TRIAL USERS:

As referenced in our weekly newsletter, here is the referenced report on QE-4:

Click The Image To Read

PORTFOLIO UPDATE

As we are writing for tomorrow’s “Technical Update” – the risk of a short-term correction has hit pretty extreme levels with “Short VIX” positioning now at record levels.  With the markets back to extreme OVERBOUGHT on virtually every measure, we have added a SHORT S&P 500 ETF to our portfolios.

This will be removed over the next few weeks as we get the anticipated correction. However,  we are also keeping a fairly tight stop on the position just in case the market decides to rocket off higher into year end.

BUY – 5% weight SDS (ProShares Ultra-Short S&P 500)

November 5, 2019

Portfolio Action Update

Equity Portfolio

We have recently talked about the rotation from “defense” back to “offense” as QE gained traction in the market. That is occurring so we have reduce WELL from 1.5% of the portfolio to 0.75%.

Also, a reminder (as we are getting emails), we have closed out the Long-Short Portfolio in order to launch a Dynamic Equity Income Model on January 1st. Here was our previous note:

LONG-SHORT PORTFOLIO

We have been wrestling with TD Ameritrade for several months now to get a waiver to allow us to short individual equity positions in an IRA account. We have not been successful.

We are going to terminate this portfolio and relaunch it in January to follow our DYNAMIC GROWTH Portfolio we are launching for our clients. The portfolio, which was conceived from your subscriber requests, is an all-weather portfolio allocation that can buy any asset class, short markets, and take advantage of any opportunity. There is no set allocation mix so weightings can float between equities, commodities, fixed income, and cash as needed to create growth or hedge risk.

We are putting the finishing touches on the model now and will look to launch the portfolio live on January 1st.

October 30, 2019

Portfolio Action Update

Equity Portfolio

As we have been discussing in our portfolio commentaries over the last couple of weeks, we are making some changes to our portfolio.

(Click to Enlarge Charts)

  • SELLING 100% of YUM Brands (YUM) 

As shown in the chart below, Sales have been declining with earnings being supported by a massive share buybacks.

  • SELLING 100% of Mondelez (MDLZ)

Sales at MDLZ have also been falling with earnings supported by share buybacks. We are taking our profits out the position and looking to reallocate.

  • REDUCING Apple (AAPL) to take profits heading into earnings. (Risk from China)

After taking 20% in profits in AAPL earlier this year, we are reducing once again due to stagnant revenue growth and EPS supported by share buybacks.

  • BUY Full Position of Kraft Heinz (KHC)

KHC is a “SPECULATIVE” trade based on earnings tomorrow. There is a HIGH PROBABILITY we will be stopped out. Therefore, DO NOT enter this trade if you are not keen on a potential short-term loss. As noted in our Portfolio Postion review:

  • Last week we talked about our speculative turnaround story in KHC. We still think that is the case and we will add a “trading position” to the portfolio.
  • With a 6% yield, and the stock turning higher, we are liking the position more.
  • This is a speculative trade set up with a tight stop at recent lows.

October 22, 2019

Portfolio Action Update

Equity Portfolio

Read yesterday’s note for explanation on actions we are taking currently and yesterday’s trades.

Today, we are adding:

We are also looking to rebalance and add exposure to the ETF model as well.

LONG-SHORT PORTFOLIO

We have been wrestling with TD Ameritrade for several months now to get a waiver to allow us to short individual equity positions in an IRA account. We have not been successful.

We are going to terminate this portfolio and relaunch it in January to follow our DYNAMIC GROWTH Portfolio we are launching for our clients. The portfolio, which was conceived from your subscriber requests, is an all-weather portfolio allocation that can buy any asset class, short markets, and take advantage of any opportunity. There is no set allocation mix so weightings can float between equities, commodities, fixed income, and cash as needed to create growth or hedge risk.

We are putting the finishing touches on the model now and will look to launch the portfolio live on January 1st.

October 21, 2019

Portfolio Action Update

Equity Portfolio

As noted in the last update we took profits from positions that were grossly extended and showing signs of correction. The second was to add to, or add new, positions in the portfolio to keep current allocations levels.

Today, we took some initial actions in the Equity Portfolio and added:

We have 3-other positions slated to add over the coming days and will do so opportunistically.

We are also looking to rebalance and add exposure to the ETF model as well.

October 15,2019

Portfolio Action Update

Equity and ETF Portfolios

Over the last several weeks we have been discussing the need to take profits out of positions (for a third time this year) as prices had just gotten way to extended. Furthermore, we appear to be in the early stages of a rotation from more “safe haven” investments back into “risk on” as the Federal Reserve begins to once again be expanding the balance sheet.

We are making the adjustments to the EQUITY portfolio in 2-steps.

The first step is taking profits from positions that are grossly extended and showing signs of correction. The second step will be adding to, or adding new, positions in the portfolio to keep current allocations levels.

Today we have taken profits in the following positions:

In the ETF portfolio we are reducing IAU by 50%.  

We will look to increase exposure to either the core or sectors weightings over the next couple of days if necessary.

October 11, 2019

Equity Long/Short Portfolio Trade Update

Buy 100 shares of TBX and Buy 100 shares of SHY

As discussed in our just released RIA Pro article –Non-QE QE and How To Trade it, we believe the yield curve will steepen. Today the Fed announced that they will buy $60 billion per month of Treasury Bills for at least six months.

The trade above in the RIA Pro portfolio is slightly different than that which we recommended in the article. Because of difficulty in shorting IEF, we instead purchased TBX, the inverse ETF of IEF. Due to this change we had to adjust the ratio of SHY and TBX. Please read the article for more of a discussion on the trade and the details.

 

October 9, 2019

Equity Portfolio Trade Update

Sell 1/2 ABT

As noted in today’s POSITION UPDATE REPORT our holding in Abbott Laboratories broke support and triggered our adjusted stop loss.

After taking profits in the position previously, we have sold 1/2 of the remaining position.

Over the next couple of days, as we see how things develop with the “trade negotiations,” and the Fed, we are going to rebalance our portfolio holdings accordingly by trimming profits and adjusting the overall risk profile.

We are optimistic some form of a trade deal will be completed and the markets will likely rally into the end of the year. However, until we have some clarity, it makes sense to hedge risk currently.

Remember, it is always easier to add money to a rising market versus trying to figure out how to make up losses.

September 27, 2019

** RIA Pro Web Site Upgrades **

In the Portfolio Tab you will now find a gold plus sign to the left of the ticker. When you click on it you will access key information about the company.

Within this menu is a listing of past and future dividend and earnings dates and data for the company. To see this information for your entire portfolio you can click Dividend at the top of the page to the right of the large performance graph. This will display dividend and earnings information for your entire portfolio.

In the Research menu you will now find global dividend and earnings calendars. Clicking it will display a list of companies with dividends or earnings for the specific date.

These upgrades were based on comments from subscribers. Please keep the great ideas coming.

September 26, 2019

** Trade Update **

BUY – Boeing (BA)

EQUITY PORTFOLIO

Yesterday, I noted that we added the 2nd half of a position to BA to the LONG-SHORT PORTFOLIO as discussed in our Portfolio Position Update report.

We completed the process of adding to 2nd half of the BA position to our EQUITY PORTFOLIOS today.

Models have been updated.

September 25, 2019

** Trade Update **

EQUITY/ETF Portfolios

We had previously added a short-term trading position in VXX as a hedge against the Federal Reserve announcement on rates.

These positions, due to the optionality inside of the ETF, can NOT be held for long-periods of time as they “bleed” relative to the performance of the underlying index due to the “decay of premium” in the underlying options.

With the market oversold short-term, and sitting on support, we are closing out the position with a slight gain. We will look for the next opportunity to hedge which will be coming around mid-month with the “trade negotiations.” 

EQUITY LONG-SHORT

We added the 2nd half of a position to BA today as discussed in our Portfolio Position Update report.

September 24, 2019

** Trade Update **

ETF Portfolios

We have been talking for a while about the really overbought conditions of “defensive” sectors of XLP, XLRE, and XLU.

We have been carrying an overweight position in XLP since earlier this year. Today we reduced that overweight to portfolio weight to take in some gains.

September 17, 2019

** Trade Update **

Equity and ETF Portfolios

We are starting to add a hedge to our portfolios heading into the Fed meeting tomorrow and the “trade negotiations” in mid-October.

We added our 1st-stage of VXX to both models and will continue to build into the position as volatility drops further. Markets are extremely overbought short-term and a correction is pending in the next few weeks.

This is a short-term hedge which will maintain both a tight stop as we build into it, and will be sold on a spike in volatility.

September 12, 2019

** Trade Update **

Equity Long-Short Portfolio

We closed out our 2x S&P 500 trading position after adding to the position twice in recent weeks. As noted previously, the trade was put on after the S&P 500 broke out of consolidation and above the 50-dma which gave us a trade target of the July highs. We reached that target this morning and with the market back to extreme overbought we have closed the trade and taken in profits. We are now looking for an opportunity to potentially short against our remaining long “core” S&P 500 positions.

The chart below shows the overbought short-term condition.

Equity Portfolio

In the core equity portfolio we have been discussing needing an opportunity to increase duration in our bond holding and add to our gold positions. The announcement by the ECB to go deeper into #negative #rate territory and restart QE was the point we needed.

ETF Portfolio

We took similar actions in the ETF Portfolio as well for the same reasons.

September 9, 2019

** Trade Update **

Added to the 2x S&P 500 holding in the EQUITY LONG-SHORT Portfolio for a one or two trade trade opportunity. Market approaching overbought so rally is likely to fail at all-time highs.

September 6, 2019

NEW SITE FEATURES

RIA PRO portfolios are now compared to an equal benchmark of S&P 500 and Fixed Income which more appropriately represents the risk management features of the portfolio.

Click to Enlarge Image

We have also added a screen for DIVIDEND YIELD.  

Click Images To Enlarge

You can screen for high dividend yielding stocks and then sort by yield  We have included our ranking system to help sort out the good from the bad.

September 5, 2019

Trading Alert:

With breakout above the 50-dma and the trading channel we have been in over the past month we have added 1/2 of a trading position to the EQUITY LONG-SHORT Portfolio. We will add a second half-position in the next day or so if the breakout holds.

In the ETF Portfolio we added to our existing exposures of XLC and XLY bringing both of those positions up to target weights.

August 28, 2019

As discussed in this mornings SELECTED PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW there are several positions currently under scrutiny for liquidation as market risks rise relative to economic, technical and fundamental outlooks. The ongoing trade war is wearing on profitability as well as the inversion of the yield curve suggesting something more serious damage is occurring in the economy.

As such our first actions in this regard was the liquidation of our financial positions as the inversion of the yield curve, along with the Fed cutting rates, negatively impacts bank profitability.  Also, credit risk is rising which also makes banks more vulnerable.

Equity Model – Sell JPM

ETF Model – Sell XLF (FNCL for RIA Advisor Clients)

Portfolio models have been updated.

August 23, 2019

With that type of rhetoric flying around, it is impossible to trade the market at this moment.

We closed out our remain portion of the 2x S&P 500 long and will wait for things to settle down a bit and see where next supports are.

August 22, 2019

NO LONG-SHORT LIST TODAY

With the Jackson Hole Conference starting today, there is too much risk to be short in the market currently.

As noted yesterday, we have sold into this rally and reduced our 2x SP500 position.  We are maintaining our core S&P 500 positions as the bias is currently bullish. The support that has been building around the recent lows is positive and a break above the 50-dma could lead to a retest of previous highs.

With the volatility seen in just the past two weeks, it is too difficult to trade short positions without being “whipsawed” out of the holdings.

Trading Rule:

When you are “unsure” about the best course of action, the best course of action is to “do nothing.”

We will wait for a clearer picture.

August 21, 2019

** UPDATE **

EQUITY LONG SHORT PORTFOLIO:

We sold another 25% of the 2x S&P 500 position that we added for the bounce last Thursday.  This leaves us with 1/2 of the original position. With the market still contained below resistance, and working off the oversold condition, there is probably not much more upside to the trad currently. However, IF we get a break above the 50-dma, then a rally back to highs is possible.

