Seeking Alpha

George Acs

 
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  • Confused, Bothered And Bewildered
    Sat, Oct. 18 AAPL, BAX, EBAY 108 Comments

    Summary

    • Another week of virulent market moves in alternating directions can only leave investors increasingly confused.
    • At its trading lows of the past week, the market approached a 9% decline from its heights and some believed that mid-week trading reflected a capitulation.
    • Friday's large gain only adds to confusion. Was it part of a capitulation rebound, or just another surge in a downtrend that will suck money out of investors' pockets?
  • Quantitative Muzzling
    Sat, Oct. 11 APC, BBY, DOW 69 Comments

    Summary

    • An already wary U.S. market didn't respond well to further comments reflecting European economic and political dysfunction.
    • Investor confidence was further eroded by comments from the International Monetary Fund and credit downgrades of France and Finland.
    • While a bullish technical indicator fell short of correctly predicting market direction, all eyes are now on a potential bearish indicator.
  • And An Empty Suit Shall Lead Them
    Sat, Oct. 4 COH, DOW, GPS 60 Comments

    Summary

    • Markets disliked the lack of follow through from the rhetoric of Mario Draghi, having been expecting tangible action for quite some while.
    • The market's behavior has had a qualitatively different feel to it characterized not only by the volatility movements, which themselves aren't unusual, but also by the frequency of large shifts.
    • Large price moves higher are frequently seen during market downtrends and may not offer hope for the onset of a new trend higher.
  • Party Like It's 2011
    Sat, Sep. 27 BP, C, CAT 75 Comments

    Summary

    • The past week of 5 triple digit moves in the DJIA was reminiscent of a highly volatile 2011.
    • While volatility tends to increase as markets move lower, it also increases as price spreads enlarge during a short time frame.
    • Increasing volatility enhances option premiums and offers greater protection to the seller in the event of adverse price movements.
  • It's The Comparison That Makes The DIfference
    Sat, Sep. 20 BABA, BBRY, CAT 53 Comments

    Summary

    • Equity markets moved strongly higher in the face of the week's varied challenges, as alternative investments were very unattractive in comparison.
    • The market advance last week, while impressive, may not have been as broadly based as one would like to see as being reflective of a sustained move.
    • In the coming week alternative investments may not appear to be as unattractive as major questions have now been answered.
  • Deliver Us From Irrelevancy
    Sat, Sep. 13 AAPL, BABA, BP 56 Comments

    Summary

    • With all eyes on Apple, it failed to spark the market this past week as there continued to be little in the way of economic news to focus attention.
    • The coming week may have significant challenges with great expectations for the FOMC to suggest an earlier beginning to interest rate hikes.
    • The Ali Baba IPO may serve to dry up liquidity that could otherwise propel the market forward.
    • The referendum for Scotland's independence may hold surprises and challenges for worldwide markets.
  • Almost Nothing Can Stop A Runaway Train
    Sun, Sep. 7 AAPL, AIG, APC 58 Comments

    Summary

    • News and events this past week did little to keep the market from setting new closing highs.
    • The fuel to propel the market to new highs may be at risk of being depleted, even while some may see the lack of investor interest as a contrarian indicator.
    • Stocks with recent bad news may offer some good opportunities, especially if having recently trailed the S&P 500.
  • Ignorance Works For Me
    Sat, Aug. 30 BAC, CL, COH 56 Comments

    Summary

    • Despite adverse news events the market ignored potential risk and repeatedly moved toward new highs.
    • Low volatility has brought option premiums to exceedingly low levels, offering little offset to risk of share ownership at market highs.
    • Some opportunity may continue to exist in positions that have underperformed the S&P 500 during the summer.
  • Jackson Hole And Complacency
    Sun, Aug. 24 ANF, BBY, BX 35 Comments

    Summary

    • Another week of a dearth of news and the market finds significant comfort in the void.
    • The Kansas City Federal Reserve's meeting in Jackson Hole did nothing to stoke the market's advances, failing to add to weekly gains that were the best in the 4 months.
    • Decreasing volatility increases complacency and the market has shown an ability to shut out the winds that might raise concerns and nerves.
  • Boring Was Sexy While It Lasted
    Sun, Aug. 17 BBY, FAST, FCX 36 Comments

    Summary

    • Markets have affirmed their longing for benign or no news.
    • Spreading European economic weakness and geo-political uncertainty may impact some stocks more than others, but immediate reactions can paint with a broad brush.
    • The market's reactions this week point to real ambivalence, jitteriness, but an unwillingness to accept what may be a changing reality and risk environment..
  • Investor's Remorse
    Fri, Aug. 8 CREE, DD, HAL 70 Comments

