Stocks & Equities

Economic & Earnings News Schedule for week beginning Feb 27th/2012

Economic News This Week

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Earnings Reports This Week

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David Rosenberg Presents The Six Pins That Can Pop The Complacency Bubble

The record volatility, and 400 point up and down days in the DJIA of last summer seem like a lifetime ago, having been replaced by a smooth, unperturbed, 45 degree-inclined see of stock market appreciation, rising purely on the $2 trillion or so in liquidity pumped into global markets by the central printers, ever since Italy threatened to blow up the Ponzi last fall. In short – we have once again hit peak complacency. Yet with crude now matching every liquidity injection tick for tick, there is absolutely no more space for the world central banks to inject any more stock appreciation without blowing up Obama’s reelection chances (and you can be sure they know it). Suddenly the market finds itself without an explicit backstop. So what are some of the “realizations” that can pop the complacency bubble leading to a stock market plunge, and filling the liquidity-filled gap? Here are, courtesy of David Rosenberg, six distinct hurdles that loom ever closer on the horizon, and having been ignored for too long, courtesy of Bernanke et cie, will almost certainly become the market’s preoccupation all too soon. 

1. The nascent task market place improvement was small a lot more than a reflection of deteriorating productiveness growth. As this kind of, businesses will reply in the spring by curbing their hiring ideas. This is exactly what happened a calendar year ago when non-public payroll gains averaged 207k from January to April and the most significant blunder the emboldened bulls did at the time was extrapolate that performance into the future. No quicker did we mention the most likely renewed corporate target on reviving productiveness growth than we noticed Proctor &amp Gamble announce a five,700 occupation cut or 10% of its manufacturing work power — and the stock price tag was rewarded with a $ two advance.

2. The ballyhooed housing recovery represented a climate report. January was the fourth warmest on report, skewing the data, and February seems to be to be a record for balmy temperature ranges. As this sort of, we could be in for a setback in the housing knowledge, and the most recent weekly info on house loan programs for new purchases could presently be signaling a renewed downturn in profits activity. The volume index for new purchases was down 2.9% in the week of February 17th on leading of an 8.4% slide in the prior week and it has been trending down for four of the past 5 weeks.

3. The European economic downturn is just getting started (See Recession Looms for ten Nations on webpage 2 of the FT) and the effect on Asian trade flows is previously evident in the knowledge — with Chinese export growth fully vanishing in January and producing diffusion indices flashing modest contraction in February. We are possibly one particular to two quarters absent from seeing a significant shock to the U.S. GDP data from an eroding internet international trade overall performance. To catch a glimpse of just how much reaching the Eurozone economic downturn is, have a look at Austerity in Europe Puts Stress on Drug Prices on page B6 of the NYT.

4. What upset the apple cart this time very last yr was the operate-up in oil rates, followed by a lag with a surge in fuel costs at the pump. So instead of acquiring the four.% very first quarter GDP progress number in 2011 that several pundits anticipated, we got .four% rather — correct digits but in the wrong place. The issue was electricity expenses and what that did to the GDP value deflator — it crushed genuine financial expansion (this time it is not the Arab Spring but heightened Israel-Iran tensions at perform). In 24 hours of the release of that GDP report in late April, the stock industry peaked for the yr.

Once yet again, oil costs have ratcheted up and with a lag, we can most likely count on a return to $ four for every gallon for normal gasoline at the pumps by the time spring rolls all around. The front webpage of the USA Right now can make the scenario for why $ 5 for each gallon is probably coming … that would symbolize a lot more than a $ 200 billion drag out of home funds flows. As it stands, consumers have responded by cutting again on energy usage at a pace we have not observed in fifteen years. Notice that motorists in California are currently spending north of $ four for every gallon. And Brent crude charges have strike file highs in the U.K. in sterling phrases and back to 2008 ranges in euro terms for the previously economic downturn-gripped euro location.

Not only have been January retail revenue previously weak, but we just saw two bellwethers —Gap and Kohl’s — all article reduce Q4 earnings. Kohl’s really posted its first income decline in a few years. And we have not even noticed the entire brunt of the energy value influence hit property however.