Comments from the FOMC minutes or the Jackson Hole summit which tilts towards more rate cuts or QE could push asset prices above resistance.

August 19, 2019

** UPDATE **

EQUITY PORTFOLIO:

We have been discussing for a while that we would be eliminating PPL from the portfolio, but we were waiting to find a suitable replacement. While we have a couple of candidates to add to the portfolio, we decided to go ahead and sell PPL and use the proceeds to add to AGNC and JNJ.

We are continuing to leg into our Agency positions which will benefit when the yield curve starts to steepen as the Fed cuts rates and implements QE. Today, the White House starting applying pressure to accomplish this goal. We are saving some powder momentarily add to NLY as the steepner becomes more evident.

We are adding to JNJ as we feel much of the legal issues surrounding “talc” are likely embedded into the stock price. We are increasing our holdings slightly given the recent pullback to support.

EQUITY LONG SHORT PORTFOLIO:

We sold 25% of the 2x S&P 500 position that we added for the bounce last Thursday.  With the market not yet back to “overbought,” we will continue to monitor and sell more on the approach to the 50-dma.

August 15, 2019

** UPDATE**

EQUITY LONG SHORT PORTFOLIO:

I added a 2x S&P 500 position to the Long-Short portfolio for an “oversold trade” and a bounce into the end of the week. We will re-evaluate the holding tomorrow.

____________________________

We have released a SPECIAL REPORT covering the S&P 500 index on a daily, weekly & monthly basis to weigh the possibilities and probabilities of what happens next, the “yield curve,” and why the inversion was “no surprise.” 

August 14, 2019

**UPDATE**

ETF Portfolio Change

This morning we sold XLE as it violated our stop loss levels. At the moment we are being cautious and replacing it with short term treasuries (BIL).

The portfolio has been updated.

We have also implemented a new ALERT SYSTEM which will send an email to all subscribers when we make changes to the RIA PRO Portfolios.  See below:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

 

August 13, 2019

ETF Portfolio Change

With Trump caving to corporate pressure (Christmas shopping season right around the corner), and suspending tariffs on technology and apparel goods, we are tweaking our exposures in our portfolios. We started with the ETF model today, and are reviewing the EQUITY model for changes as well.

Today, we took profits in XLU as the sector was grossly extended. We reduced XLF as rate cuts by the Fed will reduce their future net margin interest.

We added to our existing Technology position (XLK) and added a 1/2 position in Communications (XLC)

I will address the reasoning in more details in our blogs and newsletters over the next couple of days.

August 12, 2019

Today, we made a small adjustment to the bond side of the portfolios by swapping the Treasury Floating Rate Fund (TFLO) for a bit longer duration Treasury bond fund (SHY). Our expectation is the Fed will cut rates again in September, which will suppress the short-end of the curve faster than the long end. By increasing duration a bit, we can add some incremental returns to the portfolio without taking on additional credit risk.

If we get a pullback in bond prices in the next couple of months, which is very high probability, we will increase duration further in the portfolio. Credit quality is important at this late stage of the investment cycle, so maintaining a high level of credit quality is very important to capital preservation in the months ahead.

August 9, 2019

Yesterday, as the market opened up fairly sharply, we temporarily closed out the 2x S&P 500 short position to allow the long-side of the portfolio to gain ground.

If today closes below the 50-dma we will begin looking for an opportunity to reinstate the short-position.

August 2, 2019

Not surprisingly, following the addition of new tariffs on China, something we had previously predicted would be the case, the market turned ugly over the past few days.

We were stopped out of NVDA and CRM this morning with breaks below support.

We will probably look to put these trades back on heading into earnings for both companies, but there is simply too much uncertainty at the moment regarding the war breaking out between the White House and the Federal Reserve.

We continue to carry our 2x S&P 500 short but will look to close that trade out as well as the market approaches an oversold condition.

August 1, 2019

** EMN stopped out at $74.75 today.  Position has been closed.**

NO LONG-SHORT IDEA LIST Today

Yesterday, the Fed cut rates a quarter point and, as noted in our daily commentary, it was the suggesting of a “mid-cycle” cut which sent stocks reeling.

Given this turmoil, it is too risky to take on additional long-short bets at the moment until we can see how this is going to play out.

As noted, we sold our long GOOG position following earnings. We remain long in our 2x S&P 500 short fund to hedge our long S&P positions.

We are close to being stopped out of our remaining trading positions. However, as noted, we didn’t want to sucked in by the announcement turmoil yesterday, so we are going to wait and see how our positions trade over the next 24-48 hours.

We  will update you accordingly.

July 25, 2019

Following last week’s LONG-SHORT IDEA list, we bought 4-positions long for trading:a  CRM, NVDA, EMN and GOOG.

This morning we sold our position in GOOG this morning following their earnings announcement with an average price of $ 1247.84.

Trading lesson RE-learned:

I knew better than to sell at the open this morning, but I did it because I was concerned that with AMZN’s miss, it might drag prices lower early.  We got an “okay” price at the open but if I would have waited for the “robots” to finish their opening “buying,” I could have done a bit better on the trade.

This is what happens when you let emotions dictate your trading. Unfortunately, that is the lesson that must be re-learned from time to time.

We are still holding a small 2x-short S&P 500 index in the portfolio as a hedge going into August/September seasonal weakness.

July 24, 2019

On Monday we noted that we were taking profits in positions that had become grossly extended in the EQUITY portfolio.

Yesterday, we took similar actions in the ETF model and sold 10% of our over-weight defensive positions:

This raise our cash position slightly and we are maintaining our other hedges accordingly for now.

July 22, 2019

** Updated**

In this past weekend’s REAL INVESTMENT REPORT we wrote:

“Equity Model: No changes this past week. We are looking to taking profits across the breadth of our portfolio as we are currently sporting gains of 20-40% in many positions just since the beginning of the year. We have already taken profits once back in May, and taking profits a second time will allow us to remove our stop-loss levels for now and look for deep corrections to rebuild holdings.”

This morning, that action was taken and we took profits on 10% of the following 11 Equity model stocks. All of these had >20% gains.

This is the SECOND round of profit taking we have done this year after a similar action was taken back on April 30th.

July 19, 2019

in yesterday’s commentary we noted that we were adding to our Long-Short portfolio:

The Equity Long-Short portfolio positions have now all been updated with cost basis.

We are reviewing the 60/40 Equity Portfolio today and will begin taking profits out of our biggest gainers.

We did this back at the beginning of May, and now with many of these positions up 20% or more since the beginning of the year, we are going to lock in more of gains and wait for a correction to add back exposure at cheaper levels.

We will keep you apprised as we take actions.

July 18, 2019

This morning we are adding a small 2x S&P 500 short position to the trading portfolio to hedge our core long positions against a retracement over the next few weeks. We will remove the short if the market is able to regain its footing and move higher, or the market sells off and reaches oversold conditions.

We are also selling EFA and EEM at the open and closing out our international positions which have failed to gain any traction following the G-20 meeting and more “dovish” positioning by the ECB.

We are also adding two trading positions from our Long-Short list today –  CRM and GOOG for a trade heading into earnings. Both are on the cusp of either a breakout or a breakdown, so we are running with very tight stops.

I will update the portfolio model later today once trades have settled.

July 3, 2019

Yesterday, we added a full position (1.50%) of WELL to the RIA Equity Portfolio.  We also added a full position (2.92%) of REM to the ETF portfolio. REM is an ETF similar in nature to NLY and AGNC, which we purchased last week.

June 28, 2019

In our Long-Short Idea List yesterday we discussed CVS Health as a long trade.

We have held this position previously and were stopped out. However, after a long basing period, and better than expected results from Walgreens (WBA) there is a reasonable trade set up for our longer-term Equity Portfolio.

Yesterday, we added a full position of CVS to the RIA Equity Portfolio at $54.365.  However, we are also carrying a very tight trailing stop at the recent lows at $51.00.

June 18, 2019

We just published Profiting From a Steepening Yield Curve which further explains our rationale for buying AGNC and NLY in the equity portfolios. To read the article click the link below.

June 12, 2019

Portfolio Update.

EQUITY and EQUITY LONG-SHORT Model Portfolios

After taking profits at the beginning of May in a majority of our equity holdings and shifting to more defensive positioning in the ETF portfolio there hasn’t been much to do.

Today, we took some actions.

In our weekly MAJOR MARKET REVIEW we recommended taking a position in SPY with a sell target of 290. With that target hit on Monday we sold half of our positioning in the LONG-SHORT portfolio of RSP, IVV and VYM.

We will look to add back to those positions on the next opportunity.

In today’s SELECTED PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW, we stated:

The breakdown in MU today was enough to trigger our sell, so we closed out the position.

BUT, we also added 1/2 of two new positions in the mortgage sector: NLY and AGNC.

We have a specific report on this trade coming out next week.

However, our belief is that as the recession approaches we will see the yield curve steepen markedly as the short-end of the curve collapses faster than the long-end. A “bullish steepner” is beneficial for these companies so we are beginning to take on positioning to plan for that eventuality.

In the mean time, both NLY and AGNC yield healthy dividends of 13.3 pct and 12.9 pct respectively.

We will update this positioning and the reasoning for it in the upcoming report. Stay tuned.

May 28, 2019

Portfolio Update.

EQUITY and EQUITY LONG-SHORT Model Portfolios

When we originally launched the Equity Trading Portfolio we launched it as a pure Equity/Fixed Portfolio. However, within our client accounts at RIA Advisors, our equity portfolios carry a core holding of the S&P 500 which is the base we build the rest of the portfolio off of. This “core” provides a base relative to the market which then allows us to select specific equities to overweight and underweight specific areas of the market to create “alpha” over the market.

We had been looking for a correction to add the core to the equity portfolio and the recent pullback, while early, is providing the entry point. The core is comprised of 1/3 S&P 500, 1/3 S&P Equal Weight, and 1/3 Dividend Yield. This blend gives us relative performance to the S&P 500 with a bit of a defensive tilt with higher yield.

We added 1/3rd of each position on May 22nd and added again to those positions on the recent weakness.

We will continue this process into the summer until the core is complete. Looking forward, this core can both be added to, and shorted against, as needed to hedge performance.

We also added the beginnings of the core position to the Long/Short portfolio as well which, now that we can track short positions at RIA PRO, we will begin fully building out this summer from our weekly Long/Short Idea List.

May 23, 2019

Portfolio Update.

ETF Model Portfolio

We recently reduced equity exposure in the ETF portfolio by selling EEM, and cutting our XLB, XLI, and XLY exposures in half. This took our target equity weighting below our model allocation levels currently.

As noted in our newsletter over the last couple of weeks, we are seeing the early signs of a defensive rotation in equities due to the resurgence of the trade war. Therefore, we are moving our allocations accordingly to participate with the rotation.

We are adding:

After recently lengthening duration in our bond portfolios, we will look for a short-term reversal in rates, which will coincide with a counter-trend market bounce, to add further to our position in IEF.

May 22, 2014

Portfolio Update.

EQUITY and EQUITY TRADING Portfolios

When we originally launched the Equity Trading Portfolio we launched it as a pure Equity/Fixed Portfolio. However, within our client accounts at RIA Advisors, our equity portfolios carry a core holding of the S&P 500 which is the base we build the rest of the portfolio off of. This “core” provides a base relative to the market which then allows us to select specific equities to overweight and underweight specific areas of the market to create “alpha” over the market.

We had been looking for a correction to add the core to the equity portfolio and the recent pullback, while early, is providing the entry point. The core is comprised of 1/3 S&P 500, 1/3 S&P Equal Weight, and 1/3 Dividend Yield. This blend gives us relative performance to the S&P 500 with a bit of a defensive tilt with higher yield.

We added 1/3rd of each position today and will build into the core on further weakness throughout the summer. Looking forward, this core can both be added to, and shorted against, as needed to hedge performance.

