Scott Martindaleby Scott Martindale
President, Sabrient Systems LLC

From the standpoint of the performance of the broad market indexes, US stocks held up okay over the past four weeks, including a good portion of a volatile June. However, all was not well for cyclicals, emerging markets (including China), and valuation-driven active selection in general, including Sabrient’s GARP (growth at reasonable price) portfolios. Top-scoring cyclical sectors in our models like Financial, Industrial, and Materials took a hit, while defensive sectors (and dividend-paying “bond proxies”) Utilities, Real Estate, Consumer Staples, and Telecom showed relative strength. According to BofA’s Savita Subramanian, “June was a setback for what might have been a record year for active managers.” The culprit? Macro worries in a dreaded news-driven trading environment, given escalating trade tensions, increasing protectionism, diverging monetary policy among central banks, and a strong dollar. But let’s not throw in the towel on active selection just yet. At the end of the day, stock prices are driven by interest rates and earnings, and both remain favorable for higher equity prices and fundamentals-based stock-picking.

Some investors transitioned from a “fear of missing out” at the beginning of the year to a worry that things are now “as good as it gets” … and that it might be all downhill from here. Many bearish commentators expound on how we are in the latter stages of the economic cycle while the bull market in stocks has become “long in the tooth.” But in spite of it all, little has changed with the fundamentally strong outlook underlying our bottom-up quant model, characterized by synchronized global economic growth (albeit a little lower than previously expected), strong US corporate earnings, modest inflation, low global real interest rates, a stable global banking system, and of course historic fiscal stimulus in the US (tax cuts and deregulation), with the US displaying relative favorability for investments. Sabrient’s fundamentals-based GARP model still suggests solid tailwinds for cyclicals, and indeed the start of this week showed some strong comebacks in several of our top picks – not surprising given their lower valuations, e.g., forward P/E and PEG (P/E to EPS growth ratio).

Looking ahead, expectations are high for a big-league 2Q18 earnings reporting season. But the impressive 20% year-over-year EPS growth rate for the S&P 500 is already baked into expectations, so investor focus will be on forward guidance and how much the trade rhetoric will impact corporate investment plans, including capex and hiring. I still don’t think the trade wars will escalate sufficiently to derail the broad economic growth trajectory; there is just too much pain that China and the EU would have to endure at a time when they are both seeking to deleverage without stunting growth. So, we will soon see what the corporate chieftains decide to do, hopefully creating the virtuous circle of supply begetting demand begetting more supply, and so on. Furthermore, the compelling valuations on the underappreciated market segments may be simply too juicy to pass up – unless you believe there’s an imminent recession coming. For my money, I still prefer the good ol’ USA for investing, and I think there is sufficient domestic and global demand for both US fixed income and equities, especially small caps.

In this periodic update, I provide a market commentary, offer my technical analysis of the S&P 500, review Sabrient’s latest fundamentals-based SectorCast rankings of the ten US business sectors, and serve up some actionable ETF trading ideas. In summary, our sector rankings still look bullish, while the sector rotation model has returned to a bullish posture as investors position for a robust Q2 earnings season. Read on....

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.

Scott MartindaleFive years ago this month, the S&P 500 hit all-time high of 1576. It closed Wednesday at 1461. Can the market make a run at that all-time high? Well, the biggest threat at the moment to bullish sentiment is the Fiscal Cliff, but both presidential candidates have a plan for dealing with it, and Congress is unlikely to want to take the fall for defying the new President and sending the country back into recession.

smartindale / Tag: ETF, sectors, iShares, VIX, SPY, qqq, iyw, IYF, IYH, IYK, IYE, IYC, IYJ, IYM, IYZ, IDU, AAPL, GOOG, TRV, MA, QCOM, CVX, AA, YUM, WMT, BAC, C, JPM, INTC, IBM / 0 Comments

Scott MartindaleAs earnings season gets underway, it has become clear that there is a disconnect between the bull market in stocks and the ability of the companies behind those stocks to generate any revenue growth in a weak global economy. Although U.S. companies have shown eleven consecutive quarters of year-over-year earnings growth, Wall Street analysts have continued to slash forward earnings estimates, and indeed it is reflected in Sabrient’s SectorCast model.

smartindale / Tag: ETF, iShares, sectors, VIX, SPY, IYF, iyw, IYK, IYH, IYE, IYC, IYJ, IYZ, IDU, IYM, AAPL, GOOG, CVX, YUM, COST, WMT, AA, Y, MA / 0 Comments

The lack of money is the root of all evil.”—Mark Twain

Friday’s market action was more schizophrenic than usual, as traders and investors couldn’t decide if the unexpectedly upbeat unemployment report was enough to offset growing concerns about the new earnings season, slated to begin next week.

daniel / Tag: AA, VXX, VIX, Eurozone, China, QE3 / 0 Comments

“Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”  -- Woody Allen 

daniel / Tag: JPM, AA, Eurozone / 0 Comments

Its earnings season again!  Q2 results began today with a so-so report from Alcoa (AA), but they will end the week with much awaited reports from JP Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).  To be fair, the market began the week on the tail end of a trio of bad stories, a not-so-dynamic duo of emerging stories from the banking sector, and a single focus on the upcoming election.

david / Tag: SAIA, ZAGG, VCI, GBX, WFC, JPM, AA / 0 Comments

You knew a bigger pullback would happen eventually. It was only a matter of when it would come, what would be the catalyst, and how far it would fall. In fact, investors have been hoping for a pullback to serve as an entry point to put more cash to work.

smartindale / Tag: AA, AAPL, DFS, ETF, IDU, IYC, IYE, IYH, IYI, IYJ, IYK, IYM, iyw, IYZ, linkedin, RF, sectors, SPY, TIBX, VIX / 0 Comments

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” -- Buddha

You may forgive Wall Street if it is acting a bit giddy as of late. It has just come off one of its best first quarters in over ten years, and after the wild ride of 2011, who can blame it for a round or two of light-headed celebration?

daniel / Tag: AA, AAPL, COMP, DJIA, euro-zone, European Union, EWP EU, IEV, LTRO-1, LTRO-2, PIIGS, SPX, VGK / 0 Comments

Market Rally Continues But Not Sure Why...

By David Brown, Chief Market Strategist, Sabrient Systems

david / Tag: AA, AAPL, CVI, GOOG, JPM, RS, sectors, UTHR / 0 Comments

Pages