    Summary

    • Corporate remorse is rare, as it usually involves "other people's money," but individuals may have remorse, particularly in markets such as this, if remaining fully invested.
    • Increasing buy out and initial public offer activity occurring as the market is near or at all time highs may be a cause for concern if also exposed to external events.
    • Investor disappointment or dashed expectations can have severe repercussions for stocks buoyed by those expectations, but individual stocks suddenly in correction territory may be attractive.
  • No More News, Please
    Sat, Aug. 2 AAPL, BBY, BP 81 Comments

    Summary

    • After months of relatively little and benign news, this week saw a convergence of many and varied stories, each with direct or indirect market moving influence.
    • Record market highs can either be a springboard to even higher levels or the perfect perch from which to dive. Recent market moving events indicate fear of heights.
    • Volatility, although substantially higher this past week, is still very low, but could return in sufficient degree to help covered option sellers better protect their portfolios.
  • More And More Earnings
    Mon, Jul. 28 AMZN, APC, FB 30 Comments

    Summary

    • Following a busy week of earnings the coming week presents additional opportunities.
    • Earnings related trades can be based solely on calculated values and minimize or eliminate consideration of company specific factors.
    • The risk-reward proposition should be defined on an individual basis and applied in a consistent fashion.
  • The Crossroads Are Clear, But The Path Is Not
    Fri, Jul. 25 AMZN, EBAY, FB 99 Comments

    Summary

    • Another week has ended with little indication of the market's commitment to direction, despite Friday's strong close lower.
    • The slow and gradual climb higher may leave us unaware of the underlying threat.
    • A portion of sideline cash may potentially be put to use following Friday's market decline.
  • Never Discount The Unexpected
    Sun, Jul. 20 AAPL, BBY, BP 34 Comments

    Summary

    • Anticipated events, such as earnings, are relatively easily factored into pricing models and investors discount those kinds of events.
    • Tragic events around the world remind us that the markets are subject to many forces, including the unexpected.
    • Recent patterns of market behavior suggest complacency regarding susceptibility to the unexpected, but the probability of such events is real.
  • Taking A Gamble With Earnings
    Fri, Jul. 18 AAPL, CLF, CMCSA 24 Comments

    Summary

    • Earnings season may provide excellent opportunities to benefit from enhanced volatility while controlling risk.
    • The sale of out of the money put options can define risk as well as potential reward.
    • Nimble maintenance of positions may be necessary in the event of unforeseen adverse price movements, but that can be the nidus for greater returns.
  • Investors Took A Pass On The Trojan Horse
    Sat, Jul. 12 BBBY, BX, CRMB 13 Comments

    Summary

    • The stock market failed to live up to the optimism prompted by the previous week's support of equities as an investment class.
    • Small reversals continue to be regarded as the prelude to an overdue correction.
    • While market advances may be viewed as an entitlement by some, the gifts shouldn't disarm a natural sense of caution.
  • The Gift That Keeps Giving
    Sat, Jul. 5 AAPL, COH, DD 32 Comments

    Summary

    • For the second time in two weeks, stocks were given a boost as an investment class.
    • Putting new funds to work means either having to raise price baselines as so many are at or near new highs or seeking those relatively immune to systemic risk.
    • 3 words: Stocks, stocks, stocks.
  • Beware The Hand Of Government
    Sat, Jun. 28 BCS, BMY, COV 220 Comments

    Summary

    • Government intervention, direct and indirect, was particularly active this week in determining market and individual stock movements.
    • The boost to equities provided the previous week by Janet Yellen had no lingering effect this past week, being offset by a large revision to GDP.
    • There's little reason to believe that trading on fundamentals is going to make a return in the very near future, even as earnings season arrives once again next week.
  • This Roller Coaster Only Goes Higher - Don't Fight It
    Sun, Jun. 22 AAPL, APOL, BBBY 81 Comments

    Summary

    • The Federal Reserve gave every reason to believe that equities were still the best path for investors.
    • Rising interest rates are unlikely to trigger Federal Reserve action this year and stocks stand to benefit.
    • The Federal Reserve continues to favor investors over savers and offense over defense.
  • A Pax Romana May Be Bad For Markets
    Fri, Jun. 13 DRI, FAST, GE 81 Comments

