Tag Archives: Employment data

Stocks to Watch for Friday April 3, 2009

Thursday’s market recap: Another great day!  Even though it could not hold on to it  at close,  Dow breached 8000 mark for the first time since Febrauary 9.  Nasdaq is now positive for the year!  S&P somehow managed to hold above the critical 833 support level.

The Dow gained 216 or 2.8%, to close at 7978.  It had earlier gained as much as 314 points.  The S&P index gained 23 points or 2.9%, to end the day at 834. The Nasdaq rose 51 points or 3.3%  to close at 1603.

Crude rose $4.25 to settle at $52.64 a barrel, while gold fell $18.80 to $908.90 an ounce.

Traders were in buying mood.   Markets opened up nicely in the morning despite some negative data on jobless claims.  There were again small doses of good data that helped.  Banking sector had a some relief with FASB’s decision to relax mark to market rule on toxic assets.  Markets also liked the news coming out of G-20 meeting in London of heads of states.  G-20 leaders decided to fund IMF over $1 trillion to help troubled nations around the world, and also agreed to formulate stricter global regulation of financial institutions.  ECB lowered interest rate by 0.25%, to bring the rate down to 1.25%.  Factory orders posted a larger increase in February.  This news came on the heels of yesterday’s better than expected data on pending home sales, manufacturing activity and auto sales.

TaurusTrader’s swing portfolio had a nice day.  All 4 of yesterday’s picks – EXP, WDC, HSP, and TNA, were bought, and had decent  gains.

Focus list for Friday, April 3: There are signs to support that this rally may have more ‘juice’ left in the tank to run.  As I said in my earlier posts, small doses of good news have started coming in indicating that this recession has started to recede.  Benefits from innovative plans, at least some, put forth by the new administration appear to slowly seeping in to the economy.   CNBC’s Bob Pisani observed that mutual funds are getting back to the market to scoop up stocks.   Commodity prices are going up.  Copper just made a new 5-month high.  Copper is a good indicator of economic growth.  Similarly the transportation index, which went on a tear today!   I also expect that the Banking stocks to continue their momentum following the boost they got from Thursday’s favorable mark to market ruling by FASB.  RIMM reported exceptional quarter after Thursday’s close, and was up over 20% in aftermarket hours.  Folks, these are some good signs ….

However, we can’t let our guard down.   The optimism could be easily crushed if tomorrow’s jobs report surprise us with lousier than lousy expected data.  Economists predict  a loss of 654 K jobs in March, and unemployment rate  to rise to 8.5%,  from 8.1%  in February.

TaurusTrader swing portfolio picks for tomorrow, Friday April 3 are:

  1. FMX – Buy above $27.08, stop at $24.90, target $30.60
  2. BCE – Buy above $21.77, stop at $19.90, target $24.50
  3. WFC – Buy above $16.26, stop at $14.90, target $19.00

There are no day trade picks for Friday.

Please follow all trades with protective stops. The markets  may be kind to you,  but  it can turn against you any time unexpectedly!

Good luck trading.

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com

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Market Watch for Thursday – April 2, 2009.

Wednesday’s recap: What a way to begin the new quarter … down by triple digits at open and up by over 150 points by close!! Some sense of optimism is slowly building about the economic recovery. Today’s dismal opening was attributed to a couple of factors. News from Asia were not good. China’s manufacturing index came in lower than expected, and Japan’s business sentiment among big manufacturing firms came in at a record low. Further, prior to markets opened, the ADP report indicated a dismal private sector employment condition, a drop by 742,000 in March. This figure was higher than anticipated. So, the markets opened in deep red.

As the day progressed, small doses of good news trickled in, and the markets responded. The next economic reports came in showed a rebound in pending home sales and improving manufacturing activity. Despite massive public protests, there’s some good news out of G-20 meeting. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the G20 was close to agreeing on global reforms for the financial system. This was not expected.

The Dow rose 153 points or 2%, to 7762. The S&P 500 index gained 13.2 points or 1.7% to close at 811 and the Nasdaq picked up 23 points or 1.5 percent, to close at 1552. Crude oil fell $1.27 to settle at $48.39 a barrel. Gold prices rose by $2.70 to $927.70 an ounce. The dollar was mixed – slightly weaker against the yen, but was stronger against the euro and pound.

