Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2008

10 Predictions for the Internet for 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, many bloggers are offering a list of predictions for the coming year. This is always a great opportunity for a writer to risk making a fool of himself. Not being one to avoid appearing foolish, I offer my predictions for what developments will occur on the Internet next year.
More blogs! As the unemployment rate increases, expect a good number of jobless folks to begin writing blogs to rip on their former employers, to discuss their job search or to try to make money.Google will continue to dominate (no surprise here but it's worth mentioning). Their search share will continue to increase though slowly. Search ads will hold their own but a tight-fisted consumer will be clicking less. AdSense will grow due to the increase in number of blogs (see item #1). Nevertheless, look for Google revenue to stagnate in the first half of 2009 as bids for search terms decrease, marketing budgets decline and unemployed users click on ads more infrequently.
Linked-In will s…

Free list of Bollinger Band Breakouts for Dec 26, 2008

As another byproduct of the Alert HQ process (read about Alert HQ) we have generated a list of stocks that have broken above either their upper Bollinger Band or below their lower Bollinger Band.

Bollinger Bands are a technical analysis tool invented by John Bollinger in the 1980s. They are an indicator that allows users to compare volatility and relative price levels over a period time. The indicator consists of three bands designed to encompass the majority of a security's price action. A simple moving average in the middle (we use a 20-day MA)
An upper band (SMA plus 2 standard deviations) A lower band (SMA minus 2 standard deviations)Many traders use them primarily to determine overbought and oversold levels, selling when price touches the upper Bollinger band and buying when it hits the lower Bollinger band. In range-bound markets, this technique works well, as prices travel between the two bands like balls bouncing off the walls of a racquetball court. This approach is sup…

Weekly Review - economy provides no holiday cheer for stocks

It almost felt like old times with the Fed rescuing another sinking institution this week. This time the Fed made an emergency decision that GMAC can be categorized as a bank holding company and is thus eligible for TARP funds.

Also familiar was another week's worth of negative economic news. Initial jobless claims hit a 26 year high at 586,000. The housing market proved it is still able to surprise with worse than expected news as existing home sales plunged 8.6% from October and new home sales fell to their lowest level on an annualized basis in 17 years. Consumer spending in the holiday period was reported to be down 4% according to MasterCard. Final Q3 GDP numbers were reported and they confirmed a decline of 0.5% including personal consumption expenditures (PCE) down 3.8%.

As we have been seeing for several weeks now, the bad economic news may have kept the market from advancing but it didn't cause the market to plunge either. When the dust settled on the week we saw all th…

Free Stock Alerts - Alert HQ for Dec 26, 2008 - 49 BUY signals

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan over 6400 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. We apply a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques to identify those stocks that are beginning to move. Our goal is to identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downside.

This week the market didn't give us much to work with. Volume was low, markets were closed for a day and a half for Christmas and investors didn't seem to want to move stocks too far one way or the other. With the exception of the Russell 2000, all the other major averages failed to move above their 50-day moving averages and indeed fell below their 20-day moving averages. Still, the declines were quite modest despite another pile of bad economic news: a jump in initial jobless claims, a plunge in home sales and confirmation the consumer went AWOL during th…

Trend Leaders for Dec 26, 2008 - free list of chart-busting stocks

This post is to announce that Trend Leaders, our latest list of stocks in strong up-trends, is now available at the TradeRadar site.

Readers of the TradeRadar blog are familiar with the Alert HQ free lists of stock alerts. With Alert HQ, we try to identify those stocks and ETFs that are making reversals. Every week we scan all the stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ, over 6400 securities in all, to find those stocks or ETFs that are generating actionable BUY signals or SELL signals.

As a byproduct of the Alert HQ process we are providing a list of all the stocks or ETFs that are currently in strong up-trends. We call them Trend Leaders and the list is, of course, absolutely free. These stocks are registering strong signals using Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD. They are also above their 50-day exponential moving average.

This week we have 251 stocks that made the cut.

With the week shortened by the holiday and with volume running at very low levels, some stocks fell back a bit, enough…

Durable Goods - a glimmer of hope for tech but only a glimmer

The Durable Goods report was published just before Christmas. It presents the advanced numbers for the month of November 2008.

The headline numbers were bad but not as bad as feared:

New Orders: This was the fourth consecutive monthly decrease and followed an 8.4 percent October decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.2 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.9 percent.

Shipments: Shipments of manufactured durable goods in November, down four consecutive months, decreased 2.6 percent. This followed a 3.4 percent October decrease.

Focus on the technology sector --

As always, we'll focus on tech and look for any signs of improvement.

