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Latest From The Blog

Technology Sector Overview: 7/19/19

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Semis Solicitous: The semiconductors are obviously one of the most important groups in tech if not the overall markets. The sector scored a strong move advancing 14 of 17 weeks ending between 12/28-18-4/19, with 2 of the declining weeks CLOSING in the top of the weekly range. The move rose by precisely 40 handles from 80.71 to 120.71, and then proceeded to give back about half the gain. Currently it has rose 5 of the last 6 weeks and is up another 2% this week heading into Friday. The knock on the group earlier this year was that leaders were scarce. That argument is no longer valid. XLNX has been replaced by IPHI AMD KLAC MRVL and AMAT to name a few. It is looking for its second consecutive week of outperforming strong rival IGV which is lower this week by 1%. New Sheriff In Town? All good things must come to an end. Within the stock market leaders will lose their luster and be surpassed by more energetic players. TTD was the general within software, and it still is acting well trading just 6% off most recent all time highs and recorded a bullish hammer candle Thursday. But COUP is right at all time highs and has jumped nearly 5% this week so far, compared to TTD which has fallen 1% heading into Friday. There is no trade recommendation here, just an illustration of the contrast with COUP and TTD. Other leaders within software I could have replaced for COUP include SHOP or ADBE. As always use you disciplined approach on an individual stock basis. Examples: Big blue which had been feeling blue for quite sometime, started 2019 feeling much better about itself. It now trades just 3% off most recent 52 week highs, and is higher 5 of the last 6 weeks and this week is almost 5% (it rose 13 of 16 weeks ending between 12/28/18-4/12). Below is the chart of IBM and how it appeared in our 7/11 Technology Report. We frequently like to say the best breakouts tend to work out right away, and this name is acting very well POST breakout following the 141.92 cup with handle breakout from 7/12. The stock has lost ground just 10 sessions since June. 

Healthcare Sector Review 7/18/19

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Healthcare On Life Support: We frequently like to mention that trends are much more likely to remain in place than to reverse. Of course the trend is your friend, and that can be to that downside obviously as well. The chart of the XLV below shows it is right back to its short bull flag breakout one month ago, and that is not what bulls want to see. We know the best breakouts tend to work out right away and this one has been retested twice already. It still remains the "worst" performing major S&P sector, higher by 7.4%. But true to form it is near the bottom of the leaderboard for the major groups on a one week and one month timeframe. Last week the XLV fell 1.4% as the S&P 500 rose .8%. Providing Relief: The healthcare provider names have come to life recently. Last week the IHF recorded its second best weekly gain of '19 rising 4.8% in active volume. That weekly return was only outdone by the 7.1% gain the week ending 4/26, which ignited this run which has added ground 8 of the last 12 weeks, and three of the down weeks CLOSED in the upper half of the weekly range. UNH, the largest component of the ETF, rose 7.7% last week, and is higher yet again this week fractionally. ANTM the second biggest holding (the top 2 make up 36% of the fund), is just 4% off most recent 52 week highs and just broke above a cup with handle pivot of 294.96 taken out on 7/11. The round 300 number there should provide a floor going forward.  Examples: The medical device plays continue to work in the soft healthcare space. The IHI is higher by more than 21% YTD and has acted well POST breakout from a 234.09 cup base pivot from 6/10 and currently sits just 1% off most recent 52 week highs. We can talk to a number of leaders in the space, and today we will focus on MDT, and how it appeared in our 6/20 Healthcare Report. This one has been a lesson in patience, and respecting the stop price on a CLOSING basis. The 99 pivot was taken out on 6/20, but the 96 stop was not undercut. Today it took out the very round par number and look for a grind higher to the 108 target.

Consumer Sector Overview: 7/17/19

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Concentrated Focus: As we have mentioned before size matters. The XLY is having a very strong YTD performance up more than 26%, and is currently the second best major S&P sector. If the consumer discretionary sector was substituted by the XRT however, it would be the WORST actor of the 11 major sectors, underperforming even the moribund energy and healthcare spaces. The AMZN effect is alive and well in the holding structure of the XLY ETF, and with its influence on the genuine health of many of the XRT components.  Housing's David Vs. Goliath Scenario: In most groups, larger names have been shown the love compared to their small cap relatives by investors, in what may be a sign of a quickly maturing bull market as market participants yearn for safer more "defensive" stocks. In the homebuilders however it seems to be just the opposite. The younger, more nimble players are performing better. Below I have the ratio chart comparing TMHC to TOL, and one can see the relative strength of the former. But I could have used even better examples as MTH and LGIH are higher by 51 and 65% respectively, while TOL and BZH have advanced "just" 13% this year. If one is looking for clues to the next direction, if any at all, of interest rates this year, this space is giving mixed signals. Examples: Many have made the statement that unless you have a big presence in retail or are discount you have had a rough go of it recently. Names like COST TGT and WMT prosper. One could throw in DG DLTR and TJX, but the chart below of OLLI, and how it appeared in our 7/9 Consumer Note, is an exception. The stock is in correction mode down 14% from most recent 52 week highs, and peer FIVE is having some issues of its own down 17%. Perhaps as we spoke of yesterday smaller cap discount plays are not keeping pace without the scale their larger competitors have. However both FIVE and OLLI seem to be bottoming here with good risk/reward scenarios. OLLI burst back above its 200 day SMA jumping 5% last Friday. Even for technicians sometimes stocks on sale are a good value. 

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