Tuesday
Oct072014

Bespoke -- Your Go-To Resource During Earnings Season

Earnings season begins on Wednesday with Alcoa's (AA) report.  Below is a chart showing the number of earnings reports by day through the end of November for Russell 3,000 stocks.  As you can see, things don't really pick up until late October and early November.  

With a relatively small number of companies set to report over the next two weeks, now is the time to prepare yourself for the deluge of daily reports that will hit later this month.  

So how do you get prepared?  Bespoke has you covered with multiple earnings-related offerings.

Our Interactive Earnings Season Calendar contains a list of all of the stocks set to report earnings this season sorted by both date and stock.  This is not just any list, though.  Our calendar contains key earnings data for each stock, including its historical earnings and revenue beat rates, guidance trends, and finally -- how the stock typically moves on earnings.  The calendar is sent out in both PDF and Excel formats.  With the Excel version, you can sort and filter the calendar in any way you wish.

The full version of our Q3 earnings calendar is only available to Bespoke Premium and Bespoke Institutional clients.  But you can see a sample of the Q3 calendar by clicking here.  In the sample version, the alphabetically sorted sheet contains a number of stocks with "A" tickers, while the sheet sorted by date includes stocks set to report over the next week.  The full version of this quarter's calendar contains report dates for more than 2,250 stocks set to report between now and early November!  Subscribe to Bespoke Premium or Institutional today for access.

An even more more expansive database that we offer is our Interactive Earnings Report Database.  This database contains detailed information for every company's quarterly earnings reports going back to 2001.  Unlike the Earnings Calendar, which is available to Bespoke Premium members, our Earnings Report Database is only available to Bespoke Institutional members.  

Below is a snapshot of the earnings information that you can pull up for any stock using our database.  The example below is Netflix (NFLX), which we have earnings data for since it IPOd.  As shown in the table, you can quickly track how often NFLX beats or misses EPS or revenue estimates, how often it raises or lowers guidance, any seasonal earnings trends that show up, and finally -- how the stock typically reacts to better or worse than expected earnings.

Our Interactive Earnings Report Database comes in Excel format, so you can easily enter in a stock ticker and it will pull up its quarterly information for you automatically.  Along with the ability to query for any stock, you can also sort and filter the master list of all stocks.  This gives you the ability to run numerous back-tests on various earnings outcomes to develop trading strategies during earnings season.  We have a number of Institutional clients that use the database religiously for this purpose.   

This database is updated each quarter once earnings season ends, so Institutional clients always have an up-to-date version.  To check out its layout, you can view and interact with a very limited version of it here.

Learn more about the Bespoke Institutional membership at our Institutional page.  A membership comes with much more than just the earnings database.  It's a great value for just $2,500 per year.  Give us a call at 914-315-1248 to speak with either of Bespoke's co-founders about the Institutional research package today.

Tuesday
Oct072014

JOLTS Leaps, Suggests Continued Labor Market Gains

The Job Openings and Labor Market Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that demand for labor continues to grow, confirming the strong payrolls growth reported last week in the Employment Situation Report.  While wages are still flat (average hourly earnings were flat month-over-month for September), demand for labor is very strong, as shown by the job openings rate.  Employers have more unfilled positions now than ever, and after adjusting for labor force growth, the rate is as low as it has been since 2001.

The improvements in the number and rate of job openings were due entirely to private openings increases this month.  The less-volatile government series actually declined versus last month.

One other piece of good news: layoffs are basically a thing of the past at this point, with the Layoff & Discharge Rate falling to all-time lows.

But it wasn't all good news: the quit rate is stubbornly low.  Given that wages are refusing to move higher, this shouldn't be a huge surprise.  Without a higher wage waiting for them at a new job opening, why would a worker depart their existing employer?  Quits are just another sign that while demand is increasing for labor, supply remains high, keeping prices (wage growth and quits) low.

Interested in getting an edge on monthly economic indicators, including employement indicators like JOLTS or NFP?  Check out Bespoke Consumer Pulse, our new survey-based product developed to give clients a direct insight into the health of the US consumer.  With subscriptions starting at only $35 per month (use code 'pulsecharter' at checkout for a 30% discount), Bespoke Consumer Pulse is an affordable package of insight and analysis.  Sign up today to gain access.

Monday
Oct062014

GT Advanced (GTAT) Leads the Shorts Lower

The Fed Short-sellers are practically printing money these days.  Over the last couple of weeks, we have highlighted that the most heavily shorted stocks have been getting hammered recently, which has been a dream environment for traders on the short side.  Today's action in GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) is a perfect, albeit extreme, example.  After surprising nearly everybody, shares of GTAT are trading down more than 90% today.  It's the first time in recent memory, and one of probably only a few times ever, that a stock trading above $10 per share filed for bankruptcy.

