Monthly Archives: August 2013

Stock Market Analysis August 21 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 21, 2013

— Futures are pointing lower once again. So naturally I’ll be watching the open closely to see if we continue to unwind, or if the bulls can step in for some price stabilization. I’m not holding my breath. Bonds are down pre-market too. So it looks like sellers might be in control.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

I’m hesitant to add to any of my positions, especially on continued broad market weakness. I’ll be cheerleading SNV. But I don’t have big plans for the day, beyond that.

I also think BRKS is at a very interesting point. I read the most recent BRKS conference call last night. And I can’t help but feel the price action is a little out of tune with the fundamentals. While I think the company is well positioned for the long term, it may take some time for the market to recognize this. So I would caution you to build a position slowly (and I’ll do the same).

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

Emerging Market Central Banks Scramble!

Derivatives Making A Comeback… What do you know about CLOs?

— Where will you be at 2pm ET? And what do you think will happen when Fed Minutes are released?

Mid-Morning Update: Existing Home Sales Shot Up 6.5% — This is up 17% from the same month last year, and above expectations. So sounds like good news right? Well…

While XHB immediately popped, it has since faded, giving back most it’s gains. And the market as a whole remains quite tepid ahead of the Fed meeting minutes that are to be released this afternoon. So as I mentioned on Stocktwits earlier, we need to be aware of “market logic.” What do I mean by this?

Good data might support the Fed tapering narrative, which will ultimately weaken the “Bernanke Put.” And of course even if none of this actually plays out, traders are always posturing for position on what might happen. You’ve got to remember: the market’s reaction to the news is more important than the news itself. So watch closely. SPY and QQQ are bouncing around in a range. But IWM is careening lower, which might be your tell. XLF (and my SNV position) are at lows of the day and not inspiring action either.

Tread carefully here.

Trick! IWM is now reversing higher into the Fed announcement. Volatility, like whoa.

Stock Market Day In Review August 21 2013

Well, that was a wild ride. I always shake my head on days like this. The market was down, then up, then down, then up – 100 points at a time too! I don’t need to tell you. You saw it.

Now that this wild price action is all in our rear-view mirror we can objectively evaluate what went down. So are you sticking to your guns, like ForexKong? Or do you think this is “blue sky” territory.

Hell, maybe you’re sitting on the fence until Jackson Hole. I can’t judge you either way. Just watch the tape as we go. And I’m happy to tell you what I’m doing; although, it may annoy you…

That’s because most of my core positions are in small cap stocks that are relatively insulated from the whole market. Of course SNV was influenced by the news, and like the rest of the market Synovus faded hard into the close.

One thing is for sure: Bonds were the losers (yet again), with TLT unable to find much in the way of stability. I’m going to be cautious going forward and use my cash reserves carefully. I like my cost basis in most of my positions.  That said…

The open tomorrow will be particularly interesting. If we see a gap that gets sold down, that would be an interesting plot twist and might force a serious reconsideration. Otherwise if we stabilize and breadth stays around 40% I’d say the damage would be contained for now. We’ll see.

Stock Market Analysis August 20 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 20, 2013

— Futures are pointing slightly higher. And bonds are up a little bit too. So it will be interesting to see if we can get some stabilization, especially given Home Depot Earnings. On the other hand, downside follow through in names like XOM, XHB and XLF will be a foreboding omen. You can get I’ll be watching those names closely.

— Breadth was incredibly thin yesterday. So I’d like to see some broader market strength before putting more money to work. On the other hand, if you have the cajones to buy the dip, will this be yet another opportunity?

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

— SNV is one of my more attractive prospects stock ideas these days. And I might consider adding more shares to my position if it comes in a little bit today. Yesterday’s pullback was on relatively low volume so I am encouraged that not too many sellers showed up. That said, I’d like to see more broad market strength before putting more money on the table with SNV.

— FMD isn’t much of a holding anymore. I blew out my position Friday afternoon for a modest gain of around 6%. I have a token position and will keep an eye on the stock. But the IRS-associated risk is a little too high and limits upside potential while the case is resolved.

— TINY is still at 52 week lows. I’d like to see it continue to hold the $3.05 area as a price floor. I’m a little concerned at it’s inability to muster any kind of bounce. In this case it seems like shareholders are very frustrated with management’s inability to create value in the last 5 years. And unless something changes, there might be a fresh leg lower.

