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Showing posts from May, 2009

Weekly Review - where's my trend? I need a friend...

Only four days of trading this past week but there was no lack of surprises.

Consumer Confidence, not normally a huge market mover, came in much better than expected and sparked a rally in spite of seriously disappointing housing data. Then we saw Treasury prices take a dive and stocks prices immediately followed suit. When it looked like the week was going to finish on a dismal note, stocks pulled off another "stick save" in the last half hour on Friday. Major averages finished the week with decent gains.

After a couple of weeks of falling prices, this week's gains are welcome but by no means does it say we are out of the woods. Looking at the TradeRadar statistics we see a market that isn't breaking out in any direction but is meandering along while still looking "toppy".
TradeRadar Alert HQ Stock Market Statistics --
Each week our Alert HQ process scans almost 7300 stocks and ETFs and records their technical characteristics. The following charts are based on…

Big Mo mixes in a little value

This is a brief post to present one of our custom stock screens.

We look to our Trend Leaders and Bollinger Band Breakouts as sources of stocks and ETFs with superior momentum. We look to our Cash Flow Kings to find stocks exhibiting an element of value. Combine the two and our Big Mo screen now shows those stocks with both solid fundamentals and rising prices.

The table below lists seven stocks with strong momentum based on daily data. Note that our Trend Leaders consist of stocks in strong up-trends based on Aroon, MACD and DMI. Combined with the kind of surging prices that generate Bollinger Band Breakouts, these stocks are definitely exhibiting leadership. Given the high cash flow yield each has, these stocks would appear to be solid candidates for your watchlist.

SymbolNameLast PriceMarket CapACFAMERICREDIT CORP.$12.71$1,688,000,000ANFABERCROMBIE & FITCH CO.$30.11$2,641,000,000GNKGENCO SHIPPING & TRADING LIMITED$26.15$829,200,000NBGNATIONAL BANK OF GREECE$5.71$13,995,000,000…

Durable Goods report - trends to watch in the Tech sector

Last Thursday the advanced Durable Goods report for April 2009 was released by the U.S. Census Bureau. I always look for clues in the report to see what is happening in the high tech industry. What does this month's report tell us?

Whither Semiconductors?

Initially, I was pretty encouraged by the surge in semiconductor shipments in April. Shipments were up 34.4% from March. Then I plotted the data for the last couple of years in the following chart.


This chart certainly shows a significant rebound in shipments in the most recent month. Unfortunately, it doesn't yet confirm a change in trend. You could a line from the January 2008 data point to the April 2009 data point and it would pretty much result in a straight line downtrend.

A bottom in Computers?

April resulted in continued minor weakness in the Computers and Related Products category. This is the sub-sector that includes PCs, servers and various other similar hardware. The following chart shows the data for Shipments.


Here al…

Weekend Winners and Losers - Alert HQ BUY and SELL signals for May 29, 2009

The latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ.

Each week we scan about 7300 stocks and ETFs, checking fundamentals, performing technical analysis and looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. Out of this process we generate the following lists:
Alert HQ stock alerts - based on a combination of proprietary and standard technical analysis techniques, we identify stocks or ETFs that are undergoing reversals, either to the upside or to the downsideTrend Leaders - a collection of stocks in strong up-trendsCash Flow Kings whose free cash flow yield is 25% or greaterBollinger Band Breakouts - stocks or ETFs that have moved at least 3% above their upper Bollinger Band or at least 3% below their lower Bollinger BandSwing Signals - stocks that have bounced off a higher or lower Bollinger Band
Trend Busters - stocks or ETFs that have violated a current trend. This week's results --

After a couple of disappointing weeks, stocks got their mojo back and, with the help of a last…

Thursday Trio: Trend Busters, Swing Signals and Trend Leaders for May 28, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Thursday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
32 Swing Signals -- 14 BUY signals and 18 SELL Signals515 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
12 Trend Busters of which 3 are BUY signals and 9 are SELL signalsTo my disappointment, we have another Thursday with no Strong BUYs or Strong SELLs in our list of Swing Signals.

We have a rather abbreviated list of Trend Busters today which kind of indicates that we may be in a rather range bound market this week.

Remember, if you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

SanDisk goes wild - was it justified?

SanDisk (SNDK) had a wild day today, gaining over 14% and helping the NASDAQ outperform the other major averages. Was it warranted?

