Daily Gains Letter

China


Historical Trends, Global Economic Factors Say Stock Market at Risk

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 6, 2015

Stock Market RiskWhat if I told you the best six months for investing in the stock market are drawing to an end? Not good news, is it?

As we enter the second quarter, there is optimism based on the price action of the stock market in 2014. Yet as I mentioned, what is historically recognized as the best six-month period during the year for investing in the stock market, particularly the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average, according to the Stock Trader’s Almanac, is coming to a close at the end of April. With the S&P 500 having returned only 0.44% in 2015 (better than the 0.26% decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average), can we really expect much for the stock market following what was supposedly the historically high period for stock market investing this year?

Stock Market Exceptions

The stars in the stock market so far this year have been the higher-beta stocks, as traders and investors search for potential higher gains. The NASDAQ and Russell 2000 advanced 3.48% and 3.99%, respectively, in the first quarter.

Small-caps were tops in March with the only positive move. The Russell 2000 edged up 1.57% versus a 1.74% decline for the S&P 500.

But while the historical pattern for the stock market doesn’t always play out, as was the case in 2013, the odds are in its favor.

Retracing back to April 2014, the DOW and S&P 500 pushed upward, while the higher-beta NASDAQ and Russell 2000 fell 2.01% and 3.94%, respectively. Yet there was negative sentiment towards higher-beta stocks in the stock market that, so far, hasn’t been the case this … Read More


Declining Commodity Prices Ahead with Weak Global Economy

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jan 21, 2015

Profit from Weak Commodity PricesOil may be holding above $40.00 per barrel, but investors shouldn’t get too comfortable. The chart foreshadows oil prices could falter and maybe even drop below $40.00.

It’s true that speculation has influenced the direction of oil to some degree, but much of the negative sentiment has to do with a declining global economy that shows some despair. And while gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the U.S. is pretty decent, what we are witnessing in the global economy cannot be saved by what is happening domestically. That suggests weaker oil prices ahead—along with weaker commodity prices overall.

How Stalling in Global Economy, China Will Affect Commodities

The World Bank just cut its outlook for the global economy and the eurozone for this year. The reality is it could get much worse.

What investors have to understand is that the stalling in the global economy will impact not only oil demand and prices, but also other commodities that move in conjunction with the direction of the global economy.

Copper is declining to dangerous support levels not seen since the global economy was pulling out of its recession in 2009. Copper is dependent on GDP growth, which is at a crossroads.

Yet all eyes will be focused on China as the country gets set to deliver its fourth-quarter GDP. Based on what we are seeing in the country, the number could be ugly.

Of course, what we will likely see is a somewhat massaged version of the true GDP reading from Beijing. The government controls the flow of information it wants the world to see, so a steady decline is preferred … Read More


China’s Rising: Best Investment Vehicle to Make Money From It

By for Daily Gains Letter | Dec 5, 2014

Chinas RisingWhile China is struggling with its gross domestic product (GDP) growth metrics, the country’s main stock market—the Shanghai Composite Index (SCI)—is easily outperforming the S&P 500 and NASDAQ.

China may be stalling, but the Chinese economy is still growing at a rate of more than seven percent—far better than the rest of the G8 countries. Now, of course, that’s if you believe the GDP reading that is put forth by the Chinese government; as with most data coming from China, it is up for debate whether it is real or fictitious.

But going forward on the premise that the GDP reading is accurate, you can understand that the potential for investment growth is significant.

The SCI is up 37% this year, easily outperforming the U.S. domestic stock markets. And now, with access to Chinese stocks traded on the two Chinese exchanges (the Shanghai and Shenzen) made possible from a hub in Hong Kong, the SCI has been edging higher.

Add in the fact that the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, is continuing to pump easy money into the economic system, and you have the potential for more gains.

But to make the real money, you need to gain access to the “A” shares that trade in China, and not simply the American depository receipts (ADRs) that are listed on U.S. exchanges.

Investing in China’s “A” Shares

The iShares China Large-Cap (NYSEArca/FXI) comprises the 25 largest companies in China but its performance has been substandard, moving up a mere three percent this year.

If you want access to the “A” shares listed on China’s exchanges, you can either … Read More


How OPEC’s Production Decision Tomorrow Could Affect Oil Prices

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 26, 2014

OPEC Decision Could See Big Move in Oil PricesIf you are an energy trader, tomorrow will be a big day for you. While it’s also a big day for the rest of the country, which will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day, for many in the oil patch looking for direction on oil prices, it’s also the day the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), aka the “oil cartel,” will decide whether to cut production.

A major cut of at least one million barrels per day could send oil prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent crude gushing higher—or, at the very least, preventing them from falling further towards the threatening $70.00 level. On the other hand, a non-move by OPEC could see oil prices plummet toward $70.00.

Some pundits are even suggesting oil prices could fall to $60.00 per barrel if the status quo is allowed to continue, given the current supply/demand imbalance. The reality is that the massive outputs of oil from the shale formations in North Dakota and Montana have not been met with stronger domestic demand from users. This has led to excess supply and subsequent downward pressure on oil prices.

We also have the massive production ready to flow from the Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas and Louisiana. The Keystone pipeline has yet to be approved, however, despite the Republicans recently assuming control of both the House and Senate.

The reality is that the low oil prices may be a boost to companies and consumers, but it’s a financial drain on the oil producers at current prices.

The Situation Among Oil Producers

The feeling is that many OPEC and … Read More


Investors Beware: U.S. Not Immune to Stalling in Global Economy

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 19, 2014

U.S. Not Immune to Stalling in Global EconomyThe U.S. economy has been showing some positive growth that has helped to propel the stock market higher, but be careful: there appears to be some cracks forming in the global economy to which the U.S. economy will not be immune.

Japan reported that its economy fell back into a recession after contracting an annualized 1.6% in the third quarter, representing the second straight quarter of contraction. Part of the blame will squarely lie with Prime Minister Abe and his controversial decision to raise the country’s sales tax from five percent to eight percent in April.

I consider the decision to raise the sales tax wrong, as it largely impacts the middle class and lower income brackets in Japan. The rich don’t care. (Sound familiar?) Worst of all, Abe cut taxes on big business instead. Currently, the sales tax is planned to rise to 10% in October 2015, but there’s speculation Abe will put a hold on this move.

The softness in Japan and the global economy makes it even more critical that Abe work toward a better relationship with Japan’s historical and current rival China. Japan already calls China a major trading partner in the global economy, but the numbers have been declining over the past few years, due to tensions between the two Asian powerhouses.

The problem is that China is also facing its own internal growth issues with the stalling in the global economy, along with concerns in the real estate and debt markets that could impact the country.

The reality is that slowing in China and Japan also impacts the rest of Asia and the global … Read More


Aging Chinese Population Creating Investment Opportunity in Healthcare

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 14, 2014

Investment Opportunity in HealthcareChina is dealing with an aging population. By 2030, the number of Chinese citizens 65 years or older is estimated to come in at a whopping 240 million, or about 18% of the current population. (Source: “China Population 2014,” World Population Review web site, October 19, 2014.)

The rapid growth in this elderly demographic will clearly present issues for China’s health administrators and will, in the process, place a heavy burden on the country’s healthcare system.

Some estimate spending on the country’s healthcare sector will accelerate from about $357 billion in 2011 to a whopping $1.0 trillion by 2020. (Source: Le Deu, F., et al., “Health care in China: Entering ‘uncharted waters,’” McKinsey & Company web site, November 2012.) While the amount is staggering for China, the spending is still well below the $3.0 trillion or so spent on the U.S. healthcare system.

And we are not even looking at 2030, when some 240 million seniors will emerge.

The sheer growth of the Chinese healthcare system means a vast investment opportunity for companies and investors alike, both at this time and as we move forward.

U.S. healthcare blue-chip heavyweight Johnson & Johnson (NYSE/JNJ) has known about the superlative growth prospects in China for nearly three decades. Johnson & Johnson expanded into China about 28 years ago and has since become a major player in the country.

Operating through Johnson & Johnson China, the company is an excellent way to play the demand for healthcare as the country’s expenditure rises.

Johnson & Johnson Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Alternatively, for a domestic healthcare play on China, investors may want to take a look at a … Read More


What China-Japan APEC Talks Could Mean for Investors

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 12, 2014

China-Japan APEC Talks Could Mean for InvestorsThe annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit started on Monday in Beijing, and I bet there will be a lot of discussion on the state of China and Asia in the global economy.

My readers all know the impact of China on the global economy, as I’ve written on its relevance before. If China fails, so will the global economy, including the United States and the fragile eurozone. Russia is already looking to extend its economic ties beyond the Great Wall.