— STLY is also set to keep careening down. The only thing that will reverse this decline is an ability to generate some kind of sales. But if housing is dead again (per the weakness in XHB, TOL, LEN, ITB)

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

JCP comes up short… again. With Ackman and Johnson out of the picture, maybe things can start to improve…

— The Fly says stocks are on sale. Do you have the courage and conviction to step in? Or do 30% corrections in stocks like IMMR and CREE mean we are just getting started, when the equities in question are still up 60-85% YTD?

Chessnwine is throwing out aggressive short ideas in preparation for today – is that foreboding or what?

Could we be seeing a turnaround in housing? That’s what XHB might be suggesting according to @traderchild. Be on watch

— Credit Suisse has a piece about the implications of the end of zero interest rates. At the least, it’s an interesting read.

Stock Market Day In Review August 20 2013

It was actually a pretty interesting day. Off the open it was encouraging see SPY work it’s way higher for the remainder of the morning. Things were looking good for most of the day. But the close was a bit of a let down. In particular…

We continued to see weakness from big cap names, like XOM, CAT and IBM. The daily chart of XOM looks absolutely brutal. Why isn’t there a bounce?

About 80% of stocks finished the day higher than yesterday, but it wasn’t inspiring action. Gold miners continue to look strong. I got closer than ever to buying IAG. A friend mentioned NSU might also be worth an investment, so I might get something shaking there.

As for my current positions…

I added to SNV this morning, and was happy to see it close at the high of the day. I hesitated a little and while my entry turned out to be alright, I could have executed the trade better.

FMD and TINY continued to float around, and STLY made a little bit of progress. AEG took a dive while BRKS finally woke up a little. I’m meaning to get around to an update on BRKS but haven’t quite had the time. What are you looking to trade tomorrow?


Stock Market Analysis August 19 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 19, 2013

— If you’re looking to get caught up on the stock market, before the week begins, I recommend you check out this week’s Tape Talk. Quint does a great job with these videos (typically every Sunday). And it’s an easy way to get a high-level view of what’s going on with the most important industries and indexes. This week, Quint is looking for rotation into less extended sectors (FCG, OIH and even SMH).

— Futures have been fading slightly lower this morning, and are just shy of even right now. The indices were down a few percent last week. So it will be interesting to see where money goes next.

— I’m angling for a pullback in gold. The miners look pretty extended in the short term and I expect they’ll have to come to terms with overhead supply and resistance. I’m interested in IAG but need to do more research before starting a position.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

— FMD: First Marblehead was downgraded to Neutral by Compass Point. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, given Friday’s action in the stock. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the IRS tax audit. And given the risk I pared down my position into Friday’s close for slight gains. Check out the August 16 end of day stock market recap for more details on my thoughts about this stock.

— SNV continued to look good last week. I would be more bullish on this regional bank, if it weren’t for the broad market weakness. I have ample cash and might consider deploying it here on a dip – especially if market breadth firms up (although I’m not holding my breath).

— TINY is probably going to be a yawn. I like the company at these prices. But the stock is slow moving.

— ITB and XHB will be interesting to watch this week. They held up strong into the close of last week and it should be interesting.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

— Blogfather The Fly is challenging the staying power of this sell-off. His perspective is always informing, and typically entertaining!

— As usual, Business Insider has a summary of asian stock market action and everything else you need to know before the bell. I’ll be back with more updates throughout the day.

— Option Addict has a great Sector and Stock Rotation Video. I highly recommend watching this in it’s entirety.

— Here’s some commentary from NYT to keep you from getting complacent. It smells like a whole lot of indecision.

US Bond Yield’s Hit 2 Year High. I guess it makes sense that if people think tapering is going to happen in September, then there will be less demand for bond (hence rising yields). Are people trying to sell out ahead of the FED? And where will this money go? If the selling happens too fast I suppose the money is destroyed. Then maybe that’s why stocks are pulling back with bonds. After all: Mega-cap stock breadth very very weak today. I’m just thinking out loud here.

End of Day Stock Market Summary August 19 2013

It was another tough day for bulls, especially since the Nasdaq ended up closing lower. As Chessnwine pointed out in his video recap, Exon Mobile (XOM) sold off hard. And the market in general seemed to be rewarding the bears. So could this be the top?