The table below lists the 27 stocks in the S&P 1500 that had more than 25% of their free-floating shares sold short as of mid-September.  For each stock we have also included its performance since the start of September.  As shown, it hasn't been a pretty few weeks for these stocks.  The average performance of these 27 stocks is a decline of 16.23% (median: -11.7%) compared to a decline of just 2.2% for the S&P 1500.  The average for the most heavily shorted stocks looks more like something we would have seen during the financial crisis, not a period where the market saw just a minor sell-off.

Even without the impact of GTAT, the performance of the stocks on this list is still extremely poor.  Just three of the 27 stocks listed are up since the start of September, and ex the 94% decline from GTAT, the average change is still -13.2% (median: -9.3%).  Additionally, more than half of the stocks listed are down over 20%, including five names besides GTAT that have lost more than one-third of their value.  A couple of weeks ago, we referred to the weakness in the most heavily shorted stocks as being like shooting fish in a barrel.  At this rate, it's more like shooting fish in a can of sardines.

Earnings season kicks off this Wednesday, so stay on top of things with our top-of-the-line earnings season analysis.  Become a Bespoke Premium member today.  Use "endofsummer" in the coupon code section of our Subscribe page to receive 10% off the membership price.  As always, there's a 5-day free trial period once you start your subscription.

Monday
Oct062014

The Bespoke Earnings 50

We have just published our third quarter Interactive Earnings Season Calendar over at Bespoke Premium.  If you're looking to track the report dates for certain companies this season, our calendar is a very resourceful tool.

Using our earnings databases here at Bespoke, each quarter prior to the start of earnings season, we publish a list of the 50 most volatile stocks on their report days.  (For companies that report in the morning before the open, we look at that day's change.  For companies that report in the evening after the close, we look at the next day's change.)  To make the list, a company has to be in the Russell 3,000, have at least three years worth of quarterly earnings reports, and be set to report its next quarterly number between now and the end of November.

As shown, BroadSoft (BSFT) is the most volatile stock on earnings with an average one-day change of +/-15.82% when it reports each quarter!  The only other stock that averages a move of more than 15% is Fuel Systems (FSYS).  Number three on the list is Netflix (NFLX), which has historically moved +/-14.05% on its report days.  If Netflix experiences an average move when it reports on the 15th of this month, it will see a gain or loss of $65/share.  Two travel companies round out the top five -- Orbitz Worldwide (OWW) and Travelzoo (TZOO).

All of the stocks on the list below have historically seen moves of more than +/-10% on their earnings report days.  Pretty much all of them are widely followed by traders, but some of the more notable ones include First Solar (FSLR), Priceline (PCLN), Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) and SanDisk (SNDK).  Priceline now trades at $1,121, so its average one-day change on earnings equates to $138/share at current levels.

One stock not on our list of the 50 most volatile earnings names is Apple (AAPL).  We have 52 quarterly reports for Apple (AAPL) going back to 2001 in our Interactive Earnings Report Database.  Apple's average move on its 52 report days has been +/-5.44%.  This is actually less than the average move of +/-5.52% for all US stocks reporting earnings!

Looking for top-of-the-line earnings season analysis throughout the upcoming reporting period?  Become a Bespoke Premium member today.  Use "endofsummer" in the coupon code section of our Subscribe page to receive 10% off the membership price.  As always, there's a 5-day free trial period once you start your subscription.

Monday
Oct062014

Gas Prices Down 11% From YTD Highs

With a nearly uninterrupted decline in the price of gasoline, the national average price (according to AAA) has dropped from a high of just under $3.70 per gallon to under $3.30 today.  With that decline gas prices are now down 11% from their year to date highs in the Spring and at their lowest levels since February.

With the last leg lower in gas prices since late September, the national average price of a gallon of gas is now down 1% for the year.  The table below shows the average price of gasoline as of 10/6 for each year since 2005.  At a level of $3.29, the current price is the lowest for this time of year since 2010.  More importantly, though, it is the first time in the last ten years that gas prices have actually been down on a year to date basis at this point in the year.

If the typical seasonal pattern for prices at the pump are any indication, the price of gas may have further to fall.  The chart below compares the current movements in gas prices so far this year to a composite of its performance throughout the year for every year since 2005.  As shown in the blue line, gas prices have historically continued to decline throughout the fall and haven't bottomed until just before year end.

