Tag Archives: economic calendar

Stocks to Focus for Thursday – April 16, 2009

Wednesday’s recap:  What a mad dash to finish …. Stocks surged in the last hour before closing, lifting all three major indices from deep red to green.  

The last-hour surge pushed the Dow up 109 or 1.4%  to 8030.  The S& P 500 index rose 10.6 points  or 1.3%  to 852, and the Nasdaq snuck in to green with a final minute thrust and edged up 1.08, or 0.1% to 1627.   Crude 16 cents to settle at $49.25 a barrel, while gold was down $1.50 to $893.50 an ounce.

The impetus for the final hour turn around was provided by the observation in Federal Beige Book that economic contraction may be slowing down.  The market interpreted this as ‘the end is closer’ ….

TaurusTrader portfolio had a decent day.  AMR was one of the stars in today’s rally, hit it’s first target of $4.85 for a profit of 31.1%.  50% position in AMR was closed today.  For the remaining 50%, the second target is $6.50.  XRT was stopped @ $24.60 (stop moved up once), but still made over 1% profit.  AGU again came very close to hitting the profit target for the second day in a row.  FCN, HON, and EXP had decent gains.

Picks for Thursday, April 16:  An increasing stream of quarterly results from companies is likely to add to the market’s volatility.  Reports from JPM andGOOG on Thursday could reshape how investors feel about the financial and technology industries. Figures are also due on home construction and unemployment claims.

I’ll wait for reports from JPM and GOOG before committing fresh money on new picks.  However, if JPM reports a great quarter, and the market responds positively, I would buy FAS (Financial 3X long ETF) at around $9.50, and hope to ride the momentum till it hits $11.60.

I’ll also have following stocks on my radar for any swing trading opportunities:  WFC, MS, MELI, IPI, HP, TCK, and BX

That’s it for now …. Good luck trading.



Stocks to Watch for Wednesday – April 15, 2009

Tuesday’s Market Recap:  Markets pulled back responding to unexpected poor retail sales data and also on worries about banks ahead of key earning reports.  Markets were in extremely overbought condition, and in my opinion, this pull back was needed. 

For the day, Dow lost 138 points or 1.7%, to close at 7920. The S&P 500 lost 17 points or 2%, to 841, while the Nasdaq shed 28 points or 1.7%, to 1626.   Crude fell 64 cents to settle at $49.41 a barrel, and gold lost $3.80 to $892 an ounce.

Financials led the stock market lower on Tuesday as investors brushed off an upbeat earnings by GS and focused on disappointing economic data.  Retail sales for March came in at -1.1%, far below the expected, a 0.3-percent increase.  Excluding the autos, sales fell 0.9%.  January and February sales figures were, however,  revised upward.  Still, the unexpected sharp drop spooked the market.  Meanwhile, the PPI dropped 1.2%.  Excluding food and energy costs, core PPI was flat.  Business inventories dropped 1.3% in February as expected.

A spirited speech by President Obama explaining the origin and nature of the economic crisis, and an all out effort by the administration to grow the economy – could not inspire the markets.  Similarly, Ben Bernake’s speech was also ignored despite his observation that “the economic decline is slowing down off late”

TaurusTrader portfolio closed a position for profit and added a new position.  CMED hit the profit target of $18.60 in the morning for a 12.9% profit.  AGU and AMR came very close to hitting target before retreating. Very volatile  TNA lost about 10% for the day.  Today’s pick, GNK was bought at $15.67.  The other pick, FAS did not activate the buy limit, hence was not bought.

Focus list for Wednesday:  Earnings and economic data will be the center of focus again on Wednesday.  INTC reported earnings of 11 cents a share after the close on Tuesday.  This beat the street expectation handily, but the shares were down in after-hours trading as the chip giant refused to provide an outlook.  The rail-road giant, CSX was up over 3% in the after hours trading following it’s better than expected earnings report.

On the economic front, the scheduled events for Wednesday include:  Weekly mortgage applications; NY Fed Empire State survey; CPI; industrial production; weekly crude inventories; NAHB housing index; Fed’s beige book.

Markets are still in a flux …. It is hard to predict the short term direction.  TaurusTrader portfolio has 12 open positions, and is well diversified.  I’ll be watching my positions with tight stops.  I do not want to risk more capital on new positions.  I’ll be happy to watch from the side lines, at least for now on Wednesday.

If there are questions, please do post ….