The news that drove the stock today was related to SanDisk reaching an agreement with Samsung who manufactures NAND memory chips using technology covered by SanDisk patents. The previous seven year deal will expire in August of this year and investors were holding their breath waiting to see how the negotiations for a new deal would play out. Now we know.

The companies have entered into another seven year agreement. This is good for both companies in that Samsung is now sure that it will have uninterrupted access to SanDisk's patents and SanDisk, in turn, will have a consistent, reliable revenue stream from the royalties. So far so good.

Samsung, however, will in the future be paying roughly half what the current agreement stipulates. In other words, the $350M that SanDisk receives on an annual basis now will be reduced to about $175M. As a sweetener for…

Tuesday Swing Signals, Trend Busters and Trend Leaders for May 26, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Tuesday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
111 Swing Signals -- 99 BUY signals and 10 SELL Signals plus two Strong BUYs.
478 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
9 Trend Busters of which 1 is a BUY signal and 8 are SELL signalsBe sure to check out the Strong BUYs; when the market rises, these guys really outperform.

Using our signals --

If you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

Weekly Review - support levels in play, enough to keep the rally alive?

When all was said and done, it was surprising to see that the major averages actually finished the week with small gains. It felt like a very negative, down week with many stocks falling four days in a row. What happened?

Housing starts were lower than predicted, initial claims remained stubbornly above 600,000 and FOMC meeting minutes from April showed the Fed's expectations for growth were even more downbeat than the previous month's. Affecting sentiment in the U.S., the S&P downgraded the outlook for U.K. sovereign debt from stable to negative. This prompted bloggers to begin debating when the same might befall the U.S.

Not everything was down. Commodities had a decent week as the dollar fell and crude oil prices jumped.

Against this backdrop of negative news, the statistics we collect at TradeRadar pretty much confirm a weakening of enthusiasm among bulls. The two charts below demonstrate the state of the overall stock market.
TradeRadar Alert HQ Stock Market Statistics --

Alert HQ for the week ending May 22, 2009 -- Trend Leaders, Trend Busters, Swing Signals, stock alerts and more

The latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ.

Each week we scan about 7300 stocks and ETFs looking for fresh BUY and SELL signals. To generate our stock alerts, 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.

In addition to stock alerts, we have a lot more available at Alert HQ:
Trend Leaders - a collection of stocks in strong up-trendsCash Flow Kings whose free cash flow yield is 25% or greaterBollinger Band Breakouts - stocks or ETFs that have moved at least 3% above their upper Bollinger Band or at least 3% below their lower Bollinger BandSwing Signals - stocks that have bounced off a higher or lower Bollinger Band
Trend Busters - stocks or ETFs that have violated a current trend. Here is what we have this week --

Markets started strongly on Monday then weakened every d…

Thursday Trio: Trend Busters, Swing Signals and Trend Leaders for May 21, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Thursday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
48 Swing Signals -- 12 BUY signals and 36 SELL Signals474 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
232 Trend Busters of which 21 are BUY signals and 211 are SELL signalsTo my disappointment, we had no Strong BUYs or Strong SELLs in our list of Swing Signals.

More alarming, we see a bunch of ultra short ETFs on our list of Trend Busters and they are all busting out to the upside. Unless this move is nipped in the bud, it doesn't bode well for the market as a whole.

Remember, if you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

Surprising number of stocks increase dividends

Earlier this week I wrote a post that listed all the Growth Leaders from the 1Q2009 earnings season. These were the stocks that were able to register growth in both EPS and Revenues sequentially and year-over-year.

Today's post is in a similar vein. This time we are looking at dividends.

Since most dividend announcements are delivered along with earnings reports and earnings season is drawing to a close, this seems like a good time to list all those stocks managed to increase dividends.

Despite the fact that stocks are struggling to rise from bear market lows, there were a good number of stocks that were in decent enough financial shape that they were able to raise their dividends. Here is the breakdown:
Of the universe of stocks that we evaluated, there were 829 that increased dividends. That is over 11%Of these stocks, 140 were in the S&P 500. In other words, 28% of the stocks in the S&P 500 were able to raise their dividend payouts. Not bad for a recession and an index that…

Tuesday Swing Signals, Trend Busters and Trend Leaders for May 19, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Tuesday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
72 Swing Signals -- 59 BUY signals and 11 SELL Signals plus one Strong BUY and one Strong SELL
498 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
40 Trend Busters of which 2 are BUY signals and 38 are SELL signalsThis past weekend we published our first Strong BUY Swing Signals. All three are so far doing pretty well. Be sure to check out today's Strong BUY and Strong SELL.