I’m not trying to call it. But…

I do have about 30% cash right now. And more and more moving averages are starting to curve downwards, including the home builders. It feels like everything is staying oversold.

For today, my stocks generally lingered lowered. I kept a 1-min and 5-min chart of the SPY handy. But I didn’t pay too much attention after the open -as everything felt lethargic. I noticed breadth among large cap names was especially weak. So I ate leftover Thai food and focused on other things. I didn’t feel like fighting the tape.

Instead of getting short, which isn’t really my style, I’m going to keep looking for opportunities in beaten down spaces that present long term fundamental and economic opportunity. This requires some patience, so I’ll try to keep myself busy with other productive things, you know?

Otherwise, TBT is looking interesting. And IAG continued to hold up pretty well. But should I really be shorting bonds and buying gold miners? What do you think?

Stock Market Analysis August 16, 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 16, 2013

— Futures are pointing marginally higher this morning. But in light of yesterday’s decline, it’s hard to put too much stock in these premarket moves. I will be watching price closely at the open to see if we get a V-shaped reversal, or if things continue to slide lower. The latter wouldn’t surprise me, which is why it might not happen.

Such is the life of an asset manager, I guess… :)

In these instances it’s always good to keep a close eye on market internals, too. I’m interested to see how IWM looks to SPY and EEM. Gold will also be interesting to watch. Keep an eye out for weakness in USD and TLT, which might be front-running a move lower in equities. Better safe than sorry, right?

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

I’m feeling a little cautious about deploying more cash because of the diminished breadth on up days, and the broad weakness on down days. However…

— If SNV comes down down into the low 3.30’s I’ll probably add to my position (you’ll recall I sold at 3.50 two days ago). Otherwise I’m going to sit on my hands for this one. It held up very well yesterday given the broad market decline. I’m hoping to see positive follow through today as well. Call me crazy.

— FMD will be interesting to watch. It’s down over 45% in the pre market, so it will be interesting to see where it opens. I’m lucky I don’t have much exposure, having cashed out of my core position on the recent run up to 1.80. So I’m licking my chops at the opportunity to average back in. By the way, if you’re not up to speed: There’s a surprisingly good FMD summary at the Yahoo Finance Message Board – obviously take this with a grain of salt, but I think the analysis hits pretty close to home. The reaction seems overdone if you ask me. The company is not worth 50% less than it was yesterday, you know?

— BRKS has really taken a haircut since it’s third quarter earnings released. I need to read through the conference call to understand why their revenue (and profitability) took such a hit. The numbers look bad. But the BRKS franchise is still quite interesting to me and I’m curious to see if CEO Steve Schwartz can give some colour on the past, and forward guidance on anticipated earnings. I’ll try to write more in-depth about BRKS later.

— There’s a new article out on STLY: Stanley Furniture Rising From The Ashes with Lower Expenses. It’s a good summary of where things stand with this premium American furniture maker. But the fact still remains: We’re going to need to see the turnaround generate more earnings, before the stock price appreciates. Maybe there will be a temporary spike in price as large scale speculators take stakes ahead of earnings. And even if EPS doesn’t improve right away, STLY has enough cash to last many quarters. But any substantial “multi-bag” improvement will have to come from increased earnings, if you ask me.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

–Shipping routes don’t usually come to mind when people talk about global domination. But they play a very important role. So I take interest in China’s Northeast Passage. On the other hand, slowing in China seems like a real deal. So again, cautious is the way I’m erring.

— This S&P-500 chart shows a breach of the 50 day moving average. But keep in mind it’s often the slope of the reference point that’s more important than whether or not price slices through it at any given time. Besides, when everyone is watching one thing, it might be too obvious. Food for thought.

Oppenheimer maintains 1,730 S&P-500 year-end target, citing: “We would see a near-term pullback tied to profit taking and/or investor confusion as to when, what, and how much the Fed will “taper” as opportunity for rebalancing and adding to cyclical positions in existing portfolios.”

Stock Market End of Day Summary August 16, 2013

Most of my day was focused looking at FMD. I bought in at the open and sold around 2pm for a slight gain. I still have about 0.3% of my portfolio in First Marblehead just as a lottery ticket. I think the valuation looks great and the IRA situation looks like it’s not the end of the works. But there’s a small Vance that it is – so rather than take the portfolio risk I took the quick small gain and moved on.