Yet it’s clear the country that gave us spectacular double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth for years is now struggling. The Chinese economy has already seen its growth slow, coming in at 7.3% in the third quarter, the slowest pace since 2008. And it isnow threatening to fall short of the 7.5% target set by the government. At this point, it doesn’t look like the target will be met. In fact, there are whispers that the target could be cut to seven percent in 2015 if the global economy doesn’t experience a stronger recovery.

Pundits and China bears have been calling for the great collapse of China, specifically in the real estate and financial spaces. Yes, there is softness here, but we have yet to see a bigger crack form. You can bet the Chinese government will do whatever is necessary to reinforce its economy’s weak points. And China can definitely do this, given the fact that the country has about $3.0 trillion in reserves.

President Xi Jinping, who is in his second year of his 10-year term, knows the country needs to spread its wings globally. That is … Read More


Two Healthcare Stocks to Benefit from Growing Obesity Concerns

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 10, 2014

Benefit from Growing Obesity ConcernsIt’s headline news: America is getting bigger around the waistline and that means that there’s a greater potential for higher healthcare issues down the road—which isn’t a good sign for a healthcare system that is already struggling. (Maybe the government should offer monetary incentives, such as tax credits, for those who join gyms or pursue other healthy alternatives.)

Even though America is struggling with obesity, Americans realize the issues and consequencesthat go along with obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

And this is now happening on a worldwide scale. China, for instance, is beginning to see obesity issues surface and rates climb; more alarming is the fact that obesity is occurring withinChina’s youth demographic. While I’m not blaming the problems on the emergence of fast foods in China, you can’t ignore the fact that China currently has thousands of fast food outlets, such as McDonalds Corporation (NYSE/MCD) and the extremely popular Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC),owned by YUM! Brands, Inc. (NYSE/YUM).

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there are more than 500 million people worldwide who are considered obese. (If you count those who are classified as “overweight,” that number skyrockets.)And the numbers in the U.S. are staggering.

Perhaps it’s the rush to have dinner ready and on the table that calls for the need for fast foods, or maybe it’s simply that it’s more convenient. Whatever the reason, obesity is a national and global issue.

But what does this have to do with you, the investor? Well, there may be an investment opportunity or two in it for you.

A small-cap investment opportunity in the weight control area that is worth … Read More


How China’s Alibaba Stacks Up on U.S. Markets and How to Profit

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 7, 2014

China’s Alibaba Stacks Up on U.S. MarketsThe much-anticipated debut of Chinese Internet powerhouse Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE/BABA) has arrived and gone.

Even if you missed out on getting your hands on China-based Alibaba at its pre-initial public offering (IPO) price, you could still have purchased the stock at $82.81 on October 15 and made more than a 30% gain in two weeks. The stock traded at a record on Wednesday, as excitement continues to hold and gain traction in the U.S. stock market.

With the gain and a market cap in excess of $265 billion, Alibaba is now bigger than Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), but about $100 billion short of Internet king Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG).

The valuation of Alibaba is in line with the 39-times (X) earnings-per-share (EPS) valuation of Facebook, but more expensive than the quite attractive 18X EPS belonging to Google, which continues to be my top pick in the Internet space.

While Alibaba does look somewhat top-heavy, don’t forget that we are talking about the Internet space, which tends to demand higher multiples than the technology sector. And in China, the Internet is huge.

Alibaba may be new to investors and Internet users in the U.S., but the company has a significant following in China—the biggest Internet market in the world with about 632 million users, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Plus, mobile usage of the Internet is at a staggering 527 million users in China.

As far as Alibaba’s users, the company had about 217 million active mobile users in September, which is huge. The growth of 139% year-over-year is massive.

In the third quarter, Alibaba’s first as a … Read More


Gold Prices: Where They’re Headed and How to Profit

By for Daily Gains Letter | Nov 5, 2014

Gold PricesAs far as investment and trading opportunities go, gold is currently the stock market’s poor cousin. No one really craves the yellow ore at this time. The reality is that unless you are looking for jewelry, there’s really no reason to buy the metal right now.

Back in September, when I last discussed the prospects for this precious metal, I wrote that “in the absence of further turmoil in Ukraine, gold prices could deteriorate to below $1,200, possibly even $1,180.”

The precious metal did bounce to the $1,225 level recently on concerns surrounding ISIS and the economic situations in both Europe and China. Since then, it has also collapsed to below $1,200 to $1,170 for the December contract.

Following the Federal Reserve’s recent elimination of its third round of quantitative easing (QE3) and its hinting at higher interest rates coming sometime in 2015, the metal is now at its lowest level since April 2010. The strong advance reading of the third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 4.5% and the strong earnings growth in S&P 500 companies are also making us lean towards higher rates. With this, the greenback has been moving higher, which is hurting the demand for gold due to its denomination in U.S. dollars.

In addition, inflation, a supporter of gold, continues to look benign both at this time and as we move forward. The metal is used as a hedge against inflation and risk, so in the absence of these two key variables, I’m not surprised to see prices move lower on the charts. And it could worsen.

Moreover, the so-called positive impact of buying from … Read More


Three Plays to Benefit When OPEC Cuts Oil Production

By for Daily Gains Letter | Oct 27, 2014

How to Profit from Low, Low Oil PricesOil prices are struggling to hold above $80.00 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude. Even the more widely traded Brent oil prices are hovering around the $80.00 level.

Excess supply—especially from the fracking for oil in the United States and the gush of oil that will come from the tar sands in Canada—is helping to drive oil prices lower. Then add in the slowing in Europe and China, and you have concerns on the demand side.

In Economics 101, when demand declines and supply rises, a downward pressure on prices surfaces and that is exactly what is happening to oil prices.

The oil cartel, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), from the Middle East has said it will not cut its oil production given the decline in oil prices. You have to wonder how valid this is, though, especially when oil prices fall to below $80.00 a barrel.

The reality is that oil prices will need to be artificially pushed higher by cutting production, as many countries in the Middle East and elsewhere require higher oil prices to break even. So it’s likely OPEC won’t have much of a choice.

Moreover, an escalation of the conflict in Syria and Iraq could also offer oil prices some support.

And oil will move higher on evidence of a recovery in the global economy.

If you believe this premise, then it’s time to look at some of the many downtrodden oil plays that have been sold off on the declining oil prices.

On the small-cap driller side, take a look at battered-down Parker Drilling Company (NYSE/PKD) out of Houston, … Read More


My New Strategy for China’s Slowing GDP Growth

By for Daily Gains Letter | Oct 24, 2014

China’s Slowing GDP GrowthAs many of my long-time readers may already know, I have been bullish on China and Chinese stocks for some time. However, I’m now thinking that there could be some growth issues forming in the shadows—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to profit.

We have been seeing some obvious signs surfacing that suggest China’s economy is stalling, but we really don’t know the true underlying gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in the Chinese economy.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s GDP grew at an annualized 7.3% in the third quarter, the slowest growth in five years and down from the 7.5% reached in the second quarter. The growth is also increasingly near the seven-percent threshold, which is a psychological level we have been monitoring.

Now, these are the numbers coming out of China, so there are some concerns that the readings may have been massaged to some degree to meet our expectations. I’m not saying with 100% confidence that the reading is false, but with China’s past record of false reports from Chinese companies, you have to wonder if the actual growth may be closer to the seven-percent level—or even below, as some market pundits believe.

In the end, it wouldn’t surprise me if the country’s GDP numbers were lower. China has been struggling with weak demand for the amount of commercial and residential real estate that has been—and continues to be—built around the country. There’s wide evidence of many offices and condominiums sitting empty with no market.

China has been building over the past decades to drive its industrial revolution that has made it … Read More


How to Play the Coming Eurozone Depression

By for Daily Gains Letter | Oct 13, 2014

Russia Sending Eurozone Back into a Depression How to ProfitIn 2013, when it was announced that the eurozone had emerged from its double-dip recession, the European stock market was optimistic and drove stocks higher.

Yet there was a sense the route to higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth was not clear due to the massive debt still on the books of many of the eurozone’s weakest members, widely known as the PIIGS nations (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). Yes, the countries have shown some recovery, but they continue to be plagued by massive debt and abnormally high unemployment.

Unemployment across the region continues to run in the low double-digits, around 12%. For the youth under the age of 25, it’s much worse, with the unemployment rate around 40% in some of the PIIGS countries.

The problem is that a weak jobs market in the eurozone doesn’t reflect positively for the economies.

We are now seeing growth issues with the two pillars of the Eurozone, Germany and France, which are widely credited with helping to save the eurozone from a financial Armageddon.