Monday
Oct062014

Bullish Sentiment Spikes 15 Points

Bullish sentiment jumped 15 points from 47% up to 62% in our weekend Bespoke Market Poll.  After four consecutive weeks of more bears than bulls in our weekly poll, bulls came out of hiding after Friday's big up day following the better than expected nonfarm payrolls report.  This was the biggest jump we've seen in bullish sentiment since August 11th when it jumped 17 points from 46% up to 63%.

Friday
Oct032014

S&P 500 Higher or Lower from Here?

Markets broke all kinds of technical levels on the downside earlier this week, but we saw a nice bounce back rally on Thursday afternoon and the gains continued on Friday.  So which way will the market head from here?  Please take part in our weekly Bespoke Market Poll below by letting us know whether you think the S&P 500 will be higher or lower one month from now.  We'll report back with the results on Monday before the open.  Thanks for participating and have a great weekend!

Be sure to head on over to Bespoke Premium and sign up for a 5-day free trial to see our just-published Bespoke Report newsletter -- packed with 30+ pages of actionable market analysis.

Will the S&P 500 be higher or lower than its current level one month from now?
Higher
Lower
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Friday
Oct032014

Apple (AAPL) vs. Samsung Stats

Our monthly Bespoke Consumer Pulse report dives deep into economic trends, but it also provides key insights into trends for various industries and individual companies.  We ask a number of questions surrounding the consumer electronics group -- especially smartphones.

Out of the 2,000+ consumers we surveyed in our September Pulse report, a certain percentage own Apple iPhones (you'll have to sign up to view the report to view this data).  For iPhone owners, we asked which phone they plan to purchase next.  This gives us an idea of the retention rates Apple can expect for the iPhone.  In our September survey -- which ran about a week after the new iPhone 6 line was released -- 91.8% of current iPhone owners said they plan to purchase another iPhone when they purchase their next smartphone.  Over the last three months, this was the highest reading we have seen, but as you can see in the chart, it has been solidly around the 90% mark the entire time.

A 90%+ retention rate is an extremely high number for any product.  So what's the retention rate for Samsung smartphones?  From our September Pulse survey, we found that 77% of Samsung smartphone owners plan to buy another Samsung on their next purchase.  Not a bad reading at all, but as you can see, it is down from July and August, likely due to the new iPhone 6 and 6+, which have larger screens similar to Samsung's and were just released prior to our survey.  Overall, the drop doesn't seem too significant for Samsung.

Late last week we published our September Consumer Pulse Report over at our sister website --bespokeintel.com.  Our monthly Pulse report makes up the backbone of our new Pulse subscription offering.  The report is an analysis of a 75-question survey we conduct on a statistically significant sampling of more than 1,500 US consumers.  From this unique, detailed survey, we're able to get an early read on trends in the economy ahead of the big economic data dump that comes out at the start of each month, including the widely-followed Nonfarm Payrolls report set for release this Friday.  Our Pulse report comes out a week before the monthly Nonfarm Payrolls report, giving subscribers ample time to position themselves properly based on the results from our survey.

Since the new Pulse subscription is in its early stages, we're currently offering a 30% discount on membership rates to attract a group of "charter" members.  If you have yet to sign up, there's still time to do so with the 30% discount.  All you have to do is enter "pulsecharter" in the coupon code section of the Pulse subscribe page to get 30% off the price of the service for the life of your membership.  This means you can get in for less than $1 per day!  With the 30% discount, the annual Pulse membership cost is just $350 per year.

Friday
Oct032014

Bespoke Bloomberg TV Appearance (10/2)

Bespoke's Paul Hickey appeared on Bloomberg's Street Smart, with Trish Regan, Julie Hyman and Liz Ann Sonders from Charles Schwab to discuss the economy and markets heading into the fourth quarter.  To watch the segment, please click on the image below.

Thursday
Oct022014

S&P 500 Sector Trading Range Charts

Below are our trading range charts for the S&P 500 and its ten sectors.  The white line is each sector's 50-day moving average.  The light blue shading represents each sector's "trading range," which we quantify as one standard deviation above and below the 50-day moving average.

As shown, the S&P 500 and four of ten sectors are currently below their trading ranges and into oversold territory.  For now, the S&P 500 is right at the bottom of its six-month uptrend channel, but it is dangerously close to breaking below it.  

The Energy sector broke its uptrend back in September, but we saw Materials break down today.  Technology appears most at risk for breaking down next.  For now, Financials and Health Care have the most uptrending patterns.  Industrials and Consumer Discretionary have been in sideways ranges for some time.

