Stocks & Bonds

Sector Relative Strength Check: 2015 Leaders and Laggards

Measuring sector relative strength can be a great way to gather information about emerging trends within the market. And building a mosaic from various sectors really compounds the information they offer. This information allows us to get a pretty good sense for the state of the market. Let’s give it a whirl. The market leading group continues to be the Biotech Sector (IBB) as its relative strength to the S&P 500

Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) Looms Large This Week

After a strong showing in 2014, the Consumer Discretionary ETF (XLY) has churned sideways into early 2015. This type of price action would typically indicate consolidation, but considering the wide swings in 2014 and recent retail sales numbers for December (not good!), it’s clear that the Consumer Discretionary ETF is looking for direction. And whichever direction it takes, the stock market may follow. Here’s a few reasons why I have XLY on

Global Macro Roundup: Navigating The Market Chop

There have been several global macro crosscurrents over the past several weeks that have highlighted the financial markets uncertainty. In 2015, investors have seen Gold rise with a stronger. And Bonds are higher, while equities are near par. What’s going on behind the scenes? Can we glean any more information from other global macro indicators? It’s time to take a quick spin around the financial markets to see where capital is flowing,

Top Trading Links: Studies, Strategies, and Understanding Yourself

The global financial landscape is ever-changing. And each year new themes and trading setups emerge. But taking advantage of these opportunities in depends on your ability to see the setups and develop trading strategies that conform to your skills set. Here are some awesome reads from around the web. Hope you enjoy this weeks Top Trading Links. Market Insights @PeterLBrandt digs into the numerous major patterns in global market indices.

5 Ways For Traders To Overcome Performance Anxiety

There are many causes for performance anxiety which can leave a new trader with too much fear to trade with focus. And this fear often sends them out of the markets with the 90 percent that did not make it. This fear can arise from past losses that were so big and traumatizing that a trader can’t bear the potential of repeating a mistake like that with all the emotions tied to

Will Germany Help Lead International Markets Higher?

With the start of 2015 we have begun to see movement in international markets after the focus has been squarely on U.S. equities over the last two years. After the first few weeks of January, international markets have put in a stint of outperformance relative to U.S. indices. When this begins to happen I like to find some of the stronger markets among the international group. To do this we

Bullish On Apple? This Options Trade Could Net 43% In 16 Days

Apple’s stock (AAPL) is currently 8% below the high set in late November and bullish traders can set up a nice short-term AAPL options trade using a bull put spread. If a trader believed the recent low of $106 will hold, they could use the $106 strike as the short put and the $104 strike as the long put. Currently, this AAPL options trade offers a roughly 43% return on

STUDY: SPY ETF Returns Above/Below 200 Day Simple Moving Average

The 200 day simple moving average (SMA) is a widely watched indicator of health for the U.S. Stock market. When price is trading above the 200 day SMA, most market participants can agree that a longer term up-trend is either in place or developing. When price is trading below the 200 day SMA, most people recognize that the up-trend has stopped or is reversing. That being said, it’s dangerous to

Will The ECB Give Investors 50 Billion Reasons To Celebrate?

Global concerns about deflation continue to stir in 2015. Disinflationary, if not outright deflationary pressures abound globally. And with the ECB expected to launch its own form of QE with an announcement tomorrow, the markets are getting jumpy. Note that the Wall Street Journal cited sources saying the ECB bond buying program could be around 50 Billion Euros per month. That said, the markets are still waiting for details and

Using And Applying The Dividend Valuation Model

In the final article of my series looking at ways in which to value a business, we will look at the Dividend Valuation Model (DVM). The theory is that an entity is worth the sum of its discounted future cash flows. As noted in my previous article on discounted cash flows, if all free cash flows are paid out as dividends, and the same growth rate is used, the same