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Latest From The Blog

Healthcare Sector Review: 5/22/19

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Healthcare Heavy: Not much has changed for the diverse healthcare sector, as it still is the "worst" (still higher by 3.5%) performing major S&P sector on a YTD basis by a wide margin. It is even being outshined by the lagging energy and materials groups too. The XLV is trading just 7% off most recent 52 week highs, but other spaces are dragging with the XBI down 18% off its own recent peak. The biotech ETF is lower 5 of the last 6 weeks, but is making a stand here at the round 80 number. Both its 50 and 200 day SMAs are pointing lower and it has the look of a bearish rounding top if it slices underneath the 80 figure. Below is the ratio chart of the XLV against the S&P 500. The providers have given it a push higher over the last month, and if biotech can get its act together a downtrend could be decisively broken. Equipment Redemption: The medical equipment group is often thought of a reliable space within healthcare. The best names will normally pay a decent dividend and the trajectory of price charts will show a bit more stability, compared to the higher beta biotech cousins. Below is the ratio chart of the medical equipment ETF, the IHI, in relation the the biotech XBI. There was certainly indecision on the group as a whole between January and March, but they have made a nice push higher since. Whether it is a function of the biotechs lagging, or not, give credit to the resurgent subsector.  Examples: Trends are more likely to persist than reverse, and that goes for the upside or downside. Below is a good example of that with the chart of TEVA and how it was profiled in our 4/10 Healthcare Report. The sector has been a laggard overall, but this name is really weak now 54% off most recent 52 week highs. Peers in the space are acting poorly too, a sign that is a positive for market participants that are short the arena. Namely MYL and PRGO are both 54 and 38% off their respective recent peaks. Today was just the fourth session that TEVA rose in the month of May.

Industrial Sector Review: 5/21/19

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Industrial Impotence: Earlier this year we pondered whether the industrial group could keep up its solid early YTD performance. It was the second best major S&P sector lagging only technology early on. It is silly to make predictions, but dating back to 1993 the space was never the best performing group, and that made it likely the gains would fade as '19 carried on. Fast forward to today and the leaderboard shows it has now dropped to the fifth spot from the second, albeit it is less than 1% from the same runner up level. BA still remains in bear market mode down 21% from most recent 52 week highs and met resistance Friday at its 200 day SMA. MMM lost 25% the last 4 weeks and this one started off where it left off last week down almost 2% Monday. The XLI has a couple anchors weighing on it. Undesirable Shipment: In the not too distant past we posted a ratio chart comparing the two behemoths in the delivery services space, UPS and FDX. The former recently was a better relative performer, and still is now down 21% from most recent 52 week highs compared to FDX's 37%. But let that sink in. FDX which has an excellent pulse on the global economy is more than ONE THIRD off its highs, and it still does not seem to be garnering much attention. Obviously the stock is under heavy distribution (selling in above average volume), but its last week of accumulation is dating back to the week ending 12/22/17. Below is the chart of UPS, and as we mentioned the better relative actor, but on an absolute basis is still down 21% from recent peaks. Not the type of returns shareholders want to be delivered, pun intended. Examples: The headline from the 5/3 Industrial Report was "Buy GE As It Brings Good Things To Life". Looks like I am dead WRONG about this, and it is a good lesson buying names in an overall downtrend. The stock has been in the news plenty in the last year, with new leadership, selling assets, but peering at a longer term chart shows the bearishness is still intact. It trades 37% off most recent 52 week highs, and that is even with the nearly double from the late December lows to the late February highs. Keep in mind, some of the most breathtaking moves higher occur during bear market, dead cat bounces. There are better places to put your capital to work.

Financial Sector Review: 5/20/19

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Warren Woes: The financials registered their first back to back WEEKLY losses in 2019 Friday, with the XLF falling by an identical 2.1% each time. That weekly drop was the worst of any of the major 11 S&P sectors. Looking at the list of the top components in the ETF it still surprises me with BRKB being the largest weighting. It is nearing correction mode down 9% from most recent 52 week highs, and it lost 2.7% this week, following the 4.4% drop the week prior. The Oracle of Omaha may be losing his touch, and could his investment in AMZN be calling a top for the stock (he is also the largest holder in AAPL). He seems to be conforming to most hedge funds that have those two names among their top holdings. All Is Not Well With Wells: As some of the traditional money center banks are backing off, WFC never really joined the party. The stock is now well into bear market territory lower by 23% off most recent 52 week highs, more than double that of JPM and BAC which are off by 7 and 11% from their most recent ascents. It seems it can not shred its poor image from a couple years back. Since the beginning of February 2018, it has made a series of lower highs and lower lows. On its current chart it sports a bear flag formation and can be shorted with a sell stop below 45, and a breakdown carries a measured move to 38. Examples: The insurance sector has been resolute. Many names in the space trade very taut and pay respectable dividends. Below is the chart of AFL, and how it was presented in our 5/9 Financial Report. It ran into a bit of trouble with the very round 50 number in March but has since recorded 14 consecutive CLOSES above the figure, and showed solid character this week advancing 1.8%. Peers that are acting well include CINF and AJG, important to see a number of names firm as you do not want to see a single stock carrying the group on its back. This subsector of the finnies may be a good place to deploy capital as the overall markets contend with possible big double tops. 

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