After a brief pullback to retest support levels, it appears that bulls may be preparing to take the market higher. Although retail investors are still hesitant, risk-taking among institutions is apparent. Cheap cash from abundant global liquidity is hungry for higher returns. Margin debt is high. Credit spreads are low. Subprime loans are back in vogue. Small caps and the banking sector in particular look ready to resume a leadership role. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls may be getting ready to push stocks higher

Although the stock market displayed weakness last week as I suggested it would, bulls aren’t going down easily. In fact, they’re going down swinging, absorbing most of the blows delivered by hesitant bears. Despite holding up admirably when weakness was both expected and warranted, and although I still see higher highs ahead, I am still not convinced that we have seen the ultimate lows for this pullback. A number of signs point to more weakness ahead. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls go down swinging, refusing to give up much ground

Scott MartindaleWith plenty of wind in their sails, bulls coasted comfortably into year-end to close out 2013 with a stellar performance, as Santa made his widely-expected appearance on Wall Street. In fact, stocks saw one of their best years ever and the strongest since 1997, with the S&P 500 boasting a total return around 30% while closing the year right at its all-time high. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks close out a banner year. Where to invest now?

smartindale / Tag: iShares, ETF, sectors, SPY, VIX, JAZZ, iyw, IYF, IYJ, IYH, IYZ, IYM, IYE, IYC, IYK, IDU, IXN, KBWP, FTEC, FNCL, FCNCA, ASPS, CTSH, MANH / 0 Comments

Scott MartindaleLike any superhero or action movie star who relies upon a “trusty sidekick,” Mr. Market stays strong, confident, and bold with the Federal Reserve at his side. Chairman Bernanke (and heir apparent Janet Yellen) firmly believes that the wealth effect provided by rising stock and housing markets is essential for maintaining consumer spending and corporate earnings growth. Read more about Sector Detector: Fed reiterates its role as Mr. Market’s trusty sidekick

smartindale / Tag: iShares, sectors, ETF, SPY, VIX, IBM, iyw, IYF, IYK, IYJ, IYE, IYZ, IDU, IYC, IYH, IYM, KBWI, IXN, GOOG, CVLT, SBNY, RE / 0 Comments

I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.” -- Steven Wright

Ben Bernanke drew a solid line in the sand last week, announcing that the Federal Reserve was anchoring its rates to the unemployment rate. And, while not an action that changes much in the short term, it could prove to be the start of a more transparent Fed. Read more about ETF Periscope: Fed Offers Anchor as Solution to Choppy Economic Seas

daniel / Tag: FDN, XLK, IXN, IGV, VGT / 0 Comments

“If all the economists were laid end to end, they'd never reach a conclusion.” --  George Bernard Shaw

The fact that Washington continues to act out its political theater in somewhat of a vacuum, as if its actions had little impact on the rest of the country, doesn’t seem to be fazing the U.S. equity market a whole lot at the moment. Read more about ETF Periscope: EU Banking Union Likely Will Remain Unconsummated for Now

daniel / Tag: FDN, XLK, IXN, IGV, VGT / 0 Comments

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” -- Mark Twain 

More stimulus for the eurozone is likely in the cards at some point in the near future, as the European Central Bank (ECB) ponders its options in addressing the region’s highest unemployment rate since the euro was established nearly fourteen years ago. Read more about ETF Periscope: Big Unemployment Numbers Across the Pond Remains the Big EU News

daniel / Tag: FDN, XLK, IXN, IGV, VGT / 0 Comments

"Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure."“  --  Napoleon Hill

Last Friday’s 120-point smack down of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) left the blue-chip index pretty much where it began at the beginning of July. It might be regarded as a microcosm of the entire year, one where the Dow has more or less trended sideways in spite of the occasional attempt to either break out or break down from that trend. Read more about ETF Periscope: Will Apple and Facebook Make More Noise Than Spain and Greece?

daniel / Tag: DJIA, XLK, IGV, IXN, EWP, EWI, FEZ, AAPL, FB, Eurozone, IMF / 0 Comments