Nasdaq Closes At A Record High!

Tech stocks have taken off this week due to their strong earnings results. Companies such as Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX) soared 18% today after the company reported better than expected subscriber growth. Also today and just after the close, Google (NasdaqGS: GOOGL)  too reported better than expected results with revenue coming in at $14.35 billion compared to $14.26 billion the street was expecting. In after hours trading Google is up over 10% or well over $70.00 per share. Thanks to Google’s earnings results, most other tech companies are also trading up in the after-hours session so it appears that the rally on the Nasdaq (chart) will continue at least through tomorrow.

On a technical note, I want to point to your attention how two of the most influential major averages held their respective 200-day moving averages recently. A little over a week ago the markets were roiled in the Greece debt drama as well as how China’s stock market was falling off a cliff. There was enormous uncertainty as to how Greece and even more so how China’s stock market would play out. This fear and uncertainty sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P 500 (chart)  tumbling down toward and below their 200-day moving averages. It really only took a day for this key support metric to kick in and demonstrate its technical support influence. Since this brief but noticeable selloff occurred, both indices have snapped back and we now find the S&P 500 (chart) within 10 points of its all-time high. Some pundits did indeed expect that Q2 earning reporting season could be the catalyst to lift the markets out of the fears of Greece and China. And seemingly their expectations have been met. That said, there are many more companies set to report their earnings results over the next couple of weeks, with all eyes now focusing on how Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL) will fare as they are set to report their quarterly report next Tuesday July 21st after the close. As with most earnings reporting seasons over the past few years, stocks have overall fared well and this time it appears well enough to break key index records.

Good luck to all 🙂


It’s All About Greece…

The Greece Crisis is at the forefront of the markets yet again. Greece closed its banks and stock market on Monday in an attempt to avoid on run on their financial institutions. The heightened state of Greece sent our markets into a tailspin on Monday, however the U.S. stock market did find it’s footing yesterday managing to eek out a small gain. For the month of June, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed down 391.18 points at 17,691.51, the Nasdaq (chart) finished the month lower by 83.16 points at 4987.00, the S&P 500 (chart) -44.29 points at 2063.11 and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) was one of the only major averages that finished the month of June positive closing up 7.42 points on the month at 1253.95.

So what’s in store for the month of July you may ask? One word, Volatility! Since the realization that Greece is going to miss its $1.7 billion dollar debt payment it owes to the International Monetary Fund and that Greece may no longer be a part of the European Union, volatility slammed the global markets. The $VIX (chart) which trades on the Chicago Board Options Exchange is the Volatility Index. The $VIX indicates the market’s expectation of future volatility, 30 days to be exact, spiked as high as 41% since Monday. We have not seen this type of vol for months and I don’t expect it to let up anytime soon.

Although Greece continues to grab the headlines, there are other concerns that contagion can spread to other debt ridden EU countries such as Spain and Portugal. Even Puerto Rico has it’s own debt issues that are of increasing concern. I do expect that there will be a resolution of some sort to this latest crisis, but I also do believe volatility will stick around for a bit.

Another catalyst that could create additional volatility is the upcoming Q2 earnings reporting season. U.S. companies will begin to report their results after the 4th of July holiday and in earnest the week thereafter. So you can see why I believe volatility could be increasing over the next several weeks. As a trader, this is what you have been waiting on and if you are a long term investor, you have been through this before.

Both Paula and I wish everyone a very safe and Happy 4th of July Holiday 🙂


Fears Of A Greek Default Rattles Stocks…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is owed a payment of $1.6 billion euros walked out on Thursday’s meeting when both sides were attempting to negotiate a pact to save Greece from defaulting on its debts and prevent the country from heading into bankruptcy. This stalemate was enough to send global markets lower as well as our own. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed Friday’s session down 140 points, the Nasdaq (chart) finished lower by 31 points, the S&P 500 (chart) lost almost 15 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed lower by almost 4 points. This type of uncertainty is never good for the markets especially when markets are essentially at all time highs. People are already a bit nervous that stocks may be overheated and should default chatter increase, this could set the wheels in motion for the “sell-off” certain pundits have been calling for.

This upcoming week the Fed will also hold its two day meeting as market participants will be watching closing to see if any of the Fed’s language will change pertaining to the state of the economy and interest rates. I do not think anyone is expecting too much from the FOMC at this meeting. If market volatility increases, I am quite sure it would be Greece related rather than what the Federal Reserve may or may not say out of their policy meeting.

Friday’s selling pressure did send both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) and the S&P (chart) 500 below their respective 50-day moving averages which is where they also closed. For the past few weeks all of the aforementioned key indices have been flirting with their 50-day moving average and each time they crossed this key support line buyers came in taking the indexes back through this well defined metric. I think it’s too early to tell if what’s happening in the global macro picture will continue to effect our markets or if this is just another pause in our incessant bull market. Have a great week and good luck to all 🙂


A Weak Week For Stocks…

Stocks closed out the final week of May on a softer note with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) falling 221.34 points, the Nasdaq (chart) lost 19.33 points, the S&P 500 (chart) -18.67 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) closed the week lower by 5.69 points. Considering the record closing highs that have been set over the past month or so, its no surprise that equities took a bit of a breather.