We also added the beginnings of the core position to the Long/Short portfolio as well which, now that we can track short positions at RIA PRO, we will begin fully building out this summer from our weekly Long/Short Idea List.

May 14, 2014

Portfolio Update.

ETF Portfolio

Continuing from yesterday’s discussion on the impact of “trade wars” on various sectors has us beginning to reposition out of some the areas most susceptible to tariffs. Yesterday, we close out our position in Emerging Markets, and sold 1/2 of our position in Basic Materials.

Today, on the bounce as laid out yesterday, we sold half of our position in XLI (industrials) and XLY (consumer discretionary) and added one-half position in XLRE (real estate) which should be defensive with lower interest rates.

 

May 13, 2019

Portfolio update:

Equity Long-Short:

On Friday, we put on a small 2x S&P 500 trade for a market bounce. However, over the weekend President Trump and Xi went to war with each other completely tripping up expectations of the market. As a consequence, we closed the position out at the open for a small loss.

ETF Portfolio

Trade wars don’t play well with Emerging Markets, Basic Materials, and Industrials. We are moving a little slowly here after already taking profits a couple of weeks ago, however, we closed out our small position in EEM and half of our position in XLB. On a bounce in the market, we will close out half of our position in XLI and look to add to IAU and/or GDX.

May 10 2019

After 5-days of selling the market is short-term oversold. I put on a 5% SPY trading position in the trading account this morning for a bounce.

Buy 5% position in SSO – filled at open at 119.63.

May 9 2019

As noted in Wednesday’s portfolio position review, the majority of our positions have held up fine this week, although we do have a couple on the “high alert” list.

We have been talking about taking profits a good bit lately due to the overly extended nature of the market. When a market becomes over bought, extended and bullish there is always some issue which leads to a reversion of that positioning. This week it was the return of “Tariff Man.” 

Because of the uncertainty coming out of Washington, we have remained on hold this week. The problem when dealing with the White House is the volatility caused by his “tweets.” The current sell off was sparked by his tweet on Sunday threatening additional tariffs on Friday. However, this weekend you could well see a tweet saying he and President Xi had a very good meeting and tariffs are being postponed for now. Such would lead to a market surge on Monday.

As such, we are sitting on our hands at the moment and closely watching our positioning. We are still overweight cash, bonds and gold, relative to equities, so our guard is up. Once we have a resolution on Friday, we will get back to work whichever way it goes.

This is also the reason there is NO LONG-SHORT LIST today. No matter what longs or shorts I pick, the decision from “Tariff Man” on Friday could change everything with a tweet.

May 5, 2019

Happy Cinco De Mayo.

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT IS OUT!

It Never Hurts To Ring The Cash Register

A review of the reasoning behind our profit taking last week and what we are looking out for next.

April 30, 2019

PORTFOLIO UPDATE

Over the last couple of weeks, we have been discussing the incessant rise in the market and the need to trim profits and rebalance risk in some of our holdings particularly after such large gains in some of the positions since the beginning of the year. Some of the proceeds we took we then added to Health care due to the valuation opportunity that exists currently.

April 26, 2019

PORTFOLIO UPDATE


Yesterday we released Value Your Wealth – Part One  Introduction.  This series of RIA Pro articles will deeply explore value and growth strategies. Some of our ideas for future articles are included in this introduction article.

Over the last ten years a performance gap between growth and value has occurred on a scale only seen leading up to the 2001 tech wreck and the Great Depression. We believe this historic anomaly has important implications for investors when this market and economic cycle finally turn.  This series of articles will provide you a road map to investing and preserving wealth in what we believe will be a difficult environment for most investors in the future.

April 25, 2019

This morning 3M (MMM) reported earnings which missed markedly. Outlook was poor and they cut 2000 jobs. This, combined with Caterpillars (CAT) yesterday continues to suggest economic growth may be weaker than currently reported. Combined with a strong dollar, the knock off effects in the coming quarters may be persistent.

We closed out MMM at the open this morning at a cost of $ 195.6401

The Equity Portfolio has been updated for the sale.

 

April 24, 2019

*** Update: We got lucky and sold GS this morning at the open at 203 which protected our gains in the EQUITY TRADING account. VLO is not working well, and we will likely trim it out in the next day or so if it doesn’t perk up. Currently, this account is mostly cash as a majority of positions are grossly extended to the upside. However, we do not have a good setup to short the market either with bullish sentiment running to extremes. So, we will hold cash until an opportunity presents itself.

As noted yesterday, we took profits in XLK and added to our holdings in XLV. This is something we discussed in our weekly sector updates. With the Healthcare sector beaten down by political rhetoric, and with strong earnings, there is some value in the sector. Technology is extremely extended, so simply just taking some profits for now.

We are going to be taking some similar actions in the EQUITY model as well.  Review the Position Review for some of the areas we are looking at specifically.

 

April 23, 2019

We are working on taking profits in XLP, XLK, and XLY in the ETF Model and adding to XLV as we continue to roll into earnings season. No changes needed at the moment in the EQUITY Model.

In the meantime, catch up on your reading: (Click Image To Read)

April 18, 2019

I have been traveling this week, so I was unable to post the Portfolio Position Review yesterday. Since tomorrow is “Good Friday,” and the markets are closed, I am going to postpone the Long-Short Idea List until next week as “crazy” stuff can happen over a long holiday weekend.

SELECTED PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW

REALITY VS FANTASY: WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR THIS EARNINGS SEASON

April 12, 2019

**Trading Update: With the market opening higher this morning on the back of JPM’s earnings (which we own long in the Equity Model) and surge in China Bank Credit, we are closing out our short hedge. We are looking for additional trading longs to add to the Equity Trading Long/Short account but most positions are egregiously extended at the moment.

If you are holding junk/high yield corporate bonds (rated below BBB-) or associated ETFs (HYG or JNK for example) we suggest reading our latest article on what to expect from junk bonds if the current economic cycle is coming to a conclusion. Click below for the article.

April 11, 2019

LONG-SHORT IDEA LIST

NEW TRADES FOR EQUITY LONG/SHORT PORTFOLIO

Bought 2-positions from the LONG analysis is today’s Long-Short Idea List

Both J. Brett Freeze from Global Technical Analysis and Erik Lytikainen from Viking Analytics are both predicting a large move in the S&P 500 over the next week. This move could be UP or DOWN, but the bias is most likely to the downside.

Therefore we have hedged our portfolio with a Short S&P 500 position (SDS). 

If the market breaks to the upside we will close it out and add to our longs positions.

April 9, 2019

No trades for today as we await a very heavy Wednesday of Fed speak and FOMC minutes.

New Posts This Morning

Sector Buy/Sell Review

 

Fundamentally Speaking: Earnings Season Review & Outlook

April 8, 2019

Website Updates:

  1. Asset sector pie charts in user portfolio and model portfolio
  2. Profit & Loss calculations in user portfolios.
  3. Model portfolio tabs changed to new tabs layout.

Catch Up On Your Reading

Major Market Buy/Sell Review

Real Investment Report: Experience Is The Only Cure

April 4, 2019

Rebalance Of Equity Portfolio Is Complete

As I noted on Tuesday, we were working on the rebalance of the Equity 60/40 portfolio. That process is now complete and the complete list of transactions is listed below.  We reduced positions that had grown well beyond portfolio weights and added to underweight positions. We did NOT add to Boeing (BA) at this time as we are waiting for both earnings announcements and further reports on ongoing investigations.

Click To Enlarge For Readability

We are also reviewing the ETF 60/40 Model for rebalancing as well and will likely have an announcement on that by next week.

We have recently added the ability to include SHORT POSITIONS in the RIA PRO Equity Long-Short portfolio. We are rebuilding our model currently to start implementing the trades we discuss on Thursday’s Long-Short Idea List 

(Note: The Long-Short Idea List is on hiatus today as we work through this process.

Note 2: We will be rolling out the ability to add short-positions in all user portfolios in the next couple of weeks along with a “live” version of the 401k Plan Manager.)

April 2, 2019

Slow News Day – Catch Up On Your Reading

 

April 1, 2019

All dividends and interest for March have been added to the cash balances of all three portfolios.

We are working on doing a system wide rebalance on all accounts this week for the quarter and ahead of the start of earnings season.

We will provide an update on all activity when the rebalance process is complete.

March 27, 2019

SELECTED PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW is now available.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: ARE WE GOING TO NEW HIGHS?

March 26, 2019

SECTOR BUY/SELL REVIEW is now available.

Transports violated their stop loss and need to be sold. Watch Financials as they are close to their stop-loss as well.
Market being driven by a narrowing participation.

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING: ARE WE GOING TO NEW HIGHS?

March 25, 2019

NEW MENU LAYOUT

We have reorganized the menu items to make them more intuitive in the research and portfolio construction process.

  1. STARTCatch up on daily portfolio alerts, commentary and blogs.
  2. MACROAn high level overview of what’s moving in markets and sectors.
  3. IDEASDrilling down into markets and sectors to find out whats working and what’s not. 
  4. RESEARCHFound an idea – research it with charts, analyst reviews, etc. 
  5. PORTFOLIOAdd it to your portfolio or watch list. 

NEW PORTFOLIO FEATURE: SELL SHORT

In our Equity Long-Short portfolio we have only been able to buy ETF’s which short the market as the mechanics in the portfolio tool did not allow for entering SHORT positions.

That has now been resolved.

In your portfolio, you can now SELL SHORT to open a new position and BUY TO COVER to close it out.

MAJOR MARKET BUY/SELL REVIEW is now available

ICYMI – REAL INVESTMENT REPORT

March 22, 2019

Equity Long-Short Portfolio

** Update:  Sold remaining 1/2 of 2x Short S&P 500 position today at $ 33.6728

March 20, 2019

Equity Long-Short Portfolio

** Update:  Sold 1/2 of 2x Short S&P 500 position pre-Fed announcement at $ 33.685

Equity Portfolio

** Update: FDX sold at $ 172

** Update: Bought 1/2 position of Micron Technologies (MU) at $ 40.49 before earnings.  Stop-loss is any downside break due to missed/poor earnings.

Selling Federal Express (FDX)

As noted in today’s PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW, below, we are selling Federal Express after a second dismal quarterly earnings report and forecast. In our management process, we can forgive a one quarter miss, but two quarters tends to represent a bigger issue for the company. We will come back to FDX later when things begin to show signs of improvement.

Snapshot:

Click To Enlarge

SELECTED PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW is now available

 

March 19, 2019

SECTOR BUY SELL REVIEW is now available

ICYMI: MAJOR MARKET BUY/SELL REVIEW from yesterday.

March 18, 2019

With the market entering into the quarterly “blackout period” for stock buybacks, and with options expiration behind us, there is a decent probability of a short-term pullback to support given the short-term overbought conditions.

Given that setup, we bought a 2X S&P 500 inverse position (SDS) in the EQUITY LONG/SHORT portfolio to both hedge our Boeing (BA) trade and take advantage of a short-term correction through the end of the month.

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT is now available

March 16, 2019

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT is now available

March 15, 2019

LONG-SHORT IDEA LIST is now available

RIA PRO Sentiment Gauge is reaching the highest level seen in the last year.

March 14, 2019

EQUITY LONG-SHORT PORTFOLIO UPDATE

Tomorrow is QUADRUPLE witching as all options contracts for March expire simultaneously. This always creates volatility in the market and some of the recent runup in equities may be linked to impending option rolls.

Therefore, we have closed our recent 2X S&P 500 position until we get through tomorrow because leveraged funds are impacted by optionality. We will add the position back on a retest of support.

Also, as noted in today’s commentary, Erik Lytikainen has been nailing the oil market for the last 6-months. His analysis suggests a roughly 2 dollar drop in oil prices tomorrow during options rolls. We added a ONE DAY short trade on oil prices (SCO) which will be closed out tomorrow by the end of the day.

_____________

Note: I got waylaid on a couple of big projects yesterday and was unable to get the LONG-SHORT IDEA LIST generated. I will try and get that published later today.  My apologies for the delay.