As our proxy for tech, we'll look specifically at the Computers and Electronic Products category. This segment includes computers and related products, communications equipment and semiconductors. First, we'll look in the rear view mirror and see what happened with Shipments.

Shipments were down sequentially 4.6% from Octo…

ProShares surprises investors today

A big selection of ProShares ETFs went ex-dividend today. The surprise in the announcement was that a short term capital gain was also declared for these ETFs and it many cases it was a whopper.

The chart below shows the dividend, the capital gain and the impact it had on the price of each ETF. I have chosen to use just a few ETFs as an illustration of the general situation though there was a total of 35 ETFs that went ex today (see the full list at the ProShares site).

Fund NameTickerDividendS.T. Cap GainClosing price 12/22/2008ex-dividend pricepercent changeUltraShort QQQQID0.0057399.4992868.8259.3114%UltraShort Dow30DXD0.02761216.027473.1257.0622%UltraShort S&P500SDS0.02855311.4618887.4475.9513%UltraShort MidCap400MZZ0.00778323.8495288.3964.5327%UltraShort Russell2000TWM0.06650825.0073194.2269.1527%UltraShort Basic MaterialsSMN0.00884726.5790769.4842.8938%UltraShort Consumer ServicesSCC0.00863133.91358124.9291.0027%UltraShort Real EstateSRS0.0239964.5665661.0356.448%
You can se…

How bad will 2009 be for the semiconductor industry?

So how bad will it be? iSuppli says let me count the ways.

Dale Ford, senior vice president for iSuppli is quoted as follows:
"The semiconductor industry's growth cycle is shaped by six primary, interrelated forces—global economic health, electronic equipment production, chip supply/demand balance, capital investment, industry and individual company profitability and competition... All six of these areas will present challenges for the semiconductor industry in 2009."Let's take a look at a few of these.

Global Economic Health --

The recession that began in the U.S. has become a global phenomena. This is impacting both consumer electronics and enterprise equipment suppliers. With declines in OEM factory revenues projected, semiconductors will feel the knock-on effect. iSuppli expects the result for semiconductors will be excess inventory, declining sales and downward pressure on prices. Indeed, they fear inventories at the end of Q4 2008 will expand by 268% over the Q3 le…

Weekly Review - still waiting for the Santa Claus rally

Go figure. Things were less bad this week but the market didn't really respond.

The Fed eased aggressively and signaled it would do whatever it takes to ensure orderly functioning of the financial markets including buying long-dated treasuries. The White House and Treasury got together and bailed out the automakers with three-month bridge loans and Canada chipped in, too. Tech bellwethers Oracle and Research in Motion brought some cheer to the NASDAQ as they announced decent earnings and didn't slash forward guidance and Best Buy met recently lowered expectations.

Economic reports were again bad this week with industrial production down 0.6% and jobless claims continuing at elevated levels over 500,000 though they were down a bit from the previous week. Both manufacturing surveys, the New York Empire State index and the Philadelphia Fed index both came in at numbers signifying contraction but didn't fall as much as expected. Leading indicators were as poor as anticipated. St…

Free Stock Alerts - Alert HQ for Dec 19, 2008 - 83 BUY signals

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan over 6800 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. We apply a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques to identify those stocks that are beginning to move. Our goal is to identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downside.

The fact that major stock market averages again failed to move decisively above their 50-day moving average shows that investors are still in a cautious mode. There were several developments that should have provided ammunition for a significant move but it just didn't happen. The Fed eased aggressively and signaled it would use all tools available to support markets including buying long-dated treasuries. The White House and Treasury got together and bailed out the automakers with three-month bridge loans. Tech bellwethers Oracle and Research in Motion brought…

Trend Leaders for Dec 19, 2008 - free list of chart-busting stocks gets bigger

This post is to announce that Trend Leaders, our latest list of stocks in strong up-trends, is now available at the TradeRadar site.

Readers of the TradeRadar blog are familiar with the Alert HQ free lists of stock alerts. With Alert HQ, we try to identify those stocks and ETFs that are making reversals. Every week we scan all the stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ, over 6800 securities in all, to find those stocks or ETFs that are generating actionable BUY signals or SELL signals.

As a byproduct of the Alert HQ process we are providing a list of all the stocks or ETFs that are currently in strong up-trends. We call them Trend Leaders and the list is, of course, absolutely free. These stocks are registering strong signals using Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD. They are also above their 50-day exponential moving average.

This week we have 299 stocks that made the cut. This is nearly three times the number we had last week.