I’m pleased to see SNV held up pretty well – even surging in the middle of the day. However…

I’m still pretty bearish on the overall market and have about 30% of my portfolio in cash. I’m happy with the valuation of my holdings but it doesn’t mean they can’t take a beating if the market is subject to a haircut.

Stock Market Analysis August 15, 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 15, 2013

— I woke up to find stock market futures careening lower. I guess this is in large part to Cisco selling off after in-line earnings. I’ll be watching the indexes closely at the open to see how they react. Given the relative weakness in other tech leaders (GOOG, AMZN)… and given the ongoing weakness in the home builders (XHB, ITB, LEN) you have to wonder if the buy the dip crowd is going to get trapped. If the bond and currency markets are any indication, risk-off might be the new normal, at least for awhile.

One other interesting point about Cicsco’s results is the weakness in emerging markets. I don’t know if this comes as a surprise, given Snowden’s revelations about how these big tech companies work with the NSA. Truthfully, could you really expect unhampered growth in China when they know we are using that equipment to spy on them? Accordingly, are Cisco’s experiences indicative of global trends? Or is it an isolated event?

Time will tell.

So in these circumstances I generally like to pull up the 1 minute charts of the SPY and IWM to see how the market reacts to the open. There are often aggressive moves. So watching the back and forth buying and selling can be very telling. Then, once I feel like a general direction has been established, I usually start to look at market breadth to try and get a feeling for the “conviction” of the directional move. Why’s that you ask?

Well, I try to keep Jesse Livermore’s idea of top down trading in mind, and factor the overall market moves into my plans to buy and sell specific equities on any given day.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

I’m not looking to make too many moves today. I’ll have a close eye on FMD to see if I can get back in ahead of earnings. Ideally I’d like to buy below 1.50. We’ll see if that’s a possibility.

I’ll have an eye on SNV, but don’t expect too much. Especially since Synovus caught a downgrade from Drexel Hamilton (to hold) – so we’ll see how the stock handles the news. I don’t put too much credence in these analyst ratings. But it’s always good to keep aware of what others are saying. Update: Here’s a summary of the fundamental thesis for SNV

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read August 15:

— Non-finance related. But here’s how successful people start their day. What are your tips?

— Interesting to see different parts of the picture, and if they’re coming together. For instance, Jobless claims fall to near six-year low, which might be bearish for market (as it perhaps signals more FED tapering – hah). And if global consumers are also tightening their belt, as suggested by Wal-Mart, then maybe stocks are due to come back. Lastly, it’s interesting to see Warren Buffet step up to the plate with investments in Dish and Suncor – both of which feel a little defensive to me. I’m not predicting anything, but it’s fun to look at different things and try to see a narrative unfolding.

— Interesting to see Option Addict point out a rally in the home builders.

Good luck out there today!

Mid-morning update:
Against all odds, my core stock ideas are holding up quite well. I guess this is what is supposed to happen when you invest in companies with a “margin of safety.” Now I’ve probably jinxed myself – but I’ll maintain my cautious optimism for now. Though instead of adding to my positions I’m going to wait for some stabilization from the market at large, know what I mean?

August 15 2013 End of Day Stock Market Analysis

I tried to get filled on FMD, and before I knew it my limit order was left in the dust, as the share price rocketed into the close. But after hours is a different story. FMD is down 25% on missed Q4 revenue. I’m listening to the conference call now. Everything sounds good, but they didn’t meet revenue. Apparently…

FMD is entering peak product season a little late. But trends are indicating they are stronger now than they were this time last year – meaning the season has just been shifted back. They’ve also expanded their lending platform coverage quite a bit. Auburn University, with 25,000 students is a notable win. I also like how the CEO was so focused on the lifetime value of students – and repeat loans to the same students. I’m likely going to try and buy this dip tomorrow as I believe the underlying business will improve in the coming quarters. The scare about the IRS audit seems like a bad excuse as well.

At this rate, I think the selling might be overdone.

I think I’m also going to write an update on Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS). There’s some interesting stuff happening there, and the story has changed since my first 2013 BRKS Stock Idea Analysis.

