Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Sell-off Intensifies as The Fear Index Spikes Higher

The Bears have taken the lead.

Chart View
S&P 500

5 Days down in a row
Uptrend under pressure

Our Woody Indicator, which measures investor fear and greed, spiked dramatically higher on Friday.

Woodie Indicator
VIX Index

Investors accelerated their purchase of protective options(the VIX Index) in a big way.

We haven't seen this type of spike in volatility for some time. As the chart above indicates, we are now in an extremely high risk market. The chart is clearly telling us that it's time to "Run for the Hills."

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, all GWM Model portfolios are now weighted heavily in cash. If the politicians strike a deal on Monday, the markets will rally strongly. If they do not, the markets could drop a few hundred points. I prefer not to gamble on the outcome. Our indicators are definitely suggesting caution at this juncture. If we miss a strong bounce on good news, so be it. Given the poor track record of congressmen getting something done, I am inclined to error on the side of prudence.

Friday, December 28, 2012

You're a Mean One Mister Grinch

A flow of news flashes on Thursday provided for a lot of drama in the market. The market has now been down for 5 days in a row. The Grinch stole our Christmas rally.

Fiscal Cliff negotiations are acting as a catalyst for market volatility; a great deal is at risk.  Consequently, GWM Model Portfolios are largely in cash at the moment.

This chart provided by Stocks to Go shows just how news-driven this market is.

The Bears are gaining ground.

Volatility Spikes
(The Woody Indicator)

The level of fear in the market spiked up sharply on Thursday.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Gerritz Wealth Management

Fiscal Cliff Tax Inplications

According to the Tax Policy Center, if we go over the Fiscal Cliff here's how the tax increases would affect households at different income levels:
Annual income: $20,000 to $30,000.
Average tax increase: $1,064.
Annual income: $40,000 to $50,000.
Average tax increase: $1,729.
Annual income: $50,000 to $75,000.
Average tax increase: $2,399.
Annual income: $75,000 to $100,000.
Average tax increase: $3,688.
Annual income: $100,000 to $200,000.
Average tax increase: $6,662.
Annual income: $200,000 to $500,000.
Average tax increase: $14,643.
Annual income: $500,000 to $1 million.
Average tax increase: $38,969.
Annual income: More than $1 million.
Average tax increase: $254,637.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Market Drops as Fiscal Cliff Progress Hits a Wall

The outlook on the fiscal cliff took a turn for the worst as House Republicans failed to vote on Speaker John Boehner's  Plan B for the budget. This took the market by surprise: the knee-jerk reaction was to sell. The reality is that President Obama was going to veto it anyway.

The market technically remains in an uptrend. However, that could change if we don't get a resolution soon. 

It seems that the President and the Democrats are content to go over the Fiscal Cliff. By going over the cliff they would get the tax increases they want on the so called millionaires and billionaires by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. Then in January they would possibly introduce legislation to reduce taxes on middle class tax payers. 

I think it ultimately would be political suicide for our elected officials to drive us into a Washington created recession.  I am sure there will be a resolution, but one by the end of the year now seems much less likely. In the mean time we will probably suffer through some wild swings in market.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Market Comment 12/18/2012

Optimism about a resolution to the fiscal cliff spawned a strong rally the last couple days.  It would be a very good sign if the market digests these gains without faltering in the coming days.

The market is now a little overbought.

Market Direction Model

More Impulse Indicators fired. This is bullish.
S&P 500
Chart View

It has been a tough few months. This week's impressive
comeback is heartening.

Monday, December 17, 2012

GWM New America Folio Position Low Down: NeuStar (NSR)

Telecom services provider NeuStar (NSRhas now rallied for five of the past six weeks blowing past its $41.41 buy point. NeuStar has posted 11 straight quarters of double-digit earnings growth, with the last three showing acceleration. Sales have grown by double digits in 10 of the past 12 quarters.

After a few nail-biter days, we got an upside boost today, with some of our Impulse Indicator firing. Perceived progress on the Fiscal Cliff negotiations fueled today's rally.


Market Direction Model

We had a few Upside Impulse Indicators fire today. This is good!

Fiscal Cliff Progress Boosts the Market on Monday

The market gains as news from Washington pointed to possible progress in federal budget negotiations.