Now that we are in the month of June, let’s see if this seemingly temporary pause turns into something more meaningful. The month of June historically is a unfavorable month for stocks and this year may be no different. In fact, in this trading week headline risks are abound. Internationally speaking, without a doubt Greece’s debt talks will continue to grab the attention of investors this week as well as the ECB’s central bank meeting. Here in the states, traders will continue to pay attention to the continuing strength of our dollar as well as May’s jobs report at the end of the week. As you can see there are plenty of catalysts that could become market moving events.

Technically speaking, the aforementioned indexes are finding support at their respective 50-day moving averages and none of these indices are in overbought or oversold territory according to the relative strength index (RSI). One technical point I do want to make is when stocks were setting records earlier in May, the volumes associated with those records were on the lighter side. As mentioned in my previous blog, my preference would of been to see these records being set with much stronger volume.

Have a great week and good luck in the month of June 🙂


Tough Day For Stocks…

Stocks took it on the chin today with most of the major averages closing in the red. On the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) closed down 279.47 points, the Nasdaq (chart) closed lower by 75.97 points, the S&P 500 (chart) closed the day off by 23.81 points and the small-cap Russell 2000 (chart) lost 21.04 points. Fears from Asia to Europe are spilling over in to U.S. Equities. Securities regulators in China are banning certain types of equities financing which will have an effect on margin trading. Furthermore, across the pond in Europe, investors are becoming more worried about Greece and whether or not that country will be able to make payments on debts that are coming due and whether or not Greece will even stay in the eurozone.

Despite today’s selloff, Q1 earnings have not been too shabby so far, especially out of the banking sector. Earlier this week, JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) reported a $5.91 billion dollar profit or $1.45 per share surpassing most analysts expectations and Citigroup (NYSE: C) also exceeded analysts expectations by posting a $1.51 per share in earnings compared to the $1.39 per share the street expected. The stock that caught everyones attention this week was Netflix (NasdaqGS: NFLX). Netflix (chart) reported in their earnings release that almost 5 million subscribers came online compared to the 4 million analysts anticipated. This metric alone gave Netflix’s stock a boost of almost $90 dollar a share yesterday.

Fast forward to next week and we will get earnings results out of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), Verizon (NYSE:V), United Technologies Corp (NYSE: UTX), Yahoo (NasdaqGS: YHOO), Boeing (NYSE: BA), eBay (NasdaqGS: EBAY), Facebook (NasdaqGS: FB), Qualcomm (NasdaqGS: QCOM), The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO), Tractor Supply Co. (NasdaqGS: TSCO), 3M Co (NYSE: MMM), Amazon (NasdaqGS: AMZN), Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Google (NasdaqGS: GOOGL), Microsoft (NasdaqGS: MSFT), Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM), Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), Starbucks Corp (NasdaqGS: SBUX) and Biogen (NasdaqGS: BIIB) just to name a few. I think it’s safe to say we will get a very broad look as to how corporate America is faring after all of these earnings results come forward.

Have a great weekend and good luck next week 🙂


Bears take charge!

Although the markets appear to be oversold, the bears have clawed their way back into the spotlight. For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (chart) lost 3.52%, the Nasdaq (chart) -5.28%, the S&P 500 (chart) -4.30% and the Russell 2000 (chart) -5.42%. In my May 6th blog, I eluded to the 200-day moving average being tested on these key indexes and it appears that next week this major support line will indeed be intruded. In fact, the Russell 2000 (chart) not only tested its 200-day, it closed below it yesterday.

So what has happened in May to turn the markets and what is the retail investor to do? Without question the European debt crises is at the forefront of this selloff. Between Greece’s seemingly imminent default and multiple Spanish bank downgrades last week, this alone was more than enough to spook investors. Then add in the mix the continuing fallout of JPMorgan’s (NYSE: JPM) massive trading loss, plus the spectacular run that stocks have had since last October, it’s no wonder we find ourselves in the midst of a 10% correction.

So what is one to do? As an investor/trader when I see fear in the marketplace as we have now, I make a list of top notch companies and look for select buying opportunities. However, I have learned that you must be patient in this type of environment and if you think the market is close to bottoming, it is always best to take on positions very slowly and in very small increments. For example, if you are looking to buy 1000 shares of a given company that you have been waiting for to go on sale, you may want to consider 100 share lots over a period of time. Far too many times investors think that equities have hit bottom and buy all at once without considering that stocks and indexes can continue to go lower and remain oversold for an extended period of time. With the scale in method, the good news is that should the markets turn and go higher, at least you have initiated a position and will benefit from the turn. Whatever your strategies are, it’s always best to exercise patience in this type of climate and always use protective stops on all of your postions. Good luck to all.

Have a great weekend 🙂