Happy trading …


The Week Ahead – March 23 – 27, 2009

Weekly Recap (March 16 – 20, 2009):  Even though markets sputtered to a whimper toward the end of the week, major indices gained for two weeks in a row which hadn’t happened in a while.  For the week, Dow eked out a 0.8% gain to close at 7278, where as, S&P and Nasdaq gained a modest 1.6% and 1.8%, respectively.  S&P made a strong attempt to break 800 point barrier and the 50 day MA, but did not succeed and closed at 769.  Similarly, Nasdaq also mounted a valiant crack at 1500 and the 50 day MA, but unable to hold either and closed at 1457.  The 50 day MA is serving as a major overhead resistance for all three indices. 

Concern about massive deficit from excessive spending to tackle the financial crises and to prop up the economy by the new administration appeared to hurt the market sentiments.  Inflationary worries dragged the dollar lower against major currencies.  Commodities mounted a huge rally with CRB index gaining over 7.1% for the week.  Crude oil gained 10.7% and vaulted to $52.07 at the closing on Friday’s trading.  Gold gained 2.4% ($952.3 per oz) as traders bought gold as a hedge against anticipatory inflationary pressure.

TaurusTrader swing portfolio had a mixed week.  WFC achieved the target and was closed for a nice 15% profit in 3 days.  None were stopped out, but a couple of stocks came very close to being stopped out.  At the end of the week, the swing portfolio was long in 13 positions, out of which 9 had unrealized gains (TCK, RY, MBT, BX, MDR, CPRT, WDCDV, BMC and WSM)  and 4 had some losses (WNR, AGU, AMR and FCN). 

CPRT, MBT, RY and BMC came within just a few cents of reaching the profit target before retracing …. ouch!!

Week Ahead, March 23 -27, 2009:  It will be a very crucial week for the markets.  Actions coming out of Washington will greatly influence the market direction.  There’s a big struggle going on between Wall-street and Washington.  Unless this struggle is resolved, and mutual trust restored, the choppiness of the market will continue.  As individual traders, we can’t influence either, and it is frustrating.  But, what we can do is be vigilant and very reactive (not proactive) with out trades.

Treasury will be laying out its private-public partnership program to rescue the financial markets tomorrow (Monday) morning.  This announcement will dictate the market direction at least for all of next week.  It is hard to predict how the markets will react, but the anticipation is high.  As I write this blog past midnight , the Asian markets are up in anticipation of a positive proposal by Tim Geithner.

On the earnings front, just 58 companies are scheduled to report this week.  Some important reports that I would be watching are:

  • Monday:  FMCN, PVH, SONC, TIF, and WAG
  • Tuesday: CCL, CMC, JBL, MKC, WSM (TautusTrader is long WSM)
  • Wednesday: CTRN, CKR, PAYX, and SAI
  • Thursday: ACN, BBY, DPS, ERJ, FINL, GME, LEN, and UTIW

For details on earnings calendar, please visit:  http://www.zacks.com/commentary/10374/Earnings+Preview+for+Mar+23+-+27

 Economic Calendar:  Following economic news might have impact on the markets –

  • Monday: 10:00 a.m. Feb Existing Home Sales: Expected: -0.2%. Previous: -5.3%.
  • Tuesday:   1) 7:45 a.m. ICSC Chain Store Sales Index For Mar 21: Previous: -0.1%. 8:55 a.m.;  2) Redbook Retail Sales Index For Mar 21: Previous: unch.;  3) 10:00 a.m. Mar Richmond Fed Mfg Survey: Previous: -51;  4) 4:30 p.m. API Oil Industry Report For Mar 20;  5) 5:00 p.m. ABC/Wash Post Consumer Conf For Mar 21: Previous: -47;  6) Ben Bernanke testifies.
  • Wednesday:  1) 7:00 a.m. Mortgage Applications Refinance Index: Previous: +29.6%.;  2) 8:30 a.m. Feb Durable Goods Orders: Expected: -1.6%. Previous: -5.2%;   3) 10:00 a.m. Feb New Home Sales: Expected: -3.6%. Previous: -10.2%;   4) 10:30 a.m. US Energy Dept Oil Inventories For Mar 20.
  • Thursday:  1) 8:30 a.m. Initial Jobless Claims For Mar 21 Week: Expected: +8K. Previous: -12K.; 2) 8:30 a.m. 4Q Final GDP: Expected: -6.7%. Previous: -6.2%;  3) 10:00 a.m. DJ-BTMU Business Barometer For Mar 14: Previous: +0.5%;  4) 10:30 a.m. EIA Natl Gas Inventories For Mar 20.
  • Friday:  1) 8:30 a.m. Feb Personal Income: Expected: -0.2%. Previous: +0.4%;  2) 8:30 a.m. Feb Personal Spending: Expected: +0.3%. Previous: +0.6;  3) 10:00 a.m. End-Mar Reuters/U Mich Sentiment Index: Expected: 57. Previous: 56.3. 