Chemicals, gold miners, banking, and technology stocks had a stellar day. TaurusTrader had an OK day. No big gain or losses. No position was stopped out. However, it was a decent day for day trading. Had a nice success with TNA and FAS among the picks.

I also initiated small positions in MS ($22.30) and WFC ($13.75) at the open today ahead of FASB’s decision on mark to market scheduled for tomorrow. I wrote about it in my yesterday’s blog.

Stock Picks for Thursday, April 2: There are good news coming in small doses. The worst is not over, yet. The pain is still there, but there is some optimism building that the pain from recession is beginning to recede. If FASB modifies the mark to market rule tomorrow in favor of banks, it should bode well not only for the banking sector, but also to the whole market in general. The markets may have already baked in for a slight disappointment in Friday’s jobless data. Unless it comes out real bad and out of whack, the markets should do fine. But, any improvement in employment numbers, however unlikely, should help vault markets higher …. Omen!!

I would like to add the following stocks to TaurusTrader swing portfolio:

  1. EXP – Buy above $25.50, stop at $22.75, target $28.50 (volatility is high)
  2. WDC – Buy above $20.01, stop at $17.98, target $23.00
  3. HSP – Buy above $31.41, stop at $28.60, target $35.50
  4. TNA – Buy above 18.60, stop at $15.75, target 21.50 (very volatile and risky)

Chemical sector is showing some momentum.  If you have additional capital to commit, I would suggest looking at DD and DOW.  Both these picks also have strong ag portfolio that compliment  their chemical business.

I’ll not day trade tomorrow as I’ll be away on my other business interest that I detailed in my earlier post on Wednesday.  However, if interested, the financials may again provide some opportunities for profitable trades.  My favorite ones are – WFC, FAS, and MS.

MON is scheduled to report earnings prior to open on Thursday.  Expect high volatility in ag and fertilizer stocks in sympathy.

If there are questions or comments, please do post.

Best regards, and happy trading ….

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com

Stocks to Watch for Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday’s Recap:  Another great day at the market!  All three major indices finished solidly positive.  Dow ended the day up 175 points to its highest level in six weeks.  Dow has gained nearly 21% since close to hitting a 12-year low on March 9.  Nasdaq has now erased all losses for 2009 and is now back in black.  AMAZING!  Dow, however is still down 9.7% for the year.

Mainly 3 factors contributed to today’s rally. 1) Better than expected earnings and future guidance by retail giant BBY, food processor CAG, and soft drink company DPS – relaying the fact that the consumer spending is still intact, 2) Contrary to yesterday’s disappointing auction, today’s auctioning on long term debt was received with enthusiasm, lifting the fear  about the government’s ability to fund its economic stimulus and financial bailout programs, and 3) shorts got squeezed and forced to cover some of their positions.  Stocks have been aggressively shorted during the market decline  and the short interest had risen 11% by mid March.  Enormous amount of sideline money is slowly venturing to get back in to the buying mode.

Economic data (GDP and unemployment) were not great, but the numbers came within forecast.  Hence, did not have major impact on markets. Tim Geithner appeared very confident and handled questions with ease in his testimony to the house finance committee.  Markets and for that matter the congress, are becoming comfortable with our new treasury secretary.

When the closing bell rang, the Dow had gained 175 or 2.3% for the day and it closed at 7925, its highest close since February 12.   The S&P500 index rose 19 points or 2.3%, to 833, and the Nasdaq rose 58 points or 3.8%, to 1587.  Gold prices also rose modestly.  Oil reached a new high for the year, settling up $1.58 at $54.34 a barrel.

Today’s gains were widespread as all 10 major sectors in the S&P 500 closed the session higher. Contrary to recent form, the gains came without leadership from the financial sector.   The dollar is stabilizing and it rose marginally against other major currencies.  This brings to the comments I made last Thursday, when dollar took a dive after fed announced a trillion dollar infusion to bolster economy.  Here is what I said: 

Is Dollar Worry Over Blown? –  ……. In my opinion, the dollar related reaction to fed decision is a little over done.  US economy is still the strongest economy in the world despite all our problems.  Dollar is still the dominant currency.  People who are squabbling over greenback, should just look back a little.  Just 6 months ago, EUR/USD pair was trading at over 1.60.  Now, when it jumped from 1.30 to 1.35 or so, all hell breaks loose!  ………………………  So, relax folks.  A slight decline in dollar is not the end of the world as the dooms day pundits like Larry Kudlow and his friends on CNBC rant about.  The dollar is already stabilizing against the Euro and Yen as I write this blog around mid night.

