Markets this morning are once again under pressure. Losses are being extended from yesterday's session, and it looks worse, not better. It appears that we are in the midst of a correction, and switching to cash now in order to buy back later at lower prices seems to be the play. We will look to lower our risk profile over the next few days should this trend continue. US futures are lower, which is no surprise based on Asian and European shares this morning.
Looking at Asian markets we see that most are down:
All Ordinaries - down 1.35%
Shanghai Composite - down 1.41%
Nikkei 225 - down 0.63%
NZSE 50 - up 0.41%
Seoul Composite - down 0.78%
In Europe we see red across the board:
CAC 40 - down 1.37%
DAX - down 1.54%
FTSE 100 - down 1.09%
OSE - down 1.65%
One trade we exited recently has continued to play out well. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) has been moving up even in down markets, even up 19% in yesterday's down market. The company was doing two investor presentations, and apparently the price action was attributed to a successful show. The Hepatitis C drug is still in the early stages, but it seems that this is what is driving the stock now and not the flu market.
Pandora (P) received an analyst upgrade yesterday, helping push shares higher. The company goes head-to-head with Sirius (SIRI) and terrestrial radio, and has a model somewhere between the two; offering a free service, with minimal commercials and your type of music. Shares are up almost 40% in 2012, as this is a trade on technology and the social media plays. The Stifel analyst stated he say the company with a $0.01 profit in the 4Q. We find this interesting and wonder if Pandora can make any inroads on Sirius moving forward.
We are going to hold Ulta Salons (ULTA) through their earnings on March 8th and play for a beat. The company has posted strong results quarter after quarter and this is a trend we want to continue to play. On a miss or disappoint we would recommend exiting the trade and moving to cash.
The Gap (GPS) has been extremely strong recently, and it appears they may finally be getting all of their divisions in order and operating at the same level. The company is quite dangerous when they crank up their big three, and has shown over the years an uncanny ability to generate new, very successful concepts. This is something to add to the watch list for the future.