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How Long Will The Market Stay Strong?

Our current economic condition is on shaky ground, but the stock market is still holding on to it’s position. Yes the stock market has been jumping up and down by 500+ points, but it’s still above the 10,000 level.

I keep getting question asked to me about how to read the stock market and I seem to be able to answer that less and less these days. The present Administration is spending money like there’s no tomorrow and if they keep it up there won’t be (for our economy that is). The private sector is not hiring enough people to give the economy the boost it needs. Unemployment is still above the 10% level and if you count the people who stopped looking for work and have finished their unemployment benefits, it’s more like 15%.

I watch the stock market each day and listen to the report that come up and they’re pretty negative. Consumer confidence, unemployment, durable goods and so many other reports show that the country is in bad shape. As it is, we can’t believe the media or the government to give us the “real” numbers or the truth, so I guess that’s how the stock market is still at the current levels.

Now a days it’s not easy reading the stock market so if you’re still looking to make money on Wall Street, you’ll need to do what I’ve been doing for some time now. That is to go ahead and just focus on the stocks out there that are still doing what is necessary to make it in this economy. Technology stocks like Apple and their suppliers are making profits and it doesn’t look like it going to end any time soon. Technology is what is need in this country and when the bottom drops out of the markets, it will be these stocks that will continue to grow. I noticed that people who are still out of work still have a cell phone, laptops and other gadgets. It seems that we can no longer live without these items.

Don’t bother trying to read the markets, it’s not so easy has it use to be when the economy was booming and the American people had money for discretionary spending. I can’t seem to figure out why the stock market is up to the level that it is, but it could also be because of the money that the Treasury is printing on a regular basis. As long as they keep printing money, the value of the dollar will continue to go down. Last week, the dollar was at a 15 year low against the Yen.

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What Happened In The Stock Market Nov. 7th-11th

Stock Market Report Period November 7-11, 2011
Over the last few weeks the stock market has been having quite a roller coaster ride. Activities have been pinned pretty much on the economic and political uncertainty in Europe. The situation in Greece and Italy has had a major impact on investing habits across the globe. Despite the ups and down during the past week, the stock market ended on a rise on Friday.

US Stock Market Activities for the Period
Friday saw the NY Stock Exchange having some positive gains with a few exceptions. The three main indicators, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Nasdaq and Standard & Poor (S&P) moved up by minute fractions, but any increase is a good sign no matter so small. The gains, according to CNN Money and the New York Times at close of business on Friday, November 11 were as follows:
1. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed the day at 11,893.86 points moving up by 112 points or a mere one percent.
2. Nasdaq Composite Index didn’t fare much better inching up by .1 percent to close at 2, 625,15.
3. Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) ended the day with 1,239.70 points, a 0.9 percent increase.
Only two of the companies that make up the 30 components in the Dow Jones ended the week with a negative movement, namely Bank of America and American Express Company.

Commodities Market and the European Debt Crisis
As can be expected, the debt crisis in Europe is affecting other key areas of economic markers worldwide. As the crisis seems to be on the verge of settling down, crude oil prices have started to inch upwards. The New York Mercantile Exchange shows crude oil prices closing the day (11/11/11) at $98.99 per barrel, an increase of $1.21. This increase may continue if the overall outlook for economic growth begins to improve globally.
On the US front, soybeans prices rose and corn prices fell. The increase in soybeans resulted from lower than expected production resulting from adverse conditions such as drought. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 82.9 metric tons of soybeans will be produced; which represents roughly 8.5 percent lower than expected production figures for the period.
Livestock farmers move towards using wheat as feed has negatively impacted the price of corn. Corn prices fell to $6.39 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) as corn futures fell 1.1 percent for December delivery according Bloomberg News.

Job Market Report Shows Slight Improvement
Reports reveal that there were fewer requests for unemployment benefits during the week under review. The Labor Department statistics for the week of October 29 showed claims for the period fell from 406,000 the week prior to 397,000 during the first week of November. This small change may be an indication that the job market maybe be improving, albeit slowly. This has been the lowest figures for unemployment claims for over a month.
While not meeting the 95,000 new non-agricultural jobs predicted by economists polled by Reuters, there was an increase of 80,000 jobs during October. Most of the new jobs were in the education, health, leisure and hospitality sectors. This increase has not done much to improve unemployment rates, which have inched down by one percent to close at 9 percent over September. Another factor to keep in mind is that the government sector is cutting jobs while the private sector is making modest employment gains.
All eyes will be on the market when it opens on Monday, November 14, to see whether the yo-yoing status will continue or whether there will be more positive gains. Most players in the market will be keyed into the activities on the Italian front as three billion Euro five-year bonds will be auctioned.