On the economic front, news continued to be bad but there was …

ProShares ETF Links - the list for Dec 18, 2008

Today we have another list of links to posts by other bloggers that are writing about ProShares ETFs. As usual, this week's list is comprised mostly of posts from Seeking Alpha. I recommend that you click through to the authors own sites after reading these posts on the Seeking Alpha site.
Thu, Dec 18 (SRS)Dizzying Day Trip for Ultrashort Real EstateThu, Dec 18 (SKF) Options Trader: Thursday OutlookThu, Dec 18 (EUO) Changing My Stance on the DollarThu, Dec 18 (FXP, SRS)Recent Winners and Losers on the Leveraged ETF FrontThu, Dec 18 (SCC, SZK) U.S. Records Huge Current Account DeficitWed, Dec 18 (SRS) Ultrashort Real Estate Drop Demonstrates Unlimited Faith in a RecoveryWed, Dec 18 (UYG) The Fear Bubble: Treasuries and GoldTue, Dec 16 (DXD, QID, SDS) Leveraged ETF Debate Hits the MainstreamTue, Dec 16 (SKF) What Are Banks Supposed to Do? A Little Clarity Could Go a Long WayMon, Dec 15 (URE) Anecdotal Musing: Commercial Real Estate, You Can't Go WrongMon, Dec 15 (FXP) China ETF B…

Five signs tech slump no where near over

Markets reacted with euphoria to the Fed's announcement after yesterday's FOMC meeting.

Still, it is difficult to get too excited about the immediate prospects for the tech industry. Here are five signs that the tech downturn will not end quickly.
Tech companies are cutting their workforces. If there were any chance that the tech downturn was drawing to a close and that demand was going to rebound, companies would be holding on to their experienced employees. They are not. Every day there are new announcements of layoffs in all sectors worldwide. Today it is RF Micro in the US. Yesterday it was Taiwanese IC distributors. Last week AT&T announced plans to cut 12000. There are expectations AMD will announced more layoffs next month. Even Google is reducing staff. The list goes on.
Tech companies are cutting production. Companies always adjust production in response to changes in demand. The production cuts being announced lately are so large that they merit announcement to the …

Industrial Production - tech worse than we thought

Today, the Fed released the Industrial Production report for November. The market generally considered the headline number, which registered a decline of 06%, to be not as bad feared.

We always dig into the report to see how the technology industry fared. The news is not good. Below we show two sets of charts of Industrial Production: one set for the sub-category of Computers and Peripheral Equipment and one set for the sub-category of Semiconductors.

Computers and Peripheral Equipment --

The first chart below the presents data from February through October. This report was released in November. Starting in spring of 2008, growth virtually came to a halt. Production just managed to hit a minor peak in June and then started to fall off slowly. Clearly not a good thing but not exactly a disaster for the industry.


This next chart presents the data from February through November and was released today. This time we display revised data for the June through September months. It can be seen tha…

Weekly Review - bulls hang on

OK, this is getting monotonous. Another week of reports indicating the economy is spiraling downward yet stocks manage to gain.

We had a major bankruptcy (Tribune Company), another bank failure, earnings warnings from a number of bellwether stocks (3M, FedEx, Texas Instruments, Kroger, Nucor, and Electronic Arts), announcements of major layoffs (Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Rio Tinto), initial jobless claims and continuing claims continuing their climb upward and a decline in retail sales that was awful but was not quite as bad as feared.

Then there were the bizarre developments on the far side of the law. The Illinois governor caught on tape trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama. Bernard Madoff, former chairman of the NASDAQ, arrested for admitting his investment operation was basically a Ponzi scheme and that $50 billion had been lost.

Finally, we had the Senate rejecting the bailout of the auto companies and George W Bush and the Treasury department rushing to rever…

Free Stock Alerts - Alert HQ for Dec 12, 2008 - 64 BUY signals

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan over 6800 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. We apply a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques to identify those stocks that are beginning to move. Our goal is to identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downside.

We had another run of consistently bad economic data this week combined with a number of bellwether stocks in a wide range of industries that reduced forward guidance. Jobless claims continued at recession levels, bonds continued to receive a flight to quality trade driving yields to record lows and retail sales were bad but not as bad as feared. Tribune Company declared bankruptcy and Bernie Madoff admitted $50 billion had evaporated as his investment company turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. These shocks to the system couldn't derail stocks to any great extent…

Trend Leaders for Dec 12, 2008 - free list of chart-busting stocks

This post is to announce that Trend Leaders, our latest list of stocks in strong up-trends, is now available at the TradeRadar site.

Readers of the TradeRadar blog are familiar with the Alert HQ free lists of stock alerts. With Alert HQ, we try to identify those stocks and ETFs that are making reversals. Every week we scan all the stocks listed on the NYSE, AMEX and NASDAQ, over 6800 securities in all, to find those stocks or ETFs that are generating actionable BUY signals or SELL signals.

