Daily Market Update – April 28, 2015

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – April 28, 2015  (9:00 AM)

 

Apple reported nice earnings yesterday and continued its assault on the $1 trillion market capitalization line, as it also approaches the $1,000/share level prior to its stock split.

The market cap of Apple is even more amazing when you consider how many shares have now been bought back and retired, no longer being counted toward that $1 trillion mark.

But unlike 2011 and much of 2012 when the S&P 500 could have been summarized simply on the basis of Apple’s moves, it is no longer the stock that moves markets up and down, just as IBM had been in an earlier era.

With the market in mild decline yesterday and with early indications of some mild decline continuing this morning, there doesn’t appear to be too much euphoria, even as Apple is pennies away from an all time high as the morning session is about to begin. The early DJIA numbers would be far weaker, though, if Apple and Merck, also having reported earnings, were not both up so stroingly.

As is often the case, news becomes stale quickly, especially as there’s more news coming and this week has plenty of more news coming, as earnings will keep pouring in all throughout the week.

With the FOMC meeting beginning today the last 2 months have gotten away from that strange habit of earlier months that saw unusual moves much higher on the day prior to the release.

Whatever confidence investors had about what would be contained in the FOMC Statement has vanished, as now it’s hard to know whether there is actually any news that could possibly be considered as being positive for the market in the near term.

The biggest fear, that of increasing interest rates coming sooner rather than later, could be assuaged if the GDP comes in weak tomorrow morning, as expected.

However, while those fears may be put on hold, a rational person would be concerned that the economy isn’t heating up enough to warrant even the slightest of interest rate increases.

Those rate increases usually come as corporate earnings are climbing strongly, but that’s not really the case at the moment. So if the FOMC is focused and hell bent on increasing rates, one has to wonder whether, in the face of lackluster profit growth, that interest rate increase might not be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back and created the correction that seems so long overdue.

I’m glad other people get paid to think about those sort of things. They are far too complex even for those people that know what they’re looking at, thinking about and creating policy.

With a couple of purchases yesterday, a rollover and the sale of a call on an uncovered position, I should maybe think about calling it a week.

But with cash available and some positions still within the realm of possibility of either being assigned or rolled over, I wouldn’t mind making some more purchases.

With the market appearing to open the morning with
a mildly negative tone, I’m not expecting many opportunities to do what I would really like to do and simply sell more calls on uncovered positions. While there’s still the possibility of adding positions, something would have to seem as a really strong buy to do so before tomorrow’s potentially big GDP and FOMC news.

 

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Daily Market Update – April 27, 2015 (Close)

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – April 27, 2015  (Close)

 

Compared to last week, anything would qualify as being a busy week, but this coming week will meet the definition at any time.

In addition to being the second of the two busiest earnings weeks each quarter, getting started with Apple after today’s closing bell, there’s lots more on tap.

Before Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC Statement is released, there will also be a GDP Report.

That tandem may be a powerful combination.

With the FOMC meeting crafting its statement lasting for  1 1/2 days, that GDP release may change the verbiage used in the final statement release.

The question needing to be answered from the GDP Report is whether or not the anticipated consumer led expansion from decreasing energy prices is ever going to happen.

The expectation is that it may, but not yet.

Sooner or later weather can’t keep being an excuse.

After the GDP is release we get to scour the FOMC Statement and try to figure out whether interest rate increases will happen sooner or maybe wait until the next winter, when it would serve as the perfect anti-complement to weather induced slow-downs.

As busy as the week may be, with the exception of the Apple report today, there wasn’t not too much going on to move markets.

The early futures trading were looking to add to Friday’s closing highs in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ, but the day ended up being very listless.

In fact, it was interesting that early on, while the market was higher, the Volatility Index was actually also higher, whereas it would have been expected to have gone lower.

However, if you looked at the minute charts for the S&P 500 you would have seen that there were lots of ups and downs during that time period of the first 2 hours, that despite being in a narrow range,, really did satisfy the mathematical definition of volatility, despite our not perceiving it as such.

