Tuesday
Aug262008

Housing Futures Show Signs of Life

The S&P/Case-Shiller housing numbers are set to come out this morning.  The CME has futures that trade based on these numbers, and below we highlight a historical price chart of the Composite 10-City future expiring in November 2008.  The May Composite 10-City median home price came in at $181,480, and the current price of the November future has the median home price pegged at $175,000.  This is just 3.57% lower than May prices.  What's interesting about the November contract is that it bottomed out in June and has been rising slightly since.  So while expectations are still for lower prices from current levels, investors are not expecting them to fall as much as they were a few months ago.

10city

Tuesday
Aug262008

Stock Market Seasonality: September Through Year End

As the unofficial end of Summer draws near, market activity is likely to pick up in the coming weeks as traders set themselves up for the end of the year.  If history is any indication, the last four months should provide some improvement to this year's double-digit percentage losses.  History shows, however, that September could present some rough sledding before any rally occurs.

In the chart below, we show the average historical trading pattern of the S&P 500 during the last four months of the year.  The blue line shows the S&P 500's trading pattern from 1960 - 2007, while the red line shows the average of the last ten years.  As shown, over both time frames, the S&P 500 typically declines during most of September before staging a year-end rally beginning in late September/early October.

Sp_500_trading_pattern_sept_dec

 

Monday
Aug252008

Bespoke's Commodity Snapshot

Below we provide our trading range charts of ten major commodities.  The green shading represents two standard deviations above and below the commodity's 50-day moving average, and moves above and below indicate extreme overbought and oversold levels.  It's no news that commodities have suffered major pullbacks over the last two months, and the charts below provide a good view on how bad it has been.

After trading at the top of its range for what seemed like forever, oil finally traded to the bottom of its range late last week, and after touching extreme oversold territory, it finally bounced for a couple of days, only to see big declines again on Friday.  Like most other commodities, natural gas unfortunately hasn't gotten a bounce.  Since touching 13.58 in early July, nat gas is down 42%. 

While gold declines from $1000 to under $800 make the headlines for precious metals, platinum and silver have actually gotten hit harder.  From their peaks, silver has fallen 38% and platinum has fallen 40%.

Corn, wheat, orange juice and coffee have actually staged some pretty good rallies off of oversold levels over the last couple of weeks.  Wheat almost touched overbought territory last week, but all four are still well off their highs earlier this year.

Oilnatg

Goldsilver_2

Platcopp

Cornwheat

Ojcof

 

Monday
Aug252008

Dog Days Are Here

All five trading days last week ranked among the ten lowest volume days for the NYSE in 2008.  Thursday and Friday were the two lowest days, with Friday taking top honors for the slowest trading day of the year.  With even more days off expected on Wall Street this week leading up to the Labor Day holiday, more 2008 low-volume records should be broken.  For those that are trading this week, check the spreads before placing market orders.  Your normal bids and asks may be sipping margaritas at the beach!

2nysevolume1

Monday
Aug252008

Investor Presidential Survey; McCain Opens Up 4 Point Lead

The latest Gallup poll has McCain and Obama deadlocked at 45%.  Our Investor Presidential Survey, however, has McCain in the lead by 4 points at 45% to 41%. 

Mccainobama12

Mccainobama825_2

Please let us know who you would vote for if the Presidential election were held today.  We'll report back with this week's results on Friday.  Thanks for participating!


Who would you vote for if the US Presidential election were held today?
McCain
Obama
Other
Neither
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

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Monday
Aug252008

Best and Worst Performing Stocks of the Current Bear Market

Since the current bear market began back on October 9th, 2007, the Russell 1,000 is down about 18%.  Of the stocks in the index, 8.5% are down more than 50%, while 25% are actually up since then.  Below we highlight the 25 best and worst performing stocks in the Russell 1,000 during the current bear market.  As shown, Fannie and Freddie top the list of losers, falling from the mid-60s down to $5 and $2.81 respectively.  Washington Mutual (WM) is down the third most at -89%.  Financials represent the top 12 losers, followed by Oshkosh trucking (OSK) from the Industrial sector at 13th.  Other notable names on the list of losers include GM, WB, AIG, SNDK, LVS and ODP.