EQUITY PORTFOLIO UPDATE

With the pullback and successful test of the 200-dma we add some exposures to our portfolio.

We have been light on financials so we added a starter position in JP Morgan (JPM) which compliments our current holding in Visa (V)

We also added a fundamental cheap utility company PPL Corporation (PPL) which trades at 12x earnings and a 23% profit margin.

After a series of negative reports and a vast majority of Wall Street analysts now negative on Apple (AAPL) we added 1/2 position as a trade and will look to build that out heading into their earnings report which will likely surprise to the upside. Risk/reward decent in the position currently.

We also add to our holdings of United Health Care (UNH) and HCA Healthcare (HCA) bringing those positions to full model weights as the pullback to support held.

GLITCH IN INDICES OVERVIEW FIXED

Yesterday, one of our users discovered a glitch in the indices overview sector where the commentary was not updating for each market. That has now been corrected.

March 12, 2019

ETF PORTFOLIO

As detailed in the SECTOR BUY SELL REVIEW below we added the following to our ETF Portfolio yesterday.

EQUITY PORTFOLIO

Like our long/short portfolio discussed in yesterday’s trade notes we also closed our a small short S&P 500 position and added 1/2 position in Boeing (BA)

MAJOR SECTOR BUY/SELL REVIEW is now available

NEW CHARTING TOOLS

We have added two new charting tools to the chart menu.

If you click on the PITCHFORK you will now see the addition of Fibonacci Retracement tools.

Also, you can now take a snapshot of your chart and Tweet it out or share it as you wish.

March 11, 2019

EQUITY LONG/SHORT TRADING PORTFOLIO

This morning we bought a position in Boeing (BA) following the sell off on news of the crash over the weekend. Even if the two crashes of the 737 MAX are related to a structural design issue it will take years for a settlement to be reached and even longer to be paid out. (We can look at BP following the Gulf well blowout as an example.)

Therefore, in the short-term we thing there is a good trading opportunity as well as a long-term play as we added 1/2 of a position to our Equity Model as well. We will allow for weakness in the position as news works its way through the stock to add our second 1/2 position in the future.

Also, with the market short-term oversold as of the end of last week, we closed our our short S&P 500 (SH) position and added 1/2 position in 2x S&P 500 (SSO).

MAJOR MARKET BUY/SELL REVIEW is now available

ICYMI: REAL INVESTMENT REPORT

March 9, 2019

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT is out!

DID YOU KNOW – You can quickly look at the best performing sectors and see the top players in that sector. It’s a great way to come up with investment ideas if you are overweight or underweight sectors in your portfolio.

Click On MARKET DATA tab and scroll down to the S&P SECTORS link.  Then select the SECTORS RELATIVE STRENGTH sub-menu tab.

March 7, 2019

Portfolio Update:

No actions have been needed over the last couple of days. Given that we are carrying an overweight position in cash and many of our positions are at 1/2 weights, we are looking for a buying opportunity to add exposure during the correction/consolidation phase. Importantly, the market must hold the 200-dma which we will evaluate in the this coming weekend’s newsletter.

Long-Short Idea List has been posted.

Selected Portfolio Position Review is available.

DID YOU KNOW – You can compare all the FUNDAMENTAL STATS of your stock to its peers? Simply click on CHARTS and go to the FUNDAMENTALS STATS TAB

March 5, 2019

Portfolio Update:

We were stopped out of Walgreen’s Boots Alliance (WBA) on Monday and the equity portfolio has been updated. As we stated previously, we like the corner drug store model for a lot of reasons, but the market doesn’t agree with our assessment currently. We will come back to either CVS or WBA in the future when prospects improve.

Sector Buy/Sell Review has been posted.

DID YOU KNOW – We post our proprietary market internals for you to use in your analysis. Head over to the MARKET DATA tab and click on MARKET INTERNALS on the drop down menu.

March 4, 2019

Major Market Buy/Sell Review has been posted.

ICYMI: The Real Investment Report is out.

NEED SOME INVESTING IDEAS?  Head over to ACTIVE TRADER under the MARKET DATA tab.

March 2, 2019

Portfolio Update:

Dividends and Interest for February have been added to all accounts.

The Real Investment Report is now available

DID YOU KNOW…

If you click on ANALYST and input your favorite stock you can get all the current analyst ratings to help you with your homework.

February 28, 2019

LONG-SHORT IDEA LIST is now available!

DID YOU KNOW…

If you click on HEAT MAP and then select GRID option you can sort Stocks, ETF’s and Funds by a variety of measures to find great long and short candidates.

February 27, 2019

PORTFOLIO POSITION REVIEW is now available!

DID YOU KNOW…

That you can scan for the top 20 strongest RSI stocks to find investment ideas?

 

February 26, 2019 – Trade Alert

As we discussed in this mornings TECHNICALLY TRADING report, the odds of an unabated continued rally from this point is becoming much less likely.

Based on this analysis we are closing out our long-positions in the EQUITY TRADING LONG/SHORT portfolio and taking our profits. (Note: These transactions are ONLY in the trading account and are not applicable to the Equity portfolio which has a longer-term investment horizon.)

Today, we sold:

We are maintaining our long/short hedge of SH and XLU at the moment as we await a better opportunity for the next set of trades.

February 26, 2019

SECTOR BUY/SELL REVIEW is now available!

Portfolio Update

As noted in this past weekend’s newsletter, yesterday we added starter positions in both Gold and Emerging Markets.

Gold and Emerging markets have been performing much more bullishly as of late but both are extremely overbought short-term. As always, we start with a “trading” position which limits our portfolio risk currently, and if the trade begins to work as we expect, we then add to the position for a longer-term investment.

We are still worried about the global economic weakness which will likely wind up negatively impacting emerging market stocks, but the recent break above the 200-dma, and retest, is a bullish trading setup short-term.

IAU is a hedge against rising inflationary pressures and global weakness. Again, as with our exposure in our Equity Portfolio to GDX, it is a hedge against equity risk in the short-term.

February 25, 2019

MAJOR MARKET BUY/SELL REVIEW is online.

Also, don’t forget to catch up on the weekend newsletter in case you missed it!

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT is now available!

February 23, 2019

REAL INVESTMENT REPORT is now available!

February 21, 2019

As I noted in this morning’s LONG-SHORT IDEA list, candidates are getting much harder to come by which is symptomatic of a market reaching more extreme overbought conditions.

Also, be sure and check out our new tools on the site:

This week we used our NEW HEAT MAP TOOL (Click on HEAT MAP in the menu bar above) to screen for our candidates. Change the layout to GRID and then short by a fundamental or momentum ranking.

As noted last week, the new SCAN TOOL also has several new screening parameters to include both fundamental factors (Piotroski Score) and momentum factors (Mohanram Score) along with Zack’s rankings.

More innovations are on the way…stay tuned.

February 20, 2019

This morning I posted our Selected Portfolio Position Review in which I discussed our holding of CVS Health Corp. (CVS).

To wit:

This morning, on rather disappointing earnings, CVS sold off and triggered our stop loss.

As discussed, since we like the “Corner Drug Store” business, we swapped into Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) with only a minor difference in cost basis.

Fundamentals for WBA are also comparable to CVS.

February 18, 2019

Markets are closed today, so it’s a great day to catch up on your reading.

February 16, 2019

Real Investment Report Is Now Available

February 14, 2019

**UPDATE – we closed out SSO this morning with break back below the 200-dma on pretty dismal economic data. We are leaving our hedge in place in the Long-Short portfolio. 

Long-Short Idea List is available

Today’s list was created using our newly UPDATED SCAN TOOL which now includes Zack’s ranking, Piotroski Fundamental Scores, and Mohanram Momentum Scores. You use the screen to reduce the potential universe of stocks quickly to improve you stock selections.  Give it a try by clicking SCAN in the menu bar above.

Yesterday, the market broke above the 200-dma which effectively now resolves the more bearish backdrop of the market from 2018. The next major resistance is at 2800 where the October and November highs reside.

If the market can clear that hurdle, then all-time highs are the next target.

Click To Enlarge

What is important, is where the market CLOSES ON FRIDAY. The breakout of the market above the 200-dma will be invalidated if it closes below that level on Friday.

If that happens the 200-dma will be reinforced as resistance for the market and it will be considered a failed test of that level.

For this reason, we have not closed out our short position in either of the equity portfolios. However, in the Equity Long-Short Portfolio we did neutralize the short position with 2x leveraged S&P 500 fund (SSO).  If the market rises and confirms the breakout, we will close the short-hedge.

There are still plenty of risks to markets over the intermediate term, but the momentum behind the equity rally remains bullish for now.

February 13, 2019

Selected Portfolio Position Review is available

Yesterday, the market ran into the 200-dma. As I noted in this past weekend’s missive, another test of the 200-dma was likely. However, what is important is whether the market can close solidly above the 200-dma by Friday’s close.

Click To Enlarge

If that happens then much of the bearish case for the markets will have been absolved, so any further weakness that maintains support at the 200-dma should be bought.

There are still plenty of risks to markets over the intermediate term, but the momentum behind the equity rally remains bullish for now.

Our equity portfolio remains somewhat defensive in nature with 17% cash currently, but we will deploy that cash opportunistically in the weeks ahead as as the market progresses.

February 12, 2019

Sector Buy/Sell Review Is Now Available

February 11, 2019

Major Market Technical Review

Equity Portfolio Update:

We added 1/2 position of UNH (United Health) to the portfolio. With support close by, we will watch and wait for a an opportunity to fill out the other half of the position.

February 9, 2019

Weekend Newsletter Is Out!

February 8, 2019

Yesterday, we added a small short-position to the Equity Portfolio as a hedge (we used SH) as the market is currently tracing out the pathway we laid out a couple of weeks ago.

Right now, the hedge is small relative to the size of the portfolio, but the composition of the portfolio is already very defensive plus we have an outsized holding of cash.

Support for this pullback is at the confluence of the Oct-Nov bottoms and the rising 50-dma. If that support holds we will add to our existing equity holdings and remove all hedges. If it fails, we will continue to build the hedge to protect capital.

Importantly, the risk IS elevated. As noted in the chart below, the rising wedge from the lows has been violated. The market MUST close in the green today otherwise the 100-dma and the 350-dma will be violated as well.

 

February 7, 2019

Long-Short Idea List Is Now Available:

As noted yesterday, the market is looking to pull back here a bit after running into the 200-dma which is in line with our path prediction described a couple of weeks ago. (Click To Enlarge)

We have a hedge ready to introduce to portfolios if the market closes below 2710 by Friday. Such a close would reflect a further decline back to a minimum of 2625-2675, but lower levels are certainly viable.

February 6, 2019

Selected Portfolio Position Review Is Now Available:

After the State Of The Union address we will sit back and wait for some type of corrective action before taking any further actions within portfolios.

I am looking to sell COST and CVS opportunistically and am looking for positions to swap into.

Two weeks ago I produced the following chart with a Green projection line for the market. The rally has exactly traced that projection since that time and hit our targets which is why we reduced some of our overweight core positions yesterday.

The ideal pullback target will be a retracement back to 2625 that holds. (Click to enlarge)

February 5, 2019

Sector Buy/Sell Review Is Now Available:

Also Read: Technically Speaking – Too Fast, Too Furious

ETF Portfolio Actions:  Reducing RSP, VYM adding XLB

Ahead of tonights “State Of The Union” address, we are adding Basic Materials to our ETF portfolio in anticipation of proposal for an infrastructure program.

We are offsetting that purchase with a reduction in both RSP and VYM as the market has come too far, too quickly and has hit our near term targets of the 200-dma.

Equity Portfolio Actions: Reducing DOV adding VMC

In the Equity model we are taking some profits in DOV which has had an enormous run following their earnings announcement and we are picking up VMC (Vulcan Materials) which should benefit from any talk about infrastructure spending plans. They also announce earnings next week which could be a positive catalyst for the company.