    Summary

    • Increasing geopolitical conflict disrupts the vacuum that puts the current market at risk for unexpected moves in the absence of obvious catalysts.
    • Investor complacency may be better reflected by the discounting of potential risk than through the use of a backward looking measure, such as Volatility.
    • Recent past crises have been a stepping stone for market gains rather than sustained consolidation.
  • Boring Must Be Good For Your Health
    Sun, Jun. 8 BTI, CREE, CZR 24 Comments

    Summary

    • The markets appear to be finding comfort in meeting expectations and using news as a reason to buy, rather than sell.
    • A low volatility environment may give greater reason for option sellers to focus on dividend payments.
    • The given causes for the market's actions may not always be valid or may have other agenda in mind.
  • Minsky Moment: The Roles Of Complacency And Volatility
    Sun, Jun. 1 AAPL, ANF, CRM 29 Comments

    Summary

    • A "Minsky Moment" is thought by some to be associated with complacency and may require investor preparation.
    • Complacency, from the lens of an individual investor, seems to be far less than during previous market highs.
    • Volatility, a statistical measure of past price movement, is increasingly being looked at as an emotional metric and predictor.
  • You Almost Can't Spell 'Good' Without 'Odd'
    Sun, May. 25 ANF, BBBY, COH 18 Comments

    Summary

    • The market showed surprising resilience last week on the heels of another anxiety provoking week.
    • The FOMC release didn't elicit the usual exaggerated market response.
    • The future upside reward may now be less than downside risk, but the past week's trading provides some short term optimism.
  • Spinning Your Wheels
    Sun, May. 18 BBY, BMY, BX 16 Comments

    Summary

    • The market set record highs this past week, but analysts were spinning wildly, as gains and declines offset one another in a week of confusion.
    • Interest rates have been receiving increasing attention, but their effect on equity prices may be exaggerated.
    • Volatility remains at historic lows, despite market uncertainty and increasing incidence of large price swings.
  • The Law Of Gravity
    Sat, May. 10 AAPL, BAC, BBY 57 Comments

    Summary

    • Markets are again approaching all-time highs but doing so in a very tentative manner.
    • Ten weeks of alternating gains and losses may foretell of diminishing energy and ability for the market to continue its move higher.
    • With earnings season nearing its end another catalyst is needed to offset the disappointments and erosion of confidence in more speculative stocks.
  • More Of The Same
    Sun, May. 4 AAPL, BMY, CHK 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Another weekend of uncertainty hangs over the market as it is again near all time highs.
    • Economic growth continues to elude confirmation by most metrics.
    • "Risk On" and "Risk Off" are again in vogue strategies and sentiment is frequently shifting into and out of perceived safety or reward.
  • Twitter Fatigue
    Fri, May. 2 TWTR 109 Comments

    Summary

    • Twitter has offered opportunity even for conservative investors during its sharp price decline.
    • Twitter's upcoming lock-up expiration may offer further opportunities that reduce potentially high risk and offers attractive reward.
    • The active management of short puts can be a reasonable way to accumulate premium income even in the event of adverse price movement.
  • Heating Up The Cold War
    Sat, Apr. 26 AET, BBBY, CY 69 Comments

    Summary

    • Nervous markets react to external events with ferocity when feeling threatened.
    • Avoiding companies with significant exposure to escalating conflict may be an appropriate short-term strategy.
    • Economic news this week, including the FOMC announcement and the Employment Situation Report, may be additional challenges.
  • It's Raining Earnings, Hallelujah
    Fri, Apr. 25 COH, HLF, LNKD 74 Comments

    Summary

    • Earnings may offer great opportunity before or after their release.
    • Trade associated risk may be managed in exchange for reward.
    • Trade decisions for this strategy should be largely agnostic as to merits of company or near-term prospects, although external or seminal events may be critical.
  • Cook Does Icahn's Dirty Work At Apple
    Thu, Apr. 24 AAPL 209 Comments

    Summary

    • Apple's stock split and increased dividend expand its dependence on financial engineering.
    • Lack of product innovation, clear strategy and questionable leadership evoke images of Microsoft.
    • The opportunities in Apple shares may, however, be greatly enhanced.
  • Expect The Unexpected
    Sat, Apr. 19 ANF, COH, CREE 83 Comments

    Summary

    • Even the crowd gets it right sometimes.
    • Mini-corrections may be the new normal as the market trades at much higher levels.
    • Market catalysts aren't appearing on the near-term horizon, but the trend continues higher following dips.