The effects of the economic sanctions placed on Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis appear to finally be filtering their way through to the eurozone and Europe, specifically Germany. One of Russia’s biggest trading partners, Germany saw a 5.8% decline in its exports in September alone.

The reality is that a weaker Germany doesn’t bode well for the eurozone.

In addition, with more than 800 million inhabitants in Europe, the market is significant. Slowing in this market will surely have an impact on growth in China and the United States, as well as the global … Read More


The Sector That Continues to Benefit from Low Interest Rates

By for Daily Gains Letter | Oct 7, 2014

Benefit from Low Interest RatesA sector that has truly benefited from the low-interest-rate environment over the last several years has been the automobile sector, which could now be an investment opportunity.

Armed with financing rates as low as zero or free money, car buyers have been rushing to the dealers looking for a new set of wheels.

Rising per-capita income levels around the world, especially in the emerging markets in China, Asia, and Latin America, have all combined to drive up demand.

Investment guru Warren Buffett just announced last week that his fund Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. (NYSE/BRK-A) would add a majority stake in Van Tuyl Group, which is the fifth largest auto dealership group in the country. Clearly, Buffett is positive on the auto sector as an investment opportunity.

The price chart of the S&P 500 Automobiles & Components Industry Group Index shows the recovery in the sector from mid-2012 to its peak in mid-2014, prior to the recent bout of selling that drove the index below its 50-day moving average (MA). Despite this, I continue to like the sector as a possible longer-term investment opportunity and would advise buying on weakness.

S&P 500 Automobiles & Components Industry Group Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

In addition to the obvious low financing rates, the U.S. auto sector is on much better footing now as an investment opportunity than it was prior to the recession in 2008. After undergoing major structural changes over the past few years since the bankruptcy of General Motors Company (NYSE/GM) in June 2009, the sector has become more efficient and cost-conscious. It’s also more in tune with the needs of its customers, whether it’s through the development of more … Read More


Market Risk Rising; Where to Invest for the Best Potential Return

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 24, 2014

Market Risk RisingDon’t let the new records by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 trick you into thinking everything is fine in the stock market.

Just take a look…

We have the rising military actions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq that involve five Arab countries, which could really increase the geopolitical risk worldwide.

China is continuing to deliver muted economic results and suggested there would be no additional monetary stimulus at this time. Meanwhile, the slowing in the eurozone and Europe, given the economic sanctions on Russia, will impact the demand for Chinese-made goods.

And while the domestic economy is holding, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently cut its gross domestic product (GDP) growth estimates for the United States to below two percent this year.

The Federal Reserve is helping to support the stock market via the likely extension of its near-zero interest rate policy into mid- or late 2016, but this will help only so much.

The stock market risk is evident on the charts.

Technology and small-cap stocks are attracting the most selling, with investors dumping high-beta stocks as overall stock market risk rises.

The small-cap Russell 2000 lost 1.6%, moving back below its 50-day and 200-day moving averages (MAs) on Monday. The index is now down nearly four percent in September. Considering the risk, I would be careful when looking at small-cap stocks in the stock market at this time.

Technology is also at risk in the stock market despite the NASDAQ continuing to lead the major indices this year with an advance of close to nine percent. Higher-beta stocks are generally the … Read More


This Foreign Market a Hidden Treasure for Growth Investors

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 19, 2014

Foreign Market Hidden Treasure for Growth InvestorsWhile the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average race to new record-highs, there’s still a sense of caution and vulnerability on the side of investors towards the stock markets here in the U.S.

In fact, a study I read in Bloomberg estimated that around 47% of stocks listed on the NASDAQ stock market are currently in a technical bear stock market, down 20% or more from the highs. On the small-cap Russell 2000, the story is even worse with more than 40% in a bear stock market. And the study shows that the S&P 500 had a mere eight percent of stocks in a technical bear stock market.

There’s even talk of the S&P 500 reaching 2,300 by the year’s end, according to some of the optimistic bulls on Wall Street. I feel it’s pure fantasy that the index will rise by another 15% by year-end.

The reality is that the stock market is stalling. Without any fresh and inviting reasons to buy, I sense the stock market risk is quite high.

An alternative would be to invest in a foreign market, and while I like China, Israel is fast becoming the favorite for growth investors. Israel has produced some top companies in the past, especially in the technology and medical devices sectors.

Israeli stocks are the third most listed stocks on the U.S. stock markets. (China is second.) As a country, Israel may be small, but an excellent investment opportunity can usually be found there. Moreover, the risk for fraud is much lower than with U.S.-listed Chinese stocks. I can’t say that I have ever heard of fraudulent … Read More


How to Hedge Against a Stalling Global Economy

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 17, 2014

Stalling Global EconomyThe stock market charts are showing some hesitation once again following the recent technical breaks to new record-highs for the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

On the charts, the blue chip DOW is back below 17,000. Its continued failure to hold after breaking above 17,000 for the fifth time is a red flag that suggests more weakness and vulnerability could be in the works for the stock market on the horizon.

Small-cap stocks are also subject to some selling again with the Russell 2000 declining to below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages on Monday morning. The breach of the moving average is worrisome. The index will need to find support at current levels or risk a fall to the 1,140 level.

Here are the issues I see for the stock market at this time. While I still see potential higher gains ahead for the stock market, there are also some indications of a possible stock market correction around the corner.

You may be seeing targets for the S&P 500 rise, but I feel there could likely be some pausing and weakness ahead of this.

The surfacing of soft economic news for the global economy is a concern for economies worldwide, including the U.S. economy, and overall economic growth.

The European Central Bank (ECB) recently launched fresh stimulus for the eurozone. Clearly, this is needed. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) just cut its outlook for the eurozone’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth, revising it to a paltry 0.8% this year and 1.1% for 2015. Folks, this is weak and in my view, it indicates … Read More


How to Position Yourself as China Becomes World’s Biggest Economy

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 10, 2014

How to Play the Rally in Chinese StocksI’m not sure how many of my Daily Gains Letter readers realize that Chinese stocks, as reflected by the Shanghai Composite Index (SCI), have outperformed the S&P 500 so far this year. After offering up underwhelming performances since 2009, the SCI has rallied 9.98% this year, compared to 8.44% for the S&P 500 and 3.23% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average as of Monday.

We’re not talking about resurgence in Chinese stocks and a return to the glory days more than five years ago; instead, I’m simply saying there’s finally some buying in an oversold Chinese stock market.

Shangai Stock Exchange Composite Index Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Of course, there’s the high anticipation of China-based Alibaba (NYSE/BABA) joining the U.S. capital markets on September 19; this move will likely stroke the enthusiasm of investors here. The Internet services company is massive and will give U.S. companies a run for their money, further opening the U.S. market to consumers and businesses worldwide. You can wait and pick up shares of Alibaba or you can play the company via Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ/YHOO), which holds a 23% stake in Alibaba.

Now, if you’re a regular reader, you may know that I have been, and continue to be, bullish on the Chinese economy and China. Yes, the economy is stalling, but we are still talking about growth of around 7.5% this year, which is far greater than the rest of the G7 countries.

Just like Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB) in the social media market with its more than one billion users and enormous potential, I feel the same towards China and its 1.3 billion people. When you have a market … Read More


Looking for a Good Gold Play? Here’s What to Watch For

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 8, 2014

Looking for a Good Gold PlayI have not talked about gold for some time, as there has been no reason to get excited about the yellow metal. Yes, it’s shiny, but it doesn’t appear to be sparkling at this time.

After the gold bugs got excited about the opportunities in the precious metal, pushing prices to above $1,300 following the onset of geopolitical issues in both Ukraine and the Middle East, the aftermath has been dull.

As I said back in June, the only reason I would trade gold would be to buy on weakness near $1,200 as the fundamentals, in my view, are irrelevant at this time. Gold still seems to be more of a geopolitical trade. (See “How to Make Quick Profits in Gold at This Time.”)

Look, there’s no big buying from India; China is buying, but it is simply not enough to sway the global supply/demand balance in favor of the yellow precious metal.

Gold Bugs Index Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Consider the fact that the greenback has been edging higher, with the U.S. dollar index at its highest level in more than a year. This move makes the dollar-denominated gold more expensive for foreigners, who have traditionally been major purchasers. The end result is a letdown in demand for the yellow metal.

In my view, gold is simply a trade on the geopolitical risk, as there’s really no major reason to want to buy at this juncture, given the market’s underlying fundamentals.