Stock Market Analysis August 14 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 14, 2013

— Another morning and futures are meandering around again, just shy of positive. We’ll see how they act as the open approaches, for more insight. There doesn’t seem to be any significant news items overnight, so for my stocks it’s more or less steady as she goes.

— The only thing I want to point out is the news of the Eurozone climbing out of recession. Who knows what this data really means, and if it’s at all sustainable. But just something to keep in mind. For more actionable perspective, check out ChessnWine’s new post about Europe on the back nine.

Mid-Morning Update: It looks like the market is hanging in there for now. Emerging markets (EEM) continues to look strong. And it’s always good to see IWM outperforming the SPY (even if they are both slightly negative). For now, bonds (TLT) are also stabilizing. And since the dollar hasn’t continued to fall out from under us, we might just make it through the session. There were lots of articles this morning predicting the “6th day down in the last 8 trading sessions.” So we might just see those headlines faded.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

I know you might be getting bored watching the same stocks everyday. But this section keeps my game plan on track. So call me selfish if you must. But understand:

I’ve invested in these stocks because of their fundamentals. I try to stay on top of the technical analysis on any given day, but I’m bullish over the longer term and comfortable owning these stocks for a few years (or until they become overvalued).

So here’s a recap of where we stand

— SNV – closed at the highs of the day yesterday. A continuation day higher would afford me the opportunity to take some gains (and rotate the money back in on a subsequent pullback) – but I’m not holding my breath and wouldn’t be surprised if daytraders push the stock lower.

Update: I sold 1/4 of my SNV this morning. We’ve previously seen strong resistance at 3.50 and I was pissed that I missed the chance to ring the bell Monday when it ticked up in the morning. Plus, the ask volume is enormous right now…. So… If the stock pulls back 2-3% I will jump back in. Otherwise my 3/4 position and call options are enough upside exposure me thinks. By the way…

This should give you an idea of my trading style. I like to follow certain stocks that I think have strong growth narratives and robust fundamentals. Then I do my best to trade in and around the price fluctuations. I guess there is some risk with this lack of diversification, but I usually have about 10-30% of my portfolio in cash, which gives me room to move around.

— FMD – held up yesterday on better than expected volume. I’m still long, but would like to see a pullback to the 1.40 level. Depending on price action I might consider adding more at 1.55ish (where the stock has had support recently) but at the end of the day I’d like to leave a bigger margin of safety between my purchase price and the NAVPS

— TINY – was disappointing to see this sell off after the conference call. Someone unloaded about 50,000 shares on the open market yesterday afternoon, sending this low volume stock careening lower. It’s only technical damage (the fundamentals remain unchanged) but it’s disappointing to see this stock get pushed around. In the meantime, management continues to make modest share purchases and seem to communicate they are frustrated with the value trap as well. But that just means misery loves company, not that anything is going to happen anytime soon. Update: I don’t put too much stock in this mid-morning move higher. I’m sure it will fade later. But for now I’ll take a couple of cents where I can get them.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

— This is old news by now. But I’ll weigh in anyways: I’m excited to see Icahn making a play with AAPL. I am sure there is more shareholder value to come. Long from $400.

— The producer price index data came in flat, missing expectations. The PPI acts as an indicator for commodity prices  – so we’ll be on watch to see if material-related stocks are hit.

— I mentioned my interest in IAG yesterday. It’s almost unbelievable to me that the stock is continuing to make significant moves higher. I guess that’s why it is. Plus, when you’re down 50% YTD you need a 100% improvement to get back to even, so big moves should be expected. Still, lots of people are trapped in these gold stocks I imagine. And a V-shaped reversal higher seems like too easy of an answer. I’m interested and might try starting a position on the next dip.

— Stanley Furniture (NYSE: STLY) is teaching us a lesson in patience. The stock failed to impress after the last quarter. It seems like investors are impatient and don’t believe the company can ever turn around. While that presents a big buying opportunity for interested contrarians, it’s worth nothing that this process can take a number of months. You may not want to risk tying up your capital for so long trying to pick a bottom. I will wait until the technicals start to improve before deploying more cash.

Market Close Stock Analysis August 14, 2013

All in all it was another pretty boring day, to be honest. After my morning sale in SNV, I was happy to see the stock retreat. If there is more selling tomorrow I’ll likely scale back in. I see blue skies above $3.52. But sustaining a move above that level hasn’t been easy. Keep patient.

