Peking Duck Fuels Pre-Thanksgiving Rally

Posted on November 21, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The only true constant in life is change, and we were reminded of that again this morning. We had written up a commentary on how the portfolio was flat for the week but in the middle of the night, the Chinese central bank cut interest rates 25 basis points (0.25%).

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Clear Skies Ahead

Posted on November 7, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

After a couple of strong weeks in a row, the SSR portfolio took a breather this week and slightly underperformed its benchmark, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF (IYY). After the frenzy of earnings season, the markets needed that break. Through November 7, about 80% of S&P 500 companies have beat their earnings estimates.

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Keeping the Bears at Bay

Posted on October 31, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The November SSR Monthly Report is now available at the SSR website. There is one new portfolio deletion and one new portfolio addition to announce.

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Airlines Soar in a Bounce-Back Week

Posted on October 24, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

Airline stocks and industrials were among the big winners for this week as the indexes recovered from the negative volatility of last week.

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Domino’s Delivers in a Volatile Market

Posted on October 17, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

While the week began with continued selling pressure, toward the latter part of the week some of the pressure seems to have abated and markets regained some of the losses.

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Higher Volatility is Not Necessarily Bad

Posted on October 10, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

Down 300, up 300 and then down 300; the middle of the week saw some rather sharp fluctuations in the indexes. The swings were not limited to the indexes; our benchmark, the iShares Dow Jones U.S. ETF (IYY), also suffered from the increased volatility. Still, while the week felt tumultuous, put in perspective this volatility only feels sharp because the last two years have been unusually calm. Despite these swings, the indexes are only about 6% off of their all-time highs. With an improving economy making its presence more and more known, via such indicators as jobs numbers, even a short sell-off shouldn’t be of concern to long-term investors. U.S. airstrikes in Iraq continue to generate headlines, as does the Ebola virus as cases begin to appear in developed countries. Inflation expectations continue to drop, even for the long end, which could support the Federal Reserve’s dovishness.

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The Steady Hand Wins the Day

Posted on October 3, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The market, as measured by the Dow Jones industrial average, is down around 100 points for the week, which is just noise in the investment world. Apart from the excitement surrounding the iPhone 6 and the “panic” surrounding a case of ebola in Texas, the week was relatively quiet. While the ebola “panic” generated plenty of headlines…

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The Bears are Dancing, Plus Two Changes to the Portfolio

Posted on September 26, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The October SSR Monthly Report is now available at the SSR website. There is one new portfolio deletion and one new portfolio addition to announce.

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New Week, New Records

Posted on September 19, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

Don’t fight the Fed. The value of those words was proven again as Fed complacency, indicated by the statement they released on Wednesday, removed any obstacle to higher equity prices. Once it became clear that the Fed would not be aggressive in hiking interest rates, the markets resumed their inexorable march higher. Market participants felt comfortable with what were perceived to be ‘dovish’ comments from the Federal Reserve. Additionally, instability across the globe was good for any dollar-based assets as investors abroad looked to the U.S. for safety.

Industrial production last month was slightly worse than expected, but it did little to dampen the mood. The August consumer price index came in lighter than expected, supporting the Fed’s case that they have room to maneuver. The September Philadelphia Fed Survey dipped, but still was strong. No data from this week counters the idea that the economy is slowly strengthening.

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Buckle Up, It’s FOMC Time

Posted on September 12, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The first full week of work in the fall added little to the big picture as the market hovered near all-time highs. Stocks fell for the week, snapping a five-week advance. Treasuries fell for the seventh straight day.

Jobless claims were slightly worse than expected, but this tends to be a volatile number so investors shouldn’t put too much stock into it. Consumer sentiment hit its strongest level in more than a year, while retail sales were in line with expectations. The data continued to point to an economy that is improving, albeit at an unhurried pace.

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