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What Exactly are Penny Stocks?

Before even thinking of buying penny stocks it’s probably a good idea to understand what they are and how they’re viewed by the investing world. Three basic categories of penny stocks are used to define the actual words. Each one has a separate meaning with entirely different investment potential, risk ratios, and trading strategies. You might already know one of these meanings, however if you are doing research or talking about trading with another trader, you need to be careful because the information could be referring to an entirely separate meaning. Therefore, you must understand each meaning in order to make sure everyone is talking about the same one.


True Share Value – When people who do not know much about investing hear “penny stock” this is what they assume is the meaning. This is when a penny stock is valued under a dollar. Usually people believe that the stock is only valued at one cent. This meaning is not used very often in publications, probably due to the fact that it makes perfect sense. If a trader is speaking of a stock that is traded on a major market, such as the NYSE, then it is typically worth no more than $5.00 for each share.


The Stock Market Exchange – On occasion, and in particular with penny stock brokers, the meaning of penny stocks is derived from the market on which the stock is traded. The most prevalent penny stock exchange is Over the Counter, or the pink sheets. Basically, this means that the stock is not qualified to be on one of the more conventional markets. Pink sheets have started to examine penny stocks to make sure they meet their requirements for their exclusive penny stock market.


Market Capitalization – This is the final category of a penny stock and it is based on the company’s value. Usually, the companies have to be worth under $100 million dollars. The essential aspect is the company’s size, rather than the actual value and the price of each penny stock share.

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Is This A Real Rally?

Oh well, here we go again. After spending the last week or so losing 700 points and falling below 10,000 points at the close. Everyone feels that the stock market is on the rise again. Earnings season is upon us as a matter of fact we have Disney reporting after the close. I am pretty sure that they will not beat the street. Why is that? Besides the fact that I am a season ticket holder and have seen how much business they have lost in their Parks. Their latest movie, The Princess and the Frog, did not do as well as it was expected. They also have to take into account the fact that they bought Marvel Entertainment Inc.


To get back on my original thought, It seems that the media is talking about how this rally is “real”, I don’t think so. How can it when you have sales down in many business’ and people are still losing their jobs. Look before you leap back into any stocks at this time. Yes, I know the markets have corrected themselves in the last week or so, but isn’t that what we were saying a year and a half ago? History has shown us that there is always a second bounce. It’s my opinion that we will see the second bounce some time in the first half of this year.


I’ve been sitting on the sidelines for the last few months when it comes to actively trading on a day-by-day basis. I did make some acquisitions of some stocks like Ford (NYSE: F), as well as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Those trades were made for the long haul since I do have confidence in those companies and the people running them. I’m going to continue to wait for the other shoe to fall before I get back into the day trading. My advice to you is to do the same, but then again who am I?

Do what you may ,but consider yourself warned.
Happy Trading.

P.S. If you’re looking for some help in the stock market, Try out a free trial of Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts from The Street.


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Great Gains So Far For This Week

I’ve been busy this week with many things, so keeping an eye on the stock market hasn’t been easy for me. Well this afternoon I’ve had the time to see the progress for the past few days and I’m amazed at the gains that have been made this week by the major indicies.
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I told you in a recent post that I jumped out of basically everything until the markets correct themselves again. We’ve had too much of a run up and I’m skeptical. Looking back on the past few days that I missed, I noticed that there were good opportunities to make money on stocks that I sold and they went on a roller coaster ride afterward.
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The one I want to talk about is Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (NYSE:AEM), a stock that was as high as $62 only five weeks ago. I made the right choice to sell off my position. After it corrected by 10% I bought a small position back. I let it just sit there not bothering to pick up more as it continued to drop. Unknown to me, I wasn’t paying attention to what the stock did this week as it dropped down to below $47.50. If I was aware of the situation, I would have back the truck up so fast to grab shares at that price. That was Monday morning and now the price per share is $55 (as of 3:45pm). A 16% gain in just three trading days.
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In all the times that I’ve traded AEM, I’ve always made money. This would have been great to profit from, but I’m not going to drive myself crazy because I didn’t get into this play. There will always be more opportunities to make money, but if you want to stay sane while trading stocks, you can’t sit there and think of the “what if’s”.
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Agnico Eagle has been trading within a range of $45 to $60 (which is a nice swing gap) this entire calendar year. When the price drops below $50 I buy quite a bit, as it goes above $55 I prepare to sell. This week was a good opportunity to do exactly that and I’m OK with the fact that I missed it.
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Try to keep that in mind as you go through your portfolio.