The transportation shares see what is coming, obtaining peaked on February third, and since then this group has suffered nine losses out of the past thirteen sessions, representing a 4% decline from the nearby peak. This is a bit of a problem for the bulls because the transports in no way did validate the new highs that the Dow and S&ampP five hundred manufactured — and the index is now at a vital juncture as it kisses the 50-day going regular on the downslope.

5. This hurdle will most likely only grow to be apparent in the 2nd fifty percent of the 12 months and it relates to tax uncertainties and the implications for growing personal and company cost savings prices.

First, the top rated marginal individual tax fee rises to 39.6% from 35% as the Bush tax cuts expire at the stop of 2012. A reduce on itemized deductions will include a even more one.two percentage details to the top rate. Second, a new .9% Medicare tax on incomes more than $ two hundred,000 will get imposed ($ 250,000 for joint filers). Moreover, the best fifteen% price on extended-term funds gains rises to twenty%. And dividends will after yet again be taxed at normal prices — 39.six% for the leading earnings earners. A new 3.eight% tax on investment income also will get launched for incomes over $ 200,000 ($ 250,000 for joint filers). The top estate tax rate goes from 35% to 55% (sixty% in some instances). The estate tax exemption falls to $ one million from $ 5 million (the present-tax exemption also drops to $ 1 million and the charge adjusts hither to 55%). In all, 41 independent tax provisions expire this yr.

6. Fiscal contagion. Just as there is a deep-seated look at of economic re-acceleration in the United States, so too is there a widespread consensus that Europe will muddle via. The ECB’s substantial liquidity infusion previous November and the forthcoming move on February 29th for what pretty much everyone hopes will be a massive LTRO (For a longer time-term Refinancing Operation) just take-up has the masses convinced that Europe is out of the woods.

Markets have dealt with Greece’s default with a shrug. But what if a CDS celebration does get activated? It is feasible. And what if Portugal decides that it desires its bail-out phrases renegotiated, as the FT hints at? Spain is undertaking furthermore as properly — see Spain Pushes Brussels to Reduce Deficit Target as Growth Hopes are Dashed on the front webpage of the FT and also have a seem at Spain Counts Social Fees of Austerity Drive on page 2 of the FT.

The lack of self-assurance is so palpable that some corporates in Portugal, like Portugal Telecom, trade at a 600 basis level price reduction to equivalent federal government bonds. Even Italy is far from out of the woods (allow on your own Spain) — the ECB’s intervention efforts may have helped drag ten-year yields down to 5.4% from the latest peak of more than seven%, but personal debt and debt-program dynamics are this kind of that fiscal sustainability can only be achieved, barring an economic boom (which is not in the cards), if yields can break decisively underneath four% and remain there.


Abnormal Returns: There has never been a better time to be an individual investor

Said another way one could argue that we are in the golden age of the individual investor.  That might seem like an odd thing to say coming off what some people call a ‘lost decade for stocks.’  However over that same time period the technological advancements that made Web 2.0, like FacebookTwitter andLinkedIn, possible have also led to unprecedented opportunities for investors not previously seen.

We are for the moment leaving aside the state of the markets at the moment.  We could have written this same post a couple of months ago when the stock market was 20% lower.  We are also leaving aside the issue of whether the zero interest rate policy of the Federal Reserve represents a “war on savers” or is simply the byproduct of necessary policies.  The failure of MF Global and the systemtic risks it poses for all account holders are also outside the scope of this post.

This is not a novel theme for us.  Indeed one thing we note in our forthcoming book, Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere, is that investing has never been “cheaper or easier.”  Some of this has to do with the rise exchange traded funds.  In other respects it has to do with the blossoming of the options markets.  In large part, it has to do with technology.  In short, never before have investors had access to data, analysis, opinion and social tools that are commonplace today. Let’s take these points one by one.

  1. Easier:  Investors today can with a brokerage account and a computer is now only a few mouse clicks away from a globally diversified portfolio of ETFs that in terms of expenses rivals what institutions paid a decade ago.  For all intents and purposes the expense ratio on the big ETFs iscloser to 0.0% that 1.0%.  Many brokers now allow online trading of individual bonds and overseas securities.

