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Stock Market Game

I’ve said it many times, and I stand by it; Stock Trading Is Not A Game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trader or an investor, you must do your homework by researching every stock you plan to invest in or trade But what if you could play a game and practice investing without risk? You could have fun “playing”, while learning and understanding the stock market even more.
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I stumbled upon a free website where you can trade stocks on a virtual Wall Street. UpDown.com is a free fantasy investing site. People join UpDown to practice investing and can earn money for winning contests. Start with a $1,000,000 cash reserve and start trading stocks immediately after registering and creating a profile. With up-to-date news information along with an active forum for members to share ideas and investment strategies.
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The UpDown is a community for people interested in investing in the stock market. If you’re new to the stock market or have a few year under your belt, this site will give you the chance to try different strategies without any actual loss of money.
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UpDown.com provides a platform where investors can view, share, and rate high-quality stock analysis and investment ideas. They then filter, aggregate, rank, and present the community’s investment recommendations for the benefit of all UpDown members looking for valuable investment advice.
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Click the banner below, or the one in our sidebar to join. I just joined myself and it looks like a good place for me to test out new strategies that I normally wouldn’t, with my own money.



Free Stock Market Game

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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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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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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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Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM)

Yesterday I spoke about building a position in Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). My first buy-in was at $76.25 when the price dropped. Share price opened this morning at $77.86 and within the first five minutes of trading, it was up to $78.40. Unfortunately that was as high as it would go. Minutes later it fell to $76.13, where it would continue to bounce within that range.

Research In Motion was scheduled to release their first quarter earnings report after the closing bell today. I was looking for some more upward motion from other traders getting on board in expectation of RIMM beating the street.

Shortly after the bell, RIMM released their report. RIMM earned $1.12 per share for the first quarter on revenue of $3.42 billion, compared with $482.5 million or 84 cents on revenue of $2.24 billion a year earlier. Included in the results were non-recurring items. $96.4 million relating to certain employee tax liabilities along with a gain of 175.1 million primarily as a result of the enactment of functional currency tax rules. While the analysts were only expecting $0.94 on revenue of $3.43 billion, RIMM earned $0.98 per share.

What I didn’t expect was after the company beating expectation by $0.04, the stock dropped more than 6% in after market trading. By the time after hour trading was done, the stock moved back up to $76.06, just off by 0.5% from where it closed at 4:00pm today.

One thing that I wish I was able to do was to buy more shares when it fell to $73 shortly after the release. In April, Rimm beat expectation by 7% and since then the stock price has moved up 55%. Today they beat it by more than 4% and it moved no where today. Many investors and traders were looking for more and the knee-jerk reaction was to sell. The more they were looking for was in RIMM’s second quarter guidance. RIMM”S range for earning in the next quarter is $0.94 to $1.03 per share on revenue of $3.45-$3.70 billion. The mean analyst estimate is for 97 cents on revenue of $3.61 billion. After the conference call, I guess people realized it wasn’t as bad as it originally sounded.

With the information I have on this company, I believe that RIMM is still fundamentlly sound and will continue to grow. I will continue to buy into RIMM under $80, after that I will sit back and watch the gains from this great company with a fantastic product. The BlackBerry is a great smartphone with many different applications to do the things you want to do. As a matter of fact RIMM just released their latest BlackBerry model, the Tour, earlier this week.

Jim Cramer doesn’t call this company one of the four horseman of the tech sector for nothing.

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The Stock Market Is Getting Ready For Another Run ...