Equity Long/Short – Adding VMC and increasing SH

We are also adding VMC to the long/short portfolio for the same strategy as the Equity model, but given the extreme run of the markets in recent weeks we are also adding to our S&P 500 short position as a hedge.

January 31, 2019

Long-Short Idea List Is Now Available:

ETF Portfolio Additions:  XLK, XLI, XLF, XLY

As we have discussed previously, the market has been consolidating along the 50-dma and the Oct/Nov lows within a very tight range as shown in the chart below. (Click to Enlarge)

Yesterday, the Fed announced that not only would they be patient with further rate hikes, but also is open to moderate balance sheet reductions as need. In short, Jerome Powell admitted he was the “market’s b*tch.”

With that the S&P 500 broke out of its consolidation and above the running downtrend line from the 2018 highs. This  sets up a run to the 200-dma as the most likely outcome over the next couple of weeks.

We had launched the ETF model at the first of January at 1/2 weight. Yesterday, we added the positions as noted above and brought the model to full target weights of 75% exposure. This still leaves 20% in cash, 35% in fixed income and 45% in equities.

When the weekly “buy” signals are triggered we will bring the model up to full target weight on the equity side of the allocation.

January 30, 2019

Update: Market is rallying today and is running into the bottom of its downtrend from the 2018 highs. We are just going to wait to see what the Fed says and how the market interprets it. We have some trades on deck that we are looking to institute in both the Equity and ETF portfolios.

Also, make sure and read today’s portfolio position update.

Much as been made about the bullish ratio of price to forward earnings. In today’s article, Price To Forecasted Hope, we help make sense of the valuation model and explain why it might be sending the same false buy signal it sent in November of 2007.

“NEW MENU ITEM” – ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out the new “tab” on the menu bar above labeled “ANALYST.” This page allows you to scan Wall Street and media buy/sell/hold recommendations for your favorite stocks. We also made updates to the portfolio page to make the Transactions table sortable and added a Closed Positions tab. Below is a screen shot of the new Analyst tab.

These changes started as requests from subscribers. Please keep them coming.

January 29, 2019

Sector BUY/SELL Review is available:

“NEW MENU ITEM” – ANALYST RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out the new “tab” on the menu bar above labeled “ANALYST.” This page allows you to scan Wall Street and media buy/sell/hold recommendations for your favorite stocks. We also made updates to the portfolio page to make the Transactions table sortable and added a Closed Positions tab. Below is a screen shot of the new Analyst tab.

These changes started as requests from subscribers. Please keep them coming.

January 28, 2019

Markets are set to open lower this morning as concerns over global growth are seeping into corporate earnings. While CAT beat estimates this morning, their outlook for global growth was weaker than expected.

The Fed is on deck this week, so all eyes will be focused on their statement with respect to any guidance on potential ceasing rate hikes and balance sheet reductions.

We will likely hold off on any portfolio changes until after the announcement.

Be sure and read today’s recommendations for the major markets.

Also, catch up on all of our sector and market analysis from this weekend’s newsletter.

January 25, 2019

** UPDATE #2 **

In the Equity Account we sold ABBV and PFE.  Both positions broke down out of consolidation patterns suggesting lower price levels for now. ABBV had a poor earnings announcement and performance of both PFE and MRK has been extremely weak.  We BOUGHT 1/2 position in HCA as we need Health Care exposure and added to our position in GDX.

** UPDATE #1 **

In the Equity Trading Account we sold AAP and AZO.  Both positions broke down out of consolidation patterns suggesting lower price levels for now. 


As noted yesterday, we made added some equity to both the trading and equity model.

This morning, futures are pointing sharply higher on reports from the WSJ that the Fed is considering ending their Quantitative Tightening (QT) process much sooner than expected. To wit:

“Federal Reserve officials are close to deciding they will maintain a larger portfolio of Treasury securities than they’d expected when they began shrinking those holdings two years ago, putting an end to the central bank’s portfolio wind-down closer into sight.

Officials are still resolving details of their strategy and how to communicate it to the public, according to their recent public comments and interviews. With interest rate increases on hold for now, planning for the bond portfolio could take center stage at a two-day policy meeting of the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee next week.

Given the weakening economy, pressure from the Administration, and the recent market correction, it is not surprising to see the Fed buckle to pressure from their member banks.

Despite a 10-year economic recovery, the Fed, the markets, and the economy are still reliant on “emergency measures” for support.  What could possibly go wrong?

However, for now, the markets are moving back into a much more “bullish mode.” With February fast approaching, which tends to be a weaker month, look for pullbacks to support to begin increasing equity exposure.

January 24, 2019

We made several portfolio changes today. (All portfolio models have been updated)

Equity Model

We added 3 new positions at 1/2 weight. (With the market very overbought we are looking for a pull back to add to our holdings at a better cost basis and with better risk/reward measures)

MSFT – Microsoft Corp.

UTX – United Technologies

YUM – Yum Brands (From our long-short idea list)

Given that we are only about 1/2 weighted within our equity model currently, we have temporarily swept our excess cash into an ultra-short Treasury bond ETF:

BIL – 1 to 3 Month Treasury

ETF Model

We are currently weighted only at our core holdings (RSP, VYM, IVV)

We have swept excess cash into BIL as a temporary place holder until we get a better risk/reward entry point for increasing exposure to equity risk.

January 23, 2019

Markets sold off yesterday and bounced off of the first level of support as I laid out in this past weekend’s RIA Report.

Pathway #2: Given the extreme overbought condition of the market, a pullback is likely. The most bullish would be a retest of the Oct/November lows that works off the short-term overbought condition. This would provide the best opportunity for a push above the 200-dma. Given the overbought short-term condition of the market, the compressed rise in prices, and extension from the lows, a correction is likely to entail a bigger draw down. (Probability 20%)

As shown, the market pulled back to that first level of support.

(Click to Enlarge)

The good news is the market did hold on to both the 50-dma and previous support line running back to January of 2018.

That wasn’t going to be the case until Larry Kudlow came out late yesterday to say the meeting China’s delegation had NOT been called off. I am pretty sure this will likely turn out to be a fallacy as we have seen both the Fed and the White House panicking over the recent decline. As such, we have moved into an environment where every pullback has to be met with reassurance.

Importantly, the overall downtrend is intact and there is a fairly high probability that current support will fail in fairly short order. Remain defensive for now.

January 22, 2019

Markets are set to open lower this morning as trade tensions and global growth concerns return to the forefront.

While earnings have been “okay” so far, as I noted in today’s “Fundamentally Speaking” the majority of the beats are coming in against sharply lowered estimates. In fact, despite all of the media “hype” about exploding earnings, both revenue and earnings are slated to have a negative growth rate for the quarter.

For now we are watching the markets carefully. We remain underweight equity and over-weight cash and fixed income as this rally has run into important resistance and most of the short-covering, which has fueled the rally from the December lows, appears to be completed.

The chart below lays out potential retracement ranges for a pullback with the most bullish in “green” and moving to the most bearish in “red.”  My suspicion currently is we see a 5% pullback from current levels which would pull the S&P 500 back to the 50% retracement level wiping out half of the gains from the December 24th low. (This is an important point not to be overlooked. While the media often dismisses pullbacks by saying “yes, the market pulled back 5% after advancing 12%, the reality is that decline wiped out 50% of the previous gains.

(Click to Enlarge)

With markets extremely overbought short-term, remain cautious for a better opportunity to increase exposure.

January 21, 2019

On Friday, bonds provided the pullback that we had been looking for to add to our fixed income holdings. As shown in the chart below, the long-term trend in bond indicators are all signaling the next leg of the “bond bull” market.

While this doesn’t mean that interest rates can bounce up back toward 3.0%, the overall trend of rates is going lower over the next couple of years. Given the rising risk of a recession in the next 24-months,  it is highly likely that rates will ultimately fall below 2%.

In the models we added to our existing bond holdings:

In a recession, corporate bonds are at the most risk of declines in prices which is why our focus currently is on duration and credit quality. When bullish trends are firmly established we will begin to add positions to add to duration to participate in the rate decline.

NOTE: In our actual client portfolios we use individual bonds but in order to get consistent and stable pricing across models we are using the above holdings as a “proxy” for our client portfolios. 

January 18, 2019

In our Equity Trading (Long-Short) Account we added the following positions this morning:

This adds additional long-exposure to the portfolio while we still carry our short hedges.

We currently have 3-4 equity positions we are looking to short as well and are just waiting for the right positioning within the overall market to increase our short-book further.

January 16, 2019

Yesterday, we added to our existing XLU trade in the equity trading portfolio and add 1/2 of a position to the ETF model.

As discussed in this past weekend’s newsletter, the Utilities sector continues in a very bullish trend currently and is also a defensive position against potential market weakness.

The chart below shows the market rally from the December lows. Most importantly note the rather dramatic plunge in volume on the rally at a point where the market is very overbought short-term and the advance-decline remains in a substantial downtrend.

(Click to enlarge for readability)

As stated yesterday:

“I continue to believe, currently, that at a minimum we will retest lows over the next couple of months. This is why we remain very underweight equities across all models currently.

However, if the market is able to rally above resistance and begin to reverse the negative trend of the market currently in place, then we will adjust accordingly and increase equity risk. However, such is not the case currently.”

We remain cautious for now and will look for a better opportunity to add equity exposure tactically.

January 15, 2019

I wanted to draw your attention to the NEW DAILY posts we are producing for you each day. Today, we are covering the major sectors of the market with technical entry and exit points for traders.

SECTOR BUY/SELL REVIEW

As I discussed in today’s technically speaking post, the recent rally in the market has been nice but has done little more than retrace most of the breakdown from the October/November lows.

With a lot of overhead resistance, the market back to short-term overbought conditions, and volume on the decline, as shown below, there is not a lot of reward currently relative to the potential risk of a retest of December lows.

I continue to believe, currently, that at a minimum we will retest lows over the next couple of months. This is why we remain very underweight equities across all models currently.

However, if the market is able to rally above resistance and begin to reverse the negative trend of the market currently in place, then we will adjust accordingly and increase equity risk. However, such is not the case currently.

January 10, 2019

Trade Update: In the Equity Portfolio we sold the following stocks:

As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, we have been looking for the market to bounce from extreme oversold conditions to reduce our equity exposure. Given overhead resistance and the unwind of oversold conditions we reduced our equity exposure. At noon, we sold the shares listed above accounting for approximately 6% of the portfolio.

January 9, 2019

Trade Update:

In our newly created Equity L/S Trading Portfolio, located in the Portfolios tab – RIA PRO we made our first trade.

We purchased:

These trades are part of the first leg into a larger trade. Currently, and subject to change, we expect to own 5% XLU, 10% TLT (iShares 20yr+ Bond ETF), and 15% SH. This combination of positions should do well if the market resumes its bearish trend. The S&P 500 is currently hitting the underbelly of many resistance levels which provided us the rationale to put on these opening trades. We do believe there is a decent chance the market can rally further so we will wait to add to the trade.

We will monitor the trade and the market closely and add to the position or close it if necessary.

 Equity L/S Trading Portfolio Description

This portfolio is completely flexible and will take on trades which are both long or short. The portfolio can buy stocks, ETF’s, or mutual funds OR can be fully invested in cash.

There is no defined holding period for any position bought which means it can be opened and closed within the same trading day.

When trades are placed in the trading account we will report those trades after the close of business.


As noted yesterday, the rebound from the December lows is set to continue today as hopes for a resolution of the “Trade War” with China is close.

Given that this whole situation was started by the current Administration, we expect the announcement to be little more than a “cease fire” for some period of time and talks to resume later. The goal of both the U.S. and China delegations is to remove the “trade war” off of the headlines and relieve the economic pressures on both countries.

In the meantime, the markets are approaching our initial resistance point at 2600-2650. There is a potential that if the markets can break above that resistance we could see a retest of the the previous November/December highs. However, that is likely the extent of the rally before we ultimately see a retest of recent lows.

