Last week, stocks cycled bullish yet again. In fact, the S&P 500, NYSE Composite, and NASDAQ each closed at record highs as investors positioned for the heart of earnings season in the wake of strong reports from some of the Tech giants. Notably, Utilities stocks got some renewed traction as yield-starved investors returned to the sector.

When I’m in my sales role, I view every prospective client as falling into one of two broad baskets: those looking for a reason to say yes, and those looking for a reason to say no. I always try to focus on the former and spend little time on the latter. Likewise, last week’s market was dominated by those looking for a reason to sell. And so they did. Good news in the jobs and unemployment reports spooked investors on Friday, and stocks fell hard. So, for the moment we are back to a Fed-driven good-news-is-bad-news story line, or so it would seem.

Investors in U.S. equities seem to have embraced a new market paradigm in which upside spikes come more swiftly than the downside selloffs. Remember when it used to be the other way around? When fear was stronger than greed? The market is consolidating its gains off the early-October V-bottom reversal, and no one seems to be in any hurry to unload shares this time around, with the holidays rapidly approaching and all.

Scott MartindaleAfter its long-awaiting breakout of the 1900 level the other week, the S&P 500 gained another +1.3% last week alone, but this double-low progression as I call it -- i.e., on extremely low volume and with persistently low volatility -- is worrisome.

Scott MartindaleOverall, the economy appears to be on a steady path to recovery. As the Federal Reserve eventually allows interest rates to rise, we likely will see a rotation out of value and into growth as defensive debt-intensive companies struggle relative to companies that have lower debt burden and stronger prospective earnings growth.

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Scott MartindaleBulls continue to climb their wall of worry, as uncertainty from the latest “bricks in the wall” created by Russia in Crimea, slowing growth in China, and Fed tapering fades into the mosaic.

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Backed by positive economic announcements from the Empire Manufacturing Index and Industrial Production, along with much improved growth from Europe, the market broke its string of four losing sessions with the S&P gaining 0.6% and the recently weak Russell 2000 up a sturdy 1.2%. Virtually all sectors did well, led by Energy, Industrials and Financials.  Energy was up by more than 1%.

david / Tag: IWM, AAPL, ARRS, JBLU / 0 Comments

The market ended last week up about 1% with Large-cap Growth leading the way, up 1.15%.  Worst was the cap/style that has led for over a year, Small-cap Growth, up only 0.08%.  Clearly, traders were cautious, as value did better than growth in Mid- and Small-caps.  Large-cap leading is another sign of caution. 

david / Tag: AAPL, HCLP, RESI / 0 Comments

Scott MartindaleAs most everyone expected, Congressional brinksmanship gave way to an eleventh hour agreement that will put the government back in business and raise the debt ceiling. However, it’s only a temporary measure that merely defers another knock-down/drag-out for a few months. The question is, how will investors react after an initial bullish burst of relief?

smartindale / Tag: iShares, sectors, ETF, SPY, VIX, IWM, IBM, YHOO, INTC, AXP, EBAY, MA, N, AAPL, RE, iyw, IYF, IYE, IYH, IDU, IYK, IYC, IYM, IYZ / 0 Comments

Scott MartindaleStocks have shown some resiliency this week as they have made an attempt to recover from last week’s weakness, which was primarily due to the imminent threat of a US strike on Syria. Also, the senior portfolio managers are returning to the fold after taking some time off in late August, and they are likely seeing more opportunities than threats at the moment.

smartindale / Tag: iShares, sectors, ETF, SPY, VIX, JAZZ, AAPL, ATHN, AMP, BLK, iyw, IYF, IYE, IYJ, IDU, IYZ, IYM, IYC, IYK, IYH / 0 Comments

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