Here we are again going through another correction in the markets. The three indicies have dropped over the past week off their seven month high and I’m not surprised. Over the last three months the markets have been on a tear coming off their lows. I mentioned before about how the markets wouldn’t be able to continue these gains without some sort of correction and profit taking.
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Even though I’ve been waiting for this pull back for some time, I did expect it. I will say that the markets aren’t as weak as I thought. I no longer expect to see the DOW reach 7000 again. As a matter of fact I don’t think it will get below 7800.
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The word on the street is that there is a large amount of money sitting on the sidelines waiting to jump back in, which means that once investors and traders feel that the waters a safe enough to come back in, it will help the markets rebound even more. Yesterday I heard that many of the hedge fund managers are already invested in and that they don’t have much capital not isn’t in the markets. The report stated that they are concerned that they may miss the next surge in the markets and they don’t want to be caught sitting it out.
If that’s the case, it can also be said that if they get skittish and pull their money out to avoid another big loss, we will see the 7800 level on the DOW.
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I don’t think so on the latter issue because the housing market is showing signs of stabilization, as well as the financial sector. Jim Cramer last night even had a segment in regards to the housing bottom. Since last August he has been saying that the housing bottom would be around June 30th of this year. Well, he ripped the board down and said that after yesterday’s housing number were the third straight month that they have improved. Other indicators are looking good too.
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With that in mind, I will start building positions in the stocks that I’ve been watching for sometime. Over the next two weeks, I will be looking at Apple, JP Morgan, Research In Motion and Agnico Eagle Mines. Of course there are others that I do like, but I would want more of a pull back before jumping on board with them.
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If you’re looking to take advantage of some free advice from Jim Cramer (besides his TV show), Check out his Action Alerts program that he’s always mentioning on his show. I’ve been a member for over a year and find some sound information from him, along with some great picks. Follow the link for a two week free trial of his Action Alerts subscription.
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TheStreet.com 120x120 Free Trial

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Finance, Energy And Politics, Oh My

It seems that the stock market doesn’t react the way it should when important economic news is released. Over the last two months there has been negative news reports released that would normally cause the indicies to drop, but instead they have responded in the opposite manner.

The same goes for the good news that is also released. Look at how the news came out yesterday about the billions of dollars that will be paid back by ten of the major banks. You would think that the news would make investors and traders want to invest in these companies, making the price rise, well it’s wasn’t the case. As a sidebar comment, It amazes me that the money isn’t being returned to the Fed’s, instead it will be held by the Treasury Department just in case it will be needed again. My opinion is that the money will be used in the department’s slush fund and never returned to the tax payer.

The talk is out again about drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The talks should have never halted. How are we to ever take control of our economy if we are depending on foreign countries to supply us with our energy needs? Oil is abundant in the gulf and we are not taking advantage of it, but I guess it’s OK since Russia is working with Cuba to drill in the gulf. That’s real good that they are doing so, this way they can also sell oil to us and we won’t be dependent on the Middle East. If you’re not sure, that last comment was a sarcastic one. Keep an eye on the alternative energy sector for some good gains. When oil gets above $70-$80 per barrel, solar and wind energy becomes more feasible and profitable as an investment.

The politicians are not doing the job that they were sent to Washington to do. The spending in this country is way out of control and needs to be pulled back. The private sector has to take charge of their future. We can not expect the government to come to their rescue. If the company can’t make a profit, then it needs to close no matter how many people it will affect. In the long run, having the Federal government get involved will only hurt more than it would have originally.

Keep your eyes on the stock market and be ready to raise capital (cash). I expect a pull back soon enough.

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Take Advantage Of The Stock Market

I’ve been trading in the stock market for years now. Over those years I’ve learned to take advantage of opportunities when they’re presented to me. One of the biggest opportunities to be offered is when the stock market drops quite a few percentage points in one day or over a period of a week.
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Yesterday’s decline was one of those days to take advantage of, especially in the basic material sector. The sector has moved up majorly over the last two to three months. In some cases like Freeport McMoran (NYSE:FCX) and Allegheny Technologies (NYSE:ATI), they’re up 83% and 130% since their March lows. So when days like yesterday happen and most investor and traders are taking profits, you need to be ready to jump in to buy.
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Wednesday was clearly a profit-taking day. Of course the media was stating that it was because of the bad ADP Employment change report that came out, I beg to differ. Employment reports are always lousy near the end of a recession and during the turn-around period of the economy.
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So late yesterday afternoon I took advantage of some good buying opportunities. The first trade I made was to buy Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM). After it was up to $64 in the last week, it took a dive yesterday to the low $58 range, where I decided to pick up some shares. At the time of writing this post, It has moved to $61.25. A gain of over 5% overnight.
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This is why you need to do research on not just the individual stocks, but also the market as a whole. I’ve been talking about the DOW going back down to the mid 7000 range and it seems that I may be wrong. Then again, it could still be coming, but the mood of the markets is more positive than negative. You can’t fight the markets, you need to ride out the current of the them to take advantage of days like yesterday. No one sector sells off like that in one day without having other investors jumping right in on the great buying opportunity.

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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