That was last Thursday …. Friends, how true that statement turned out to be.  … PATIENCE …. Patience is what we need to navigate this market.  Do your home work and do not be swayed by hype!!

TaurusTrader swing portfolio had a superb day.  MELI was closed out for 13.5% profit in two days.  All positions, except BAC advanced.  TCK. MBT and WNR are very close to hitting their profit target. 

It was not a bad day for day trading.   There were opportunities to trade for 3 to 5% profit with  TNA.  Rest of the picks did not pan out well.  As discussed before, I use 10-min chart to determine entry and exit points.

Picks for Friday, March 27:  President Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner will be meeting with banking industry CEOs to discuss on banking crisis, bailout money, toxic assets, and regulations, etc.  Any post meeting snippets from participants may have some impact on financial sector stocks.  Friday’s economic data releases include, Personal Income ( Expected: -0.2%), Personal Spending (Expected: +0.3%), and U Mich Sentiment Index (Expected: 57). 

Even though I’m very tempted, I do not want to add any new position to swing portfolio.  The current portfolio of 11 stocks is well diversified, and a few positions are very close to hitting profit target.  So, I’ll wait till next Monday or Tuesday to add new positions.

For day trading, I’ll focus on financial, technology, energy, ag and commodity sectors for trading opportunities.  Some of the specific stocks that I would be following are – FAS, TNA, DUG, MOS, and JOYG.

If there are questions or comments, please do post. 

If you are interested in receiving my posts directly via email, please email me at –  TAURUSTRADER@SBCGLOBAL.NET  or click on the ‘comments’ below to request.  I can do the rest!!

Happy trading ….

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com

Stocks to Focus for Tuesday, 03-03-2009

Monday’s recap:  First day of trading in March began on a wrong foot.  Major averages ended in deep red for four straight days.  Navigating this market is like  ‘chinese water torture’.  You know you are going to survive, but never know when the suffering ends …. you wait, wait, and wait in agony! 

Monday’s losses were very steep and wide spread.   All 30 Dow stocks declined, over 98% of S&P components ended in red, so did all 10 groups of S&P .  There were no places to run, and hardly any place to hide.   Dow shed about 300 points (4.2%) to close at  6763, and Nasdaq lost a hefty 55 points (4%) to close at  1323.  S&P took a haircut by 35 points (4.7 %) and closed at 700.89, a level not seen since October, 1998.  Crude lost 11.6% to end at 40.15 dragging the energy sector down by 6.4%.  Financials (6.8%), materials (6.9%), and industrials (6.4%) also saw deep losses.  Even gold, considered a safe bet,  fell 0.3% finishing at $940 an ounce. 

The largest corporate loss in US history in a quarter of over $60 billion by AIG spooked the market and intensified the fear about the health of financials, again.   Basically, AIG lost over half a million dollars a minute during the 4th quarter.  Unbelievable!!! Uncle Sam decided to inject another $30 billion in to AIG hoping to stem the bleeding.  There was also bad news from across the pond with another banking giant HSBC reporting lower profits, and announcing drastic measures to bolster its books.  These followed the news late last week of Uncle Sam’s decision to own 36% of Citigroup and drastically diluting the City common shares.  Bad news after bad news is hitting  nation’s biggest  financial institutions real hard.

Monday’s economic data failed to inspire investor sentiment.  January personal income and spending were better than expected. The February ISM Manufacturing Index was also a couple of points better than expected and came in at 35.8, up slightly from 35.6 in January. Even though the  reading remained below 50, there’s a slight indication that the rate of contraction has slowed. 

Regarding TaurusTrader portfolio, we got stopped out of UYG (-12%), and CMG (-6.5%).  As of Monday, the portfolio holds PBR and BMC.  We came close to adding ORBC, but were not able to add any new stocks today. 