These charts are included in our weekly Sector Snapshot available on Thursdays to Bespoke Premium members.  You can see a sample of of the report here.  To check out this week's just-published report, try out a 5-day free Bespoke Premium trial today.

Thursday
Oct022014

Hello, Oversold World

Below is our trading range screen of the 30 largest country ETFs traded on US exchanges.  For each country, the dot represents where it's currently trading within its range, while the tail end represents where it was trading one week ago.  The black vertical "N" line represents each ETF's 50-day moving average.  Moves into the red zone are considered overbought, while moves into the green zone are considered oversold.  

As shown, all but 3 of the 30 country ETFs highlighted are in oversold territory -- most of them deeply oversold.  Just one country remains above its 50-day (Vietnam) after Thailand (THD) broke below its 50-day today.  As of the close today, two-thirds are down for the year.

Are we due for a bounce soon?  Markets can stay oversold for long periods of time, just as they can stay overbought.  Before entering an oversold name, we like to see it at least make a short-term bottom and turn higher, similar to countries like Australia (EWA), Taiwan (EWT) and Malaysia (EWM) have done over the last week.  Countries where the dot is to the left of the tail are ones to avoid, as it's like catching the proverbial "falling knife."  

Interested in seeing these trading range screens on a regular basis, or running them on your portfolio?  Sign up for the Bespoke Institutional service today. 

Thursday
Oct022014

What Happens At 11:30 Again?

Global risk assets got pounded this morning, with gruesome price action in European equities putting big pressure on US equity futures as well as emerging market equities.  Selling reached a crescendo at 11:30 AM ET as closing bells rang across Europe.  Within 15 minutes, US risk markets bottomed and by 1:00 PM US small caps were positive.  Below, we show the day-over-day change in a variety of risk assets, including European equity indices, US equity index futures, MSCI emerging markets equity index futures, and the USDJPY cross.  For a full update on the chart and complete commentary on the moves today in the US and Europe, make sure to subscribe to Bespoke Premium.  Subscribers rececive The Closer every evening in their inbox.  The Closer recaps daily action for US equities, while also giving recaps of the daily moves in global financial markets and economic data that impact US investors.  We also give highlights of major economic releases upcoming, recent asset class performance, key ETF data, and our market outlook.  Subscribe today and receive a free five-day trial!

Thursday
Oct022014

Bullish Sentiment Takes a Hit

With stock prices starting succumb to the pressures of the weak European economy, geo-political issues, and fears over Ebola, individual investors have also been reigning in their bullishness.  According to the weekly survey from the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII), bullish sentiment declined from 41.84% down to 35.42% this week.  This represents the fifth weekly decline in the last six weeks, and it is also the first time since early August that bullish sentiment has dropped below its bull market average.  It's hard to say that investors are getting fearful, but there doesn't seem to be an excessive amount of complacency either.

Thursday
Oct022014

Jobless Claims Better Than Expected

After some weak economic data to start the month, investors got some better than expected data on Thursday with a better than expected jobless claims report.  While economists were forecasting a slight increase to 297K from last week's level of 295K, claims actually fell by 8K down to 287K.

With this week's decline in initial claims, the four-week moving average fell to 294.75K, which is just 1K above the post-recession low of 293.75K that we saw nine weeks ago at the start of August.  In next week's count, we will be dropping a weekly reading of 316K from the count, so barring a big increase, it is likely that we will see a new low in this reading.

On a non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) basis claims were even more impressive this week.  At a level of 227.1K, this week's reading was the lowest weekly reading (for any week) in more than 14 years, and nearly 90K below the historical average of 316.2K for the current week of the year dating back to 2000.  Obviously, there is a reason claims are seasonally adjusted due to the fact that they typically fall in September and rise in December.  That being said, we find it odd that the same people who start trotting out the NSA numbers in December (when they are high) are silent now.

Wednesday
Oct012014

10th Worst Start to October in History

The S&P 500's 1.32% decline today was the 10th worst start to October in the index's history going back to 1928.  Somewhat surprisingly, two of the five worst starts to October have come during this bull market as well.  On October 1st, 2009, the S&P fell 2.58%, and then on October 3rd, 2011 (the first trading day of that month), the index fell 2.85%.  The first trading day of October has been rough on investors over the last five years.

So what's in store for the market over the next few days and for the remainder of the month?  Earlier today over at BespokePremium.com, we published a B.I.G. Tips report for members highlighting the answer to this question.  The results were very noteworthy and consistent, but you'll have to sign up for a 5-day free trial to Bespoke Premium to check them out.  Head on over to our Subscribe page now to sign up and view the report.  Enter "october" in the coupon code section of the Subscribe page to receive a 10% discount on your new membership!