We are seeing markets retreat, but for reasons which we did not anticipate when we called this pullback. Unfortunately we thought that Europe was resolving its issues, but instead it is once again bickering. It has become apparent that Europe is the problem child of the world's economic recovery and the U.S. is the enabling parent. We have expended considerable firepower to not only help our economy but the world and each time we have done so it buys Europe more time to continue to play these games. The clock is ticking, and with Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the like having riots and bond market issues it is only a matter of time before the continent is sucked back down into a debt crisis. Worse yet is the fact that Germany wants to delay solving problems by having Spain wait to ask for a bailout until after Germany holds elections this year. European politics at its finest.
We have economic news out today, it is as follows (data set - consensus).
MBA Mortgage Index -N/A
New Home Sales - 380K
Crude Inventories - N/A
Looking at Asian markets we see markets are lower:
All Ordinaries - down 0.30%
Shanghai Composite - down 1.24%
Nikkei 225 - down 2.03%
NZSE 50 - down 0.42%
Seoul Composite - down 0.55%
In Europe markets are lower:
CAC 40 - down 1.93%
DAX - down 1.34%
FTSE 100 - down 0.94%
OSE - down 1.36%
We watched yesterday as OCZ Technology Group (OCZ) broke sharply lower after having breached its 52-week low set only recently. Our plan had been to wait and purchase shares in our retirement account once our next contribution was in, but after yesterday's price action we feel now is the time to set up an initial position. With shares falling $0.40 (10.13%) and closing at $3.55/share on volume of 9.7 million we feel the selling is overdone. We will initiate a small position this morning via the retirement account for a long-term hold to play this developing technology trend and hopefully get a bounce when the company announces a new CEO - hopefully with supply chain expertise to aid the company's growth issues.
We always look for relative strength in the market and when we see stocks green on down days we certainly take notice. One retailer that has certainly impressed us is Home Depot (HD), which outperformed its competitors as it steals market share and reports solid financial results quarter after quarter. It is a retail name many would not have expected to do well in the current economy, but it has and has defied that common thinking. Shares hit a new 52-week high in yesterday's market and shares finished at $59.72/share after rising $0.33 (0.56%) on volume of 9.7 million shares. We would look for Home Depot to continue higher moving forward, especially as it appears that the housing market has already bottomed and the numbers seem to indicate there is now growth there.
We would caution investors not to get caught up in yesterday's rise in shares of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) as it was a dead cat bounce. Shares finished at $1.70/share after rising $0.54 (46.57%) on heavy volume of 55.6 million shares. Remember the news from the company this week was not at all good and there are many unanswered questions now. Sure further studies are already under way, but the one study which seemed to prove that its cancer drug was effective is now being questioned - and that is not at all good. Our advice to our day trading readers is that if you must trade this on either side (long or short) is to please close positions going into the close, getting caught on the wrong side of these little trades is the quickest way we have lost money and that rule has always been a safety precaution that has served us well.
One of our favorite financials, Regions Financial (RF), saw shares fall again yesterday to close at $7.21/share. Volume remains strong here with 16.9 million shares traded and although there are issues facing Europe once again - self inflicted we must point out - we think that Regions is still positioned to benefit from a housing recovery here in the U.S., which should also lead to greater economic activity. The stock finished at the day's lows and even received a downgrade earlier this week, but this is one of those dips we would recommend adding shares to current positions and the closer to $7/share one can get shares the better.
This next one is a company we follow because it is interesting and these guys are living every kid's dream of finding treasure. Odyssey Marine Exploration (OMEX) announced that it will delay recovering sunken silver from two shipwrecks, which took shares down $0.38 (10.43%) to close at $3.31/share on higher-than-normal volume of 5.6 million shares. This company always has interesting back stories to its discoveries and sometimes drama around those finds, but on a serious note one has to recognize that the company can recover more silver near term than many listed resource companies of the same market capitalization worldwide can. That is something that we find quite interesting at this point, especially with the rising prices of precious metals.
Additional disclosure: Buying in the AM of the trading day.