© 2011 Beating The Stock Market

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U.S. Stock Market Report Period October 3-7, 2011

The last three months have been quite a ride where the international stock market is concerned. Interestingly, the first week of October ended on an optimistic note with stocks trending upwards. This increasing confidence by investors was no doubt caused by strong belief that European banks will be recapitalized.
Stock Market Activities – First Week of October
Most tech stocks showed an increase in the past week with the exception of Apple. The 0.023 percent decline saw Apple’s share closing at $377.37 after losing 88 cents in response to the death of founder, Steve Jobs. Gains of between 1.74 percent and 4.99 percent were recorded by top tech companies during the period. These included Google – 1.98 percent; Microsoft – 1.74 percent; Oracle – 1.90 percent and Nvidia Corporation – 3.97 percent and Hewlett-Packard (HP) – 4.99 percent.
The three main indicators, Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P all showed gains as follows:
1. Dow Jones Industrial Averages moved to 11,123.33 after gaining 183.38 points
2. Nasdaq moved to 2,506.82 points after gaining 46.31 points, and
3. Standard & Poor (S&P) moved up to 1,164.97 after a gain of 20.94

Job Reports for US Companies for October 1-7, 2011
All eyes continue to be on figures dealing with the unemployment rates. The number of new job created is a strong indicator of economic activity and potential growth. Projections for new jobs in September were 75, 000 but initial reports at the end of the month showed a decent increase in non-farm payroll workers of 103,000. Included in this number, however, are 45,000 telecommunication workers from Verizon who were on strike for two weeks. Despite this addition of jobs by US-based companies, the number of unemployed making claims increased by 6000 between the last week of September and the first week of October. The new jobless claim figure now stands at 401,000 which is still slightly below the projected figures of 410,000. The unemployment rate for the past three months remains at 9.1 percent.
European Debt Crisis Containment
The debt crisis in Europe is causing more than simple ripples in the stock and commodities markets. The European Central Bank is depending on two main strategies to keep the region from buckling under the current debt crisis. One is keeping interest rates at the current level despite the fact that this move may cause a slowdown in economic activity. On Thursday the European Central bank also opened an emergency loan facility for banks to help tide them over during the existing crisis. These loans will run from 12 to 13 months and will be unlimited to help banks avoid the issue of limited liquidity.
In an effort to bolster the UK economy, the Bank of England has already put a substantial US$423 billion (£275 billion) into the economy. Japan is also planning to pump lots of money into their economy if the European debt crisis explodes and starts derailing the global economy.
Commodities Market Responds Positively to European Banking News
With hopes high after the European Commission asked European banks to recapitalize and the expectation that they will do so, the commodities market is showing growth. One commodity in which this growth is evident is coffee beans. Reports online indicate that consumers may have to pay more for that caffeine buzz as prices start to show a positive upward trend after a period of negative growth. Oil prices have also responded positively to the US job report and the news out of Europe. West Texas Intermediate or light sweet crude is showing an increase for November from $80.65 to $82.82 based on information from the New York Mercantile Exchange.
When the market opens next week no one knows what will happen, but all eyes will once again be on activities in Europe. A worsening debt crisis there will negatively impact the financial sector in the USA and across the globe.

© 2011 Beating The Stock Market

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Stock Market Roller-Coaster Ride

Here we go again. It looks like we’re in for another ride this week on Wall Street. The stock market lost over 500 points last week and on Monday, it gained 103 points. So what going on so far for this morning? Well the DOW opened flat, but was dropping fast as the opening minutes clicked by. Within twenty five minutes the DOW was down 180 points and since then has climbed it’s way back to only being down 36 points during it’s first forty five minutes into the trading day.

Either way you look at it, it’s going to be a wild ride for the rest of the year. I’m not confident on the condition of the stock markets and because of that, I’m sitting a lot of my money off to the side until the second dip happens sometime this year. We are not out of the woods yet and we are still in a lot of economic dangers in the near future.

Last night while watching Jim Cramer on Mad Money, I noticed that he is confident in the markets and sees some great things coming in the near future. The only thing I agree with him on is his opinion on investing in gold. Of course he didn’t say if you should own stocks in gold producing companies or in actually gold itself. My thoughts on that is that you should own gold coins and other gold items. Like I said, I don’t trust the condition of Wall Street and owning stocks in gold is not the same thing. Whatever you do, do your research into anything you’re going to invest in.