Worstbear

Surprisingly, six companies in the Russell 1,000 are up more than 100% during the current bear market.  Four of the six come from the Energy sector, with Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) leading the way at 283%. 

Bestbear

 

Friday
Aug222008

Research Reports From Bespoke

Below we provide the titles and thumbnails of the in-depth B.I.G. Tips reports we released this week.  If any spark your interest, they are all available to our Premium subscribers.  These are anticipatory, ahead-of-the-curve research reports that cover markets, economies, stocks, commodities, housing and anything else related to making people money. 

This week's B.I.G. Tips reports: Week in Review (our widely followed weekly newsletter covering all things financial), Labor Day Trading (historical market performance around the bittersweet holiday), Commodities Up Big: Buy or Sell? (tracking to have best week since 1975), Global Growth and Consumer Confidence (our take on various international stock markets), Oil Technicals (why we sold Thursday's gains), Top Triple Play Charts (our favorite stocks coming out of earnings season), Endowment Screen (analyzing Yale and Harvard's equity holdings), S&P 500 and High Yield Spreads (do spikes in spreads mean equity market declines), Earnings Season Ends (what to expect coming out of earnings season), S&P 500 Uptrend Broken (short-term technicals), Monthly Economic Indicator Analysis (detailed analysis of each economic indicator and overall trends).

Btip1 Btip2 Btip3 Btip4 Btip5 Btip6 Btip7 Btip8 Btip9 Btip10 Btip11 Btip12

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Friday
Aug222008

Dow Price Targets From Last November

Barry Ritholtz over at the Big Picture recently highlighted Bloomberg's Chart of the Day showing that analyst profit forecasts are currently worse than ever.  With that in mind, we pulled up a post we did back in November highlighting the average analyst price targets for the 30 Dow stocks.  After analyzing those price targets and where the stocks are now, it's clear that bear markets are definitely not an analyst's best friend.

Dowpricetargets822_2

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Friday
Aug222008

Country Total Returns Since March 2003

The MSCI World index, which measures global equity market performance, is now up just 68% (not total return) since its bottom on March 12, 2003.  After analyzing the performance of various country indices since then, we found some interesting results.

Msciworld

Since the 3/12/03 global market bottom, Brazil, India and Mexico all have total returns of more than 400%, with Brazil leading the way at 427%.  Germany has been the best performing Western European country with a total return of 187%.  At the bottom of the barrel is Japan, with a gain of 68%, but unfortunately the US ranks second to last at 77%.  So while much has been made of how well the US has held up during this downturn, it still lags behind pretty much everyone else when looking at the last bull and the current bear.  The most surprising performance number comes from China.  After its bubble and bust from 2005 to present, China's performance is pretty much right inline with the US at 79%.  With so much focus on China's growth this decade, one would think its equity markets would be at the top of the performance ladder with other BRIC countries.

Totalreturn_2

 

Friday
Aug222008

Browse Around

Bespoke Premium offers unparalleled stock market research at an affordable price.  Make money with access to our information -- our research is not presented as a lesson in abstract scholarship, but as profitable advice intended for investors looking to make a smart play or formulate a long term position in the market.  You receive stock tips that count -- actionable, timely investment recommendations that are carefully selected with regard to market timing, fundamentals, technicals and economic forces.

Check out just a few examples of the types of reports that members receive multiple times a day:

Members of Bespoke Premium also receive the following products -- all presented in the original and straightforward style for which Bespoke is renowned:

Investment Ideas

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For a detailed description of each of our products, click hereAll reports are easily viewed on Bespoke Premium's member site and emailed upon request.  To begin receiving Bespoke Premium's original and unrivaled market analysis, choose from one of our affordable subscription options and get started!