Stocks to focus for Tuesday, March 3:  The market is broiled with extreme pessimism.  Even, Warren Buffet expressed pessimism for markets through 2009 in the newsletter sent to his share holders.  Traders will be watching the all important S&P at 700.  If S&P breaches this all important round number, there’s no support in sight till the next round number at 600.  Traders will also be watching the release of January pending home sales data tomorrow morning. Fed Chairman Bernanke will testify on the U.S. economy and budget before the Senate Budget Committee tomorrow.  Also, the Treasury Secretary Geithner is coming out of hiding to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on the federal budget.  I hope that these two will provide some “ray of hope” for the markets to latch on.  I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed! 

I’ll be watching to add the following equities to TaurusTrader portfolio:

1.  PALM – enter above $7.70, stop at 7.00, target $9.25

2.  THRX – enter above 14.48, stop at $13.60, target $16.65

Bear market rally is possible at any time with a whiff of any good news.  During and after testimonies by Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner, the financials may take wide swings and provide some opportunity for profitable day trading.  I would prefer WFC, BAC, and MS.

I’ll also focus on some retail stocks – ARO, BKE, FDO, and BIG, heading in to same store data to be released later this week.

Please do post if you have comments or questions ….

Have a great day!

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com

Good Riddance, February …. March on to March.

February was a disaster for markets to put it bluntly. Despite some resiliency at times, any hope for a rebound was dashed in the last week. It was the worst February since 1933. Major averages dropped through a series of long term lows. For the month, S&P lost 10.9% to close at 735.09, and Dow lost 11.7% to close at 7062.9. Dow has fallen steadily (- 38%) for 6 months in a row. However, Nasdaq is still holding the November 21,2008 low of 1295.5, and it closed at 1377.84. For the first two months of this year, Dow is down by 19.5%, S&P by 18.6%. Nasdaq is a little better, but still down by 12%.

It was a bad Friday, the last day of trading in February. Bad news came from all directions. Before the open, news came out that Uncle Sam would own 36% of City (C) effectively diluting current share holder value to just 26% of the company. Then came the worst GDP data (-6.2%) since 1982, indicating a deeper contraction in the economy than originally announced. And, on top later in the day, GE announced that it would slash dividend to 10 cents from 31 cents in order to preserve about 9 billion in capital and to maintain AAA credit rating. This action is the first for GE which had maintained or increased its dividend for 32 consecutive years. This spooked the market even further. 36 companies in S&P have cut their dividends in the past 6 months. Many more are likely to follow in the next few months as companies are trying whatever they can to preserve capital and survive this economic down turn.

Let the “March Madness” begin …. I believe that ‘volatility’ will be again the name of the game. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the direction of the market. Markets are in extremely oversold condition and want to bounce up with any whiff of good news. But, any good news is hard to come by. The political rhetoric in DC is not helping out a bit. It looks like ‘traders’ have revolted against the proposed policies of President Obama’s administration. Market is worried about the sweeping unprecedented changes proposed in health care, education and energy policies. Questions about the health of nation’s biggest financial institutions are still murky despite the government action with City (C) last week. Worries about toxic assets on their balance sheet still plague the markets. Many market pundits are predicting another leg down as a path of least resistance.

March will begin with a flood of economic data in the first week. Expect significant volatility and wide swings within a short period of time as the markets try to digest numbers. Some important economic data scheduled for release during the week are –

Source: http://bloomberg/markets/ecalendar/index.html

Monday – Personal income; ISM manufacturing index; Construction spending
Tuesday – Motor vehicle sales; pending home sales
Wednesday – ADP employment; ISM non-manufacturing; Beige book; crude inventory
Thursday – chain store sales; jobless claims; productivity and costs; factory orders;
Friday – Unemployment and non-farm pay roll; consumer credit.

Apart from these, also watch for Fed chief Ben Bernanke, who is scheduled to appear before senate budget committee on Tuesday morning.

On Earnings front, about 240 companies, including 8 members of S&P are scheduled to report.  

Source: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/10168/Earnings+Preview+for+Mar+2+-+6.