I was happy to see TINY recover losses and end the day neutral. From monitoring the bid/ask spread for half the day, I noticed a pretty consistent bid around $3.05-3.07 – for now I’ll keep this in mind as a tradable bottom.

I meant to pick up a token amount of FMD at the end of the day, but I was in a meeting and missed my entry. The company doesn’t announce earnings until after the bell tomorrow. So unless there is exuberant buying ahead of the release, I’ll try to buy a position on continued strength. I noticed that FMD has announced a new president. And I can tell you that Dan Meyers would not have left the ship in this guys hands unless he was totally comfortable. I’m not saying this signifies an immediate return to the securitization market tomorrow. But I think the positive writing is on the wall.

It was interesting to see AAPL outperform relative to the market. The relationship, YTD, has almost been inverse. Go Carl go!

As for the laggards…

STLY is decidedly a dog. And one with fleas, at that. I might consider averaging down in my position as the stock approaches the $3 mark. My cost basis is still quite good so I want to be careful about adding prematurely. This company could still require a few quarters to complete the turn around (if it all). And I don’t want to tie up capital for undue reasons. The worst part is…

I was hoping STLY was going to be a beneficiary of the housing recovery. Unfortunately, XHB and ITB have really lagged as of late. I think STLY can still benefit. But if they aren’t careful the ship will have sailed without them.

Last of all, I’m still watching gold closely. Until proven otherwise, I’m inclined to call this a bear market rally. That said, IAG had another interesting day. These huge moves up on big volume are perplexing to me. It feels like distribution but it also looks like heavy buying. I still think we have not seen the last of overhead supply.

Stock Market Analysis August 13 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 13, 2013

— Futures are pointing up at the open. They aren’t looking quite as strong as they were when I woke up. But so far so good. As usual, the real fireworks won’t happen for another 25 minutes. At that point I’ll pull up the 1 minute chart of the SPY and IWM to see if they can hold a morning gap.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

— SNV will be interesting to watch – can it push back to new highs? Watching the early move get sold off yesterday was disheartening. There’s a new article out this morning from Financial Trends about Synovus Profit Rising in Q2.

— FMD – fingers crossed for more of a pullback. I would love to buy this stock again, but the price is still a little high for me.

— TINY I don’t expect anything from this. The shareholder letter yesterday made it clear that we won’t see any big events for another year or 2. By that time NAV will probably have deteriorated further. The only reasons I’m so patient are because (1) I understand the nature of the venture-capital timeframe, and (2) I appreciate that when gains do occur, they will happen very quickly. But we’ll get more information on their Q2 conference call, this morning at 10am. It was cool to see some token insider buying from TINY CEO Doug Jamison.

— I don’t own any IAG yet. But the stock is looking interesting to me. I understand bottoming can be a long and frustrating process. I think there will be better entries (hopefully on a higher low) and I’m curious to watch IAG closely. Fundamentally it’s one of the stronger gold miners. We’ve also seen the miners move inversely to the markets at large, lately. So this might present a good hedge against the September Angst, we keep hearing about.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

— Cramer on CNBC this morning said he doesn’t see enough stocks doing enough things to justify the market moving much higher. Do you fade Cramer, or take his words at face value?

— It’s crazy that Ackman has resigned from the JCP board. JCP is up almost 2% premarket.

10 things you need to know before today’s open, from Business Insider.

End of Day Stock Market Update For August 13, 2013

It was nice to SNV close at the high of the day. Volume was modest, but I think it’s bullish if this stock goes up or sideways (so long as their are no massive high volume sell offs). Managers continued to pick up a few more shares as well, which is always good to see.

On the other hand, TINY sold off 3% after the morning conference call. TINY seems to have been a value trap the last 5 years. And long-holding shareholders are pissed. As a relative newcomer (having made good returns on the June pump to $3.70), I have a bit more patience with this one. Still, I think it could be another few years before this guy takes off.

My positions in FMD, STLY, BRKS and AAPL are all relatively smaller to the two positions above. I’m also looking at AEL and PRE as interesting stocks to investigate further. What’s on your watchlist?

Stock Market Analysis August 12 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 12, 2013

— Futures were weak when I woke up. But they were bid up steadily into the open. And since the market has opened breadth has improved and prices have continued to hold.

