Friday, December 13, 2013

Crude Oil Could Be One of the Best Investments of 2014

Spikes in the price of oil have triggered recessions in the 1970s and again in 1990. However, these points are historical anomalies. It wasn't the price spike that caused the recession. Global geopolitical events underlying the price moves caused the recessions. In both examples, the details of the story held important information that couldn't fit into a headline.
News headlines can often trigger sharp moves in the stock market. Usually, it is the headline that creates the reaction as traders and high-frequency trading firms try to anticipate what is in the story.
For example, the monthly employment report starts with a headline about the number of jobs created or the current unemployment rate. Some traders scramble to buy or sell while others read the report. In early December, the full report was 39 pages long and analysts who read the entire report saw details that headline writers missed. This is often the case, and those details are the reason that sharp market moves driven by news are often reversed. (more)

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Stock Market 'Has Bubble Elements to It'

The stock market's torrid rally has some froth to it, but not an extreme amount, says Nobel laureate economist Robert Shiller of Yale University.

The Standard & Poor's 500 Index has jumped 167 percent from its March 2009 low and has generated a total return of 27.4 percent so far this year.

"It has bubble elements to it, because people see the market going up, and they're regretting the fact that they didn't buy in several years ago. They are tempted back into it," Shiller told PBS NewsHour. (more)

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Fire Your Fund Manager: Stock Indices Trounce Portfolio Pros

By any measure, 2013 looks set to be another great year for stocks. In fact, if the final three weeks go well, it could the best 12-month jaunt for the large cap benchmark index (^GSPC, SPY) since a 31% gain in 1997.

While those kind of profits are sure to delight most investors, the truth is many people simply won’t get them. In fact, studies show that up 75% of professional money managers lag their benchmarks over time simply because they actively try to beat them. As odd as it sounds, had they done nothing they’d probably have been better off.

“It’s not unusual for indexes to outperform the managers consistently over time,” says Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors in the attached video. “You’re not going to find from me an argument against indexing, by both professional or large investors, as well as small investors.”  (more)

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Macerich Co (NYSE: MAC)

The Macerich Company is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the United States. It primarily engages in acquisition, ownership, development, redevelopment, management and leasing of regional and community shopping centers located throughout the United States. The Macerich Company was founded in 1964 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California.
Please take a look at the 1-year chart of MAC (The Macerich Company) below with my added notations:
1-year chart of MAC (The Macerich Company)
MAC had been trading in mostly a sideways range from September through November. Several times over that period the stock also formed a key resistance level at around $60 (blue). That $60 level has also been support or resistance several times previously. Last week MAC finally broke up out of its range and above that important $60 level. The stock should be moving overall higher from here.

The Tale of the Tape: MAC had a key level of resistance at $60 that should now act as support on any pullbacks. A long trade could be entered on a pullback to $60 with a stop placed below that level. A break back below $60 could negate the forecast for a move higher.
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Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT): This Fallen Star Could Surprise Traders With 50%-Plus Upside

In any given year, you'll come across "no-brainer" investments that are universally loved by the crowd. Trouble is, these stocks can be loved too much, and no matter how sales trends develop, some disappointment will be inevitable.

Indeed, one of the most popular stocks of the past few years has lost its way, buried under a set of unrealistic growth expectations. Yet, as shares bounce just above multi-year lows, contrarian investors finally see an opening.

This "can't miss" stock is Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT), which appeared set to dominate the burgeoning market for truck engines that can run on natural gas.
The appeal is self-evident. Natural gas is far cheaper than crude oil, and truckers could save thousands of dollars a year by moving away from pricey diesel fuel.

WPRT was also expected to benefit from legislation that provided huge subsidies for truckers to switch to natural gas. That legislation never arrived, and the company's most bullish supporters had to concede that the loftiest sales forecasts simply couldn't be met. As you can see in the chart below, shares responded as would be expected. (more)

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