Using our signals --

If you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

Earnings season is over - who were the Growth Leaders?

Earnings season is pretty much over now. Many companies managed to beat drastically reduced expectations. As a result, many bears focused on poor earnings quality and the fact that the bar had been lowered so far, it was no great accomplishment to exceed expectations.

There were a number of stocks, though, that beat fair and square. We compiled a list of stocks that had increased earnings per share sequentially and year-over-year and increased revenues sequentially and year-over-year. We had 218 stocks that made the list. We then cross referenced this list with the S&P 500 and came up with the following list of 27 stocks:

SymbolNameAETAETNA INC.AFLAFLAC INC.BMCBMC SOFTWARE, INC.GILDGilead Sciences, Inc.ORLYO'Reilly Automotive, Inc.PCLPLUM CREEK TIMBER COMPANY, INC.PGNPROGRESS ENERGY, INC.PEGPUBLIC SERVICE ENTERPRISE GROUP INCORPORATEDDGXQUEST DIAGNOSTICS INC.CRMSALESFORCE.COM, INC.LHLABORATORY CORP. OF AMER.VZVERIZON COMMUNICATIONSWAGWALGREENS CO.WPIWATSON PHARMACEUTICALSCMCSACo…

Weekly Review - new trend but in the wrong direction?

Well, we finally had a week where all the major averages moved together - downward. This makes two in row for the NASDAQ 100 though it's only the first week of declines for the others. Is this the new trend?

Technicians and non-technicians alike have been expecting a pullback and it's looking more and more like that's what's beginning to unfold. Declines this week were no joke with the Russell 2000 down 7% and the S&P 500 down 5%. Looking at sectors, financials fell a whopping 12% and, after retail sales for April came in below expectations, consumer discretionary fell over 7%.

The statistics we collect at TradeRadar pretty much confirm the downbeat assessment presented above. The two charts below demonstrate the state of the overall stock market.
TradeRadar Alert HQ Stock Market Statistics --
Each week our Alert HQ process scans almost 7300 stocks and ETFs and records their technical characteristics. The following charts are based on daily data and presents the state …

Updated Swing Signal approach yields three Strong BUYs

I wanted to call readers attention to a new feature that I added to the Alert HQ Swing Signals yesterday afternoon.

As you may know, the TradeRadar Swing Trading Signals are generated by identifying those stocks or ETFs that have exceeded their upper or lower Bollinger Band and then reverse back in within the Bollinger Band envelope. We also use Williams %R to help avoid whipsaw.

What we instituted yesterday afternoon was a simple trend detection method. For example, if our usual analysis generates a BUY signal, we now check to see if the 50-day exponential moving average is at least 1% higher than it was a week ago. If it is, we assume the trend is up-ward and we designate this signal a "Strong BUY"; otherwise, it will be listed as regular "BUY".

Similarly, in the case of SELL signals, we look for a down trend and if we have one we designate the signal a "Strong SELL".

Using this new approach, we expect to be able to separate Strong BUYs from the situation w…

Alert HQ for the week ending May 15, 2009 -- Trend Leaders, Trend Busters, Swing Signals, stock alerts and more

The power outage in our neighborhood last night caused us some delay, but I can now announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan about 7300 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.

In addition to alerts, we also have our lists of Trend Leaders, a collection of stocks in strong up-trends, Cash Flow Kings whose free cash flow yield is 25% or greater, Bollinger Band Breakouts, stocks or ETFs that have moved at least 3% above their upper Bollinger Band or at least 3% below their lower Bollinger Band, Swing Signals, stocks that have bounced off a higher or lower Bollinger Band and Trend Busters, stocks or ETFs that have violated a current trend. These lists are all available at

Industrial Production report - Tech sector on the mend?

Today the Fed released Industrial Production numbers for April. For the most part, the "less bad" theme remains intact.

The chart below presents month-over-month percent change for the three Technology sub-sectors.