I would be keeping an eye on the following companies –

Monday – ABM, DISH, EGLE, SATS, MDR, POM, SWHC,
Tuesday – AZO, ARD, SSW,
Wednesday – BJ, COST, URS, MATK, MR, PETM, AUY
Thursday – CIEN, CNQ, COO, URBN, WNR, EBS, FTEK, IPI,
Friday – HRB

TaurusTrader portfolio recap – We were very conservative in our picks, as well as in our stops and profit targets. Despite the market downturn, our portfolio had a decent week. As I said before, who cares what the overall market does … we don’t. What we care is how our ‘picks’ do!! Please check my blog entry on February 24 – Is this the bottom … I don’t care, so shouldn’t you. We pick the ‘right’ stock to trade using our research and best judgement. So, because of this philosophy within a short period of time (1 to 4 days), we booked tidy profits with our ‘swing’ picks – C (av. 30%), SWHC (30.7%), MS (11.7%) and MELI (11.3%). We were stopped out of DRI (-8.1%)and ATHN (-6.2%).  We still hold UYG, CMG, PBR, and BMC, which are either up or down by 1 to 3% for the week. ADM and SVR failed to hit our target entry price, hence were not filled.

The day trade picks suggested throughout the week (BAC, UYG, WFC, MS, IPI, SYT, SU, HP, MON, HPQ) provided excellent intraday volatility to pocket any where from 2 to 13% within a day depending on ones entry and closing targets. However, two picks – WDC and AGU did not turn out well.

Picks for Monday, March 2: I’ll be on a ‘holding’ pattern. I’ll monitor my longs carefully, and follow with predetermined stops. On my day trade picks, I will be conservative and at the same time very nimble. In might even liquidate profitable positions even before they hit my profit target if the markets start to turn against me. I’ll protect my profit. If I liked a stock so much, there will be chances to reenter at a later time. If not, there are always other equities with a greater probability for a favorable outcome.

Following equities are on my watch list for Monday, March 2:

Drop ADM from ‘add’ list per my rule. It did not hit the “entry limit” of $28.50 within being on the list for 3 days.

ORBC – Buy above 2.07, stop 1.69, target 2.50 (very volatile, reports on 3/16/2009).
SWHC – will be releasing earnings on 3/2/2009. Would re-enter on a good earnings report.

Retail sector will be in focus next week. RTH had a good day on Friday. Same store data is due on 3/5/2009. I expect, some members of this group to gain some more momentum heading in to the data release. I’ll be watching ARO and BKE. These the two teen retailers have consistently reported good same store sale numbers in the past. I’ll also watch for movements in BIG and FDO, which are looking good technically.

As in last week, Ag and energy sector stocks will be the focus for day trade opportunities. The equities include – MON, AGU, SYT, MOS, IPI, SU, and HP. I would closely follow the crude price when I’m trading these stocks. They tend to move in tandem with crude, especially the ETF’s DIG or USO on intraday basis.

MELI hit our profit target of $16.80 on Friday. The stock is still riding on its earnings momentum. I may consider re-entering MELI above $17.15, to a profit target of 19.25.

As usual, if there are questions, please do post …. Let us help each other profit from good trading ideas!

Please watch out for volatility ….

Wish you a very pleasant and profitable day

Regards,

TaurusTrader
http://www.taurustrader.worlpress.com

The President Speaks …. Markets Didn’t Panic!!!!

Great! The president spoke this morning about his budget, and the markets didn’t go down!! On a quick glance, I believe there are some good things in the budget. However, details are missing as usual. I liked the administration’s forecast on positive GDP growth, and return to stability in unemployment. This is good news.

Market is in a good mood this morning, despite some dismal news on jobs, durable goods, and housing data. Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P, all up significantly helped by financials and energy.

If you had seen and followed up on my earlier blog (Stocks to Focus for Thursday, 02-26-2009) you would be sitting pretty with our financial, energy and ag sector picks! As I write, most of the stocks I mentioned in my watch list are up quite a bit – HP (+4.5%), BAC (+ 12.8%), WFC (+10.5%), UYG (+9.5%), HPQ (+2.9%), MON (+5.5%), and SYT (2.6%). Only AGU and WDC are down slightly.

PBR is up over 5% in the portfolio.

Good luck and happy trading.

TaurusTrader

http://www.taurustrader.wordpress.com