Friday
Aug222008

Double Short ProShares ETFs

Throughout the current bear market, many of the ProShares' Double Short ETFs have been big winners, and the increase in their trading volumes is evidence that traders love them for their volatility and how easy it is to effectively go short while staying long.  Since the July lows, however, many of these ETFs are down big, highlighting that volatility can go both ways.  As shown below, the Ultrashort Financials ETFs is down 35% since July 15th, but it is still up 32.6% year to date.  The Ultrashort Russell 2,000 Value ETF (SJH) is down the second most at -23.6%, followed by Ultrashort Real Estate and Ultrashort Consumer Services.  Some of the Ultrashorts are up since mid July, however, including Utilities, Materials, Japan, China, and Emerging Markets. 

There's no doubt that Ultrashorts are great for investors with a strong negative opinion on an asset class, but it sure makes being wrong hurt ultra bad.

Proshares

Friday
Aug222008

Obama VP Odds

Over at Intrade, odds for Biden becoming the Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee have spiked 13 points to 55% today.  On the other hand, odds for Evan Bayh have fallen to 10%, and odds for Tim Kaine are at 13%.  With the announcement expected as early as today, Biden is the clear favorite among people putting their money where their mouth is.  Click here to learn more about the Senator from Delaware.

The image below is from Intrade's front page.

Bidenvp

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Friday
Aug222008

Sector Advance/Decline Lines

The 10-day advance/decline line measures the average daily number of advancers minus decliners in an index over the last 10 days.  This a/d line is a good measure of market breadth, and very strong readings to the upside or the downside are generally met with a reversal in the near term.  In general, bulls want to see a positive reading at all times, but they don't want it to get too overheated.

As shown below, the 10-day a/d line for the S&P 500 recently moved to the top of our red zone, which represents overbought territory.  After pulling back earlier this week, the a/d line for the market is still resting in positive territory.

Spxad

Advance/decline lines can be run on sectors as well, and below we provide historical charts of them for the ten S&P 500 sectors.  As shown, Technology, Health Care and Consumer Staples got extremely overheated heading into this week, and all were at their highest levels of the last year.  While they moved back into neutral territory this week, It looks like they'll hold above break even for the time being.  And after moving into extreme oversold territory a week or two ago, breadth in the Energy sector has spiked in recent days.

To track advance/decline lines on a continual basis, sign up for Bespoke Premium and view our Sector Snapshot.

As2

Ad1

Telsutilad   

Thursday
Aug212008

China's Looming Hangover?

Below we highlight a chart of consumer confidence in China versus its Shanghai Composite equity index.  With equities down nearly 60% from their peaks in China, you would think confidence would also have fallen significantly.  But it seems that the Olympics as well as an economy that has continued to grow has kept Chinese citizens happy for the time being.  (Interestingly, confidence didn't rise much even as equities were skyrocketing either.)  When the torch gets blown out and the Olympics end, will the Chinese, finally opening those stacked up monthly brokerage statements and new energy bills, experience a hangover that sends confidence lower?

Chinahangover

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Thursday
Aug212008

Sector Relative Strength: Energy and Financials

As has been the case for several months now, the two sectors garnering the bulk of investors' attention have been Energy and Financials.  Below we highlight the relative strength of both sectors versus the market over the last year.  In each chart, when the line is rising it indicates that the sector is outperforming the S&P 500, and vice versa when the line is falling.  Additionally, the red dots indicate days when the Fed cut rates.

Regarding the Energy sector, throughout the entire Fed easing cycle, oil and energy stocks rallied.  It wasn't until shortly after the Fed went on hold that the sector began to crack.  The Financial sector had a brief rally beginning in Mid-July, but the strength quickly evaporated when the sector approached its downtrend line from the start of the year.  As investors have shifted out of Financials, the Energy sector has seen some renewed strength in recent days.  This strength has been attributed to the Russia/Georgia skirmish and concerns over the dollar following a possible Treasury bailout of FNM and/or FRE.  The more likely explanation, however, is that nothing moves in a straight line.  Just as Financials have had several rallies throughout their downtrend, if energy stocks are in the beginning of a long-term downtrend, you can expect to see several short term rallies.

Sector_relative_strength_2

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