Thank you Santa

Posted on December 30, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

You may or may not have noticed, but Santa has done some solid lifting since our last update on December 19 and pushed stocks higher. The end result was that the SSR portfolio is up 0.4% while the benchmark iShares Dow Jones U.S. fund (IYY) is up 0.2%. Oil continues to be a theme as it has declined into the mid-$50-per-barrel range. Consumers are thrilled at the gift of lower gasoline prices courtesy of Saudi Arabia, who refused to approve production cuts at the last OPEC meeting. How long these prices can last or whether they can go lower, we do not know.

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It’s a Yellen Miracle

Posted on December 19, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The week opened on a weak note as the market was dragged down by continued weakness in oil prices, down 2.2% by the close on Tuesday as the Grinch prepared to steal our Christmas rally. However, Janet Yellen delivered her own Christmas present by letting out her inner politician and promising everything under the sun. Traders, who had gotten bruised when the Grinch spirited away our rally, rejoiced at its return under the guise of a Fed statement.

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Santa’s Gone AWOL

Posted on December 12, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

While the year-end period is historically a strong period for stocks, this week Santa apparently forgot to do his part. Perhaps someone has been very naughty. The markets traded lower much of the week, with the iShares Dow Jones ETF (IYY) trading down 3.4% by the close on Friday while the SSR portfolio declined 3.9% for the week. There appeared to be some flight to safety as precious metals were the top sector this week, according to The ongoing slump in all prices continued to buoy airlines, including Delta Air Lines (DAL), which was the SSR top performer for the week, up 0.8%.

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Poor Black Friday Sales Leave No Mark

Posted on December 5, 2014 | Stock Superstars Report

The December 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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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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