Picks for Monday, March 23:  Treasury’s announcement of financial rescue plan will have significant impact on the markets – finacials in particular.  Based on the news events before markets open, I may open some position in financial ETFs – FAS or FAZ.    Other than this, my picks for swing portfolio are:

  • HNT – buy above $15.75, Target $17.32, Stop $14.40
  • RIO – buy above $14.26, Target $16.20, Stop $13.65

Thre could be a lot of volatility assciated with financial stocks tomorrow.  I’ll be looking at the following for day trade opportunities:  FAS, FAZ, WFC, BAC, and MS. 

If there are questions or comments, please do post …..

Have a great week and happy trading.



The Week Ahead, March 16 – 20, 2009.

Weekly Recap (March 9 – 13, 2009):  TaurusTrader’s prophecy to begin the week, ” ….  expect some bounce up for the markets this week ……. planning on exploiting any  ‘bounce ups’ as and when they happen …..”, did indeed come true.  It was not pretty to begin with on Monday, but Gosh, things changed in a hurry … when the rally started, it did not waste any time …. it just took off.  All major indices had substantial gains not seen in a while.  It was the kind of rally, no matter what you call – a bear market rally, reversal rally, short cover rally, Obama rally, anti-Obama rally, Bank CEOs rally, Stewart-Cramer rally, etc etc etc, that the TaurusTrader was waiting patiently, totally planned with right picks, and pounced on for profits! Please refer to my blog posts through out the week for details.  I hope you did well too.

For the week, Dow traded in 800 point range (6440 to 7243) to close at 7224 and gained an impressive 597 points or 9%.  S&P gained 10.7% or 73 points to close at 756.6 (range 673 to 758), a close above November 21 low of 741.  The tech heavy Nasdaq market gained 10.6% or 138 points for the week  closing at 1432 (range 1266 to 1434).

Major worries about the stability and viability of major banks were somewhat abated by upbeat statements by CEO’s Vikram Pandit of City, Jamie Dimon of JPM, and Ken Lewes of BAC – all indicated that their banks are lending and making profits!  Even though, the GE credit was downgraded by a notch to AA+, it did not hurt as the market was expecting even worse.  So, GE gained, instead of losing ground!  More importantly, the Obama administration has started talking ‘coherently’ and in unison about their plans for rescuing financial institutions and fixing economy.  Congressional hearing about modifications in mark to market accounting practice to deal with toxic assets on balance sheet of financial institutions, and SEC’s inclination to bring back the ‘uptick’ rule for shorting stocks, also added fuel to the rally. 

TaurusTrader’s swing portfolio had a fantastic week.  Five positions hit their profit targets within a short holding period of 1 to 5 days. 

  1. WFC bought on Marck 9, sold on March 10 for 29.2% gain
  2. BIGCC (BIG April 15 call), bought on March 6, sold on March 11 for 70% gain
  3. WDC, bought on March 10, sold on March 12 for 11.8% gain
  4. MS bought on March 10, sold on March 11 for 20.1% gain
  5. JOYG bought on March 10, and sold on March 11 for 8.3% gain

None of the positions stopped out this week.

Because of wide intra-day price swings, we had several reccurring  profitable day trade opportunities throughout the week with our day trade picks – MON, AGU, IPI, SYT, BAC, WFC, MS, HP, HPQ,  FAS and MELI.  I had mentioned several of those trades in my daily posts.

Week Ahead, March 16 – 20:  Please do not kid yourself.  No matter what you hear from experts on CNBC, we are still in a historic bear market.  Negativism still exists, and is likely to persist for a while about the health of our economy, viability of financial institutions, political squabbling, etc.  Even in bear market, we get some burst of enthusiasm and positive uptrend periodically, like the one we got last week.  It usually is very fast and very violent!  Now you see it, you feel it, but the very next moment it is gone heading in the other direction … even faster!!  So, as I said before, be patient and be prepared to exploit those kind of movements as and when they happen.