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Second Quarter Earnings Report Season

It’s that time of year again that comes every three months. That’s right, it’s time for earnings reports. Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the first company to come out with their results for the second quarter for 2009 (actually it’s just that they are the biggest company to report). Alcoa will release their report after the closing bell on Wednesday July 8th.
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After last week’s debauchery, who really know what to expect. I not expecting anything good from any one company, so I will be watching the companies that I favor to buy on the dips. I’ve again back out of a lot of the positions I had in the past couple of weeks, so I’m in a good position to pick up some of the companies I was in at a lower price. Unfortunately, I’m not all that comfortable with the way the government and the Federal Reserve are handling things right now, that I just might sit out for the next month or so.
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Of course with me doing that, I just may miss out on some great moves, but when in doubt, sit it out.
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On Thursday the DOW lost 223 points. It started off bad in the morning and was pretty much steady all day until the end when the rest of it fell out. The whole week was trading on light volume, which makes it hard to really see which way the markets could have gone. It’s not easy to get a feel for the markets during a holiday week.
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I will wait until tuesday to get a feel for the market tread, but the way the markets have been lately, it’s doesn’t stay one way or the other for long. Take your time and do your research carefully, like you should do all the time.

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Nuclear Energy Stocks

There are many different stocks out there that fall under the term “speculative”, of course that not really the case when it comes to the electric utility stocks. I just want to write about a sector that seems to be building up steam (literally and figuratively) later that needs to be addressed.


A little over a month ago I started looking for a new speculative stock to trade (oppose to invest in) and I happen to stumble over a company that is in the electric utility sector, but because it is mainly a nuclear play, I thought it would be a decent opportunity. I looked around at other companies that are also trying to expand their nuclear plant output, but this one stuck in my mind.


I invested a small amount (like I always do on speculative stocks) in the company after reading their earnings reports and reading the transcripts from their conference calls. Since then the stock price has moved up over 30% in just 5 weeks.


What really made me think that I had to write a post on it, was the fact that the company was profiled on a CNBC special this week titled Nuclear Option. In the show there was a lot of positive talk about the use of nuclear power being used in this country. There hasn’t been a nuclear power plant built in the United States in over thirty years, but now there are two being built as I type this post. One in Texas and the other in Maryland.


The company that I’m referring to is NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG). The company looks good to me and I will be buying more of it on the dips. I do expect it to lose some value because of profit takers as well as the overall market taking it down some as the DOW and the economy take a roller-coaster ride throughout the remaining part of the year. The chart looks healthy and with the price of oil expected to go back up, it will continue to rise.


As with any stock you look to invest in or trade, you need to do your own research to see if it’s right for you.

Nuclear energy stock market


Happy Trading



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(NYSE:AGM) Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp.

Back in October 2008 I wrote a post about Federal Agricultural Mortgage (NYSE:AGM). At the time the stock price went up by over 350% in just one week. Well the stock fell back down to it’s pre-spike price during the next three weeks, where it’s pretty much has been since then.
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Until Tuesday morning where it started it’s 113% price gain. That’s right the stock jumped after the earnings report was released showing that they’ve steered the company around to post a net income of $33.5 million or $3.31 per diluted share. What makes it interesting is that there are no analyst covering this company. As per Yahoo Finance.com, there is no info available for AGM.
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The main reason for such a great quarter was driven by the financial derivatives along with the trading assets.
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What I will say is that most of the gains in the share price happened before the markets even opened. Needless to say that means that most average Joes didn’t see much profits unless they jumped in the stock before the close of Monday trading hours. I you jumped in a the opening of the markets you would still have made over 7% with the trade. Typically a stock will continue on momentum for the next day or two, so don’t try to chase this stock since most of the gains have already happened. I may be wrong and it could take another good jump in price, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially since the financial sector took a beaten today and will most likely continue for the rest of the week.
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*DISCLAIMER* At the time of this post, I do not have a position in AGM.

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The ADP Report Better Than Expected

The April ADP report was released today and it was better than expected. That doesn’t mean that it was all roses though. Many people are still losing their jobs, but not to the extent to where we could be. The report states that there was a decline of 491,000 compared to the 700,000 that the analysts were expecting. In the release, the March numbers were adjusted to 700,000 from the original number of 663,000.
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This brings the unemployment rate to 8.9% from 8.5% last month. This makes it the highest unemployment rate since 1983.
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All the signs of the stock market and the economy show that the bottom is coming (if not here already). The unemployment rate is the last thing to change course. We can expect to see the unemployment rate get as high as 10%, but as that happens the economy will improve.
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In the meantime the stock market has made some great strides this week again. Seeing the DOW at 8500 is nice, but can it stay that way or will it drop down to the 7000 level once more before we really get get back on track. The S&P 500 closed over 900 points and to think of it dropping down below eight hundred is not something that most analysts are predicting.
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Either way I’m keeping a watchful eye on the markets as I continue to be a trader and not an investor. Yesterday was a great example. when the market opened, the trend was pointing downward. I sold out of my positions in the morning and jumped back into the same ones right before the close of the day. In some cases I bought the same shares back at 15% less than the price I sold them at earlier in the day.
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Two of the stocks were
Sirius (NASDAQ: SIRI) sold at 0.52 per share, bought back at 0.42
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) sold at $40.75 per share, bought back at $38
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*DISCLAIMER* Billy has holdings in Sirius and Caterpillar at the time of this being posted.