…read points 2-5 HERE



RANKED # 1 BY TIMER DIGEST – The Todd Market Forecast for Wed Feb 22

Some downbeat economic numbers from Europe combined with disappointing earnings from Dell Computer to hold stocks under water on Wednesday.

The stock market has been acting somewhat tired, particularly after the so called “deal” on Greece. There doesn’t seem to be a catalyst to push stocks meaningfully higher on the short term.

Besides the overbought condition, one indicator that concerns us is the number of new yearly highs. over the past two weeks, as the market has pushed higher, new highs have attenuated (arrow). That is frequently a signal that the market needs a short rest. We can see this in the chart below courtesy of


Stephen Todd was the #1 2011 Timers Digest Gold Timer of the Year – More #1 Rankings listed below

GOLD: Gold started off rather lackluster, but came on strongly as the day progressed. The yellow metal is looking pretty good here.
BONDS: Bonds rebounded somewhat on Wednesday.                
THE REST: The dollar was up a bit and this probably helped push down silver, copper and crude oil, but gold bucked the trend.

  • Our intermediate term systems are on a buy signal.
  • System 2 traders are in cash. Stay there for now.
  • System 7 traders are in cash. Stay there for now.

Existing home sales came in at 4.57 million, less than the expected 4.69 million. On Thursday we get initial jobless claims and oil inventories.      

  • We’re on a sell for bonds as of December 21.
  • We’re on a sell for the dollar and a buy for the euro as of January 18.              
  • We’re on a buy on gold as of Feb. 21.              
  • We’re on a buy on silver as today Feb. 21.        
  • We’re on a buy for crude oil as of Feb. 13.      
  • We’re on a buy for copper as of December 20  

We are long term bullish for all major world markets, including those of the U.S., Britain, Canada, Germany, France and Japan.

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About the Todd Market Forecast:

Timer Digest of Greenwich, CT monitors and ranks over 100 of the nation’s best known stock market advisory services.           

Once per year in January, Timer Digest publishes the rankings of all services monitored for multiple time frames.

For the years 2003, 2004 and 2005, The Todd Market Forecast was rated # 1 for the preceding ten years. For the year 2006, we slipped to # 3 and in 2007, we were ranked # 5.

Our bond timing was rated # 1 for the years 1997, 2007 and 2008.

Gold timing was rated # 1 for 1997 and # 2 for 2006. and # 1 for 2011.

We were # 1 in long term stock market timing for the years 1998 and 2004 and # 4 in 2010.

To subscribe go HERE.

We provide daily commentary via e-mail for the stock market, gold,monthly newsletter.

Our approach is mainly technical in nature. We pay attention to chart patterns, volume, overbought – oversold indicators and market sentiment.  However, consideration is also given to fundamentals such as interest rates, Fed policy, earnings and the economy.

We have two main approaches. First we seek to provide specific entry and exit points for conservative investors who utilize mutual funds and ETFs. We also give precise instructions for short term traders who utilize ETFs, Options and stock index futures. To subscribe online go HERE

 Monetary conditions (+2 means the Fed is actively dropping rates; +1 means a bias toward easing. 0 means neutral, -1 means a bias toward tightening, -2 means actively raising rates). RSI (30 or below is oversold, 80 or above is overbought). McClellan Oscillator ( minus 100 is oversold. Plus 100 is overbought). Composite Gauge (5 or below is negative, 13 or above is positive). Composite Gauge five day m.a. (8.0 or below is overbought. 13.0 or above is oversold). CBOE Put Call Ratio ( Below .80 is a negative. Above 1.00 is a positive). Volatility Index, VIX (low teens bearish, high twenties bullish), VIX % single day change. + 5 or greater bullish. -5 or less, bearish. Advances minus declines three day m.a.( +500 is bearish. – 500 is bullish). Supply Demand 5 day m.a. (.45 or below is a positive. .80 or above is a negative).
 No guarantees are made. Traders can and do lose money. The publisher may take positions in recommended securities.

The Right Strategy & How to Execute

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

Trading success is only partly due to having the right strategy and good knowledge of the market. Emotion plays a big role in your ability to be profitable. A trader can know the market inside and out but if fear plays a role in their decision making, they will probably not do well. Here are five common fears that we each need to learn to overcome:

Fear of Missing Out
We have all thought about buying a stock but passed on it, only to watch that missed trade work extraordinarily well. This leads us to the fear of missing out. It may be that there was a good reason for not taking the trade, but if the trade works, we are likely to break our rules in the future. This leads us in to a downward spiral toward failure.