The gold bugs clearly don’t want to hear this, but I believe that unless the situation in Ukraine or the Middle East worsens, prices could head lower, towards $1,225 or even … Read More


Why This Travel Company’s Stock Just Keeps Going Up and Up

By for Daily Gains Letter | Sep 3, 2014

Where to Find the Best Investment Opportunities in Business TravelThe travel market in China continues to be strong in spite of the country’s economic growth stalling around 7.4%. Spending has been triggered not only by personal travel, but the country is on the verge of surpassing the United States in the area of business travel.

Just take a look at the industry metrics. In 2013, total travel business spending in China came in at $225 billion, based on research by the Global Business Travel Association.

In the country, you can witness the explosive growth in travel infrastructure, which includes airlines, high-speed rail transit, cars and car rentals, and hotels.

In fact, China is already the world’s largest market for airlines, cars, and rail. The country is spending hundreds of billions of dollars in these areas and it’s only going to get bigger. And with more than 1.3 billion people in China alone, you know the travel market within the country will also expand.

You can now travel from Shanghai to Beijing in a few hours by taking a high-speed train and based on the government’s ambitious plans, the high-speed rail network is only going to expand.

In the airline sector, just ask The Boeing Company (NYSE/BA) about China and you’ll realize it’s becoming the most lucrative global market for airplanes.

The vehicle market is also continuing to be the largest in the world, only held back by quota restrictions placed on car sales by the government in an effort to limit pollution.

With all of this added travel in the skies, on the roads, across the water, and by rail, you know the demand for hotels is also surging. … Read More


How Good News from Belarus Could Mean Gains for U.S. Investors

By for Daily Gains Letter | Aug 25, 2014

Profit from a Russia-Ukraine ResolutionIt began with the battle for Crimea, followed by the shooting down of Malaysian flight ML17 in eastern Ukraine, but for Russia, which was blamed for both, there has been a battle over the strength of its economy, triggered by a multitude of economic sanctions by Europe and the United States.

Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, has been in strong denial to all the blame it has received; but clearly, the world sees a different story, which is the reason for the economic sanctions. Now, these economic sanctions have begun to wreak havoc in the region, based on my economic analysis.

The reality is that Russia, based on my economic analysis, is not strong enough economically to survive on its own domestic consumption and ignore the global economy. Yes, Russia has its alliances with China, but it’s not enough, especially since the Chinese economy is also struggling to avoid a hard crash, as my economic analysis indicates.

Putin has had time to rethink his strategy and I’m sure he has had many phone calls from Russia’s business elite regarding the sanctions and their impact on their wallets. Heck, even Putin, who has major economic interests in Russia, is hurting at the bank.

Now there’s hope with a meeting between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko scheduled to take place in Belarus this week. Russian stocks have closed higher in 10 straight sessions as optimism rises and an end to the conflict could emerge following the meeting.

While the benchmark MICEX Index, which comprises the 50 most liquid Russian stocks that represent the Russian economy, is down 2.59% year-to-date as of … Read More


Alternative Energy the Next Big Play?

By for Daily Gains Letter | Aug 18, 2014

My Top Stocks in the Alternative Energy SectorAlternative energy plays have been around for decades, including Ballard Power Systems Inc. (NASDAQ/BLDP), a maker of hydrogen fuel cells that went public in 1993. The stock traded as high as $100.00 as a speculative investment opportunity in early 2000 but was unable to break into the automotive market. It is currently drifting at the $4.00 level.

However, what Ballard was hoping for is now materializing for battery-powered automaker Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA), which has built a superhighway of charging stations across the U.S. and is expanding into Europe and China. Tesla is a great story and a decent possible investment opportunity.

Yet it’s not only vehicles that demand alternative sources of energy; we also see demand coming from numerous applications and, in some cases, manufacturing facilities.

The demand for alternative energy can be based on wind, solar, or water and has led to the development of a strong solar industry as an investment opportunity.

A small-cap that has been exciting the stock market while producing sizzling gains for speculators has been Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ/PLUG), a developer of hydrogen fuel cells that power forklifts and other devices. The stock traded as low as $0.32 over the past 52 weeks, surging to $6.37 on Thursday morning after reporting strong results. Plug Power has been on my technical analysis screens for some time, as the stock consistently breaks higher. If interested, I would suggest investors look to this stock on weakness for a volatile speculative investment opportunity.

Plug Power Inc Chart Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Another possible investment opportunity that may interest investors in the alternative energy space is FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ/FCEL), which has … Read More


China a Game-Changer for This U.S. Automaker

By for Daily Gains Letter | Aug 11, 2014

China an Especially Lucrative Move for This AutomakerThe superhighway that Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA) is building across the United States appears to be taking shape with consumers and investors.

The maker of the quick-charge electric-battery vehicle has recovered since taking a hit on growth and valuation concerns. The stock is still not cheap, but based on what is developing and its longer-term prospects, a stock like Tesla may be worth a closer look as an investment opportunity.

Back in April, I suggested picking up some shares of Tesla as an investment opportunity at a price tag of $193.00. The stock closed at $253.00 last Wednesday, representing a hefty quick gain of 28%.

Telsa Motors Inc Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Now after reporting a decent quarter, Tesla has been receiving kudos from Wall Street. Brad Erickson at Pacific Crest issued an Outperform rating and assigned a price target of $316.00. This price is high, given the stock is already trading at 80-times (X) its 2015 earnings per share (EPS) and an extremely high price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of 5.34. For Internet and social media stocks, the valuation likely wouldn’t be given a second look, but for an automaker, there clearly are some heads shaking.

While I continue to like Tesla as an investment opportunity, I would be more likely to accumulate shares on price weakness than to chase the stock price higher.

In my view, Tesla needs to produce more unit sales of its vehicles in order to reduce the fixed overhead charges per vehicle made, thereby pushing up the operating margins.

We are seeing Tesla vehicle sales steadily rise, but the numbers still pale in comparison to the major automakers, … Read More


The Next Best Move for Investors

By for Daily Gains Letter | Aug 8, 2014

What Investors Need to Do NextIt’s time for some more handholding as we watch the stock market come under some selling pressure. But we’re not surprised, are we? The reality is that the advance of the stock market into its fifth year looks somewhat weary, given that interest rates will be rising in 2015.

Higher interest rates translate into higher bond yields, and that’s not conducive to a higher stock market. The current 10-year bond yield is a mere 2.45%, so it’s not an immediate concern. Yet looking ahead, interest rates will be heading higher, and this could come as soon as the first quarter of 2015, rather than the previous estimate of mid-2015.

The strength of the advance reading of the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth at an annualized four percent was clearly enough to send some investors to the exits. The fear is that if the upcoming readings are strong, it could signal higher interest rates sooner. Of course, we still have to wait for the third and fourth quarters of 2014 before making a snap judgment on when rates will head higher.

The Federal Reserve has already reduced its monthly bond buying to $25.0 billion, and it’s likely to be eliminated altogether by the Fed’s October meeting. This is a given. Higher interest rates are the issue for the stock market.

In addition, there’s some nervousness towards China and Europe. The reporting of a weaker-than-expected HSBC Services China PMI of 50.0 in July is scaring the stock market. A weaker China is not good for the global economy.

In addition, we also have a potential recession in Russia, which could have … Read More


How Apple Has Launched Itself to the Top of My Favorite Stocks

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jul 21, 2014

How Apple Is Making a Believer Out of Me—And Topping My Favorites ListApple (NASDAQ/AAPL) may have finally come up with the killer apps that could vault the company ahead in the global race against Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ/GOOG) “Android” phones. Now, Apple could gain mobile supremacy, based on my stock analysis.

In an unexpected move, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, inked a valuable partnership with International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE/IBM) to co-develop apps that will focus on the lucrative enterprise segment.

Based on my stock analysis, the deal is gigantic for Apple, as the company has had issues breaking into and advancing in the enterprise market, where BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ/BBRY) continues to dominate.

As my stock analysis indicates, the venture with IBM makes a whole lot of sense, as IBM is a trusted leader in developing enterprise solutions, and in addition, IBM has extremely strong alliances around the world with top global companies. This means that Apple, with its new enterprise solutions, could accelerate in this space, especially with corporate clients making Apple their mobile and applications provider. Of course, the need to provide a more secure platform, such as BlackBerry’s, is likely the focus of the venture with IBM, as my stock analysis suggests.

Now, that’s not to say that Apple will eventually beat BlackBerry in yet another segment, but it will open up opportunities. My stock analysis is that it could take years for the venture to deliver tangible enterprise solutions, so BlackBerry does have some time to counter and try to strengthen its position under CEO John Chen, who is offering some hope for suffering BlackBerry investors.