— The comparisons to 1987 are increasing. But what if this is like 1986 – and stocks still have another 12 months of gains ahead of them? I guess anything’s possible. And at the end of the day, technical analysis remains important as it keeps price as the final arbiter. So while we’ve had some weak opens as of late, bull markets tend to close strong, and that’s what I’ll be watching these days (and weeks).

Trading Thoughts On Stocks Ideas I’m Watching Today:

— SNV has held up well since the open. I’d like to see it move back to last week’s highs. I’m feeling patient though and will add on a dip.

— FMD is retreating a bit, but not enough for my dip-buying needs. I would be happy to see the stock hit 1.40 (though I’m not convinced it will get there). I’ll keep watching. My real hope with this stock is that they announce a return to securitization at some point. That will be a 2 digit percentage move to the upside, for sure.

— TINY is generally continuing it’s lament. It is somewhat insulated from the greater market, and last week management released it’s new asset value calculations as of June 30. [update: The 2013 second quarter report is available from]… I’m not sure I put much credence in the numbers, one way or another. The cool thing about TINY is how you can invest in a venture capital firm. Accordingly though, this investment is a longer term horizon…

If you’re still wondering what the TINY business model is all about, you might enjoy this video from which explains the focus of the company and their approach to venture capital investments in nanotechnology.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

— There are some particularly good posts out at this morning. I particularly enjoyed The Fly’s post about being wrong before being right…. and… Option Addict’s Entire Package. Both are educational in the extreme and would serve you well to review.

— My friend ForexKong also had some interesting prose over the weekend, focusing on manipulation in Gold (and how that relates to stocks/USD).

— It’s in vogue to hate on the European economy. So this article from Business Insider about the end of the european recession was interesting – if only as contrarian food for thought… Of course, the rest of BI is filled with Hindenberg-based predictions.

— STLY continues its slow drip lower. I think the company presents a real opportunity. But their inability to catalyze sales is wearing thing. I’m not sure if management is up to the task. But due to their big ERP system upgrades I’m willing to wait another quarter or two.

— I noticed on the PPT Bottom Fishing screen that it was primarily ETFs from: Commodities, Gold and Emerging markets. Interesting to keep an eye out.

Stock Market Wrap-Up August 12 2013

My day, while off to a good start, faded into the afternoon. All of my positions above closed significantly off their intra-day highs. Damn. At least the damage wasn’t too bad. We’ll see how it holds up…

The tricky thing is that from a macro perspective I’m generally hesitant at best, and bearish at worst. But as a person, I’m something of a cautious optimist. So interpreting the market with all these biases is a little tricky.

My investment approach limits me to well-valued stocks. But at this point I’m not hedging against a global catastrophe. And while I feel “intelligent” about my asset allocation, if everything blows up, I could be in trouble. On the other hand, is that a way to live? Well… maybe if you’re into asset management.


Stock Market Analysis August 9 2013

Morning Stock Market Thoughts For August 9, 2013

— Futures were bid up going into the open. And IWM has shown strength (though now it’s fading a bit). EEM is also leading the way higher.  I will be watching closely to see if these trends can continue and what breadth looks like.

— I’m keeping an eye on big cap stocks – IBM and CAT for example to see the action.

Trading Thoughts On Stocks I’m Watching Today:

— SNV: I expect Synovus to work off yesterday’s gains, but I don’t see it as overbought. Maybe it will even run into the close. Coming out of the gate though, the ask volume is high on this one. I would like to see that even out. Otherwise I’m a dip buyer at 3.25-3.30ish…

— FMD: I have a small position in this (having sold most of it on the spike up to 1.80ish… So I’m actually open to more of a pull back. I would love to buy it around 1.40. But I’m not convinced it will go back lower. Sit and watch

— TINY: This piece of garbage is languishing. I sold it on the June pump to 3.70 and have since averaged back in. I’m about even on the position + the prior cap gains…. But, I need to do more research into management. I get the impression others think they aren’t shareholder friendly, which is a concern. But I want to do look at the facts myself before jumping to any investment conclusions.

Other Thoughts and Good Articles I’ve Read Today:

— AEG: I liked their conference call yesterday. Management is disciplined and I think that’s refreshing from a financial institution. Here’s the transcript from the Q2 2013 AEG conference call.