The Computers and peripheral equipment sub-sector continues to show contraction but it has been contracting less and less each month after hitting a low point back in November 2008.

Communications equipment has had a few weak months since January 2009 but here also contraction is now greatly reduced.

Semiconductors have carved a pretty erratic path since July of last year but now seem to be much more stable. Though there is still contraction here, too, it is much, much less than that seen last year. It is troubling that this past month saw production decrease a bit more than in the prior month but if the other sub-sectors continue to improve, this decrease could be easily erased.

Conclusion --

I have often said that technology will lead us out of this recession and toda…

Trend Leaders - spotlight on the latest additions

Having just posted the Thursday Alert HQ signals consisting of Trend Busters, Trend Leaders and Swing Signals, it occurred to me that it would be useful to see what stocks or ETFs were new to the Trend Leaders list.

One of the issues affecting analysis of the market lately is that so many stocks have been in steep up-trends. This means that the Trend Leaders list is pretty big each time we run it, often listing well over 1000 entries. The sheer volume sometimes makes it difficult to pick out the stocks of interest. That is why I have implemented functionality to allow you to sort the data. Still, I realize that may not be enough.

Spotlight on today's leaders --

Today the market was pretty strong, but just prior to today it had suffered a number of weak sessions. The result is that the Trend Leaders list has dwindled to less than 500. Over 700 stocks fell off the list since it was last run on Tuesday night though 382 stocks still remain.

Below I have listed those stocks and ETFs that a…

Thursday Trend Busters, Swing Signals and Trend Leaders for May 14, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Thursday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
80 Swing Signals -- 43 BUY signals and 37 SELL Signals435 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
67 Trend Busters of which 3 are BUY signals and 64 are SELL signalsToday the market showed good gains but the previous few days were definitely weak. This is causing inconsistency in our numbers. We have a big jump in SELL signals in our Trend Busters list but our Swing Signals list, which is more short-term oriented, shows the BUY signals outnumbering the SELL signals. Looking a little more long term due to the moving average filtering involved, our list of Trend Leaders has decreased in size considerably since Tuesday.

Remember, if you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Bus…

Leading and lagging indicators - where does Tech go from here?

So how do we view the most recent data from the tech sector? We two economic reports and comments from a CEO. They can be looked at as lagging and leading indicators respectively. How much weight do we give to each?

First, a lagging indicator --

From today's report of the ADVANCE MONTHLY SALES FOR RETAIL TRADE AND FOOD SERVICES, we see that retail electronics sales fell sequentially March to April 2.8%. The table below summarizes the weakness in sequential and year-over-year sales.


Apr 2009 adv. from --Mar 2009 prelim. from --Kind of BusinessMar 2009 (p)Apr 2008 (r)Feb 2009 (r)Mar 2008 (r)Electronics & appliance stores-2.8-12.0-7.8-8.8
We know the enterprise technology sector is more or less just limping along. Without the retail consumer buying gadgets and big screen TVs, the tech sector will find it difficult to mount a true recovery.

Now the leading indicator --

Yesterday, Intel's CEO Paul Otellini spoke at a conference at the company's headquarters. Otellini was quoted a…

Tuesday Swing Signals, Trend Busters and Trend Leaders for May 12, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Tuesday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
94 Swing Signals -- 13 BUY signals and 81 SELL Signals1161 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
63 Trend Busters of which 8 are BUY signals and 55 are SELL signalsSince I have a fascination with numbers, I am always trying to obtain some insights into the market from these results. Today it seems we have a preponderance of SELL signals yet our list of Trend Leaders remains large. A schizophrenic market? A pullback just getting started? We've certainly had some pretty tough days on the NASDAQ recently while the rest of the market has managed to hold up fairly decently. Are we seeing a rotation of leadership? Tech is slipping while commodities are gaining (have you noticed the breakout of the natural gas ETFs? we saw it starting days ago at Alert HQ). In the meantime…

Weekly Review - it's all about banks, jobs and Cisco

This week, the stock market focused on three major themes: banks, jobs and Cisco.

