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Latest From The Blog

Technology Sector Review: 10/14/19

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Relying On Semiconductors: The two big behemoths in the technology arena of course, are the semiconductors and software. Hardware/service names like ROKU and AAPL are important obviously too, but for the most part tech is dominated by the two aforementioned subsectors. For a long time software ruled, but that changed a couple months ago. The baton was passed recently to the semis, and while many thought that was temporary, that may not be the case. The SMH recorded its best weekly CLOSE ever this week and trades just 1% off most recent highs, while the IGV sits 6% off its most recent yearly peak. Give credit to the IGV for recouping both its 50 and 200 day SMAs in the last couple weeks, as it now has a 221 double bottom pivot. Within the semis, the equipment plays remain the firmest with names like KLAC LRCX ASML and AMAT acting well. Keep an eye on LSCC and QCOM in the near term to see if they can climb above the round 20 and 80 numbers respectively, as always on a CLOSING basis. Softy Acting Anything But: Market participants are benefitting handsomely if they can find the combination of growth and yield. MSFT fits the bill up 38% YTD, and carries a 2% dividend yield. The chart of the latter is visually more impressive, and has been dealing with the round 140 number for the last 14 weeks. There has been just one WEEKLY CLOSE above that figure, since mid July. In this environment if one can find a name that trades this taut, and remains just 2% off most recent all time highs, they should consider themselves fortunate. The week ending 10/4 recorded a rare doji candle, which often is an indication of a softening of the prior trend. But PRICE supersedes everything. A CLOSE above 142 could really ignite this name, and the Nasdaq as it is the benchmarks largest component at 7.3% (second largest name AAPL is acting just fine as well. That is a pretty solid 1-2 punch). Examples: The overall software group has been in a state of confusion somewhat lately. To be frank it has been to the downside. Best of breed TTD is more than 31% off most recent 52 week highs, not a typo, and is doing battle with the very round 200 number here. It recently suffered a 7 week losing streak, with all 7 CLOSING at or in the lower half of its weekly range. Investors looking for more mature names in the space, might take a look at ORCL. Below is how the chart appeared in our 10/8 Technology Note. The stock has been digesting a strong 23 of 29 week winning streak weeks ending between 12/28/18-7/12, and now looks like its building the right side of a cup base that was stopped cold at the round 60 number in early July. Can you feel the magnetic pull toward the figure?

Financial Sector Review: 10/11/19

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Banks Blooming? Sure the news has not been very positive recently, with the biggest headline perhaps being the brokerage houses eliminating commissions on retail stock trading (the percentage of revenues that the likes of AMTD ETFC and SCHW had been in steady decline for years). But the XLF has been the best performing major S&P sector over the last one week period, and it was strong again on Thursday rising 1%, outdone just by energy (questionable leadership). But pure play market participants in the group may be hoping tomorrow ends with a whimper, which would have the ETF on its third four week losing streak of 2019 thus far. When that happened in May, the fund responded with a 6 of 8 week winning streak beginning with a 4.3% jump the week ending 6/7. It occurred again in August and the ETF again found firm footing rising nearly 9% the 3 weeks ending between 8/30-9/13.  Regional Rejection: We know the XLF has been a relatively weak group compared to its major S&P sector peers. But against its cousin in the regional banks, it looks strong. After some brief underperformance against the KRE in late July and early September, the ratio chart always seemed to find a bid in favor of the XLF. The XLF trades just 5% off its most recent 52 week high, while the KRE is now 15% off its most recent yearly peak. The KRE has seemed to garner some support at the very round 50 number this year, with the exception of the month of August. It does trade wide and loose, and has been making lower highs since February. Top components in the KRE such as FRC and MTB feel heavy, add to it CMA more than 30% off its highs, and one gets the sense they should deposit capital into XLF related names, pun intended.  Examples: The asset manager names have acted in a bifurcated manner this year. Stocks like EVR are now 25% off most recent 52 week highs. IVZ and WETF are even worse as they trade 32 and 44% off their most respective yearly peaks. On the positive side names like SEIC, which is lower by just 5% from its recent highs. Another good candidate is the chart below of APO and how it appeared in our 9/26 Financial Note. It had formed a nice bull flag pattern as one can see, but it also shows the importance of waiting for PRICE confirmation, as the 41 number was never taken out on a CLOSING basis. Currently it is on a 4 week losing streak, but just 7% off recent highs thanks to this week which has risen 3.4% so far heading into Friday.

Consumer Sector Review: 10/10/19

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Inverse Heads And Shoulders Running Wild: Looking over hundreds of charts a day, one gets a good feel of what is going on in specific groups. Patterns develop, and it is not necessary to act on them, but you can get a good temperature as to what direction a class may head in. I was curious to see several beaten up consumer names that are sporting inverse head and shoulder formations. There is nothing to do here, just an observation. But they have traded sideways for since late May, and that should be viewed somewhat bullish as bears have had plenty of time for them to follow through to the downside, and have been unable to do so. Names that should be included in this discussion are FL KSS and GPS. I am far from a bottom feeder (prefer to buy strength), and these names are all about 40% from most recent 52 week highs, but these are valid reversal patterns.  "Dividend Cut" Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: Of course the headline is just humor and conjecture, but beware of investing in names that sport big dividend yields. In some cases if it is a utility, REIT or any other bond proxy type it could be understood. But most times it is perilous, and the capital depreciation far outweighs the dividends. Below may be a good example of that with the chart of AMC. It sports a dividend yield of more than 8%, but currently trades 54% off most recent 52 week highs. Certainly it recorded a very nice run from the rough round 10-20 numbers in late '17-late '18, and perhaps it will find support near a triple bottom at the 9 number. But with competitors like DIS and NFLX now 12 and 31% off their most respective yearly peaks, there are probably better fish to fry. Examples: The huge elephant in the consumer space WMT, of course the other being AMZN, is acting very well as of late. It has nearly doubled since acquiring Jet.com back in 2016, and looking at a comparison on its main rival Walmart is acting handsomely. The stock is higher by 28% YTD and 23% over the last one year period, while AMZN has advanced 15% YTD and is DOWN 8% over a one year look back period. Below is how we profiled WMT in our 10/7 Consumer Note, and one can see the nice action POST breakout from the recent cup with handle breakout (we know the best breakouts tend to work right away). It is hovering right at all time highs, and a break above the round 120 number, could unleash another big move to the upside.

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