock. Stop $33.
- ANIK – entry $48. trading range. biotech moving higher again. Adding to the existing position. Stop$47
- PFG – entry $48. trading range. Insurance joining upside move with breakout. Stop $47.50
- BAC – entry $15.35. trading range. Banks moving to the upside. Stop $15.35.
- AKAM – entry $55. trading range breakout. Stop $55.50.
- STI – entry $38.95. trading range. Banks attempting to break higher. stop $$39.40.
- EXPE – entry $73.90. Downtrend break and follow through. Stop $71.90.
- WAG – cup and handle. test the breakout and take the entry price or follow through entry at $71.45. Stop $72.
- UNG – entry $25.25 test of the double bottom breakout. Run to $27 and decision time for the commodity. Trade and exit if outlook doesn’t improve in commodities. Stop $25.25.
- SMH – entry $45.65. Triangle breakout. the consolidation pattern is breaking to the upside. technology leadership. Stop $46.49.
- AMAT – entry $20.20. Flag following a trading range break on upside. Look for volume to pick up on the move higher. Stop $20.50.
- RVBD – entry $19.90. trading range. technology moving higher short term. Stop $19.80
- IBB – entry $236.70. Ascending triangle. looking for upside follow through on breakout. Stop $240.
- CURE – entry $81.42. Ascending triangle. looking for upside follow through on breakout. Stop $83.
- ERX – entry $106.42. uptrend test of support in consolidation. Energy is one of the leaders and looking for upside continuation of the previous trend. Stop $114.
- TRIP – entry $86.95. Higher low, ascending triangle. Be patient with entry as it needs room to validate the move on the upside. Internet sector oversold. Stop $99.90.
- AAPL – entry $84.29. Test of gap higher. Splitting 7:1 and should add a upside boost short term to the stock. Stop $91.
- GE – entry $26.30. Trading range breakout. Value stock coming back into favor. Gapped on earnings above the entry… patience. Got the test early and added the position. Stop $26.30.
NOTE: The pattern trades above are setups that I see for a potential swing trade or short term trade opportunities. Some will fail to follow through on the pattern, some will break and trade according to the pattern. The key is to use discipline in the trades. Entry, Exit and Target on all trades is vital. I am posting these as opportunities that I see when doing scans daily. You can use them as a teaching tool or you can trade them, either way please use discipline. The best way to treat these as a learning tool is to assume a $100,000 portfolio and each positions receives a 5% allocation. If we state to take a 1/2 position as an example you would only allocate 2.5% to that position. I would use a downside risk of $500 per trade as a maximum loss. That will help you learn position sizing and risk management. All investing comes with risk. Our job as investors is to manage the risk. Keep your focus and discipline in place.
Facebook (FB) Update: (see Facebook research page for archive of posts)
- 4/28 – Tested support at the $54.85 level. Watch to see if it breaks support. If it does the downside trade in order. (Trade result… FB – sold to support at the $54.80 level held and working higher. The bounce has worked its way to $59.78 and added some shares on a move to $60.05. The target would be $63.50 or top end of the trading range currently trading in. Stop $58.30. HIT STOP)
- 5/12 – solid bounce off the low, but remains within the trading range. could trade the move back to the upper end of the range at $63. Watch today to see how it moves. 5/15 – The move lower stays within the range, but pressure is being put on the growth stocks again. Watch for a short trade if we break from the current trading range.
- 5/19 – Definitely has moved into a consolidation period and not much happening worthy of the risk at this point. The range has narrowed and the risk of trading has risen without some clarity in the stock as well as the sector. SOCL has dropped more than 20% the last two months, and in light of that move, FB is looking good short term. Be patient for now and let this all unfold.
- 5/27 – Moved above the $60 mark and held… looking for a trade opportunity on the upside. $63.50 next level of resistance for the stock.
- 5/29 – Add 500 at $63.55 follow through today. Added the shares and set the stop at $61.30.
- 6/6 – See above on pattern breakout to add to existing position. Add additional 500 shares.
- 6/10 – Adding shares today on the move higher in pre-market.