With a little more cash in hand and a handful of positions expiring this week that are at least in striking range of their strikes, I’m again hopeful for a week that will have a decent combination of new call options sold, rollovers and assignments.

With that cash, I’m a little less reluctant to add new positions, but will likely look for weekly option expirations and try to balance the number of new positions with the number of assignments that I think me be likely.

The turned out to bbe the case today to start the week, with 2 new positions initiated, one rollover and even a call sale on a long uncovered position, Coach, which happens to report earnings tomorrow.

With the FOMC and GDP having the ability to significantly alter the path of the market, I definitely do not want to get
too far out ahead of it and may also consider adding new positions after the FOMC Statement release, but then looking at the following week’s expiration.

As the morning got ready to begin, I was, as expected, an observer and wasn’t too eager to jump aboard if the climb happened to go much higher from where the futures were indicating. With a little decline from the early modest climb up, it looked like a good time to get involved and wait for the ride that may be coming later in the week.

In the meantime, as the march does continue higher and with concerns that it brings added downside risk, there may also be reason to again focus on the added value and safety that dividends may provide in the near term. Hopefully, today’s purchase of Kinder Morgan, which is ex-dividend tomorrow is a step in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

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Daily Market Update – April 27, 2015

 

 

 

Daily Market Update – April 27, 2015  (9:00 AM)

 

Compared to last week, anything would qualify as being a busy week, but this coming week will meet the definition at any time.

In addition to being the second of the two busiest earnings weeks each quarter, getting started with Apple after today’s closing bell, there’s lots more on tap.

Before Wednesday afternoon’s FOMC Statement is released, there will also be a GDP Report.

That tandem may be a powerful combination.

With the FOMC meeting crafting its statement lasting for  1 1/2 days, that GDP release may change the verbiage used in the final statement release.

The question needing to be answered from the GDP Report is whether or not the anticipated consumer led expansion from decreasing energy prices is ever going to happen.

The expectation is that it may, but not yet.

Sooner or later weather can’t keep being an excuse.

After the GDP is release we get to scour the FOMC Statement and try to figure out whether interest rate increases will happen sooner or maybe wait until the next winter, when it would serve as the perfect anti-complement to weather induced slow-downs.

As busy as the week may be, with the exception of the Apple report today, there’s not too much going on to move markets.

The early futures trading is looking to add to Friday’s closing highs in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ.

With a little more cash in hand and a handful of positions expiring this week that are at least in striking range of their strikes, I’m again hopeful for a week that will have a decent combination of new call options sold, rollovers and assignments.

With that cash, I’m a little less reluctant to add new positions, but will likely look for weekly option expirations and try to balance the number of new positions with the number of assignments that I think me be likely.

With the FOMC and GDP having the ability to significantly alter the path of the market, I definitely do not want to get too far out ahead of it and may also consider adding new positions after the FOMC Statement release, but then looking at the following week’s expiration.

As the morning gets ready to begin, I will likely be an observer and wouldn’t be to eager to jump aboard if the climb goes much higher from where the futures are indicating. However, any weakness in positions that are on the radar, including those from previous week’s may still be open game, such as American Express, which received a downgrade this morning.

In the meantime, as the march does continue higher and with concerns that it brings added downside risk, there may
also be reason to again focus on the added value and safety that dividends may provide in the near term.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dashboard – April 27 – May 1, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

SELECTIONS

MONDAY:   It will be a busy week with earnings and lots of economic news, including an FOMC Statement release and GDP data, as the market opens the week at new highs.

TUESDAY:    Apple delighted with its earnings after yesterday’s close, but it no longer leads markets up and down as it did in 2011 and 2012. There’s lots more earnings reports to come this week in addition to economic news, but the market needs something to build on last week’s record high closings.

