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What the Market Wants: Six Weeks, One Day . . . and Still Counting

Posted on the 15 May 2012 by Phil's Stock World @philstockworld

What the Market Wants:  Six Weeks, One Day . . . and Still CountingA weekend of more election surprises in Europe, as a socialist candidate won a key state vote in Germany, threatening Prime Minister Angela Merkel‘s stance on austerity in the Eurozone. The Greek “leadership” has all but abandoned hope of forming a new elected government, likely requiring yet another vote.

Those European issues combined with new concerns about China’s growth didn’t do anything to mitigate the JP Morgan embarrassing announcement of a new $2 billion trading loss.  Unsurprisingly, the market performed poorly yet again today as the S&P 500 fell more than a percent to 1338, its lowest level since early February, extending the streak to six weeks since our last new high.

Market Stats. The worst style/cap last week was Large Cap Growth, losing -1.05%.  The best was Small Cap Value, gaining a tiny +0.19%. Utilities and Healthcare, classic flight-to-safety sectors, were the only positive sectors, with each gaining about +0.5% or less.  Basic Materials dropped a whopping +2.7%, followed closely by Energy which dropped more than 2%.

Here are the market stats.

Today, not a solitary sector gained anything while the Dow lost 125 points and Nasdaq, 31 points. Financials writhed in the fallout from JP Morgan’s massive trading loss as well as the weakness in most European banks due the Greek impasse and the German election surprise.

Economic Releases. Retail Sales from April will be announced tomorrow but are expected to be only a +0.2% increase compared to a +0.8% increase last month.  CPI and Business Inventories also will be released tomorrow but are unlikely to create much stir. Wednesday, we get New Housing Starts, which are expected to be up sharply over last month.

The important Industrial Production release will also be on Wednesday and could generate a little optimism if it is up as expected. Initial Jobless Claims will arrive on Thursday and could spark or spook the market.  Finally, Leading Indicators will end the busy week of economic releases, but is unlikely to help much if the earlier announcements haven’t already got the market engine running.

Fortunately, valuations are still attractive in many stocks (see a few below), and our European ETF hedges—IEV, EWP and VGK—were all down nearly 5% or more over the past week and should continue to serve us well as long as the European scene is so muddled.

4 Stock Ideas for this Market

This week, I used the Large Undervalued Growth preset search in MyStockFinder. Here are four stocks worth your attention:

AFLAC, Inc. (AFL)—Insurance
DirecTV, Inc. (DTV)—Consumer Cyclicals
Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC)—Energy
Discover Financial Services (DFS)—Banking Services

Until next week,

David Brown
Chief Market Strategist
Sabrient Systems, LLC.
Leaders in Investment Research
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Full disclosure:  The author does not hold positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

Disclaimer: This newsletter is published solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as advice or a recommendation to specific individuals. Individuals should take into account their personal financial circumstances in acting on any rankings or stock selections provided by Sabrient. Sabrient makes no representations that the techniques used in its rankings or selections will result in or guarantee profits in trading. Trading involves risk, including possible loss of principal and other losses, and past performance is no indication of future results.

Editor’s Note.

David Brown, chief market strategist for Sabrient Systems, is a former NASA scientist, retired CEO of Telescan, Inc., and author of four books on investing.  (More about David)

Sabrient is a leading provider of independent, unbiased, quantitative equity research to institutions, portfolio managers, investment advisors, and hedge funds, as well as to self-directed investors. The firm is poised to take a quantum leap forward with FSYS, a cutting-edge, proprietary platform.  FSYS greatly advances Sabrient’s ability to create, build, test and execute powerful strategies.

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