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Federal Reserve Realizes The Condition

After all this time that I’ve been saying that there is no good reason for the DOW and the rest of the markets to be as high as it is, we can see from the comments from the Federal Reserve, we are not bouncing back from the recovery as they and the Obama Administration have been trying to feed us for the last year. The Federal Reserve states that the economy is not growing as fast as they once thought. To make matters worse, the dollar is at a fifteen year low against the Yen.

In the first forty five minutes of trading today, the DOW is down 200 points. A sign that that investors and brokers are waking up to the realization of the fact that we are not out of the woods yet. NASDAQ is also down 54 points in the same amount of time. All together, each of the three idicies have lost roughly 2% in less than one hour.

Of course I expect the markets to jump back up, but that will be from the market makers trying to make some more profits on this sell off. The DOW has moved up to 10,700 in the last week and there should be some profit taking, but this drop is not going to end with a few people taking their profits. I feel that some will start weening out of the stock market in preparation of the correction we’ll see in the second half of this year.

If you are still looking for some trading action, because you love the game of the markets, I suggest that you learn and start shorting stocks and the overall market.

What happened to the stock market today?

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New Home Sales Report For July

Yesterday the news came out that new home sales jumped 9.6% for the month of July. It was the fourth straight increase in sales. Sales rose to an annual rate of 433,000, up from June’s rate of 395,000. Many are saying that the bottom is definitely in and now is the time to buy, but is that really the case.
Yes, sales are up more than 30% from the bottom in January, but nowhere near the peak of four years ago. Of course that’s was because of the inflated bubble that was created by the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sub-prime loans.
So does this really mean that the bottom is in and we can expect the economy to turn around? I doubt it. Why I think that is because of the fact that the numbers are (I feel) are mis-leading. Many of the new home sales that have been happening in the last month or so were first-time home buyers. That’s because of the government’s incentive plan for first-time homeowners who qualify for an $8000 tax credit. That in itself is misleading on the fact of it’s a tax credit, not a rebate. Which means of you don’t have enough of tax liability, you won’t be able to write off all of the $8000.
What does that mean for the industry? Well, home builders saw a jump in their stock price today, but will it be able to maintain those levels? I doubt that too. mainly because when the program will be terminated at the end of November. I believe the market will dry up again with sales. As it is, some builders have already seen a dip in home sales. In Arizona, A.F. Sterling Homes stated that sales in July stalled because the builder couldn’t guarantee the homes would be completed in time to qualify. The industry (real estate agents and builders) are really leaning on Congress to extend the the credit on the grounds of the sales could reverse from their current trend. As a matter of fact, Randy Agron, the vice president of A.F. Sterling Homes was quoted as saying “The real estate market is really a fragile thing. It’s not the right time to take (the tax credit) away”.
With that in mind, do you really think the bottom is in? It has been proven in the past that when the government gets involved with trying to “save” the economy, it actually extends it by not letting the free market follow it’s natural course. With this program as well as the financial bailouts and “Cash For Clunkers”, we have three major industries being manipulated within the American economy.
All I can say is…hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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Solar Power Stocks Take A Beaten

In the last week or so the solar power companies have been getting down graded from several different analysts. The reasons vary from one another, but the message is still the same… stay away from the sector. The alternative energy sector has made some good gains in recent months, but then again almost everything has made gains since the lows of March.
The leaders in the sector have really taken a turn down from where they were just a few months ago. First Solar Inc. (FSLR:NASDAQ) was as low as $100 in March climbing nearly 100% to it recent high of over $200 in May and has really taken a beaten since then.
That’s not the only solar companies that has fallen out of flavor with the analysts. Typically when the price of oil starts to rise, the alternative energy sector gets some headwinds because of the fact that it makes cost effective sense to invest in the solar and wind power stocks. The problem here seems to be that the competitiveness of the sector has gotten really tight causing companies to cut back on their own pricing to compete with others in their market. Each of these companies are trying to get a bigger market share and to do so, pricing and profit will be taking a back seat at the moment.
Here at Beating The Stock Market, I’ve been very positive about the alternative energy sector and have made plenty of money in trading these stocks. When news like this comes out from several different sources, I tend to stay away from the sector. Too much negative views on a sector does not sit well for me and I will wait and see before I jump back on board with solar or wind power stocks.

