Stocks got a vote of confidence last week, plus some short-covering support (and perhaps some panic buying (for fear of missing out), and now the S&P 500 as of Friday is down only -2.2% YTD, and up +8% since its close on February 12. The Russell 2000 small caps are up +12% over the same timeframe. At the same time, when priced in constant US dollar, we see that Chinese stocks are down -19% YTD, Italy -14%, Germany -8%, Japan -5% (and -10% in yen), while Brazil is up +20%, Colombia +13%, Russia +9%, and Canada +5%. Read more about Sector Detector: Stocks get vote of confidence, but tough tests lie ahead

Headlines continue to dominate the trading landscape, perpetuating a news-driven trader’s market rather than allowing a healthier valuation-driven investor’s market to return to favor. After all, that’s what stock market investing is supposed to be about. Narrow market breadth and daily stock price gyrations have been driven primarily by three headline generators -- oil price, the Fed’s monetary policy, and China growth. Sure, there were many other important news items, notably the sinister course of Islamic terrorism. Read more about Sector Detector: Headlines continue to control market direction as valuation models languish

Of course, all eyes have been on Greece in an ongoing saga that, although critical to the Greeks, is mostly just an annoying distraction for global investors -- partly because it has been going on for so many years, with the proverbial can of inevitability continually being kicked down the road, and partly because there can be no winners in this intractable situation. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls prepare for a new buying opportunity, courtesy of Greece

After posting record highs the previous week, stocks closed last week slightly down overall. But the major indexes held their psychological levels, including Dow at 18,000, S&P 500 at 2100, NASDAQ at 5,000, and Russell 2000 at 1200. Although the bulls continue to find reliable support levels nearby, strong overhead technical resistance and neutral-to-defensive rankings in our SectorCast fundamentals-based quant model continue to suggest that a major upside breakout is not quite imminent, although a selloff doesn’t seem to be in the cards, either. Read more about Sector Detector: Bulls hold the line as market coils in anticipation of a bigger move

Scott MartindaleAfter a requisite knee-jerk selloff, stock market bulls shook off Russia’s military action in Ukraine and Crimea as just another buying opportunity. Even adding the Russian Bear to their arsenal couldn’t give bears the upper hand for long. The S&P 500 large cap index set yet another all-time intraday high and closed at a new record high on Friday. Read more about Sector Detector: SectorCast rankings take a neutral slant as market hits new highs

smartindale / Tag: iShares, ETF, sectors, SPY, VIX, iyw, IDU, IYF, IYK, IYH, IYE, IYM, IYJ, IYZ, IYC, XLU, XPH, KBWI, IXN ZCOR SHPG, NTCT, MANH, KEY, OFG, EDN, TRGP / 0 Comments

david trainerHigh dividend yields are not enough to warrant investing in the utilities sector.

Too many investors put their hard-earned money in utility stocks with the assumption that relatively high-yielding dividends from stable business make a good investment.

The real question that investors in any equity security must ask is: does my expected return from a stock justify the risk of investing in it? Read more about Utility Sector: Check The Ingredients Before Buying

dtrainer / Tag: DPL, FUI, FXU, IDU, PEG, PSCU, PUI, RYU, UPW, VPU, XLU / 0 Comments

ETF Periscope: Oil Speculators Get Spanked. Or Did They?

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Persicope

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” -- Buddha

Watching crude oil take a serious plunge this week gave motorists a reason to cheer, but left oil traders with a strong, queasy feeling.

Well, at least some of them. Read more about ETF Periscope: Oil Speculators Get Spanked. Or Did They?

daniel / Tag: Crude Oil, DJIA, ETF, FXU, IAT, IEA, IYM, IYZ, NYMEX, RGI, RTL, S&P 500 Index, SPX, Strategic Petroleum Reserve, XLK, XLU / 0 Comments

Contrarian Alert: Sentimental Consumers and a Two-Year High

by Daniel Sckolnik of ETF Periscope

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”  ~ Plato

Calling all Contrarians. This might be your moment. Read more about ETF Periscope: Contrarian Alert: Sentimental Consumers and a Two-Year High

daniel / Tag: DJIA, Dow Jones Industrial Average, IYG, RKH, S&P 500 Index, SPX, TTH, XLU / 0 Comments

by Scott Martindale, Senior Managing Director

Scott Martindale

Last week's Sector Detector post debuted a new ranking system by Sabrient Systems that is calculated using fundamentals research on exchange-traded funds rather than the usual price momentum that most other indexes are based on.

smartindale / Tag: CBB, DOW, IYZ, MWW, NIHD, quantitative-model, RAI, sector-analysis, stock-trading, SWY, TXT, VMC, XLB, XLP, XLU / 0 Comments

by Scott Martindale, Senior Managing Director

Scott Martindale

Scott Martindale

smartindale / Tag: AEE, CAG, CII, DOW, KR, POM, SOT, VMC AMT, XLB IYZ, XLP, XLU / 0 Comments