However, if you are looking for long and/or short candidates for your portfolio, RIA PRO shows you the best and worst performing stocks each day under the “Active Trader” tab. As always, momentum tends to run in one direction for a while, so strong players tend to remain strong, and the weak can be shorted.

There are a tremendous number of hidden gems on the site so explore and feel free to ask us questions if need help.

Have a profitable day.

January 8, 2019

NOTE: We have launched 4-new reports that will be produced regularly:

If you have any suggestions to improve these reports, please let us know.

Market Update

The market continues to rally following the deeply oversold condition seen Christmas Eve. As noted by the “Technical Measures” gauge on the right, that gauge fell to 6 during the recent sell off. To understand the importance of that oversold condition I have overlaid the technical measure with the S&P 500 index.

While technical measures have rebounded over recent days, the previous low read of 6.47 was on of the lowest seen during previous corrections and bear markets.

IMPORTANTLY: Note that during real bear markets, the indicator tends to reach lows as seen recently. However, during previous bull market the lows tend to remain around a reading of 50. During the last decade, when lows below 20 were reached, which would normally indicate the onset of a bear market, either the Fed or Central Banks stepped in with liquidity. This time, Central Banks are extracting liquidity which may suggest we see a retest of recent lows before the current corrective cycle is complete.

Our target for this rally remains 2550-2600.

January 6, 2019

As we noted previously, the models we built on RIA PRO were replicas of the models we run internally at RIA Advisors for our clients. However, the models were NOT total return as they did not include the dividends, interest, and distributions from the underlying holdings.

Therefore, as we have been noting over the last couple of months, we have launched THREE new LIVE portfolios with each tracking a LIVE account we manage at TD Ameritrade.

The 3-models are:

  1. 60/40 Equity Portfolio
  2. 60/40 ETF Portfolio
  3. Trading Portfolio

Equity Portfolio – Start Date 1/4/2019

The portfolio was bought into the same holdings which are currently owned by our equity only clients. These holdings will be managed according to the same technical and fundamental processes that we employ at RIA Advisors.

We are using ETF’s and Mutual Funds for the fixed income portion of the model.

Trades will be reported AFTER the close of business when they are made.

ETF Portfolio – Start Date 1/4/2019

This portfolio is comprised of all ETF’s and trades will be reported AFTER the close of business when they are made.

We have currently bought 1/4th of our CORE Equity and BOND sleeve so far. We will continue to build out the model opportunistically until we get to full weightings.

Trading Portfolio – Start Date 1/4/2019

This portfolio is completely flexible and will take on trades which are both long or short. The portfolio can buy stocks, ETF’s, or mutual funds OR can be fully invested in cash.

There is no defined holding period for any position bought which means it can be open and closed within the same trading day.

When trades are placed in the trading account we will report those trades after the close of business.

________________

At the end of each month all dividends, interest, and distributions will be added to the CASH balance of the portfolio as they are reported on the account statements.

Furthermore, in the next couple of months we will add performance tracking of the portfolio over different time frames for comparison purposes.

Thank you for your patience.

December 26, 2018

As I noted yesterday, the market is sitting on very important long-term support and needs to defend current levels. To wit:

“Currently, the market has started a mean reversion process back to the 200-week (4-year) moving average. As you will notice, with only a couple of exceptions, the 200-week moving average has acted as a long-term support line for the market. When the market has previously confirmed a break below the long-term average, more protracted mean-reverting events were already in process.”

“While, the bulls remain in charge for the moment with the market sitting just a few points above the long-term average. A weekly close below 2346 on the S&P 500 would suggest a deeper decline is in process.”

After a brutal sell off over the last 8-trading days, US equity futures are rebounding from overnight trading which saw the E-mini initially tumble 1% early in the overnight session, then rise as much as 0.6% in yet another illiquid session boosted by Trump’s latest attempt to talk up markets after an apparent de-escalation in tensions between the president and the Fed chair and Treasury Secretary. Earlier, Asian stocks outside of Japan dropped 0.2% to a two-month lows catching down to Monday’s US market rout, while Europe was mostly closed for trading.

S&P 500 contracts gained 0.6% as of 7am ET after falling as much as 1.1 percent earlier. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. With the S&P closing on the edge of a bear market, traders will be looking for confirmation of more liquidation selling or else an attempt at lifting stocks from massively oversold levels.

Top Overnight News

December 24, 2018

As noted in this past weekend’s newsletter, the market is EXTREMELY oversold and a bounce is likely in the near term as portfolio, pension, and hedge fund managers rebalance for end-of-quarter reporting.

Our composite technical indicator, as shown below, is at 6.85 (on a 0-100 basis) which is one of the more severe oversold readings seen historically. It is suggestive of a fairly strong reflexive rally in the month or so ahead particularly as we flip the calendar. However, this is a trading bounce only and longer-term investors should look to use the bounce to reduce equity exposure further. It is unlikely we are going to resume the bull market in 2019 based on the current economic and fundamental backdrop.

REMINDER!

RIA PRO Model Changes

The current RIA PRO portfolios were built during the BETA Testing phase of our development. As such, the portfolios are CAPITAL APPRECIATION only and do not reflect the interest income from the bond holdings or the dividends from the equity holdings.

Starting in January, we will discontinue the three current portfolios and will swap to 3-portfolios tied to live accounts which gives you three important advantages:

  1. Trades will be able to reported “real time” instead of a 3-day delay. 
  2. Interest and dividends will be credited the the portfolios on a monthly basis
  3. Total returns, including all costs, will be reported.

We apologize for any inconvenience but we feel this will be a much better way to align the RIA PRO models to actual results for tracking purposes. We will keep you apprised of progress over the next month before we make the final changes.

Thank you.

December 20, 2018

Trade Alert

We sold IVV from all three portfolios. In the 60/40 ETF Model we reduced the position by 5 percent from 14.50 to 9.50. In the other two portfolio we sold the entire position.

We sold the entire position of XLV in the 60/40 ETF Model.

We are increasingly convinced a bear market has begun. We will not get concrete evidence until month end. Given the sloppy price action and the tone from the Federal Reserve and Jerome Powell, we thought it appropriate to reduce our exposure further.

It is possible the market bounces as it is extremely oversold. However, we maintain that these bounces are opportunities to sell and should not be mistaken for a resumption of the bull market. If the technical outlook changes we will reverse that stance but for the time being we believe conservatism is the best course of action.

Changes in the portfolios as shown will occur shortly.

 

REMINDER!

RIA PRO Model Changes

The current RIA PRO portfolios were built during the BETA Testing phase of our development. As such, the portfolios are CAPITAL APPRECIATION only and do not reflect the interest income from the bond holdings or the dividends from the equity holdings.

Starting in January, we will discontinue the three current portfolios and will swap to 3-portfolios tied to live accounts which gives you three important advantages:

  1. Trades will be able to reported “real time” instead of a 3-day delay. 
  2. Interest and dividends will be credited the the portfolios on a monthly basis
  3. Total returns, including all costs, will be reported.

We apologize for any inconvenience but we feel this will be a much better way to align the RIA PRO models to actual results for tracking purposes. We will keep you apprised of progress over the next month before we make the final changes.

Thank you.

December 18, 2018

Be sure and read today’s post on the market as I walk through some of the longer-term underpinnings of the market.

We have been giving the market a little room here due to deeply oversold conditions, but that has proved problematic as the markets have been unable to muster a rally. However, with the Fed on deck today and tomorrow, it is likely the market will rally on “dovish” comments from the Fed.

We will be using that rally to raise more cash heading into the end of the year as the markets have now changed their overall trend from bullish to bearish.

This morning futures are higher following better than expected housing data (less bad than expected.)

The target for the rally is 2600 which is likely all we are going to get for now. Be a scale up seller.

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

December 17, 2018

As I noted in this past weekend’s newsletter:

“Given the Fed meets next (this) week, we are going to give our trade just the smallest margin of movement currently for three reasons:

  1. The market is deeply oversold which will contribute to a bounce on any bit of good news.
  2. The index closed lower than where it opened for 4-consecutive days. Such selling is often met with a one or two day bounce.
  3. Lastly, as noted previously, distributions for mutual funds are now mostly complete and they have to rebalance portfolios before the end of the reporting year. With next week having the highest historical probability for a rally, a more ‘dovish’ than expected Fed could spark a bit of buying frenzy. 

While we are expecting an oversold rally, remember after having reduced exposure in portfolios previously, and carrying a much heavier weighting in cash, we are giving the market time to figure out what it wants to do. Given the consolidation range over the last couple of months, it is too risky to be either overly short, or aggressively long, currently. Cash remains the best hedge currently.

But let me repeat the most important point:

‘The expected rally IS NOT the next version of the ‘bull market.’ Nor does a rally mean the ‘bear market’ is over. It will be a counter-trend rally to sell into.’”

This morning futures are pointing lower at the open after Europe’s rally fizzled follow extremely poor retail sales data.

Top Overnight News from Bloomberg

December 14, 2018

Another disappointing rally attempt yesterday which started out to the upside once again, but failed.

While the market did close “flattish” for the day, the price action this entire week has been dismal. As shown, every day has been sold off after the open.

The failure of the market to maintain a rally is not a good sign, however, with mutual fund distributions now behind us for the year, next week provides the best opportunity for a rally as portfolio managers need to rebalance their holdings for the end of year reporting period.

Nonetheless, our trade is simply not working at this point. Stops remain tight while we are still looking for a rally into the Fed meeting next week.

Economic data continues to come in weak, not only domestically, but globally as China reported weak economic data this morning. Retail sales were not exciting at the headline, but core sells were up 0.9% for the month which was not surprising given we are in the Christmas holiday shopping season. Overall, retail sales have been disappointing for so far and suggests the consumer is slowing down.

This morning looks to open weak with futures down -22.00 on the S&P 500.

Let’s see if buyers show up after the open.

December 13, 2018

It was a disappointing rally yesterday which started out strongly to the upside with a more than 40-point advance on the S&P 500 to only end up 14-points by the end of the day.

It continues to be a struggle for the market to find footing as each step forward (positive news on trade) is offset by another shock from the White House (immunity given to publisher of National Enquirer.)

Yesterday, was an exact clone of both Monday and Tuesday of this week and the failure to maintain an advance in the market is becoming markedly more concerning particular as we continue to “eat up” the oversold condition that previously existed.

Futures are higher again this morning with the S&P up +10.25, however, Oil is fading back to 50.61/barrel.

Interest rates bounced up a bit yesterday from an extremely overbought condition, look to add to fixed income holdings if rates approach 3% on the expected rally in the market.

This morning the economic data continues to worsen suggesting a much weaker economic environment:

Export Prices:  -0.9%

Export Prices Ex-Ag: -1.0%

Import Prices: -1.6%

Import Prices Ex-Oil: -0.3%

(These data points, as we have stated previously, continue to show there is no real “risk” of inflation. This puts the Fed in a much tighter spot on continuing to hike rates into 2019.)

Stops remain tight on our trading position in IVV.

Let’s see how the day goes.

December 12, 2018

As noted in yesterday’s update:

“We added 5% of IVV as a trade at 267.32 per share. I will update the model portfolios later today.”

Yesterday, the market opened up about 30 points. We waited for the mid-day fade to add our trading position, however, we were a bit early as White House antics drug the market into negative territory late yesterday. Fortunately, the market recovered back above our stop-loss level of 2633 before the close.

Today, the market looks to open higher as news of progress with China on trade hit the wires last night. Also, President Trump also stated he could intervene into the Huawei case if needed to keep “trade talks” moving forward.

Given that President Trump has staked his entire record of success as a President on the direction of the stock market, it is not surprising to see him react to the market in terms of policy. This is not the way to successfully govern, but for now it helps our trading positions so we will take it.

At 6:50am futures are solidly higher.

Crude Oil +1.10
Gold +2.40
Dow +237.00
S&P 500 +24.75
Nasdaq 100 +75.75

Of course, this is an exact clone of yesterday’s open so we need to see it maintain during the day.

We are moving our stops down to yesterday’s lows of 2620 (on a closing basis) for now, but will begin raising stops if the expected rally forms.  Target is 2730-2740.