Our trading rules are, or should be, based on testing and experience. The rules of a trading strategy are designed to work over a large number of trades, but there will always be cases where they do not serve us well.

It is important that we do not judge the validity of our rules based on what happens on one trade. To change our rules should require that we find a new set of rules that works better over a large number of trades.

When evaluating a trade, don’t think about what happened on that trade that you missed. Rely on the results of your testing which determined your strategy rules in the first place. If a trade opportunity does not fit your rules, don’t take the trade.

Fear of a Profit Turning in to a Loss
Stocks do not usually go straight up. Up trends are filled with periods of price pull backs. It is these pull backs that often shake investors out of their stock because they fear that a winner will turn in to a loser.

You have to give stocks room to move but still have a set of exit rules which will maximize profits over a large number of trades.

One of the most common reasons we exit our winners too early is because we spend too much time watching the scoreboard. All brokerages have that page where you can see what your profit and loss is for your positions. If a stock is showing a gain that then goes down, we start to attach our sensitivity to money to what is happening and that leads to emotional mistakes.

To overcome this fear, start out by not watching the profit and loss and make sure you have a set of rules for when to exit that you follow.

Fear of Taking a Loss
No one likes losing money, but losing is part of winning for all successful traders. The stock market cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy making it impossible to always be right.
What we must do is minimize the size of our losses when we are wrong. When I make a trade, I know the price point that will make me hit the eject button. If the stock falls to that price, I am out and ready to move on.

It is important to set your stop loss point at a price that makes sense. An arbitrary draw down, like a move lower of 5%, is not based on the opinion of the market. If you put your stop loss point at a price that demonstrates a negative turn for the market, then getting out will save you from taking a bigger loss and that will inspire confidence in the long term.

Fear of Not Maximizing Profits
How do you feel when you sell a stock at a profit but then watch it continue higher? For many, this is a memorable pain that sits with them the next time they have a winner giving a sell signal. Instead of exiting, they hang on for a bigger gain, hoping for the home run winner.

It is important to hang on to your winners as long as they are behaving like winners. However, when the market tells you that the trend is coming to an end, you have to take the cue and exit the trade.

If you attach goals to the stock’s performance, you take the emphasis off of the stock and can miss the message of the market. Suppose you plan to buy a new car when the stock that you have a large position in hits $5. The trade is now about the new car rather than the stock and you will likely not exit the trade until it hits your target. If the stock never gets there, you are left with a winner that turned in to a loser because you failed to do what the market told you to do.

Fear of Not Knowing
There is a lot of uncertainty in the market and many people have a hard time dealing with that ambiguity. They end up making mistakes because they do not know how to make decisions in situations of uncertain outcomes.

Trading the stock market is not a science. We cannot say that if A and B happen, C will happen, we can only say that if A and B happen, C may happen. Since C does not always happen, many people have a hard time making that decision because their personality requires certain outcomes.

To be a successful trader, you have to think like a casino owner. We do not know what will happen on the next trade but, with good strategy testing, we can know what will happen if we do the same trade 100 times. The casino owner does not know who will win the next hand of Blackjack but they do know that if they deal 100 hands of Blackjack, they will make a profit. We have to put our confidence in the averages and expected outcomes of our actions, and not judge our success one trade at a time.

Strategy of the Week

This week, I just looked at a lot of charts to get a feel for the market. In general, it was a quiet week as investors seemed more interested in digesting the recent gains than taking new risks ahead of the Greek debt solution that is expected for Monday. North American markets are closed on Monday so we will wait till Monday to see the reaction from what happens in Europe.

My Market Scan this week was to look for stocks trading at least 1500 times in Canada or 2500 times in the US, focusing me in on the most active issues. Most charts were quiet but Energy stood out with Uranium and Oil and Gas stocks performing well. Below are two picks from those sectors.

