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Latest From The Blog

Consumer Sector Review: 8/22/19

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Concentration Builds Wealth...... When the rhetoric heats up about how just a few select names are carrying an overall soft consumer space, there is some validity to it. We hear incessant chatter about how AMZN has been crushing the brick and mortars, and how its performance really put a tailwind behind the XLY. That is correct, but that name is now 11% off its most recent yearly peak, but backing the ETF now is the action in HD. The second largest holding, has risen 28% YTD. Then SBUX, the fourth biggest component has jumped 50% in 2019. Going to be hard for the XRT to catch up when STMP, the ETF's most influential name at more than 2% has barely moved the needle even though the laggard has more than doubled since the 5/31 session lows. Creme Rises To The Top: It is often mentioned that the vast majority of a stocks performance is related to the group it is in. There is a lot of truth in that, but there is something to be said about an individual name executing a successful strategy. Below we look at the behavior in six stocks within the home improvement space, in the news on the backs of big earnings reactions this week from HD (broke above a 218.69 double bottom pivot today) and LOW. Notice the rising tide has brought RH higher, but LL PIR and TTS were never able to grab their piece of the lucrative pie. All 3 of the laggards are lower by at least 51%, and PIR is down more than 90%, not a typo, after a 1:20 reverse stock split this June. TTS is down 68% from its most recent yearly peak, AFTER todays 12% gain. Examples: Of course not all retail related plays did well today. And that should be a concern if you are a long shareholder of a name that did not perform on such a strong day for the group. Below is an example, with the chart of SFIX and how it appeared in our 8/14 Consumer Note. Thursday as the XLY enjoyed a solid session advancing nearly 2%, SFIX fell by nearly the same amount. It now trades 62% off most recent 52 week highs, and is higher just 4 days in the month of August this far. The name is on a 3 week losing streak that fell 27%, and is DOWN another 2.7% this week. Perhaps the very round 20 number will hold it at bay temporarily, but expect this name to be a teenager soon.

Technology Sector Review: 8/21/19

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Apple Of My Eye: We often call AAPL a proxy for the Nasdaq, as it is the benchmarks 2nd largest component at almost 7%, just behind Microsoft. Therefore it obviously carries clout, and it should be watched closely as it has a big impact on the overall markets. The 215 level has been an impenetrable wall for the stock seeing several reversals at that level since early May. There is not much to do here, but wait until a possible bullish ascending triangle is taken out. The last 2 times the top of the pattern was touched near the 215 handle, it registered a 45 point decline in the month of May alone and a nearly 30 point drop top to bottom in the beginning of this month. This will be interesting to see how this pattern plays out going into the end of the year. Patience Wearing Thin: We continue to monitor the IGV for any clues that it may be attempting to display its former leadership qualities. Bulls will have to wait a bit longer, and time is of the essence. The chart of the ETF is starting to resemble a bear flag, and it has now CLOSED below its 50 day SMA for 13 consecutive sessions. It is a modest 7% off most recent 52 week highs, but volume trends are soft, with just 2 weeks of accumulation in all of 2019 thus far (weeks ending 2/1 and 6/7 that rose 2.6% and 3.7% respectively). The IGV is still higher by 23% YTD, but past leaders are starting to show some cracks. ZS the most notable fell 11.3% on 8/19 in the second largest daily volume in 14 months, undercutting its 50 day SMA decisively.  Examples: As we have discussed plenty in the last few weeks, is the weak action in the software group. The undisputed leader within technology continues to look a bit fatigued. Below is the chart of a former leader in VEEV and how it appeared in our 8/16 Technology Note. The stock now trades 11% off most recent 52 week highs, and has made little overall headway higher in the last 3 months. Leaders will often not need that amount of time to compose themselves before resuming their uptrend. The pivot has not been breached but this should be on a watchlist. A possible 4 week losing streak depending on Fridays CLOSE looms, and consider it did not record a 3 week losing streak prior to the current one since March-April in 2018.

Healthcare Sector Review: 8/20/19

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Sturdy PRICE Action: Although healthcare still remains the second "worst" performing major S&P sector YTD (XLV higher by 6.5% so far in 2019), on a one week and one month timeframe it is acting much better as it is the fifth best actor among the 11 groups. The chart of the ETF below has some things to like. The 200 day SMA is beginning to slope higher once again, and it has been quick to recoup the important line this month on a CLOSING basis. It is tightening up as it meets stern resistance at its 50 day SMA, and the fund could be on the verge of a big move higher. Give the ETF credit for being just 5% off most recent 52 week highs, given that 3 of its top 4 components are JNJ, UNH and PFE trading 11, 15 and 24% off their most respective yearly peaks. If any or all start to move higher it will act as a nice tailwind. Biotechs Sending Mixed Signals: In last weeks Healthcare Note we mentioned that we were positive on the relationship between the XBI and SPX going forward into year end, based on the ratio chart. That feeling still exists, but one has to have an open mind, and below is the PRICE chart of the XBI. The ETF is still 17% off most recent 52 week highs, but if it can manage to break ABOVE the bearish descending triangle, keep in mind breaks in the OPPOSITE direction tend to be very powerful. Still it must be kept in the penalty box, and there is nothing to do here on the XBI as the chart is in no mans land. Focus on individual leaders, or laggards in the space and trade accordingly. Examples: It is always important to keep an eye on stocks that are acting well in a group that is underperforming. That type of strength will often result in the particular name being one of the first out of the gate sprinting higher, once the space catches some love. Below could very well be an example with the chart of NBIX and how it appeared in our 8/13 Healthcare Note. It is still 22% off most recent 52 week highs, but higher by 38% YTD. The stock is looking for an 8 week winning streak depending on Fridays CLOSE, and is off to a good start up 1.5% Monday. Not surprisingly it is having issues with the very round par number, but looks like it may be temporary as the right side of a cup base on the WEEKLY chart is nicely taking shape.

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