December 11, 2018

**UPDATE 1: We added 5% of IVV as a trade at 267.32 per share. I will update the model portfolios later today.

Be sure and read today’s TECHNICALLY SPEAKING on the “Santa Rally.”

Yesterday,  the market did indeed break the “neckline” and successfully tested the 2018 lows. However, since the market rallied back, and closed, above that support level the “break” is not valid. This keeps the current consolidation range intact for now.

With the market very oversold, a reflexive rally is likely over the next few days.

We are looking to add a “trade” to portfolios for a potential rally back towards the 2750 level by Christmas. We will maintain a tight stop at 2633 for now. If the trade works we will move the stop up daily.

December 10, 2018

As I noted on Friday, be sure and read this week’s market report as I cover the short, intermediate, and long-term technicals.

This morning, futures are pointing lower suggesting a break of the neckline as I laid out previously.

With the market very oversold on a short-term basis, and sentiment much more negative, don’t make any hasty decisions today. What will matter is where we finish the week.

As I noted on Friday, a rally is highly likely. We continue to suggest using any rally to reduce risk and rebalance accordingly.

December 8, 2018

Be sure and read this week’s market report as I cover the short, intermediate, and long-term technicals. A couple of important notes, however.

As noted, with the market very oversold, a rally is highly likely. Use any rally to reduce risk and rebalance accordingly. Being overweight cash remains the optimal hedge in an uncertain market.

REMINDER!

RIA PRO Model Changes

The current RIA PRO portfolios were built during the BETA Testing phase of our development. As such, the portfolios are CAPITAL APPRECIATION only and do not reflect the interest income from the bond holdings or the dividends from the equity holdings.

Starting in January, we will discontinue the three current portfolios and will swap to 3-portfolios tied to live accounts which gives you three important advantages:

  1. Trades will be able to reported “real time” instead of a 3-day delay. 
  2. Interest and dividends will be credited the the portfolios on a monthly basis
  3. Total returns, including all costs, will be reported.

We apologize for any inconvenience but we feel this will be a much better way to align the RIA PRO models to actual results for tracking purposes. We will keep you apprised of progress over the next month before we make the final changes.

Thank you.

December 6, 2018

Comments Wednesday morning from the Chinese that progress was indeed made on a trade truce at the G-20 meeting, had futures rallying very mildly. Unfortunately, the markets were closed for President Bush’s funeral. There was hope of some carry through into today until news broke last night of the arrest of Chinese national in Vancouver.

Ms. Meng Wanzhou , the CFO of Shenzhen-based Huawei, the world’s second-largest maker of telecommunications equipment,  was arrested in Vancouver on December 1. She is sought for extradition by the United States for an attempted sell of embargoed Hewlett-Packard equipment to Iran’s mobile-phone operator. A bail hearing has been set for Friday for violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. 

To understand the magnitude of the arrest, just imagine if China had just arrested the child of Tim Cook or Jeff Bezos.

Importantly, Chinese officials stated this morning:

The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim. The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.

We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.

With that also went any hope of a “trade truce” or “trade negotiations” which is a fight President Trump continues to lose, and can’t win, with China.

As such, futures are down sharply this morning and the markets are threatening to break critical support levels. As I discussed yesterday:

“Most importantly, the most recent failure at key resistance levels has set the market up to complete the formation of a ‘head and shoulder’ process. This is a topping pattern that would suggest substantially lower asset prices going into 2019 ‘IF,’ and this is a key point, ‘IF’ it completes by breaking the lower ‘neckline.'” 

The neckline currently resides at 2630ish and support of the closing October lows at 2640. A confirmed break of those levels will suggest a further decline in the market of the same distance as the previous decline, which in this case, would equate to roughly 300 points of downside.

We will continue holding higher levels of cash and fixed income and any confirmed break will increase our cash holdings considerably.

December 5, 2018

The “sell off” yesterday was much different than what we have seen previously. As I noted in recent missives, during the previous declines volatility, bond prices, and gold didn’t confirm any “panic” in the market. Yesterday, that changed as 10-year Treasury bond yields plunged below 3% as money sought the safety of Treasuries.

As I noted in yesterday’s Technical Update, which was posted before the opening bell:

“We did add some equity exposure to portfolios on Friday, but are still holding a higher level of cash than normal. As shown below, the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement level, and the 2016 bullish trend line, have remained formidable adversaries to the previous rally attempts. However, if the lower “sell signal” is reversed, such would likely coincide with a breakout above resistance and confirm a new uptrend is underway.”

“IMPORTANT: It is the success or failure of this rally attempt will dictate what happens next.

  1. If the market remains above the 50-dma AND breaks above resistance at 2820, then another attempt at all time highs is likely. (Probability Guess =40%)
  2. However, if this rally fails such will result in a continuation of the correction back to recent lows. (Probability Guess = 60%)

So, why did I give Option #2 a greater weighting?

This is because, despite the recent oversold surge from lows, the primary backdrop of the markets has not changed markedly.

  • The “trade truce” was nothing more than that. China is not going to back off its position on “Technology Transfers” as that is the key to their long-term economic future. This means that either Trump caves into China or we will be back to a full on “trade war” in 2019.
  • The Federal Reserve is still reducing their balance sheet by $50 billion per month which has removed a primary buyer of U.S. Treasuries at a time when the Government has gone on an unfettered spending spree.
  • With the Democrats in control of the House, there will likely be “no” constructive legislative action to note in the next year. However, there is almost an absolute guarantee of more anti-Trump actions being lofted from the “Pelosi House.”
  • Valuation remains extremely elevated despite the recent correction. 
  • Most importantly, year-over-year earnings growth rates are set to deteriorate markedly in 2019 as both the effect of the 2018-tax cuts vanishes and end-of-year estimates still remain way too high.
  • The deterioration in credit is accelerating
  • Economic growth has likely peaked.”

Most importantly, the most recent failure at key resistance levels has set the market up to complete the formation of a “head and shoulder” process. This is a topping pattern that would suggest substantially lower asset prices going into 2019 “IF,” and this is a key point, “IF” it completes by breaking the lower “neckline.” 

For now, we are going to continue holding higher levels of cash and allow our fixed income holdings to pick up the slack.

December 2, 2018

After Fed Powell’s reversal on rate policy last week, the market finally got the catalyst for a bounce. On Friday morning, we anticipated the Trump would also soften his “hardline” stance on China which occurred over the weekend as Trump agreed to a “truce” with China for another 90-days. While this “truce” doesn’t change anything at all with respect to “tariffs,” or China, it does remove a short-term headwind which will allow the bulls to rally the market into the end of the year.

The sell-off in October and November violated many of our stop levels which led to a larger cash position than we would like heading into the end of the year. Friday morning we added some equity back into portfolios by starting with 1/2 positions in:

We will also be rebalancing our current holdings and reviewing positions we were stopped out of for re-entry.

With the markets retesting the 200-dma, we are not supremely confident we are out of the woods just yet and the main issues plaguing the markets over the last couple of months have not been resolved – namely, the Fed reducing their balance sheet.

This is why we are scaling into equities with 1/2 positions which we will add to as things improve but offer little risk currently if the market breaks down.

RIA PRO Model Changes

The current RIA PRO portfolios were built during the BETA Testing phase of our development. As such, the portfolios are CAPITAL APPRECIATION only and do not reflect the interest income from the bond holdings or the dividends from the equity holdings.

Starting in January, we will discontinue the three current portfolios and will swap to 3-portfolios tied to live accounts which gives you three important advantages:

  1. Trades will be able to reported “real time” instead of a 3-day delay. 
  2. Interest and dividends will be credited the the portfolios on a monthly basis
  3. Total returns, including all costs, will be reported.

We apologize for any inconvenience but we feel this will be a much better way to align the RIA PRO models to actual results for tracking purposes. We will keep you apprised of progress over the next month before we make the final changes.

Thank you.

November 21, 2018

As noted in today’s commentary section, we were stopped out of multiple positions yesterday which also provided the opportunity to do so tax-loss harvesting in portfolios for year-end.

Currently, the market is oversold and is set up for a short-term bounce. In the next few days, we will look to add a trading position to portfolios for a potential year-end rally. As we have stated previously, we are moving into the “seasonally strong” period of the year combined with a post-midterm election period which have historically equated to a positive push in the market.

However, nothing is guaranteed so the recent changes to portfolios to raise cash, shore up risk, shorten-durations, and increase credit quality all remain prudent actions.

Most importantly, while the market will indeed garner a rally over the next couple of months, such will not change the fact that we are in the midst of a substantially more important topping process. The chart below lays out the potential range for a bounce before a continuation of the current decline ensues.

November 20, 2018

This morning, the market opened lower triggering stops all across the portfolio pushing sells of:

I will update the portfolios once the trades settle for our clients and I have final execution values for each position.

The market is EXTREMELY OVESOLD on a short-term basis and will likely bounce tomorrow or early next week. We will be using that bounce to potentially lift further positions and add further hedges to portfolios.

The breakdown this morning confirms we have most likely started a bear market and a retest of the April lows at 2575 is highly likely. Also, watch the reversion in oil prices, interest rates, and a potential spike in the VIX to confirm the breakdown.

The recent addition of Treasury bond positions and rebalancing of risk in the bond side of the portfolio has continued to mitigate risk in the short-term.

We will look to rebuild equity holdings after the market stabilizes.

November 14, 2018

As I noted in this weekend’s newsletter, the daily, weekly, and monthly charts have now all registered “sell” signals. However, as I stated:

“I want to caution you that by the time longer-term sell signals are issued, the market tends to be more extremely oversold and due for a reflexive bounce.”

This is currently the case, with many of our short-term indicators very oversold. However, on a bounce that fails to get above the 200-dma we will look to raise some additional cash and continue to rebalance risk in portfolios.

This past week, we made some changes to the Fixed Income side of the portfolio to shorter overall duration and increase credit quality:

REDUCED:

  • SPDR Barclay’s Investment Grade Floating Rate Fund (FLRN)
  • Invesco Ultra-Short Duration Bond (GSY)

ADDED:

  • I-Shares Treasury Floating Rate Bond (TFLO)
  • I-Shares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond (SHY)

We have been repeatedly warning about the risk to investment-grade and corporate bond funds when the next recession comes. More importantly, during the reversion process, money will seek out the safest of investments which will be U.S. Treasuries.

These initial moves on the bond side of the equation was to shore up both current duration risk and credit-quality. The next move will be to add a significant chuck of 10-year Treasury exposure to the portfolio on confirmation the bear market has indeed started. 

On the equity side of the portfolios we have also made some changes:

Last week we sold in the ETF and Equity-ETF Models

  • Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK)

Sometimes Lessons Must Be Relearned

My mistake last week was NOT selling Nvidia (NVDA) as I had planned.

I very much like the company as they are on the cutting-edge of the chips and video-cards required for everything from video-game graphics to virtual reality.

The price appeared to be making a short-term bottom and looked as if most of the “bad news” from the inventory build in processors had been built into the stock price. I opted to wait for their earnings announcement.

That was a mistake.

While the “bitcoin mining” bust was apparent, the negative revisions to their estimates and revenues was larger than I anticipated. The stock was down sharply on Friday violating our absolute stop-loss on the position.

It will be sold next week.

And the lesson I relearned painfully this past week was to “sell losers short.”

Apple (AAPL) and Micron (MU) are also on the “Naughty” list.

November 8, 2018

Now that we have cleared the mid-term elections, we are looking for the market to firm support back above the important longer-term support line as shown below.

Yesterday, the market was able to push above both previous support and the longer-term moving average which is bullish.

However, this is a WEEKLY chart, so the only thing that will matter with respect to this analysis is where we end the week.

If the market pulls back to support, holds, and turns up then we will be able to add some trading opportunities to the portfolio. After recent sells we have cash available to add some exposure as needed.

If the market fails to hold support, then we are likely going to see a retest of recent lows and the additional cash we have currently will hedge downside risk.