For Apple, the enterprise apps will increase the revenue stream from this segment, which … Read More


How to Profit from the Improved Jobs Numbers

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jul 7, 2014

How Investors Can Benefit from the Jobs RecoveryThe stock market is looking higher. The DOW and the S&P 500 closed up for the fifth straight month as we enter into the second half of what has largely been a mixed and cautious year.

For growth investors, the good news is that small-cap stocks came back in June with a 5.15% advance and are easily leading the broader market. Technology also fared well with the NASDAQ up 3.9% in June. Blue chips and large-caps trailed the growth side. In the first half, the S&P 500 leads with a 6.07% gain followed by the 5.54% advance in the NASDAQ.

And while stocks are edging higher towards new records, we are also seeing positive gains in the critical jobs numbers. This is essential for the economy and consumer confidence.

We saw strong non-farm payroll jobs numbers for June last Thursday with the creation of 288,000 new jobs, which easily beat the consensus 215,000 estimate and the 244,000 jobs in May. Better yet, the unemployment rate also fell to 6.1%, the lowest level in nearly six years.

The growth in the jobs numbers will gain more traction in the stock market when the reading can surpass the 300,000 level, which could trigger heightened optimism.

What the higher jobs numbers mean is more business for the jobs placement firms, from the everyday jobs to management and executive positions.

A contrarian and speculative play on the jobs numbers recovery is Monster Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE/MWW), which currently sits around $6.85 per share with a market cap of $623 million.

Monster Worldwide runs the widely known job search web site Monster.com and was the first … Read More


Why These Top Global Stocks Are So Attractive

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jul 2, 2014

One Major Factor for a Company's SuccessOne of the most common traits I find in successful companies is that they often have a multinational presence. That’s not to say that domestic-only companies are not successful, but for real growth, many of the top S&P 500 companies are global, based on my stock analysis.

Whether it’s in the industrial, technology, financial, aerospace, or healthcare sectors, the commonality is the global exposure that many of the world’s top companies all exhibit.

In fact, the failure to capitalize on foreign markets can really limit a company’s growth, according to my stock analysis.

There are only two avenues to drive revenues: A company can increase its price to the consumer, but this doesn’t always come across as being prudent. Or a second and more viable way is to expand outside to foreign markets, as my stock analysis suggests.

Companies can expand nationwide or internationally like many of the world’s multinational companies. Just take a look around and see how many American companies are found outside of our borders and spread across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. China is a perfect example of where companies go to seek added growth, as my stock analysis indicates.

Technology companies like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ/MSFT), Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG), Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL), to name just a few, all have a major global presence.

An example of moving to the global sphere too late is Target Corporation (NYSE/TGT), with its first foreign foray into Canada. It has been a bust so far, given that rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE/WMT) has been in Canada since 1994, being the market leader in the country and … Read More


How to Make Quick Profits in Gold at This Time

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jun 30, 2014

Where the Investment Opportunity Lies in Gold Right NowA few weeks ago, I suggested that gold prices could likely head higher should the situation in Iraq escalate into a bigger conflict that brings in Iran and the United States.

In my view, gold is simply a geopolitical trade at this time, contingent upon what happens in Iraq. There’s also the situation in Ukraine. At this time, though, it appears as though President Putin has no interest in escalating the conflict and making the country vulnerable to more economic sanctions.

When I last wrote on the precious metal, spot gold was trading at $1,276 an ounce. The yellow metal managed to edge higher to $1,324, prior to the current stalling on the chart. If you bought any of the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca/GLD) exchange-traded fund (ETF), I would suggest you take the money at this time.

Gold-Spot Price Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Now, gold could easily surge if Iraq loses control of the country, but I truly don’t believe this will be allowed to happen by the United States and Iran. After spending more than a decade in Iraq and a trillion dollars trying to reform the country, there’s simply too much at stake to lose.

Assuming the advancement by ISIS is eventually eliminated, gold would surely lose its safe haven premium that is priced into the current value. We could, in this case, see prices fall back down below $1,300 an ounce, based on my technical analysis.

I also keep hearing about the massive buying of gold from India and China, yet I truly feel this is overblown at this time. The two countries are the biggest purchasers of the … Read More


If I Had to Pick One Stock Outside of the United States…

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jun 25, 2014

Top U.S.-Listed Foreign Company with Growth PotentialThe recent selling in small-cap stocks has provided numerous investment opportunities to accumulate on price weakness, albeit the stock market could see more weakness.

A high-potential region that I have discussed in the past is Israel, which has turned into the technology incubator of the Middle East and is an investment opportunity.

I have been following Israeli companies for years, and in that time, I have come across numerous high-growth and rewarding technology and healthcare companies that make the country an excellent investment opportunity.

Israel ranks third as far as foreign companies on the NASDAQ, trailing only China and Canada.

What makes Israeli companies intriguing as an investment opportunity is the strong trust from this region. You actually never hear about financial irregularities out of Israel, which makes the country a solid investment opportunity.

A small-cap technology Israeli company that I’d watch as an investment opportunity for the speculative investor is EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (NASDAQ/EZCH), which has a share price of $25.44 and a market capitalization of $745 million.

The company is a fabless semiconductor company, meaning it doesn’t manufacture anything; rather, it simply develops the chip and produces it via a third party. EZchip designs ethernet network processors for networking equipment companies, such as carriers, along with cloud, data center, and enterprise network equipment. The company will soon be launching its newest and most powerful network processors that will drive revenues higher.

The risk with EZchip has been with the mounting concerns that some of its clients are developing their own in-house chips. So far, it has not been a factor, but it could be if EZchip began to … Read More


So Long, U.S. Consumer: Why I’m Looking to China for Profits

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jun 20, 2014

How You Can Still Profit from Consumer SpendingIt’s amazing how analysts try to spin numbers that are horrible. For instance, retail sales edged up 0.3% in May, which is not something to get excited about; however, analysts have been spinning this news, saying that the poor May reading is simply a result of the upward revision in the April reading to 0.5%.

Now, I’m not sure what your thinking is, but my view is that both numbers stink and they foreshadow an economy in which consumer spending is scarce.

My excitement lies 10,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in China, where the country’s government, under President Xi Jinping, is aggressively trying to encourage consumers to spend. This is contrary to what has happened in past decades, when the massive Chinese economic engine was fueled by manufacturing and foreign investment. Both are still prevalent, but the government also understands that it must drive up domestic consumer spending in order to lessen the impact of slower growth around the world, which has a direct impact on China.

In other words, China wants its consumers to spend the country out of the current stalling, which, at around 7.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth, is still way ahead of the U.S. and other Western countries. The reality is that with a population of 1.3 billion people and a middle class of approximately 300 million, the potential is significant. Plus, the middle class in China has money to spend, unlike here in America, where people are struggling, just making ends meet.

In May, China’s retail sales surged 12.5% year-over-year to $349 billion, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This followed growth … Read More


The Secret Mobile Stocks

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jun 12, 2014

The Mobile Stocks Profiting from One Billion Chinese UsersMany of you may think AT&T Inc. (NYSE/T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE/VZ) are some of the best ways in the stock market to play the mobile sector, but there are other choices; it’s just that you need to leave our friendly borders.

The biggest growth area for mobile is found in the emerging markets. I’m talking about such countries as Brazil, India and, the biggest one of them all, China.

China has the most dominant mobile market in the world. There are over one billion subscribers and counting as the rural population comes on board. Think about it this way: there are more people on the country’s mobile network than in the U.S. and the European Union combined! What a massive market. And I think our readers should get a taste of it.

Now, you may think there are dozens of mobile providers—so how will you choose? But the truth is that the Chinese government decides on how many major operators are allowed. The country currently has three major mobile providers with access to the massive market potential.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) has significant potential in the country, especially with its recent alliance with China Mobile Limited (NYSE/CHL). China Mobile is the biggest mobile phone operator in China, with about 785 million subscribers as of April 30. That’s a lot of business.

With a market cap of around $199 billion, the company is massive. By comparison, AT&T is the largest mobile provider in the U.S. with a market cap of $181 billion, and Verizon has a market cap of $204 billion.

China Mobile Ltd Chart Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

China Mobile has been ranked … Read More


Why I Believe This Market Is Heading Higher—For Now

By for Daily Gains Letter | Jun 11, 2014

Why Stocks Are Heading HigherThis is a stock market that continues to want to move higher despite the lack of any major catalyst.

Sure, the economy is “recovering,” but there are still issues with consumer spending, especially on non-essential durable goods. The headline durable orders reading came in at 0.8% growth in April, above the consensus 1.3% decline but below the revised 3.6% growth in March. For the economy to really confirm the stock market, we need to see growth here. This will also help to drive buying in small-cap stocks that trade with the economy.