As a byproduct of the Alert HQ process we are providing a list of all the stocks or ETFs that are currently in strong up-trends. We call them Trend Leaders and the list is, of course, absolutely free. These stocks are registering strong signals using Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD. They are also above their 50-day exponential moving average.

This week we have 111 stocks that made the cut. This is more that twice the number we had last week. On the economic front, news continued in a bad vein while a numb…

Who needs tech in a recession?

Back in the days when the Internet bubble burst, the technology industry had clearly gotten ahead of itself. There were so many routers deployed and so much fiber optic cable laid that significant network capacity remained unused for years to come.

Since then supply and demand has come into closer balance and the tech industry was able to resume its winning ways though with more restraint than during the Internet bubble days.

Now we are faced with a severe recession. How well is tech positioned this time? To understand the answer, we need to consider two markets: consumer and enterprise.

The Consumer --

Electronic gadgets tend to fall into the "nice to have" category when compared to buying food for the family or making mortgage payments. As such, the consumer market can be impacted by layoffs or fear of layoffs and the desire to keep credit card debt to a minimum when the economy seems to be crumbling around you.

Where many consumers often lined up to get the latest thing, that …

How does the Obama stimulus plan help tech?

Much has been written about the infrastructure aspects of Obama's stimulus plan. Clearly, fixing roads, federal buildings and schools will provide much needed work for construction workers suffering through a crash in the housing market.

The Obama team has, however, been shrewd enough to understand that a stimulus package for the nation needs to help a broad swath of industries. As a result, they have added a bit of high tech to their plans.

There are four main areas where tech is involved:
improve efficiency of the health care industry modernize schools develop a green economyease congested trafficLet's look at each in turn and see how it benefits tech.
Improve efficiency of the health care industry --This means software - software for creation and sharing of medical records between doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, software for managing prescriptions, software for tracking treatment regimens, etc.

At the heart of these systems there will be databases. That will favor co…

All that glitters -- four new ProShares ETFs

Last week ProFunds debuted four new ETFs that provide short or leveraged exposure to gold or silver. Here are the details:
Ultra Gold (UGL) - tracks the Gold Bullion price, London p.m. fix, 200% daily objectiveUltra Short Gold (GLL) - tracks the Gold Bullion price, London p.m. fix, -200% daily objectiveUltra Silver (AGQ) - tracks the Silver Bullion price, London fix, 200% daily objectiveUltra Short Silver (ZSL) - tracks the Silver Bullion price, London fix, -200% daily objectiveThese ETFs use futures and forward contracts to deliver twice the daily performance of the underlying for the Ultra ETFs and twice the inverse of the underlying for the Ultra Short ETFs on a daily basis.

As was the case with the recent introduction of the Ultra Crude Oil (UCO) and the Ultra Short Crude Oil (SCO), these new ETFs are a bit late in being introduced. The weekly chart below shows that gold peaked way back in March of 2008. Investors would have been glad to have had that Ultra Short Gold ETF around …

Remember JIT?

Back in the 80's, the acronym "JIT" became popular. This stood for Just-in-Time. The term was used to describe an inventory strategy whereby companies maintained on hand only enough material for immediate production and carefully monitored inventory levels to trigger re-ordering of parts. The goal was to not waste money on the carrying costs associated with excessive stocking up on large amounts of parts and raw materials.

This approach has become much more ingrained in industry over the years as business-to-business communication has improved and robust supply chain software has made its appearance.

Driven by recessionary caution, however, tech companies are taking things a bit further. It suggests they are driving the good old JIT concept to new levels.

Integrated circuit distributors now say that inventory levels are down to 2-3 weeks at many of their customers and may not recover until February 2009. These levels are roughly half of what is typically seen.

There are repo…

Weekly Review - indecision or a bottom?

Is it a bottom when horrific news results in a rally?

Friday, the non-farm payrolls report was released and it indicated 533,000 jobs were lost in November, the worst monthly decline since 1974. After initially moving lower the markets turned around and rallied, trimming the week's losses to a range of 2% to 3% for the major averages. Some analysts indicated the rally was based on "good" news from Hartford Financial, that the company wouldn't have to raise new capital and that earnings would "only" be down about 50%. Sounds great to me...

Other news during the week was equally lack luster. The ISM Index, a survey of national manufacturing conditions, registered a drop to 36.2, well under the 50 that would indicate contraction in the manufacturing sector. The NBER officially declared that we have been in a recession since December 2007 (no surprise there). Ben Bernanke remarked the Fed may use some unconventional methods such as buying Treasuries in the open m…