Reports suggest some progress in the Fiscal Cliff stand-off. House Speaker John Boehner proposed a budget including $1 trillion in tax increases over a decade, in exchange for $1 trillion in spending cuts. Apparently, the Obama administration considers the offer a starting point for further discussion.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

GWM Major Market Folio: Position Low Down - China ETF (FXI)


China: Central Economic Working Conference

In China a big official meeting known as the Central Economic Working Conference took place this weekend, and the result was that the government intends to keep policy very loose and accommodative.
Nomura's Zhiwei Zhang summarized the conference in a note titled Government decides to keep 2013 policy stance loose.
We summarize the note in bullets:
  • Monetary policy will remain loose.
  • The government will not take action to curb property price appreciation in 2013.
  • Structural reform work will probably take place in 2014, not 2013.
  • Infrastructure spending will pick up.
  • GDP forecast of 8.2% remains on track.
Bottom line: More aggressive easing with little concern for inflation. Bullish.

Read more:

Chart Analysis
China ETF (FXI)

I will be buying the China ETF this week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

GWM New America Folio Position Low Down: Eastman Chemical Co (EMN)

Eastman is a global specialty chemicals company.

Eastman is a global specialty chemicals company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders.
Market in Confirmed Uptrend

As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in approximately 100 countries and had 2011 pro forma combined revenues, giving effect to the Solutia acquisition, of approximately $9.3 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 13,500 people around the world. For more information,

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GWM Core Equity Folio Position Low Down: (CRM) Valuation Could Grow To $50 Billion

By Pete Barlas, Investor's Business Daily
 Posted 12/07/2012 02:57 PM ET

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New America Folio Position Low Down: Celgene (CELG)

Celgene (CELG)

Celgene develops cancer and immune-inflammatory related drugs. With a market cap of $33.5 billion, it's among the most valuable companies in Investor's Business Daily's 234-stock Medical-Biomedical/Biotech group. 

On Nov. 9 Celgene announced positive results from an early-stage study of its new Abraxane drug to treat pancreatic cancer.

The biotech's Earnings Per Share (EPS)  jumped 26% last quarter to $1.29. It's posted double-digit profit growth every quarter for more than four years.

New America Folio - Position News Item

Michael Kors (KORS) surged 4% before the start of regular trading. Goldman Sachs resumed coverage of the Hong Kong-based fashion house, placing the stock on its Conviction Buy list. The report saw Kors as able to maintain combined annual sales growth of 35-40% over the next four years, with potential to seize 25% of North America's high-end handbag and accessories market.

Read More At IBD:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Market Anomaly in Progress

So Goes Apple - So Goes the Market???

The "So Goes Apple - So Goes the Market" link is now broken. A market anomaly is currently taking place.

Apple's upside breakout has failed. Last week Apple fell more than 6% in a single day. This represents more than 4 times its historic volatility, an anomaly for sure. Apple's overall decline from its peak was roughly 25%.

So why didn't the market fall as well? It is not just Apple that declined quickly and sharply, but a lot of the recent high quality market leaders as well, including some stocks we held. Still,  most of the major indexes remain unshaken. I was baffled by this strange market behavior. I really needed to get my head around this.

As you know I try to keep up to date by reviewing blog posts from the circle of trusted market analysts I have come to respect. I'll credit Pascal Willain, author and creator of the Effective Volume web-site, with giving me insight into the Apple/Stock market conundrum  Pascal is a tireless market analyst and very smart to boot. In a nut-shell, this is how he explains last week's market behavior.

Apple represents about 17% of the Nasdaq Index and about 5% of the S&P 500. It is the most widely held stock in the world. Money is moving out of Apple in a big way, but it is not leaving the market. The proceeds from the sale of Apple stock are finding their way into the dogs of the market, i.e., Hewlett Packard. So while Apple is being driven down, stocks like HP are being driven up; thus, the market averages are not declining. The trading activity in Apple is 5 time the norm.

Apple / HP
 Relative Strength
Comparison Chart

Exacerbating the turmoil is the fact that the president seems unshakable in his determination to raise taxes on the so called rich. As a consequence, companies are paying out special large one-time dividends and investors are selling their winners to take advantage of the current lower capital gains tax rate.

I do not plan on chasing the money going into sub-par companies the likes of HP. Meg Whitman has stated that it will take at least 5 years to turn the company around, dead money.

Even though we were beat up a little lately, I think we need to remain optimistic. Politicians appear to be playing a game of chicken as they comment before the cameras, but the market believes that progress is being made behind the scenes.

When the Fiscal Cliff issues are fixed to some extent I would expect a very meaningful rally in the market. We want to be there when that happens.