I expect the markets to swing widely based on ‘instant news’.  There’s a lot of scheduled events that could move the markets in a blink.  It would be interesting to see how the markets would react to the ‘weekend news events’  – Ben Bernanke’s appearance on 60 minutes, OPEC’s decision to hold the oil out put steady, meeting of G-20 finance ministers, and contradictory statements made by Obama’s honchos on the health of economy at their news media circus acts!  

I liked Ben Bernanke on 60 minutes.  Thought he was forthright and heading in the right direction.  He was emphatic in asserting that the recession could end in 2009, and no big banks would fail under his watch.  Of course, there were caveats – the ‘political will’, mostly the lack of it and how soon the finanacial system can be stabilized.  In all, no harm done with this highly anticipated event!

Tim Geithnet did OK at the G-20 meeting …. No harm done here either!

OPEC’s decision to not to cut production came as a surprise that might affect energy stocks at the open on Monday.  As I write this, the crude was down by over 4% in Asian session.

Financial stocks might continue with their momentum from last week.  A few hours ago, the CEO of HSBC announced that his bank would not ask for British government bailout.  Banking stocks in Asia were responding positively to this news, as well as to the news from G-20 meeting of coordinated efforts to stem world financial crisis.

Economic calendar is busy for the week including some important releases –

  • Monday – Empire State Mfg Survey (consensus – 32.00); Industrial Production (consensus, -1.2% month to month); Bernanke speaks.
  • Tuesday – Housing Starts (consensus 450 K); Producers Price Index (PPI); FOMC meeting begins
  • Wednesday – Consumers Price Index (CPI); EIA petroleum stats; FOMC meeting announcement
  • Thursday – Jobless claims (654K); Leading Indicators (-0.6%); Philly Fed Survey (-38.0)
  • Friday – Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks

For complete economic calendar for the week, please visit:


On the earnings front, 93 companies are scheduled to confess their quarterly earnings this week.  For complete list, please visit:


Some anticipated confessions are –

  • Monday – SINA, SBLK
  • Tuesday – ADBE, CSIQ, GES
  • Wednesday – CLC, DRI, NKE, ORCL
  • Thursday – BKS, PLCE, CRAI, FDX, WGO

At the beginning of the week, TaurusTrader’s swing portfolio contained following positions:

  1. RY- filled on March 13 @ $27.70, Friday’s close @ 27.65.  Unrealized gain -0.1%.  Target 30.50.  Stop $25.60.
  2. MBT – filled on March 13 @ $28.35, Friday’s close @ 28.40.  Unrealized gain 0.1%.  Target 33.10.  Stop $24.30.
  3. FCN – filled on March 12 @ $47.80, Friday’s close $47.63.  Unrealized gain -0.2%.  Target $52.00.  Stop $45.15
  4. MDR – filled on March 12 @ $13.40, Friday’s close $13.98. Unrealized gain 4.1%.  Target $16.00.  Stop raised to $12.90
  5. CPRT – filled on March 10 @ $27.60, Friday’s close $29.43. Unrealized gain of  6.7%.  Target $30.30.  Stop raised to $27.50
  6. WDCDV (WDC April 12.50 call) – filled on March 6 @ <$3.00, today’s close $4.90, gain 63%.  Target $6.00.  Stop raised to $4.00
  7. SOHU – filled on March 10 @ $46.17, Friday’s close $48.66.  Unrealized gain 5.1%.  Target $50.50.  Stop raised to $46.00
  8.  BMC – filled on February 24 @ $29.46, Friday’s close $29.74.  Unrealized gain 1.0%.  Target $32.00.  Stop $27.49

I’ve raised the ‘stop loss’ for WDCDV, SOHU, CPRT, and MDU to protect profits and/or to reduce losses.

Picks for Monday, March 16:  Based on the news events over the weekend discussed above, I will be watching financial and transportation sector stocks on Monday.  I will also be watching the earnings release from SINA, and for possible price action to the report.  The stocks for swing trading are –

  • WFC – buy above $14.10.  Target $16.20.  Stop 11.30 (Risky and very volatile, adjust your stop to your risk tolerance)
  • AMR – buy above $3.70.  Target $4.85 (50%), and $6.20 (50%).  Stop 2.80 (you could also consider DAL or CAL)

I’ll be looking at the following for day trade opportunities:  FAS, BAC, MS, ITRI, MELI, ITRI and SINA (on earnings!).  Their chart patterns and volatility look interesting!

If there are questions or comments, please do post …..

Have a great week and happy trading.