The jobs scene is finally beginning to look better since the Great Recession in 2008. Jobs creation came in above 200,000 for the fourth straight month. The unemployment rate held at 6.3%. With the latest batch of jobs numbers, the economy has now recovered all of the 8.7 million jobs lost during the recession. The Federal Reserve will likely refrain from raising interest rates until sometime in mid-2015, but continue to cut its bond buying to zero by year-end.

The fact there’s really a lack of investment alternatives to the stock market is helping. With the yield on the 10-year bond at around 2.5%, I doubt investors or institutions are rushing to buy. Why would you when you can buy higher-yielding dividend paying stocks with capital upside?

The renewal in the global economy is also helping. China hasn’t sunk into the economic abyss as some pundits have been predicting. Its neighbor Japan is finally showing signs of economic growth following decades of doing little. Like the United States, Japan is spending its way to recovery. The country’s first-quarter … Read More


How Godzilla’s Box Office Success Could Offer Your Portfolio the Same

By for Daily Gains Letter | May 28, 2014

Portfolio Popping Capital Gains It Could Be with This StockGodzilla (2014) is running wild at the box office, as this classic B-movie remake has delivered a record opening weekend for specialized movie theater operator IMAX Corporation (NYSE/IMAX).

If you have ever had the IMAX experience, you likely agree that Godzilla was probably as life-like as possible through the big-screen format of an IMAX theater, surrounded by about 12,000 watts of mind-blowing sound via a network of more than 40 speakers.

The screening of major Hollywood blockbusters on IMAX screens has been a big winner for the company and an excellent investment opportunity. IMAX has shown such major movies as The Hunger Games series, The Avengers, the newest Batman series, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Yet the appeal of IMAX has not only been its expansion in North America, but its ability to grow rapidly worldwide in places such as Western Europe, Japan, China, and Russia, which makes the stock a good investment opportunity. As of March 31, 2014, there were 840 IMAX theater systems installed in 57 countries worldwide.

The expansion into China is especially intriguing as an investment opportunity. With more than 1.3 billion people and the ongoing debut of Hollywood films in China, the investment opportunity is tremendous. At this time, there are about 150 IMAX theater systems in the country with contracts to open another 400 or so. In fact, if IMAX catches on, we could easily see hundreds more theater systems installed.

Fundamentally, the company reported higher annual revenue growth in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. Revenues are estimated to grow 5.7% to $304.46 million in 2014, followed by 15.2% to $350.64 million in … Read More


Time to Shift Some Capital into China’s Stalling Economy?

By for Daily Gains Letter | May 15, 2014

Why Should Consider Buying China NowWhile the stock market is running higher and we have seen some outlandish valuations with many of the high-momentum technology stocks, Chinese stocks continue to wallow.

There are critics saying China is primed for a stock market meltdown, but we have yet to witness this despite the stalled growth in the country. And while some argue the country is stalling, you also have to keep in mind that gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the seven-percent range is not that bad.

Many pundits estimate China will expand at around 7.5% this year. Even if the growth was a tad short, it’s still much higher than the rest of the industrial world. Look at the United States; it’s growing at less than three percent, yet the stock market appears to be fine with that.

Famed investor Jim Rogers, who has been a perennial bull on Chinese stocks, continues to believe China is ripe for strong investment growth. I’m also in that camp.

The Chinese government is looking at liberalizing foreign investments and stock ownership in the country, which should help to add buying interest to the country.

China’s stock market indices have vastly underperformed U.S. indices since late 2008, and this continues to be the pattern. The price chart shows the downward trend in the Shanghai Composite Index from 2008 (shown by the red candlesticks) compared to the upward move in the S&P 500 (shown by the dark green line) on the chart below.

My thinking is that it may be time to look at China if you are not already invested there. You just need to be careful and pick … Read More


My Top “Made in America” Stock Pick Selling Under a Dollar

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 30, 2014

investment strategiesThe current stock market risk continues to be high for technology and small-cap stocks. Yet with the selling, we are beginning to see some decent opportunities coming to the surface.

The small-cap Russell 2000 is down just over seven percent after previously being down by more than 10% in the stock market. And while we are seeing heated stock market selling in higher-beta technology small-cap stocks, there are also opportunities emerging. Think of it as a current sale in the stock market that could inevitably see bigger discounts to buy equities in the stock market on the horizon.

But a small retail stock that I feel could reward speculators if it can strengthen its balance sheet is American Apparel, Inc. (NYSE/APP), which is based out of Los Angeles. What makes the company interesting is that the maker of fashion apparel for women, men, children, and babies manufactures its products within the United States borders, instead of places like China and Asia, which offer cheaper labor.

You could say that American Apparel truly is a “made in America” company producing its fashionable garments from an 800,000-square-foot facility in downtown Los Angeles. There are also other facilities in California.

American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor, and retailer. The retail stores are located in major U.S. cities, along with outlets in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Considering what many of the major retailers and apparel makers in the stock market are doing with their manufacturing in cheap labor markets, American Apparel is quite astonishing—but the problem that arises is the lack of profits.

The financial risk has been hurting the stock. … Read More


How Last Week’s Mini Rally Is Reshaping My Investment Strategy

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 21, 2014

Mini Rally Means for Your Investment StrategyThe stock market staged a minor rally last week, but don’t get too excited yet; the buying support was largely triggered by a technically oversold market, rather than solid fundamentals or a fresh catalyst.

What I can say is that investors need to be careful with the high-beta stocks that are extremely volatile at this time and vulnerable to downside selling.

Just because momentum surfaces, it doesn’t mean the risk is dissipating. It’s simply an oversold bounce that could continue or falter again.

The fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 recovered their 50-day moving averages (MAs) last Tuesday is positive, but it doesn’t mean the worst is over.

I see the NASDAQ and Russell 2000 were still down more than seven percent as of last Wednesday and below their respective 50-day MAs. In fact, the Russell 2000 is within reach of testing support at its 200-day MA. This time around, we could see a bigger stock market correction, based on my technical analysis.

Until we see some sustained calm return, there could be continued selling pressure in the stock market, especially with the smaller high-beta stocks and large-cap momentum plays.

The most critical point to understand is that you need to preserve your capital base. The reality is that avoiding a loss is just as good as making profits. Imagine letting a losing trade run and before you realize it, the position is down 20%, 30%, or more.

This is especially true with the small-cap stocks. Making up ground following a major downside move is not easy. For instance, say you have a $10.00 stock and … Read More


Three Variables to Consider Before Investing in Gold

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 16, 2014

Three Reasons I Believe Gold Is Only for Traders Right NowWhile there continue to be many gold bugs out there, I’m not one of them—but I do see gold as a trading opportunity.

Given what we have seen so far and looking ahead, I just don’t see gold as a buy-and-hold strategy at this time. Yes, there’s money to be made, but it’s going to be for traders only.

The recent break below $1,300 an ounce and the subsequent rally to the current $1,325 level is an example of such a trade, not a new trend that’s developing on the charts, based on my technical analysis. The chart below shows the potential declines in the metal towards $1,200 and $1,100 an ounce.

Gold Spot Price ChartChart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Many gold supporters will counter that China is hoarding gold and India will soon pick up its buying. While I don’t argue against this, I just don’t see the yellow metal retaining its luster at this point unless a war breaks out in Ukraine and Russia intensifies its threat. If this should happen, it would drive Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth lower and could result in the fragile eurozone and European economies retrenching back into a recession that just ended.

I wrote about gold several weeks back as a trading opportunity on dips below $1,300. I continue to hold on to that belief, but longer-term, the yellow metal could fade and fall back towards $1,200 or less.

My thinking is that inflation is nowhere to be seen in the United States, China, or Europe. (In fact, deflation may be more of a concern here.) And unless inflation picks up, the yellow metal isn’t … Read More


The Most Lucrative Investment Opportunity in Old Economy Rail Stocks?

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 7, 2014

Investment OpportunityWe all know the importance of the railroad in linking the nation from coast to coast in its early beginnings. Railways allow for the transportation of people and goods across an expansive territory; but for businesses, it’s even more vital as an avenue to ship goods, such as oil, chemicals, and other commodities.

While the North American rail system is massive, the real major growth in this area right now—and looking forward—is the colossal build-up that’s taking place across China.

I’m talking about tens of thousands of miles of rail, and it’s expanding deeper into rural areas. The use of high-speed rail, especially, is gaining in demand and popularity. We are seeing high-speed rail between Beijing and Shanghai that has cut down the travel time for commuting this 800-mile route from the previous 12 hours or so to just four hours.

