Stocks Close Higher Despite Morning Slide

Wed pic

[Chart courtesy of]

1. Moving the Markets

After nosing into the red in late-morning trading, all three major benchmarks climbed back into the black to close the day. Analysts are eyeing the key 2000 level on the S&P 500 index, as that level now is viewed as a ceiling of sorts for stocks as they look to rebound further. A break above 2000 would boost hopes that the uptrend that began Friday has legs and that the market is regaining its bullish stance.

Today, traders were also bracing for the unofficial start of the third-quarter earnings season, which kicks off with very low expectations Thursday when aluminum maker Alcoa (AA) reports. For the third straight month, the profit-reporting season begins with Wall Street analysts predicting a contraction in earnings.

A possible market-moving event occurs Thursday, when the Fed releases the minutes of its September meeting. Stocks, of course, have been hurt by uncertainty surrounding the start of rate hikes, but have recently gotten a boost after Friday’s weak jobs report resulted in Wall Street pushing out the so-called Fed “lift-off” into early 2016.

It was a wild ride, but all of our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight participated in the reboud and closed higher. The leader of the day was Healthcare (XLV), which added +1.53%. Lagging the group was Consumer Discretionaries (XLY) with +0.31%.


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Markets Mixed While Awaiting Earnings Season

Tue pic

[Chart courtesy of]

1. Moving the Markets

After a strong five-day rally that lifted the major U.S. stock indexes well off their lows hit in August, equities ended mixed as Wall Street reassessed the outlook for stocks for the rest of 2015.

Healthcare stocks led the decline in the S&P, while a rally in Dupont’s stock (DD) helped keep the Dow in positive territory. Healthcare stocks have had a tough year that is mostly due to the widespread scrutiny over high prices for pharmaceuticals.

Investors are still anxious in waiting for the earnings season to kick off later this week. At present, expectations are low, but many analysts think that this could actually be beneficial for the indexes if stocks outperform. It is a critical time to see how the markets will react to earnings reports, especially since the S&P 500 keeps flirting with the 10% correction status.

And in economic news, we heard today that the U.S. trade deficit jumped sharply in August as exports fell to the lowest level in nearly three years while imports increased, led by a surge in shipments of cellphones from China. The deficit increased 15.6% to $48.3 billion, the biggest since March, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Only 2 of our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight managed to eke out a gain with the Global 100 (IOO) taking the top spot by adding +0.42%. The loser of the day turned out to be Healthcare (XLV) which got clobbered at the tune of -2.35%. Ouch.


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Stocks Roar Back; American Apparel Business Model Fails

Mon pic

[Chart courtesy of]

1. Moving the Markets

Stocks kicked off the week in rally mode Monday as investors view a Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year as less likely after Friday’s weak jobs report raised questions about the pace of U.S. growth.

Third quarter earnings season kicks off this week when Alcoa (AA) reports on Thursday. Analysts are predicting a decline of 4.8% for S&P 500 companies, which would be the first quarter-over-quarter profit decline since 2009.

The culprit for market declines is largely pointing towards the energy sector. Companies in the energy sector are expected to post 60% lower profits for Q3, which is mainly due to a 50% drop in oil prices from this time last year. Don’t let these numbers fool you though, because energy companies skew the numbers. Excluding energy sector stocks, corporate profits are on track to be growing 3.5%, according to S&P capital IQ.

In other corporate news, we heard today that American Apparel (APP) has filed for bankruptcy, after its made-in-the-U.S. model faltered, its fashion sense slipped and its controversial former CEO became embroiled in scandal over his behavior in the workplace. The company, which flirted with bankruptcy as early as 2011, has about 8,500 employees at six factories and 230 stores in the U.S. and 17 and it famously bet its business model on clothing made in the U.S.

Continuing Friday’s theme, all of our 10 ETFs in the Spotlight rallied and closed higher with the leader being the MidCap Value (IWS), which added +2.14%. The laggard for the day was Healthcare (XLV) with +0.26%.


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ETFs/Mutual Funds On The Cutline – Updated Through 10/2/2015

Below are the latest ETF Cutline reports, which show how far above or below their respective long-term trend lines (39 week SMA) my currently tracked ETFs/MFs are positioned.

The first report covers the ETF Master List from Thursday’s StatSheet and includes 381 ETFs, of which currently 18 (last week 10) are hovering in bullish territory.

The second report includes only High Volume ETFs. To clarify, High Volume (HV) ETFs are defined as those with an average daily volume of $10 million or higher.

These ETFs are generated from my selected list of some 97 that I use in my advisor practice. It cuts out the “noise,” which simply means it eliminates those ETFs that I would never buy because of their volume limitations. 4 ETFs (last week 3) have managed to remain in bullish territory after the recent market volatility.

The third report covers Mutual Funds on the Cutline. There are currently 15 (last week 17) above the line and 785 below it out of the 800 that I follow.

Take a look:

  1. ETF Master Cutline Report
  2. ETF High Volume Cutline Report
  3. MF Cutline Report

In case you are not familiar with some of the terminology used in the reports, please read the Glossary of Terms.

If you missed the original post about the Cutline approach, you can read it here.

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One Man’s Opinion: Will Upstream Oil And Gas Companies See A Wave Of Defaults In The Near Future?

ManThe US economy is doing about 2.5 percent real growth and 4.5 percent nominal growth with the labor market tightening pretty dramatically, said Mark Kiesel, Global Head of Corporate Bond Portfolio Management at PIMCO.

The decline in domestic inflation is transitory and PIMCO agrees with Fed Chair Janet Yellen that US inflation is headed towards the 2 percent target. In a 2 percent inflation world, 10-year Treasury yields should not be at 2 percent, he noted.

Asked why 10-year Treasury yields have been hovering around the 2 percent level, Mark said people are probably looking backwards without realizing what’s going to happen going forward. The US economy is 70 percent domestic consumption and with the labor market tightening fundamentals remain strong, he explained.


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New ETFs On The Block: Market Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (CRAK)

OilMarket Vectors, the exchange-traded fund issuing arm of investment management firm Van Eck Global, recently launched a “first-of-its-kind” US-listed ETF that offers a pure play exposure in global refiners.

While its common knowledge that US oil and gas producers (in the “upstream”) are bleeding, the story is quite different for oil refiners (in the “downstream”). The refining sector could actually make a killing despite crude oil prices plunging more than 60% since last summer due to low feedstock and main input costs.

That should be music to the newly launched Market Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (CRAK) and investors looking to profit from the energy sector’s decline. Oil refiners earn their profits from the difference in crude input costs and the selling price of refined products. While input costs for most refiners are decided upon the light sweet Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil or the heavy sour Western Canadian Select (WCS) crude oil benchmarks, prices of gasoline in pumps and other refined products are typically priced based on Brent crude, which mostly trades at a premium over WTI (or WCS).


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