November Returns


by Steven Sarnoff

We welcome the onset of a new month with stocks seeking to extend their record run. Analysts often look to past returns for an idea of what to expect going forward. But the well-known disclaimer, “Past results are not indicative of future returns,” is always applicable. One of my favorite market adages is that, “It’s the little exceptions that get you.” So one is well-served to view historical returns with eyes open to alternative outcomes.

The following chart arrived in my Inbox, depicting monthly trends for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the last 20, 50, and 100 years.

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What’s Going On (In The Market Now)?


by Steven Sarnoff

The extended record-setting move up in the venerable S&P 500 is making any self-respecting seller “wanna holler and throw up both my hands,” and many of the weaker shorts are capitulating.  This has my contrarian senses tingling.

Let’s have a look at what’s going on in three important markets, stocks, interest rates, and the US dollar.

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Have Your $CAKE


by Steven Sarnoff

Though you won’t find your favorite vegan technical analyst partaking of Cheesecake Factory ($CAKE) fare, the shares are moving sweetly for our Options Hotline subscribers.

In mid-September I noticed the unhealthy eatery’s shares were not as sickly as they appeared. The signs of a potentially vigorous and natural rebound were flashing and, from the menu of available options, I recommended a January $40-strike call for our readers.

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Is TRIP Headed South?


by Steven Sarnoff

Markets don’t move down a one-way street. The news of record-setting stock prices Mr. Trump is so fond of touting hasn’t been booked by this Internet darling. As you can see by my daily candlestick chart of TripAdvisor shares, the online travel brand company settled today’s session pointing south.

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Will Shaky Support Give Way?


by Steven Sarnoff

This morning, we are seeing support for stocks being tested.  As the Trump reflation trade loses air, will shaky support give way?  In my opinion, it will.

Following the election, the market was juiced on big bets that Trumponomic policies would boost US growth and inflation, hurting T-bond prices (lifting bond yields). Well, what have we seen? In the wake of Yellen and crew’s action on interest rates, GOP failure to reach a consensus and the abrupt end to health care legislation, and Mr. Trump’s rocky Beltway honeymoon, bond prices have been rising (yields falling). Continue reading

Fibonacci For Traders, Truth Or Fib?


by Steven Sarnoff

Since today is Pi Day, and we were honored by our math major nephew dropping by the office during his break from university, I decided this was as good a day as any to get back to blogging with a post about how a trader should regard the influence of a famous Italian mathematician from the Middle Ages on today’s markets. Continue reading

Don’t Suffer Paralysis From Over-Analysis In Your Trading


by Steven Sarnoff

                    “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” — Bruce Lee

This week, with more earnings and big mergers on parade, there is plenty for traders to digest.  Add to that, the myriad of technical tools available at your mouse-clicking fingertips and you can see how traders can easily be bogged down and confused by conflicting indicators and information overload.

As a technical analyst, aka a “chartist,” you have the ability to overlay a veritable smorgasbord of studies on your chart.  That can quickly clutter the picture and cause indecision.

So Sarnoff, what is your solution?

The answer is to study the technical indicators, pick a handful you like best, and use them.

I want my chart to paint a vivid picture, depicting  the human behavior (buying and selling) that drives the direction of market price movement.  I prefer to look at a clean and clear chart, one that readily reveals which side (buyers or sellers) has the advantage.  I can then go about determining when and where the balance of power is likely to shift. Continue reading

Are Bears Ready To Get Fat Quick?


Bear getting into “get fat quick” phase, h/t natgeotravel

by Steven Sarnoff

When temperatures start to fall, bears are known to move into a “get fat quick” phase.  They gorge on anything edible to fatten up and survive their lengthy winter slumber.

When asked why the market was up or down on a particular day, my dad would reply in his Brooklynese, “Sometimes the bulls gotta get fed and sometimes the bears gotta get fed.” One of the lengthiest bull markets on record has left beleaguered bears hungry for a turn.

Are they ready to feast? Continue reading

Surfing Silver With The Superleverage Power Of Options Hotline


by Steven Sarnoff

My Options Hotline subscribers doubled their money in just one day, today!  Here’s how they did it.

Option buyers are the only ones who have the Superleverage power to use OPM (other people’s money) to profit from changing prices, with an always known and strictly limited risk at all times.  Options also allow sensible speculators the opportunity to profit from stock moves both up and down.

Such has been our experience this year, using shares of silver streaming company Silver Wheaton (SLW) as our proxy for the precious metal. Continue reading

Are Central Banks About To Open The Monetary Spigots Even More?


by Steven Sarnoff

In response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, central banks opened up the monetary spigots.  They employed a creative strategy of QE (quantitative easing), the purchasing of financial assets as a way of creating new money in hopes of stimulating economic recovery and keeping the demon of deflation at bay, when their usual monetary policy tools were rendered ineffective.

The overall effectiveness of several rounds of QE as an economic stimulus is debatable.  What is clear is that ballooning central bank balance sheets have been a boost to asset prices. Since 2013, Japan has taken it to a new level. Continue reading