Cramer's Blog: Tech Needs More ConsolidationOriginally published on 7/26/2006 at 8:25 a.m. Tech consolidation? Could it be? Or is it that same darned affliction we recently had when Lucent ( LU) and Alcatel ( ALA)
Rev Shark's Blog: A Checklist for Trading This MarketOriginally published on 7/27/2006 at 9:11 a.m. "Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising."
-- Cyril Connolly The market action of the past three days looks quite promising for the bulls. We have had a number of positives, including good breadth, technology leadership, shallow dips that are bought and strong finishes. That is the stuff that turns are made of, but it is also fertile ground for bitter disappointment. We can't jump to the conclusion that this is now a healthy market that will quickly forget the struggles of the last few months as it gallops steadily higher. We need to stay on guard and not blithely throw caution to the wind. One day of selling can easily undo the good work that has been done over the last three days. So how do we balance the recent promising action against the danger of being sucked back in just as the market disappoints once again? There are several things you should do. First, make some partial sales in your stocks that have rebounded. Sell some into strength, and don't worry too much about the stock running up further without you. The likelihood is that you will have a chance to buy again at a lower price. Second, tighten up your stops. After you have made some partial sales into strength, protect yourself further by making sure what you have left doesn't slide back down. Third, keep some cash on hand. There is no rush to be fully invested at this point, even if you think the market is making a turn. There will be opportunities in individual stocks in the days and weeks ahead, and cash will give you the flexibility to take advantage of it. Few things are more frustrating than jumping into the market in a big way in anticipation of a turn, only to find yourself trapped in an uncooperative market. Keep some cash handy, and don't worry about missing out. There are reasons to be more optimistic, but that doesn't mean being foolhardy. We need to watch carefully to see how the market acts on a pullback. Do the dip buyers show up, or do the sellers press harder? Are market players starting to worry about missing further upside? Those are the questions we need to answer. We have gap-up open this morning, which is making me a little nervous. Earnings last night were a mixed bag, with several of the momentum favorites, like Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG) and Baidu ( BIDU), taking nasty hits. I expect to see sellers hit this open, and then it will be up to the bulls to prove that they are willing to buy a dip. Be careful out there. At the time of publication, De Porre had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.
Cody Willard's Blog: Bullish on Stock Selection
Originally published on 7/26/2006 at 4:07 p.m. I told her she could have all of my dough,
she turned around and with a frown,
she said this ain't no circus and I don't need a clown,
Your cash ain't nothin' but trash
-- Charles Calhoun The good news is that the market continues to treat earnings reports more "
Steven Smith's Blog: How to Play the GapsOriginally published on 7/27/2006 at 1:30 p.m. Even though I've made it clear that I don't like to play earnings, and I have to admit to feeling a little left out about not catching some of these 10%-plus moves, a man has to know his limitations. Guessing earnings moves is not my strong suit, so I'd rather marvel from the sideline than be flattened on the field. But in keeping with my approach to be reactive rather than predictive when it comes to earnings, let me review the "broken stock" strategy that -- while offering the big-bang returns of getting in ahead of a large move -- can be a high-probability trade. The basic premise is to sell calls on a stock that has gapped lower and broken down below support on the theory it will take time for the chart to repair itself before mounting a rally. By selling calls, you are taking advantage of what will likely be a contraction in implied volatility in the next few days as the options lose premium in the post-earnings IV decline and adjust to the new lower trading range. And, of course, as a seller time decay, or theta, is working in your favor. Some names that have recently broken and then have proceeded to move lower, or at least not exceed the gap-down-day's high, include United Parcel ( UPS), Panera ( PNRA) and Black & Decker ( BDK). Some candidates today include Aetna ( AET) and Baidu ( BIDU), and some casinos, such as Harrah's ( HET) and Penn National Gaming ( PENN). Though those two are now near session lows, and one of the keys to the strategy is to try to get the calls sold near the opening when IV is still high and the initial trading range is being defined. Also, it's important to check the charts to see if the stock has truly broken down below important support levels. For example, PENN might find some support at the $30 level. Another name that has a huge gap lower, but I don't consider a candidate, is Intuitive Surgical ( ISRG), which could get support at the $98 level and bounce sharply. Here is a
Tony Crescenzi's Blog: Builders Are Controlling the Housing Glut
Originally published on 7/27/2006 at 11:02 a.m. New-home sales were weaker-than-expected in June, running at a pace of 1.131 million compared to forecasts for a pace of 1.150 million. In addition, data for the previous month were revised sharply downward, with sales now reported at a 1.166 million pace instead of the 1.234 million pace that was previously reported (large revisions to the new-home sales data are common). I have noted since February that mortgage applications have fallen about 15% from the peak, suggesting that sales would fall similarly. Today's figure puts sales roughly in line with what should be expected, based on mortgage applications -- with sales down about 17% from the peak in the latest month and 15% when looking at the average sales pace of the past three months. The data, therefore, are hardly a surprise. A highlight of the home-sales report is the fact that the inventory-to-sales figure, although up in June, has stabilized. The ratio now stands at 6.1 months of supply, up from 5.9 months in May but below the peak of 6.4 months set in February. This is in contrast to the I/S ratio for existing-home sales, which reached a nine-year high in June. A key feature of the housing market is likely to be improved inventory control as compared to the last housing downturn in the early 1990s. With a greater share of the housing market controlled by larger, more capital-rich home builders than was the case in 1990, inventory control is likely to be better this time around, which should reduce the amount of forced liquidations and help to contain price declines.