Market Recap Jul 20, 2015


We turned back bullish early last week and thus far the market has not said that is wrong. Monday the S&P 500 gained 0.08% and the NASDAQ 0.17% – this is typical bull market behavior… in between the big up days you have very mild down days or sideways action. Greece is off the table, earnings are in play, the market seems fine with the Fed raising rates sometime later this year, and speculative fervor has returned to certain sectors of the market. The long awaited IPO of Paypal (PYPL) helped lift spirits among tech stocks. There was no major economic news on the day.

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Market Recap Jul 9, 2015


Indexes shot up at the open as China bounced overnight but gradually sold off most of those gains during the trading day. At market close the S&P 500 gained 0.23% and the NASDAQ 0.26%.

The Greek government was expected to submit reform proposals by midnight Thursday. Athens on Wednesday formally applied for a three-year loan. A government source told Reuters that Athens will ask for parliament’s approval on Friday to negotiate on the text of “prior actions” that could form the basis of a cash-for-reforms deal with creditors. Political talks over Greece must produce a strong outcome on Sunday for the European Central Bank to provide continued support, while there’s only “very low” leeway to reprofile Greece’s debt, euro zone leaders said, according to Reuters.

Fun fact – and a potential contrarian indicator (i.e. a positive for bulls): Short sales are at their highest level since the financial crisis.

….short sellers increased their bearish wagers in June to the highest level since the financial crisis, according to data compiled by the New York Stock Exchange. The number of shorted shares increased 3.3 percent from a month ago to 16.2 billion in June, the most since September 2008.

Betting against stocks has been a losing strategy since 2009 as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied more than 200 percent and all but 22 members climbed. The HFRI Short Bias Index of equity hedge funds has fallen in five of the past six years, a performance not seen in 2 1/2 decades of data.

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Market Recap Jul 8, 2015


It was a funky day in the market as there was a multi hour interruption of the NYSE – but indexes were down before this halt and after the halt. The S&P 500 finished down 1.67% and the NASDAQ 1.75%. The normal actors – China & Greece were pointed to as reasons of concern. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes from the June meeting showed policymakers were concerned about the situation in Greece and China, with most judging that rate hike conditions were not yet achieved.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday, lambasting Europe’s advocacy of austerity and the efficacy of Greece’s bailout programs since 2010, but promised a detailed, “concrete” deal would be presented in the next two to three days. Greek state TV said the local banks will remain closed until next Monday.

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STTG Market Recap May 27, 2015


Wednesday’s action was almost a 180 degree turn from Tuesday’s with the S&P 500 up 0.92% and the NASDAQ 1.47%. Sone vague belief in (yet another) resolution in Greece seemed to be the catalyst. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday the negotiations are on the “final stretch” towards a positive deal, Reuters reported. Later in the day, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said there was not much progress in the Greek debt talks and he was surprised by the upbeat tone from some Greek government officials. Athens must make a 300 million euro payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 5, ahead of several other payments due to the IMF later in the month, for a total of 1.6 billion euros.

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STTG Market Recap May 26, 2015


Last week we remarked how the S&P 500 finally had broken out of a multi month range… but then it did little. Usually once a stock/ETF moves out of a long range it has a pronounced move; but the S&P 500 didn’t – it barely budged. Today that move collapsed. The S&P 500 fell 1.03% and the NASDAQ 1.11%. Most pointed to some vague increase in a chance of a rate hike but this is too much tea leaving – the Federal Reserve has said everything is data dependent.

U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Tuesday that markets should not be surprised by the timing or pace of rate hikes.

In economic news, durable goods for April showed a decline of 0.5 percent, roughly in-line with expectations. Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 1.0 percent last month after an upwardly revised 1.5 percent increase in March. New home sales for April showed an increase of 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, up from the consensus 510,000.

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STTG Market Recap May 18, 2015


Indexes posted moderate gains Monday as a mixed morning led to afternoon buying; that is the pattern one wants to see. The S&P 500 gained 0.30% and the NASDAQ 0.60% as news flow was very light. For the year the S&P 500 is 3.4% higher and the NASDAQ is up 7.2% – but it has not been easy sledding in 2015. Fed Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans repeated his call to hold interest rates near zero until early 2016 at a speech in Stockholm.

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STTG Market Recap May 1, 2015


Friday was almost the complete opposite of Thursday – especially in the NASDAQ. Yesterday we wrote how it was difficult for the NASDAQ to rally without the potent combo of Apple + biotechs, which both suffered yesterday. Today both jumped and the results were predictable. The S&P 500 rallied 1.09% and the NASDAQ 1.29%. We will begin to see more economic data that matters as the first week of the month is chock full of interesting reports. Today we had manufacturing and construction:

April’s manufacturing ISM index missed slightly, coming in at 51.5, unchanged from the previous month. The report was expected to show a modest rise to 52 that would follow five consecutive months of weakening. Any reading over 50 signals expansion. Construction spending data for March showed a decline of 0.6 percent.

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STTG Market Recap Apr 30, 2015


Quick Note from Blain: Made some short and “to the point” market analysis videos over at These are 100% mobile friendly, please check them out and let me know what you think. If you like them I will try and make some every couple days. Thanks!

Indexes continue to show weakness as the S&P 500 fell 1.01% and the NASDAQ 1.64%.  Data today showed that consumer spending in March posted the the biggest increase since November, while February’s gain was larger than previously estimated. Incomes were little changed reflecting a drop in dividend payments.

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