WEDNESDAY: The GDP report and the FOMC Statement release should be enough for one day, but most will still be talking about the Twitter debacle, both in form and function

THURSDAY:  A busy week continues as Jobless Claims and Personal Income and Outlays reports are released and will give the FOMC more or less reason to do anything aqt their next meeting, which is the one that many picked as when interest rate increases would finally begin

FRIDAY: Thursday’s sell off ruined a good April. Hopefully the “Sell in May and Go Away” crowd will have second thoughts

 

 

 


 



 

                                                                                                                                           

Today's TradesCash-o-Meter

 

 

 





 “SNEAK PEEK AT NEXT WEEK” APPEARS ON FRIDAYS

Sneak PeekPie Chart Distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Summary

  

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Weekend Update – April 26, 2015

 

The question of how much longer this market rally can keep going is the same question that’s been asked ever since the last time the market had a 10% loss.

Actually even that time, way back in April 2102, it wasn’t quite a 10% loss. For that, you would have to go back to 2011.

But that’s splitting hairs.

I wish I would have known Michael Batnick, also know as “The Irrelevant Investor” on Twitter, back in those days.

He had the answer to that burning question that is every bit as applicable today as it was every time the market hit a new high over the past few years.

With each of those highs and the gap between corrections growing and growing, it reminded me of the fallacy of believing that after 8 straight spins of the roulette wheel falling on “red” the next spin just had to yield “black.”

The belief that “this time it’s going to be different” is frequently held by those who don’t get shamed even after having been already fooled twice.

Had I known Michael Batnick in 2011, 2012, 2013 or even 2014, he would have told me that it’s hard to make a bear case on the basis of the duration of any move, because the duration is never knowable.

Since I was one of those certain that the ninth spin would just have to fall on black, I’ve also been one of those waiting for a correction since having recovered from the one in 2012. Not only waiting, but convinced that with each and every week we were a week closer to that inevitable decline.

At least that logic wasn’t totally flawed, as we did get a week closer to everything. But mostly, what we’ve gotten closer to has been the next rally higher.

What do you say about a week that ends with the S&P 500 being 1.7% higher and closing at a new all time high, while at the same time the NASDAQ 100 closes at a 15 year high? Granted those S&P 500 highs have come fairly often and fairly regularly, so they don’t really mean very much, but for those that thought that the NASDAQ could never see 5000 again, a good case can be made for never giving up hope.

That’s why I never give up hope that there’s a correction coming.

NASDAQ has given me the strength.

This past week was one almost totally devoid of economic news. Instead, it was one fully dominated by earnings, as it was the first of the two most busy weeks of earnings reports every quarter.

The earnings pattern that has become clear is that revenues are down, but profits are up, especially if you focus on the “earnings per share” part of the report. The lesson to that may be that if you can’t grow your revenues simply find a strategy to shrink your share numbers.

Hashtag “buybacks.”

As long as revenues are lower as a result of the currency exchange issues that everyone has been expecting, the market has been kind. Surprisingly, however, the market has also been kind when companies have taken their guidance lower.

Next week, while still highly focused on earnings, two events within hours of one another may disrupt or enhance the party currently under way and take some attention away from earnings.

Just a few hours before an FOMC Statement release will be a GDP Report. Expectations are that the GDP report will be disappointing, particularly in light of earlier expectations for a consumer led surge in GDP. While disappointing GDP growth could quiet fears of an interest rate increase among those that are still hung up on that eventuality, it could also give FOMC doves another month to hold court.

Is that good news or bad news?

The longer the FOMC doves continue to influence monetary policy the more doubt there can be regarding the strength of economic recovery.

That can’t be good news.

Since it seems as if even bad news has been taken as good news for such a long time, it would seem natural to believe that sooner or later we would be due for some bad news to be finally taken as bad news.

You would think that sooner or later I would learn.

As usual, the week’s potential stock selections are classified as being in Traditional, Double Dip Dividend, Momentum or “PEE” categories.

Among those not faring well this earnings season was General Motors (NYSE:GM), predominantly on disappointing foreign news that went beyond currency exchange. Following a boost in share price following
some quick activist intervention it has returned to a level that makes it more enticing to re-enter into a position.

Having spent only $400 million on its promised $5 billion in share buybacks through the first quarter, as part of its activist appeasement, there is at least something to keep share price artificially inflated as it also artificially inflates earnings per share.

What General Motors has offered amidst all of the uncertainty and bad news over the past year has been an attractive option premium and a good dividend that, thanks to the same activist, is now even better.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F) reports earnings this week and also goes ex-dividend.