The railroad sector in China is estimated to reach US$65.0 billion by the end of 2016, according to TransWorldNews. The freight area is viewed as lucrative, accounting for about 60% of the total value.

Now we are seeing additional capital being pumped into the railroad sector after China announced a stimulus program to inject some life into the stalling economy and infrastructure.

About $24.0 billion has been earmarked for adding lines in central and western China. (Source: “China Outlines Measures to Support Growth as Goal Recedes,” Bloomberg, April 3, 2014.)

Besides the Chinese hotel sector, which I really like, the railroad expansion in China offers up more opportunities for investors. Considering the country has about 1.3 billion people to move plus freight, you surely understand my bullishness.

If you … Read More


Double-Digit Gain or 30% Crash: How to Profit from S&P 500 No Matter Where It Goes

By for Daily Gains Letter | Apr 1, 2014

Profit from S&P 500After a miserable winter of weak economic indicators (which were mostly blamed on the weather), the warmer spring weather will be a godsend for Wall Street. Unless, of course, there’s more holding the U.S. economy back than cold winds and snow.

That riddle will be answered in the coming weeks, but the long-term prognosis for the U.S. economy is a little murkier. While the S&P 500 is trading at record-highs, there is mounting evidence to suggest the U.S. economy could slow down, putting the brakes on the bull market.

Naturally, it depends on who you ask and what their time frame is. Despite mounting risks, such as ongoing troubles in Ukraine, slower growth in China, and the threat of increasing rates, some predict the S&P 500 will hit 2,075 by the end of the summer. That would represent an 11.5% gain from where it currently trades and a 12.5% gain for the first half of the year. (Source: Levisohn, B., “Don’t Call It a Comeback: Dow Jones Industrials Gain 120 Points, More to Come?” Barron’s, January 7, 2014.)

The double-digit growth is expected to come as a result of increased investor sentiment in the U.S. economy. For starters, investors have experienced a relatively easy ride over the last year. And over the last two years, any corrections on the S&P 500 have been shallow, short, and sweet. It’s the perfect recipe for ongoing enthusiasm and confidence for investors to pour more equity into the S&P 500.

It doesn’t matter if the S&P 500 is overvalued, some investors only care that it keeps going up. And should first-quarter earnings of S&P … Read More


Global Risks Creating Opportunities in This Precious Metal

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 27, 2014

Precious MetalWhile the stock market has been struggling this year, under the radar, gold has been moving higher.

The tense stand-off in Crimea is clearly adding some support to gold, as an outbreak there could drive the precious metal much higher in the short term.

The geopolitical risk also includes the tensions between Israel and Iran in the Middle East.

On the fundamental side, we have China continuing to amass significant positions in physical gold, as the country looks to diversify its massive $3.0 trillion in reserves away from U.S. bonds. Buying in India has stalled, but the country continues to be the world’s largest market for the precious metal.

The one major supportive variable that’s missing is inflation, which is a proven driver of gold prices. The reality is that inflation is benign in the United States, along with much of Europe and Asia.

With gold currently holding just above $1,300 an ounce, the precious metal is at a crux. Stabilization in Crimea would remove some of the risk discounted into the price, but I doubt this will happen in the immediate future, as Russia has set the process to annex Crimea from Ukraine.

We know that the contested move by Russia doesn’t sit well with the United States or the United Nations, yet I really do not see Russia backing away for now. That is unless the economic sanctions put forth on Russia intensify and begin to send the Russian economy into a downward spiral.

But until we see a resolution in the stand-off, I expect gold prices will continue to incorporate some risk discounted into the price.

In … Read More


Depressed Copper Prices Presenting Perfect Buy-Low, Sell-High Opportunity?

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 26, 2014

Copper Prices PresentingBy now, you have probably noticed one phenomenon: the speculations regarding China’s growth are increasing each day. Turning on the TV or flipping through the pages of the newspaper, you’ll likely hear and read all about how the second-biggest economic hub in the global economy will tumble.

No doubt, the arguments backing this argument are very credible. The Chinese economy is seeing an economic slowdown and troubles in that country continue to gain strength. For example, the Chinese manufacturing sector is stalling. In March, the HSBC Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) declined to its lowest level in eight months. The output index declined to an 18-month low. (Source: “HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index Press Release; Output contract at quickest pace in 18 months during March,” Markit, March 24, 2014.)

We have seen a few companies in the Chinese economy default on their bonds, and there are fears that more will soon fall. The widespread speculation is that the government might not come to the aid of those companies that are in trouble.

With this, investors are panicking. One of the hardest-hit asset classes due to this panic is copper. Please take a look at the chart of copper prices below.

Copper - Spot Price Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Since the beginning of the year, copper prices are down more than 13% and investors believe demand for the red metal will continue to decrease due to the decline in manufacturing. During the past decade, China was building massive infrastructure and a significant amount of copper was needed as a result. This is not the case anymore.

Copper prices have broken below a key level—$3.00—and … Read More


S&P 500 Approaching Inflection Point; How to “Insure” Your Portfolio

By Sasha Cekerevac for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 26, 2014

Stock Market's Volatile ShiftsThe winds are changing, my friends. For most of the past year, each time the S&P 500 sold off, it was a buying opportunity. I think we are at an inflection point this year, as we all know nothing lasts forever.

I believe it all began to emerge last week with the Federal Reserve meeting. As long-time readers know, over the past couple of months, I’ve been warning that once the Federal Reserve begins to adjust monetary policy, this will have a negative impact on the S&P 500.

With the Federal Reserve continuing to reduce its asset purchase program, investors are now calculating the length of time until it’s no longer. The reason for distress in the market is that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen announced a tentative six-month timeframe upon completion of the asset-purchase program that the Federal Reserve will begin increasing short-term interest rates.

Why the concern?

Taking a quick look from several angles, this transition won’t be smooth. To begin with, there’s the old saying on Wall Street: “Don’t fight the Fed.” It is obvious that the Federal Reserve is dead set on reducing monetary stimulus and raising interest rates.

Very rarely does the S&P 500 increase during a period of monetary tightening. This is not to say that the S&P 500 will drop tomorrow; the Federal Reserve is continuing monetary easing for the moment. But investors in the market should be aware that once the Federal Reserve begins changing its monetary stance, the S&P 500 will be affected.

Another concern is that economic growth in America isn’t exactly on fire. While it’s true that we aren’t … Read More


Global Middle-Class Growth Boosting These Stocks Worldwide

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 24, 2014

Growing Global IncomeThe current drama surrounding Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been riveting and indicative of how the superlative growth in travel in the airline sector has encompassed Asia along with the world.

For years now, since the recession hit in 2008, I have been increasingly bullish on the airline sector across the globe, but especially in the emerging markets like China, India, Eastern Europe, and Asia. Helping to drive up the demand for travel in the airline sector has been the upward push in wealth creation in many of these regions, which has given more people the ability to afford air travel.

The industry stats don’t lie. The airline sector is on target for its second straight year of higher profits, according to research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to the research, North America continues to be the biggest airline sector market with profits estimated at around $8.6 billion in 2014. Asia-Pacific airlines are entrenched in second place with an estimated $3.7 billion in profits, more than the $3.1 billion predicted for Europe. (Source: “Industry on Track for Second Year of Improving Profits – Rising Fuel Costs Largely Offset by Increased Demand,” International Air Transport Association web site, March 12, 2014.)

Take a look at the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines Index in the chart below. Notice the beautiful uptrend since November 2012 and the bullish golden cross on the chart, based on my technical analysis.

Dow Jones US Airlines Index Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

To play the airline sector in the United States, I like discount carrier JetBlue Airways Corporation (NASDAQ/JBLU). The company was formed in 1998 and currently serves markets in the … Read More


Three Tips for Investing in the Emerging Markets

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 20, 2014

How to Profit from the Sell-Off in the Emerging MarketsInvestors are asking one question these days: should you be buying emerging market stocks or will they decline further?

In the long run, I am bullish on the emerging markets. The reason for this is very simple: the emerging market economies have a significant amount of room to grow. For example, in some emerging countries, a massive portion of the population still lives without electricity; there are not enough homes; roads aren’t there to sustain the population; industries aren’t developed; and the list goes on…

Understanding what’s happening in emerging market stocks now is very important for those who are looking to invest. When the Federal Reserve started to implement its easy monetary policies, investors rushed to the emerging markets; they could get better returns there. Now that the Federal Reserve is threatening the prospects of easy money, investors are worried and selling.

Since we started to hear speculations that the Federal Reserve would taper its quantitative easing, investors have been rushing out of the emerging markets. No matter where you look in the emerging markets, you will see key stock indices facing a sell-off.