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Are The Bulls Charging?

The stock markets have been on a tear for the last three weeks or so it seems. In the last fourteen trading days the DOW has finished in the green for ten of those days. Even though the DOW sit at 8761.42 and was as high as 9000 on Monday, there has been a charge from the bulls that makes you wonder if we have reached the bottom.
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I don’t believe we have, but I do like to think that we did.
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The commodity sector had a beautiful day today and that typically shows that the bottom is near if not here. Basic materials as a whole gained over 5% today with coal leading the way with a gain of over 15%. It goes to show you that the analyst and the “expert” either don’t know what’s going on or that they are not telling us average traders everything. I’ve listened for the last month to them report that commodities are in the tank and will remain there for sometime. So why the rally today? I wish I knew.
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The steel industry has been dropping like a lead balloon, but Cliff Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE:CLF) gained 18% today and is up nearly 38% in just one week. Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ:STLD) gained 15% today and is also up nearly 60% for the week.

With signs and gains like these, one would think the worst is behind us.
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In the last two weeks we’ve heard that the recession is officially here, so I’m lead to believe that it’s not over. I’m expect a big pull back in these prices as the profit takers come in and remove so of their capital. I’m also looking for the DOW to drop back to the 8000 level in the near future.
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If my readers have any insight to share, please do so in the comments to help enlighten me in any way.

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Citigroup

Citigroup (NYSE:C) Is now the center of attention now within the financial sector. Of course it’s expected since they too were doing what the rest of the industry has been doing for the last few years.
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Over the weekend the Federal Reserve and the Treasury department have been talking on how to stabilize the company. The discussions are still going on and not much more is being revealed. Speculation is that they are thinking of assuming some of the risky assets held by the company. As with the rest of the trouble assets that the government has taken over from the other troubled banks. Removing the assets off of Citigroup’s balance sheet will give them the chance they need to put them in a better position to do business and raise capital.
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From all the news coverage I’ve followed over the last few days, Citigroup has declined to comment.
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I was on vacation last week and while spending my time with my family, I didn’t follow any news, but to come back to find out that Citigroup lost nearly 60% of their stock value brought me back to reality real quick. Having Citigroup collapse could possibly bring the end to the entire sector. They are too intertwined within the sector.
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When you think about it, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is happening. Look what happened to Citigroup last month when they tried to acquire Wachovia (NYSE:WB). They lost the opportunity to Wells Fargo Corp (NYSE:WFC). They are no longer the big dog on the block. As a matter of fact they are probably the most vulnerable of all the financial institutions out there.
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Who knows what is to come this week. Last week the DOW lost 5% and that’s after the 500 point gain on Friday. I’m going to catch up on the thing I missed and watch the action from the sidelines.

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Sell-Off’s And Rallies


photo by petrick2008

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As we see with the way the stock market performed today, the sell-off kicks back into high gear. Investors are still concerned about the condition of the economy no matter who won the election.
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The rally that took place over the last week in alternative energy was erased today with the sell off. First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) which was up $70 in the past week gave back $24 (-13%) in today’s trading.
The rest of the sector did just as bad with Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) taking the biggest hit of almost 21%. Suntech was trading last week at $11 and gained almost 90% before today’s beat-down. The one stock in the sector that escaped the abuse of today was Biofuel Energy Corp (NASDAQ:BIOF) which gained just over 28%, take in mind though that this stock is a penny stock and gains like that are quite common.
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In the financial area of the stock market, the sector was another wash-out with nearly if not all of the stocks lost ground. Out of the ones that I really keep an eye on, the best performers still lost over 5%.
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (NYSE:AGM), a stock that I’ve talked about before here on this blog took the biggest hit, losing over 25%. Last week the stock traded as low as $2.85 (where I picked up 200 shares) and yesterday hit an intraday high of $8.40, a gain of almost 200% in just a few days.
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I’ve been saying it for some time now, but you need to be ready for when the stock market will turn (good or bad). If I didn’t sell out of AGM when I did, I would have lost some great gains. Don’t get me wrong, I did keep some shares (since I’m now trading with their money). When you get big gains like the one I just spoke about, you need to remember not to be greedy and SELL.
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*DISCLAIMER* At the time of this post Billy is long AGM and has no position in FSLR, BIOF and STP

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