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George Acs  

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  • I Could Do With Less Transparency
    Yesterday, 2:39 AM ANF, BAC, BAX 40 Comments

    Summary

    • The stock market demonstrated its sensitivity to interest rates this week moving up and down at suggestions that rates might go up later or sooner, respectively.
    • While some may not be willing to exercise transparency themselves, they believe it is lacking in the FOMC and may belie outside influence on policy.
    • Transparency carries with it the potential burden of having too much information and cluttering thought processes.
  • A Sleeping Bull Is Best Left Undisturbed
    Sun, Feb. 22 BGCP, GFIG, GPS 40 Comments

    Summary

    • A sleeping bull market came to life as we suddenly seemed to care about something we all believed that we didn't care about; the EU and Greece.
    • Despite upcoming congressional testimony by Janet Yellen, the real market mover may be retailer guidance, either confirming past Retail Sales data or validating the idea of consumer-led economic expansion.
    • While equities have recently moved higher in an orderly fashion, oil, precious metals and bonds have been volatile and could interrupt the party stocks have been enjoying.
  • Stay Calm And All Will Be Well
    Sat, Feb. 14 AXP, COST, FB 89 Comments

    Summary

    • Another record breaking high on the S&P 500 was met with little excitement.
    • While oil, interest rates and the US dollar have headed higher, they provided no barrier to stocks doing the same this past week.
    • The most recent climb back from the market's declines in January 2015 have been unlike the previous nearly vertical recoveries over the past few months and may represent a healthy.
  • The Faces Of 2015
    Sun, Feb. 8 ATVI, FAST, FEYE 53 Comments

    Summary

    • The past week had a character decidedly different from what 2015 has offered to date.
    • Some hints of good news from national retailers may finally provide validation of the narrative pointing toward an improving economy.
    • The market's severe alternating moves in 2015 create uncertainty that is creeping into option premiums.
  • Let's Get This Party Going
    Sat, Jan. 31 APC, BABA, EBAY 32 Comments

    Summary

    • The "January Effect" stayed on hiatus for another year, leaving many investors disappointed after 2014 ended at record high levels.
    • Volatility across markets, including Treasury bonds, stocks, precious metals, oil and currencies, is increasing as uncertainty spreads and without a perceived safe haven alternative.
    • Earnings and future guidance have thus far been largely disappointing, as little indication of an economic boost from lower energy prices has occurred.
  • Super Mario Finally Comes To The Rescue
    Sun, Jan. 25 AXP, DOW, FAST 29 Comments

    Summary

    • After 2 years of telling the world he had the will to use all of his arsenal, ECB President Mario Draghi finally delivered on promises to stimulate the European economy.
    • The initiation of European Quantitative Easing may not, however, be a catalyst for further moves higher in the US equity markets.
    • Energy sector earnings and guidance, in addition to positive guidance from the retail sector, may be the next near term catalysts for the US markets.
  • Earnings Make The Adrenaline Flow
    Fri, Jan. 23 AAPL, AMZN, BABA 95 Comments

    Summary

    • Earnings season can be a time of angst or delight for passive investors.
    • Price movements following earnings and guidance do not often appear to be in line with the actual news or its magnitude.
    • Earnings misses and beats are frequent and often result in substantial price moves that seem to catch "professionals" by surprise.
  • Broken Banks And Broken Markets May Portend A Good 2015
    Mon, Jan. 19 AAPL, BBY, CL 16 Comments

    Summary

    • The past week was one of the wildest seen in quite a while, as disparate markets were all gyrating, dispelling the notion of a safe haven for investment dollars.
    • The major banks largely reported disappointing numbers on the top and bottom lines as they led off this most recent earnings season, putting them in an infrequently seen position of late.
    • The upcoming earnings and a decision by the ECB to initiate quantitative easing could be the antidote to the tremendous uncertainty of the past week.
  • Beware Of Earnings Unless You Dare
    Sat, Jan. 17 CREE, FCX, FFIV 47 Comments

    Summary

    • Earnings may offer a 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.
  • Beware Of Premature Market Contractions
    Sat, Jan. 10 ABBV, AIG, BAC 74 Comments

    Summary

    • The comfort of a pattern of small corrections over the past two years has recently been disrupted.
    • Earnings season beginning anew next week may serve as a stimulant to propel the market forward, particularly if lower energy costs begin to translate into profits and positive guidance.
    • Too much stimulation, however, may have paradoxical effects bringing a return of a "good news is bad news" outlook.
  • Winning Strategies For 2015
    Sat, Jan. 3 CPB, DOW, EBAY 76 Comments

    Summary

    • Hot strategies have a way of rapidly cooling down when reaching a wider audience.
    • Hedge funds faced another year of sub-par performance, and active management of portfolios is under attack, as passive strategies have fared very well in those two years.
    • The 2014 stock market was difficult to classify. Active managers who did well were either very skilled or very lucky. Luck, however, has its limits.
  • The Real Source Of A Santa Claus Rally
    Dec. 26, 2014 AAPL, BNO, EMC 33 Comments