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Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd (NYSE:AEM)

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd is up and running again today after they reported their second quarter earnings report. I’ve spoken about them in the past in regards to having a position and using a technique referred to as channel trading..
Well so much for that idea now that the company has posted some good results and given some (in my opinion) great guidance. It will be some time before I’ll know what their new trading range will be. On top of all the news that AEM released, there have also been several analysts that raised the target price for Agnico Eagle.
Yesterday when I saw the price dropping I put in a limit buy order at $52 per share. Unfortunately the low of the day was $52.17. I figured that I’ll just get the shares today at even a lower price, but when I was watching Mad Money with Jim Cramer, he had the CEO of Agnico Eagle on to discuss the report. I knew at that point the shares would go up in the pre-market and continue to do so throughout the day. So I had to put in a limit buy in for 54.00 (hoping that it would be a good bid) before the market opened and was lucky that it did trigger. I think we’ll see some great thing from this company in the next few quarters and I expect to make some great gains with this stock.
Their two newest mines, Kittila and Lapa have achieved commercial production as well as their other mine Meadowbank and will be operational in the first quarter of 2010. If you haven’t jumped into Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., do your research and maybe this can be a winner for you and your portfolio.
Second quarter 2009 highlights include:
– Record Production – record gold production of 119,053 ounces. First gold poured at Pinos Altos in July
– Good Cost Performance – LaRonde, Goldex and Lapa achieve good
minesite cost performance
– Commercial Production At Lapa And Kittila – commercial production
achieved as of May 1 at both mines
– Remaining Two New Gold Mines On Schedule – Pinos Altos and Meadowbank remain on schedule for initial production in third quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010, respectively
– Growth profile bolstered – expected after-tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 76% at Goldex expansion and 17% at Pinos Altos expansion at Creston Mascota
Happy trading.

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The Dow At 9000, Where Do We Go From Here?

Who would have thought that this could have happened so soon? Either way, it was reached. The DOW close above 9000 (9069.29 to be exact). The S&P 500 has been on a tear, closing at 976.29. Lets not forget that the NASDAQ is now at 1973.60. The past two weeks of trading have been great for the markets.
With that being said, what are we to expect in the coming weeks? If you’ve been listening to the talk on the street, you’ve heard both sides of the possibilities. “It’s only going to get higher” or “the markets are going to correct themselves”. Those are the only two choices.
After listening to all the opinions that where flying today, I would have to agree that the markets are due for a correction. How can it not? I don’t know about you, but I don’t really see a reason to be all optimistic about the stock market. Add on to the fact that many traders and investors have made a lot of money in the last four months. There will be some profit taking very soon.
With all the talk about health care and the Cap and Trade bill, if these two bills pass, corporations are going to find it hard to keep making the earnings that the investors want to see. The taxes that will be imposed onto these industries are going to break them as well as the country’s GDP.
In the last few months I’ve made some great gains in the markets and I’m not willing to give them back anytime soon. At this time I’m sitting more than half my portfolio on the sidelines, while I wait for the other shoe to drop (and it will). Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that there will be some gains to be made in many other sectors and that’s why I’m watching the tech sector. They (tech sector) don’t have the government issues to deal with, like most of the others ones.
Which ever way you plan on playing the markets in the coming weeks, do your due diligence.

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Update On NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG)

What a difference a day makes. Last night I posted about NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE:NRG). A company that I’ve been trading for the last month or so. I’ve made some nice gains and I still feel the company’s stock will continue to rise considering the alternative energy needs in this country.

Something that I did over look in the post is that NRG Energy is in a middle of a hostile take over bid from the country’s largest nuclear power company, Exelon (NYSE:EXC). In October, Exelon offered 0.485 of one of its shares for every NRG share. Many of the NRG investors were not pleased with the offer and stated that Exelon had to raise it’s bid for the independent power producer.

News came out this morning that the company will raise it’s offer by about 12%. The issue is now is that NRG’s stock price has risen above the offering price from Exelon. So now Analyst are suggesting that it means that Exelon would most likely have to materially raise it’s bid to get NRG shareholders support.

At the close of last night (July, 2009), Exelon’s stock price closed at $51.56, which puts it’s bid for NRG at $25.01 a share. NRG shares closed at $26.05 yesterday.

NRG’s stock price opened Thursday at $25.30 and has dropped as low as $24.88. It has bounced back a little, but after today jobless claims and other economic data releases today. I don’t expect any stock to do really good today. We are going into a three day holiday weekend so let the rest of this eek play out on it’s on and see what bargains we’ll have next week.

Happy Independence Day.

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