Look at the chart of Turkey’s stock market below. It’s down more than 30% since June of 2013.

Turkey (Istanbul) ISE National 100 Index ChartChart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

Turkey’s stock market is just one example; other emerging markets stocks are sliding lower as well. For example, China’s stock market is down more than 12% since June of last year. The Brazilian stock market is down about 20% for the same period.

According to my analysis, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the stocks in emerging markets slide even lower. You … Read More


How a Giant Chinese Tech IPO Will Benefit These Other Top Stocks

By Sasha Cekerevac for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 19, 2014

technology stocksAs many people know, one of the hottest areas in the market right now is technology stocks. Investor sentiment has continued piling into this sector—with good reason in some cases.

The danger for investors is when investor sentiment becomes too bullish—technology stocks might be entering this territory.

The latest of the technology stocks that has announced it is going public is the Chinese powerhouse Alibaba Group. Started in 1999 by a former English teacher, the company has now grown to be the largest e-commerce company in China and will soon be a public firm with a valuation of more than $140 billion.

While it can be said that investor sentiment has become too enamored by recent technology stocks such as SnapChat, which doesn’t generate any revenue or earnings, Alibaba is a real business producing billions of dollars in revenue.

For American investors, the biggest beneficiary of Alibaba has been Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ/YHOO). Over the past year, as rumors continued to circulate that Alibaba would go public, investor sentiment has become ever more bullish on Yahoo!, since the firm owns 24% of Alibaba.

This could be a “buy on rumor, sell on fact” event, as investor sentiment has pushed Yahoo! to multiyear highs amid a backdrop of both positive investor sentiment towards technology stocks and a buildup in anticipation for the initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba.

If investor sentiment continues to be overly bullish for technology stocks in general and Alibaba specifically, what will happen is that the IPO price and the subsequent trading activity will capture a huge premium to the current business environment.

This is great for Yahoo! … Read More


What’s Happening in the Copper Market Should Alarm You…

By Sasha Cekerevac for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 14, 2014

Plunge in Copper Is a Big Warning SignThere is something going on right now in the copper market that should alarm you. Over the past week, the price of copper has plunged, recently hitting a four-year low.

Why should this matter?

Most investors and analysts are placing bets that economic growth is about to re-accelerate globally. Never before has the world been so interlinked, so we must pay attention to what is occurring internationally.

Copper is an important part of the potential for economic growth, not just because it is used in building and construction, but because it is also a major factor in the Chinese lending market, which is now showing severe strain leading to a potential debt crisis.

Remember, the last financial emergency was led by a debt crisis brought on by a housing bubble that eventually popped. High levels of debt creating a bubble are always dangerous, as the hangover is quite severe.

How does this impact economic growth for us here in America?

To begin with, we all know that the U.S. is doing relatively better than other parts of the world, but we are not exactly running at full speed. Any slowdown in economic growth—especially with a country as large as China—that is brought on by a debt crisis in that nation could severely impact our economy.

In China, the lending market is quite different than in North America, and firms have to rely on what’s called shadow banking.

Many firms in China have trouble borrowing, so they buy copper and use it as collateral. We are not talking about a small amount of money, as a shadow banking system in China … Read More


How to Profit from China’s Economic Slowdown

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 13, 2014

China’s Economic SlowdownThere’s a significant amount of pessimism towards the Chinese economy these days, and the reasons behind this are very understandable. The economic data suggests the country is headed toward an economic slowdown.

In 2013, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.7%—barely better than the previous year and the estimates that were calling for the lowest growth rate since 1999. (Source: Yao, K. and Wang, A., “China’s 2013 economic growth dodges 14-year low but further slowing seen,” Reuters, January 20, 2014.) Keep in mind that despite beating the estimates, this GDP growth rate is much lower than the country’s historical average.

This isn’t all. A credit crunch is also in the making. We are now hearing how companies in China will have troubles paying their interest on the bonds they have issued. So far, we have seen one default on payment by Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. This solar company, based in China, defaulted on a $14.7-million interest payment on bonds it issued two years ago. (Source: Wei, L., McMahon, D. and Ma, W., “Chinese Firm’s Bond Default May Not Be the Last,” The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2014.)

Before this default, there was a slight hope that the government would come in and bail out the troubled companies—something that happened in the U.S. economy during the financial crisis in 2008. Now, with this default, there are speculations that we will see more of the same.

Furthermore, there are concerns that property values in the Chinese economy are going to see a correction. Over the past few years, there has been the mass development of ghost … Read More


Why These Two China-Based Internet Stocks Are Worth a Closer Look

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 3, 2014

China-Based Internet StocksWe all know how hot the social media space is with some sizzling returns shown by such stock market heavyweights as Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE/TWTR), Yelp, Inc. (NYSE/YELP), and LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE/LNKD) to name a handful.

The valuation of these momentum stocks is especially high, but as long as there are buyers, these stocks will continue to attract major market surges.

Much of the easy money may be gone for now, but there are still some Internet stocks trading here that offer excellent potential for some staggering gains for aggressive traders.

Yet the stocks I’m referring to are based out of China, where the added risk is high due to the questionable reliability of the auditors and subsequent results.

If you are confident on the numbers of these Chinese stocks, it may be worth a speculative trade, but be warned that the risk is high, so don’t go and bet your 401(k) on these speculative Chinese stocks. Use only risk capital and make sure you are diversified; this will take some of the edge off the trade in case the stock goes against you.

If you like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ/AMZN) but aren’t willing to chase the high stock price and valuation, you may want to take a look at China-based E-Commerce China Dangdang Inc. (NYSE/DANG), which has been referred to as the Amazon of China. The online seller of books, home products, footwear, electronic and personal products, and related accessories has about 8.9 million active users as of its fourth quarter (ended December 31, 2013). The company also said it added about 3.1 million new users in that … Read More


Resource Stock Pays Investors to Wait for a Rebound

By Sasha Cekerevac for Daily Gains Letter | Feb 28, 2014

Stock Pays InvestorsWhen you are looking at your portfolio and considering making adjustments, it’s important to take into account not only the current environment, but what potential changes could occur in the future that can alter your investment strategy.

Here’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about:

We all know that Japan has been trying to lower its currency in an attempt to stimulate its economy.

What’s a side effect of a weaker economy? Higher import prices, and since Japan relies almost entirely on imported energy, costs are rising significantly, which is hurting the average Japanese citizen since wages are not increasing.

Just recently, Japan announced that it is now drafting a plan that will reopen nuclear power plants, allowing the country to rely on nuclear power for their core power production once again. (Source: Iwata, M., “Japan sees key role for nuclear power,” Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2014.)

We all know about the horrible disaster that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, but as much as Japan doesn’t want nuclear power, the country is finding that it has no alternative.

This is a significantly bullish scenario for uranium stocks. Obviously, following the disaster, corporate earnings for uranium stocks fell sharply along with the price of the commodity. The natural investment strategy was to avoid this sector until there was some clarity about the potential for a renewed interest in uranium, which should help drive corporate earnings.

It appears we are certainly turning the corner, as 17 nuclear power plants are currently being screened to be restarted by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. In total, Japan has 48 nuclear reactors, which … Read More


Why I’m Even More Bullish on Gold Bullion Now

By for Daily Gains Letter | Feb 26, 2014

Gold Bullion NowSince the beginning of the year, one asset class has shone when compared to the stock market. I am talking about gold bullion. The yellow shiny metal’s prices are up more than 10%. The stock market, on the other hand, hasn’t performed as well. For example, year-to-date, the S&P 500 is only up by little more than one percent. With this said, I believe gold bullion can surprise investors even more this year.

Let me explain why…

Looking from a technical analysis point of view, there are a few interesting developments that suggest gold bullion prices are heading higher. Remember the first rule of technical analysis: the trend is your friend, until it’s broken. With this in mind, please look at the chart below.

Gold - Spot Price Chart

Chart courtesy of www.StockCharts.com

The downtrend that gold bullion prices were following since late 2012 has now been broken (black line). At the same time, we see prices breaking above the 200-day moving average for the first time since early 2013 and sustaining above the 50-day moving average. This suggests sentiment is turning bullish. In addition to this, we see indicators of momentum, like the moving average convergence/divergence (MACD), suggest bulls are in control (as indicated by the black line below the chart).

The fundamentals of gold bullion prices are suggesting investors are going to reap rewards as well. The demand continues to increase and the supply remains subdued. This is the perfect recipe for higher prices.

In 2013, we saw central banks buy gold bullion; they have been net buyers of gold bullion since 2009. It will not be a surprise to see them buy … Read More