    Summary

    • The always-hoped-for Santa Claus Rally may yet be materializing after a dismal start to the month of December.
    • While oil prices are still a drag on the broader market, the first signs of its positive impact on GDP were revealed this past week.
    • Although the 18000 level received notice, after more than 50 new market highs this year, news of the release of an otherwise inconsequential film captured a nation's attention.
  • The Santa Claus That Started The Fire
    Dec. 21, 2014 BHI, DNKN, EBAY 49 Comments

    Summary

    • It was a very busy news week with the stock market resiliently responding to varied challenges and surprises.
    • Russia's initial responses to their unique challenges are in sharp contrast to its political dysfunction 1998, which resulted in a nearly 20% decline in US markets.
    • While there may not be any love lost for the economic well being of the United States, Putin has thus far placed sound economic policy ahead of creating chaos.
  • How Low Can You Go?
    Dec. 13, 2014 BBRY, CAT, JOY 88 Comments

    Summary

    • Predicting the floor on oil prices has proved elusive and dangerous to the health of portfolios.
    • Slowing demand for oil around the world is a newly realized component in the equation, resulting in falling oil prices that many believe to be supply driven.
    • While much of the world may be moving toward recession, low energy prices in the US may spur significant GDP expansion, even as US goods become more costly elsewhere.
  • Time To Focus On What's Good
    Dec. 7, 2014 AZN, BBY, CPB 54 Comments

    Summary

    • Increasing employment statistics point toward a growing economy.
    • Decreasing energy prices point to greater ability for discretionary spending and further growth in GDP.
    • Bipartisan cooperation may move the economy further forward as both parties will want to take ownership of an economic success story.
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma Facing OPEC And Investors
    Nov. 29, 2014 ANF, BX, COH 168 Comments

    Summary

    • OPEC members were caught in a classic "Prisoner's Dilemmas Game" this week and made the wrong decision. But because they couldn't trust one another, it was the only correct decision.
    • The dilemma facing the investor is always wondering whether the market will do the rational thing and then deciding what actions to take in anticipation knowing that rational actions aren't.
    • When the market or a stock reacts irrationally the challenge becomes one of whether to anticipate a return to rational behavior..
  • This Time I Really Mean It
    Nov. 22, 2014 BHI, GDX, GILD 61 Comments

    Summary

    • A completely listless stock market received a boost from the Bank of China and the European Central Bank announcements that helped to end the week on a higher note.
    • A reduction in interest rates in China may give an indication of an economic slowdown greater than is currently recognized.
    • Mario Draghi, the President of the ECB, has had a history of bluster, but when it comes to carrying out plans to support EU economies, he hasn't lived up to.
  • A JOLT To The System, But The Good Kind
    Nov. 14, 2014 BBY, CRM, DOW 42 Comments

    Summary

    • The JOLT SUmmary released this week indicated a sense of optimism among job holders seeking greener and better paying pastures.
    • Inflation, once feared, is still of prime concern to many, but is a necessary component of an economy that reflects greater ability to engage in discretionary spending.
    • Like many things in excess, inflation, can have beneficial effects if delivered in moderation. Wage inflation is a great way to begin jolting the economy back to life.
  • Pity The Hedge Fund Manager
    Nov. 8, 2014 ANF, CY, EBAY 96 Comments

    Summary

    • Under-performing hedge funds may be the impetus for an end of the year rally.
    • Option volume appears to be drying up, perhaps a reflection of decreased hedging activities.
    • The final 2 months are statistically strong over the long term, but are especially good in years of already large market advances, perhaps reflecting hedge fund desperation.
  • The Bears Are Left Beaten And To Wonder
    Nov. 2, 2014 BP, FB, GPS 52 Comments

    Summary

    • Despite a seemingly hawkish turn by the FOMC, the US stock markets went on to erase all remnants of the recent near correction to set new closing highs.
    • Expectations for a delay in the ending of Quantitative Easing weren't realized, but neither was the logical response to the disappointment that the fuel to the recent rally was extinguished.
    • The Bank of Japan's announcement sent stocks soaring, although there's reason to think that in the longer term US equity markets may lose their luster by comparison to overseas markets.
  • Turning Point
    Oct. 25, 2014 ANF, CAT, COH 79 Comments

    Summary

    • Turning points in markets occur, but warnings or advance notice are inconsistently accurate.
    • Individual investors reportedly sold equities en masse from retirement accounts after the decline and purchase fixed-income products after interest rates had risen.
    • The prospect of a delay in the Federal Reserve's ending of Quantitative Easing may have been a critical component in the reversal of stock markets.
  • Confused, Bothered And Bewildered
    Oct. 18, 2014 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
    Oct. 11, 2014 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
    Oct. 4, 2014 COH, DOW, GPS 66 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
    Sep. 27, 2014 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
    Sep. 20, 2014 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
    Sep. 13, 2014 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
    Sep. 7, 2014 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
    Aug. 30, 2014 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
    Aug. 24, 2014 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
    Aug. 17, 2014 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
    Aug. 8, 2014 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.