With the market on a more severe weekly sell signal, don’t be overly aggressive at this juncture. Much of the oversold condition that was generated during the recent decline has been erased and the market is back to more extreme overbought conditions on a short-term basis.

Read today’s post on “The Tailwinds Have Shifted”

November 2, 2018

In Tuesday’s technical commentary, “A Sellable Rally,” we discussed the potential for a rally that had some follow through and would potentially push the markets back to overhead resistance. The rally ran right into previous support, now resistance, and failed.

With that failure, we have executed “sells” within our portfolios.

Equity and Equity/ETF Portfolios:

Selling KLAC, JPM, HD, and SU

ETF Portfolio

Selling XLF

As is our discipline, we look to sell positions that have not been performing as expected. The sells will increase our cash balance for now and give us opportunity react to other opportunities that become available.

It is to soon to tell if the recent October decline is just another “buy the dip” opportunity, as is currently believed by a vast majority of Wall Street and the mainstream media, or is this the beginning of a deeper correction to come.

We don’t know. As such this is why we are raising cash until the market determines what it is going to do next. If the market begins to resume its bull market trajectory we will add exposure back to portfolios. If not, the additional cash will hedge risk while we make further adjustments.

Allocation Gauges and Portfolio Models will be updated over the weekend once the weekly data and final settlement data becomes available.

October 31, 2018

The market finally mustered a bounce to close out a brutal month of October which saw almost exactly the same percentage decline as February of this year. However, the main difference between the two declines is that previously the 200-dma acted as support for the market. Now, the 200-dma is applying resistance to market rallies back to the 2750-2760 area.

The good news is the market did bounce and is pushing up into previous resistance levels. Furthermore, there is a potential for a “buy signal” from currently still oversold conditions. Both of these indications SHOULD theoretically provide some lift to the markets over the next couple of weeks.

However, we suggest not being complacent about this rally as the technical backdrop has changed to more bearish with the break of the running trend line from the 2016 lows.

As we have been discussing, we will continue to use these rallies to:

We are looking to raise roughly 20% cash for the time being to hedge portfolios UNTIL such time as a more bullish backdrop emerges.

October 28, 2018

As stated in this past weekend’s newsletter, I stated:

“With the market exceeding 3-standard deviations below the 50-dma currently, the extreme oversold condition still sets the market up for a fairly strong bounce. That bounce SHOULD be sold into.”

On any bounce next week we will continue to sell positions and raise cash to 25-30% of the portfolios in total. 

For now, the market has changed from “buying dips” to “selling rallies” which we will honor until such time that the bull market reasserts itself.

October 26, 2018

Sold VO and IJR in the ETF and Equity/ETF models yesterday.

The failure to get “follow through days” on rallies is troubling to say the least. While this mornings opening is set to be very weak, I would not be surprised to see some buying later on this morning and into the afternoon.

With the markets DEEPLY oversold on both a short and intermediate-term basis, we are looking for a rally to 2750 on the S&P 500 to raise cash levels in all models to 25-30%. 

October 23, 2018

With the market confirming a break of weekly support and failing at the recent retest of the 2016 bullish trend line, we are now on alert to use any rally back towards 2740-2750 to liquidate or reduce positions in our models.

This morning we sold RAVN at 42.93.

We will be selling on any bounce KLAC, MU, JPM, and HD.

The recent adds of NKE and FDX are dangerously close to being stopped out as well.

Overall, we are looking to reduce portfolio risk by 25-30% on a rally and raise some cash heading into the end of the year.

We have been trying to give the markets a bit of room given that it is October, a historically volatile month. Also, stock buybacks will return towards the end of the month and there will likely be some performance chasing heading into the year-end which could be supportive of higher asset prices in the near term.

We are trying to balance the current extreme oversold condition, which should provide a sellable rally, against the risk of a bigger short-term correction.

However, the bigger issue is that we may have witnessed a more important trend change that will be determined by the strength and magnitude of any reflexive rally this week.

October 13, 2018

Lot’s of analysis in this weekend’s missive on the market and what we expect to happen next.

Here is the checklist of actions we will be looking to take on any rally:

  1. Re-evaluating overall portfolio exposures. It is highly likely that equity allocations have gotten out of tolerance from the original allocation models. We will also look to reduce overall allocation models from 60/40 to 50/50 or less.
  2. Look to add bond exposure to mitigate volatility risk. (Read:  The Upcoming Bond Bull Market)
  3. Use rallies to raise cash as needed. (Cash is a risk-free portfolio hedge)
  4. Review all positions (Sell losers/trim winners)
  5. Look for opportunities in other markets (Gold may finally shine)
  6. Add hedges to portfolios (If the market begins to show a negative trend we will add short positions)
  7. Trade opportunistically (There are always rotations that can be taken advantage of)
  8. Drastically tighten up stop losses. (We  had previously given stop losses a bit of leeway as long as the bull market trend was intact. Such is no longer the case.)

If I am right, the conservative stance and hedges in portfolios will protect capital in the short-term. The reduced volatility allows for a logical approach to further adjustments as the correction becomes more apparent. (The goal is not to be forced into a “panic selling” situation.)

If I am wrong, and the bull market resumes, we simply remove hedges, and reallocate equity exposure.

“There is little risk, in managing risk.” 

The end of bull markets can only be verified well after the fact, but therein lies the biggest problem. Waiting for verification requires a greater destruction of capital than we are willing to endure.

“It’s probably wiser to assume [that God] exists because infinite damnation is much worse than a finite cost.” – Blaise Pascal

October 12, 2018

We have been closely watching this rout and, as noted, have several stop loss violations on various positions. While fundamentally these companies are very sound, the technical price action just isn’t strong enough to warrant the related opportunity cost.

As with all stop-loss violations, by the time the stop is triggered the position is typically already deeply oversold. Therefore, selling the immediate stop violation tends to result in an apparent “whip saw” as the stock bounces before resuming its decline. This is also the case is there is secondary near-term support for the position as well.

Therefore, we will be using this oversold bounce in the market, as noted in our daily commentary today, to lift positions which are under-performing and have broken down technically.

It is unlikely the current rout is over and we will very likely have a retest of recent lows before the next bottom is found. Having some cash on hand will both hedge portfolio risk and provide opportunity to reallocate to equity when the selling pressure is resolved.

 

October 5, 2018

As noted previously, KLAC, MU, and SU had triggered sell alerts. While we very much like the fundamentals of these companies, the technical backdrop remains challenging. We have moved stops up to recent support levels and it is highly likely we will be stopped out of several positions if the sell-off that started yesterday continues.

Other stocks also threatening stop loss supports are HD, FDX, NKE, PEP, COST, TGT, EW, PG, and RAVN.

There are a couple of important points to understand from this deterioration in the markets. The recent rise in rates is beginning to significantly impact the stocks most impacted by consumer spending. Should rates remain at current levels, or more higher, the impact to economic growth will be noticeable as we move further into Q4.

Secondly, we are trying to give these companies a bit of room here as October tends to be a volatile month but moving into the last two months of the year we would expect to see a bit of a “chase” for performance. This doesn’t mean we are “betting on it,” but rather it is a seasonal tendency and we don’t want to be too underweight equities moving into it.

We are definitely on “high alert” currently, particularly with rates rising, and will take action quickly if needed to protect capital.

 

September 15, 2018

In the last update we noted that we would be adding exposure to portfolios provide the market held its previous breakout levels. It did, and on September 11th we added seven new holdings the Equity and Equity/ETF portfolios.

The additions of JNJ, CVS, NKE, WMT, DUK, PEP, and FDX bring our portfolios up to almost full weightings as we head into the expected end of year rally. We particularly like FDX for the increase in seasonal year-end activity with Thanksgiving and Christmas “binge” shopping just around the corner.

While NKE has been in a bit of a media war over recent messaging, the fundamentals of the company remain sold and we used the pullback in price to long-term trend support to add the position to the portfolio. Like TGT, which had a similar media-driven push back due to their stance on bathrooms, the public has a short memory and fundamentals rule out over time.

KLAC, MU, and SU are all on SELL ALERTS with stop-loss levels being flirted with. We are trying to give MU and KLAC some room here as the fundamentals of these companies are very strong and valuations are cheap. However, our investment discipline and strategy requires us to act when necessary so both of these positions are on very short leashes.

SU will likely be sold on a break of support or a rally back to previous highs. The energy sector remains challenging and oil prices are at risk potentially as we move into winter. While we like the company fundamentally, it simply hasn’t performed as expected so “opportunity cost” is something we are highly aware of. If we find a better candidate, we will likely execute a swap sooner rather than later.

 

September 9, 2018

After a rough week for semiconductors, following several reports of slowing DRAM prices, both Micron (MU) and KLA Tencor (KLAC) are very close to triggering stop loss levels. (Read “It’s Make Or Break” for the signal semi’s are potentially sending about the broader market.)

Next week, the market will either hold support and allow us to add new holdings (which will be reported here AFTER we buy them for client accounts) OR the market will start pushing back towards three levels of lower support at 2850, 2825 and lastly 2800.

There are currently plenty of relative risks, think tariffs, which could push the market lower next week. So waiting for confirmation before adding further exposure will likely prove prudent. However, it is important to watch semiconductors as they are an economically sensitive sector and some of the messaging suggests the recent bump in economic growth may be ending.

While we like the fundamentals of KLAC and MU very much, technically they simply aren’t performing currently and a break of stop loss levels requires us to take action. Stay tuned.

 

August 26, 2018

On August 22nd, we were stopped out of three equity positions in our equity model portfolio.

Chevron (CVX) was sold at 119.26 / share

Constellation Brands (STZ) was sold at 203.12 / share

Eastman Chemical (EMN) was sold at 99.95 / share.

While we still very much like the fundamentals of these businesses, they all violated our stop levels. We waited for an oversold bounce to “sell into” which was provided last week.

We are looking to add 5-6 new equity positions over the next couple of weeks IF the breakout to new highs can hold. As noted in this past weekend’s missive:

“Over the past two weeks, the market did pull back to support at 2800 and subsequently broke out to new highs on Friday. With that, we will look to add equity exposure opportunistically over the next couple of weeks in accordance with the model allocations.”

It is important to understand that when we add to our equity allocations, ALL purchases are initially “trades” that can, and will, be closed out quickly if they fail to work as anticipated. This is why we “step” into positions initially. Once a “trade” begins to work as anticipated, it is then brought to the appropriate portfolio weight and becomes a long-term investment. We will unwind these actions either by reducing, selling, or hedging, if the market environment changes for the worse.

August 15, 2018

As we discussed in this past weekend’s newsletter:

Likewise, while we upgraded the “buy signal” last week, we suggested waiting for a correction back to previous support before increasing allocations further.”

Today, the market is pulling back to support at 2800. A violation of 2800 will likely see a test of the cluster of moving averages which are spread between 2740 and 2780. With the market back to short-term oversold we have a few stocks on our watch list we are looking to add.

For now, the bullish trend of the market remains intact. However, given the seasonal weakness of August and September historically, we will be cautious in adding any exposure currently.

 

August 2, 2018

Overall, the bulk of the portfolio continues to perform as expected. We are closely monitoring Eastman Chemical (EMN) and Constellation Brands (STZ) which have not performed as expected. We currently have stop losses in place which are close to being triggered. Fundamentally, we still like the companies, but the technical risk is rising.

Portfolio Management Rule: Cut losers short, let winners run.

 

July 13, 2018

Added four new holdings to the portfolio

Buying

SU – Suncor Energy

NSC – Norfolk Southern

UTX – United Technologies

RAVN – Raven Industries.

 

May 12, 2018

In the RIA Portfolio you will find 6-tabs above the portfolio itself

Open Positionspositions currently open

Closed Positionspositions that have been sold.

Transactions  – a complete listing of all transactions in the portfolio (buys and sells)

Fundamentalsa listing of our fundamental measures of each position

Buy/Sell/Holda listing of the technical measures of each position

Researchyou will find PDF’s of a full REPORT and a one-page SNAPSHOT of each currently open position.