I’m not terribly interested in taking earnings risk with Ford, but those earnings are reported the morning of the day before it goes ex-dividend. In the event of a downward move after earnings are released, I would be interested in buying shares if the move down strongly after earnings.

The options market is implying a move of only 3.5%. If it approaches or exceeds that to the downside, I might take that as an indication to buy shares, although I might consider using an extended weekly option, perhaps expiring May 8, 2015, rather than the weekly option that I would ordinarily use.

Also going ex-dividend this week and also having had a difficult time following its earnings release this week is Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN).

In a market that suddenly seems to like “old tech,” what’s older than Texas Instruments? I can still remember buying the most rudimentary of calculators for about $150 more than 40 years ago and thinking that we had now seen everything.

What I didn’t think I would see was a nearly 8% decline on earnings last week. That leaves it still well above its yearly high, but may represent a good re-starting point, particularly as the dividend is at hand, as well. While semi-conductors may have had a hard go of things lately, if looking for a global correction in order to get a better entry point, you may be better served by settling for a more focused correction.

While I don’t like buying shares when they are near their yearly highs, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) may be an exception, particularly as it is ex-dividend this week.

In the world of energy related companies that have been under significant stress, Kinder Morgan has ironically been a breath of fresh air as it stores and transports combustible fuels for a nation that gets even more energy hungry as prices are dropping.

Cypress Semiconductor (NASDAQ:CY) is a company that I always like owning. Mostly it has been due to the admiration that I have for its CEO, TJ Rodgers, as long as he sticks to his CEO and incubator patron roles.

Occasionally he veers into other areas and then I have to remind myself that what I really admire is the ability to make money by investing in Cypress Semiconductor and that’s far more important than admiration or personal politics.

With its acquisition of Spansion being hailed by investors shares surged to a point that was well outside my comfort zone, but following a 20% decline in the past month, it is now at the upper level of that zone.

Cypress Semiconductor is often very volatile at earnings and this time will likely be no different. While I usually want to consider the sale of puts prior to earnings, in this case I would probably consider the purchase of shares, especially if they continue to move downward in the early part of the week and then consider a sale of June 2015 option contracts, rather than the May 2015 variety, thereby providing additional time for shares to recover if shares drop drastically.

Finally, I’ve been waiting for a chance to enter into a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) position one way or another. In 2014 I had positions on 10 different occasionsand spent most of that time trying to avoid being assigned shares after having sold put contracts.

In hindsight, I don’t mind the very high maintenance that those positions required, however, the perception of Twitter has changed, as it seems to actually have a plan to monetize itself. More importantly it has the means and the people to execute on their strategies that continue to evolve.

Following a period of withering criticism of its leadership, the unequivocal show of support for its CEO, Dick Costolo by the Board as well as some Twitter founders, seemed to stem the tide of calls for his resignation.

That and earnings.

Following a large move higher after its last earnings report and then slowly migrating higher over the subsequent 3 months, the options market is implying an 11% move next week.

However, a 1% ROI may be possible if selling a weekly put contract even if shares fall by as much as 13.6%. If selling puts and faced with an adverse move beyond the range implied by the options market, my past experience with Twitter has shown that the options market is liquid enough to have a good chance of being able to roll over those puts if trying to avoid assignment and wait out the price cycle until it starts to show signs of recovery.

Alternatively, it has also offered a chance to assume ownership of shares and then generate income by selling calls, that always have premiums reflecting the underlying risk and volatility of the shares.

Traditional Stocks: General Motors

Momentum Stocks: none

Double Dip Dividend: Ford Motor (4/29), Kinder Morgan (4/28), Texas Instruments (4/28)

Premiums Enhanced by Earnings: Cypress Semiconductor (4/30 AM), Twitter (4/28 PM)

Remember, these are just guidelines for the coming week. The above selections may become actionable, most often coupling a share purchase with call option sales or the sale of covered put contracts, in adjustment to and consideration of market movements. The overriding objective is to create a healthy income stream for the week with reduction of trading risk.

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