Market Close Update:

It was a pretty tepid day for my portfolio, and the market at large. The DOW was down 3 digits for a good portion of the day, significantly lagging the Nasdaq.

SNV reacted worse than I expected – but the volume on this pullback was very low. My most recent leg-in to this stock was at $3.32 so I’d like to see it move down to $3.27 or so before adding more.

With TINY, I feel like the bull case is just about “not going down.”  Since the stock was taken out of the Russell 2000 it has felt heavy selling. They also released financial results today, that showed the net asset value per share improving to $4.24 (from $4.11). The increase is probably due to the sale of Xradia, where the company says it earned about $11M in profit.

The thing with TINY is though, that the investments are hard to value. So you ned to knock a couple percentage points off management’s estimate if you want to be honest with yourself. In this case I think that still presents a strong margin of safety for TINY. But it may take a while for the rest of the market to move it.

FMD was more or less a blah day. And I thought about adding to BRKS, but I’ll wait a little longer. I’m feeling edgy about the macroeconomics of everything, and price action has been shaky and selective – so I’m not rushing to throw around cash.

All in all, my portfolio fared well given the intraday action.

Stock Ideas I Learned From ForexKong

What I learned from ForexKongThere’s a lot of stock ideas to be learned from other investors and traders. So in the spirit of sharing the wealth, I want to point your attention to one, ForexKong.

But maybe you’re wondering…

Who Is ForexKong?

And that’s a good question. Kong (as his friends call him) is a Canadian expat living somewhere on the Yucatan peninsula. He has been making his living for the last 5 years aggressively trading ForEx full time…

I think that qualifies as living the dream, right?

Enviable trading lifestyles aside: ForexKong totes an astounding record. He’s up something like 200% in the last 18 months. And a trading record like that isn’t anything to sneeze at. When you see someone knocking it out of the park so consistently, you should know it’s worth listening.

And even though you might not trade ForEx (I don’t), you can still learn a lot about markets and trading psychology from ForexKong. Here are a few of my favorite lessons…

What ForexKong Taught Me About Stock Trading:

Stock Trading Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum: It’s cute to think that technical analysis and forward P/E ratios are the only thing dictating the price of your favorite stock. But Kong has opened my eyes to the idea that stock markets are predicated on other markets – notably, currencies. And if you don’t consider these implications in your equity (or debt) investments, you are missing an entire dimension to trading. One that might end up costing you.

MacroEconomics Don’t Matter (Until They Do): ForexKong has an unparalleled grip on the macro view. And unlike a lot of the big picture analysts banging blindly on their jungle drums, Kong is quick to explain how the macro view can take a very long time to materialize (and then matter more than you imagined, all at once). But that doesn’t mean you should shed your conviction when things don’t go your way. I seriously advise you to check out Kong’s posts about Macro-economics and trading to zoom out your perspective a little.

Your Trading Perspective is Biased: This lesson from Kong is particularly useful for those of us enjoying the North American way of life. We are quick to think that we have a completely unfiltered view of the way things are. When in reality, the media-industrial complex of the Western World is framing the discussion and shaping our perceptions without us even noticing it! Kong regularly searches out the opposing view and is quick to question ingrained assumptions and lurking variables that skew our perspective (even if you don’t think they are).

One Timeframe is Never Enough: Here’s another thing I admire. Kong is very good at reconciling indicators and market signals across multiple time frames. He seems incredibly capable of waiting patiently in the trees for the proper entry, even when the short term trend is decidedly (and often vigorously) against his thesis. The other corollary here is that Kong is great at distinguishing between an investment and a trade. This is an important skill a lot of traders would be wise to absorb.

So those are a few lessons I learned from ForexKong. It’s pretty convincing stuff, right? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

ForexKong is incredibly patient with readers and very helpful clarifying his musings for commenters on his site. This kind of dedication to education isn’t something you see from most traders these days, so it’s really a breath of fresh air. I’ve personally come to appreciate his understanding and expertise in helping clarify follow-up questions for readers.

Kong is also good about updating his blog/twitter stream intra-day. He is especially active when there s a possible risk event. I always appreciate his perspective ahead of the next FOMC announcement. So what more could you ask for?

Well, there’s just one more thing…

Follow ForexKong on Twitter to keep up with his great trading ideas!

If you find yourself short on stock ideas, sign up for email updates below to get exclusive trading ideas available only through email.