With respect to the banks, this week was all about the stress tests. Data has been leaking out about the test results for over a week now so when the official release came, there were no real surprises. As expected, 10 of 19 banks were identified as needing capital. Bank of America needed the most, $34B, as had already been leaked. Investors reacted with relief that the results weren't much worse and banks led the S&P 500 up strongly, with the index tacking on 5.9% this week. (For an interesting take on the impact of the stress tests on the chart of the S&P 500 and where we might go from here, check out this video from the folks at MarketClub)

As for jobs, we had both the ADP report and the government's Non-Farm Payrolls report. ADP came in much better than expected; ie, less people lost their jobs in April than lost their jobs in March and for the first time in a while, the number was unde…

Alert HQ for the week ending May 8, 2009 -- Trend Leaders, Trend Busters, Swing Signals, stock alerts and more

This post is to announce that the latest list of free stock alerts is up and available at Alert HQ. Each week we scan about 7300 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.

In addition to alerts, we also have our lists of Trend Leaders, a collection of stocks in strong up-trends, Cash Flow Kings whose free cash flow yield is 25% or greater, Bollinger Band Breakouts, stocks or ETFs that have moved at least 3% above their upper Bollinger Band or at least 3% below their lower Bollinger Band, Swing Signals, stocks that have bounced off a higher or lower Bollinger Band and Trend Busters, stocks or ETFs that have violated a current trend. These lists are all available at Alert HQ.

Here is what we have this week --

Tech stocks weakened and b…

Thursday Trend Busters, Swing Signals and Trend Leaders for May 7, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Thursday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
87 Swing Signals -- 20 BUY signals and 67 SELL Signals1265 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
40 Trend Busters of which 5 are BUY signals and 35 are SELL signalsToday's market sell-off is definitely reflected in our numbers today. We have a big jump in SELL signals in both our Trend Busters list and our Swing Signals list. On the other hand, our list of Trend Leaders has actually increased in size slightly since Tuesday showing that this market hasn't quite rolled over yet.

Remember, if you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

Jacobs Engineering - charts and fundamentals aligned for more gains?

In looking through the list of Swing Signals we generatedTuesday night, there was one stock that looked especially interesting.

The stock is Jacobs Engineering (JEC). By way of background, the company provides technical, professional, and construction services to industrial, commercial, and governmental customers worldwide.

Looking at the technical setup, it seems to be poised for further gains. Today, as a matter of fact, it gained 2.5%.

Generating a BUY signal on the list of Swing Signals means that JEC bounced off its lower Bollinger Band and that Williams %R is greater than -80. What makes this more interesting than some of the other stocks on the Swing Signals list is that it appears JEC has now retested its 50-day moving average.

After spending April vacillating around the 50-DMA, the stock finally took off from the high $30's into the high $40's. It has now fallen slightly below the 50-DMA and promptly rebounded above it. This implies that the 50-DMA is providing support. A…

Tuesday Swing Signals, Trend Busters and Trend Leaders for May 5, 2009

This is a quick post to announce that Tuesday's Trend Leaders, Swing Signals and Trend Busters are now available at Alert HQ. All are based on daily data.

Today we have the following:
33 Swing Signals -- 18 BUY signals and 15 SELL Signals1238 Trend Leaders, all in strong up-trends according to Aroon, MACD and DMI
25 Trend Busters of which 6 are BUY signals and 19 are SELL signalsIf you're a momentum trader, the Trend Leaders list is a good place to go shopping. If you practice technical analysis, check out the Trend Busters. And if you are a short-term trader, our Swing Signals may provide some good trading ideas.

What is the Mo-Mo screen? 38 stocks you might want to know

We are now more or less two thirds of the way through earnings season. This seems like a good time to revisit a screen we first ran about a month ago.

Using the data we generate as we scan over 7200 stocks and ETFs at Alert HQ, we assembled a screen that is composed of stocks with the following characteristics:
The stock must have shown sequential quarterly growth as well as year-over-year growth in both EPS and RevenueThe stock must have appeared on the TradeRadar Trend Leaders list this past weekend. This means that, besides being above their 50-DMA, they have also been determined to be in strong up-trends according to Aroon analysis, DMI and MACD.Consider this the Mo-Mo Screen: a combination of price momentum and earnings/revenue momentum. Below is this month's list (note that prices are as of last Friday, 05-01-09).

SymbolNameLast PriceMarket CapPEAGLAGL RESOURCES INC.$31.41 $2,415,000,000 11ARBARBITRON INC.$20.88 $551,900,000 16.79ATKALLIANT TECHSYSTEMS INC.$82.17 $2,689,000…