1. T.UUU
The Uranium stocks were beat up by the Japanese tsunami in 2011 and it has taken almost a year for them to stabilize and start to recover. T.UUU is breaking from a rising bottom this week, a sign that the buyers are taking an interest in the stock again. Volume was strong on Friday, supporting the upward move. The stock has support at $2.65.


2. T.TLM
Oil made a good move to the upside this week and that helped many oil stocks look better. T.TLM (TLM) made a break of its long term downward trend line this week and looks like it is in the early stages of a long term trend reversal. Support at $11.95




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    This is not an investment advisory, and should not be used to make investment decisions. Information in Stockscores Perspectives is often opinionated and should be considered for information purposes only. No stock exchange anywhere has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. There is no express or implied solicitation to buy or sell securities. The writers and editors of Perspectives may have positions in the stocks discussed above and may trade in the stocks mentioned. Don’t consider buying or selling any stock without conducting your own due diligence.




Market Buzz – A New Breed Dividend Payer’s

Market Buzz – A New Breed of Small-Cap Dividend Growth Stocks Lead the Charge in 2012

2011 proved to be another very tumultuous year for both the Canadian and global markets in general. But, in the wake of the 2008 credit crisis that froze capital, seriously eroded confidence in financial institutions and the ability of our leaders to act effectively is nothing new.

With Western economies awash in debt, both public and private, the great deleveraging has just begun. Volatility is here to stay in equity markets – so get used to it.

Fortunately, over the course of 2011, a number of strong themes began to emerge and gained momentum into 2012. The first being a return to dividend paying stocks. The excesses of the preceding two decades led to the pursuit of growth as a panacea of stock valuation. The promise of future growth was intoxicating for investors and the multiples applied to the growth element of a company far exceeded any premium put on a company that thought it appropriate to actually “return capital” to their investors.

In fact, there have been several periods over the past 20 years when a company was actually given a lower multiple after instituting a dividend policy as analysts then perceived the company was signaling to the markets that the company had no better use for its capital. As such, there was little growth potential left in the company and it was now a “stodgy old dividend payer.”

But this has changed. The reasons are varied and include a low rate environment, which makes dividends or distributions very attractive; distrust of management’s stewardship of capital and a need to see “cash in hand” to keep cash generation a focus; a lack of growth opportunities as the global economy grinds lower; and for Canadians specifically, a lack of alternative income generating vehicles following what was essentially the end of the business trust segment.

Our Income Stock Research performed incredibly well in 2012. What was more a surprise was that the trend did not end at with traditional cash cows such as utilities, telco’s, and pipelines etc. Within our Small-Cap research, growth companies who managed their cash flows effectively enough to paid decent dividends also produced strong returns in 2011. Included in this list are familiar names such as Enghouse Systems Limited (TSX: ESL) (initial IWB positions established in the $8.00-$9.00 range),


MOSAID Corporation (TSX: MSD), and Boyd Group Income Fund (TSX: BYD.UN) (initial IWB positions established in the $5.55 range), which each saw their shares rise over 50% (in the case of the latter two, over 100%).


Today, an announcement of a dividend policy or the upping of a dividend is again met with cheers from the market and we often see immediate gains – and rightfully so. What greater confidence can a management team show you as an investor than that the underlying business is generating more cash that can be paid back to you.

While growth is an essential element in our small-cap research, we have always found it prudent to invest in a basket of what we call “dividend growth stocks” and will continue to emphasize this, although not exclusively, in 2012. In the universe of investing, companies that are able to grow their dividends add an interesting dynamic to a portfolio. A growing dividend means that the income yield on the original investment also continues to grow over time.

For example, a company with a $10 share price and dividend yield of 5% will yield almost 6.7% on the initial investment after five years, if they were to grow their dividends at 6% per year. Dividend growth investors also stand to benefit from potential upside in the share price. A company that is growing their dividend in a sustainable manner will typically generate share price appreciation at the rate of dividend growth or even higher. In this scenario, if the stock in the example would appreciate almost 34% over that five year period, the company is able to grow the dividend at 6% per year. In essence, dividend growth stocks provide investors with three different sources of return – the initial dividend yield, the dividend yield growth, and the share price appreciation.

Be it in growth names or traditional cash cows, the demand for a return of capital continues to grow and we see no end to it in 2012.

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