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John Cofran
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John Cofran is a professional investor and money manager with 20+ years experience, and over $15,000,000 in assets under management. He is a former CPA applicant with degrees in Finance, Accounting and Economics from Boston College. In addition to building several highly successful private... More
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  • Dow and S&P Support Hold Up
    The market continued it's Summer time blues, sinking heavily after existing home sales contracted by more than 27%, worse than economists expected.

    At their worst level, the Dow was off more than 180 points, and the S&P fell by more than 20 points. After the sharp morning sell-off, the markets rallied after key support levels held.

    The Dow managed to hold the 10,000 level at the close, and the S&P managed to hold 1,050. A close below these levels will likely result in further selling to Dow 9,800 and S&P 1,042.

    I am recommending caution for the next 4 - 6 weeks. Use excessive selling in quality tech, retail and high yield stocks to make short-term trading profits. I recommend looking for entry points in (NYSE:GPS), (NASDAQ:WIN), (NYSE:KMB), (NYSE:GPC), (NYSE:COP), (NYSE:VZ), (NASDAQ:RRD), (NYSE:NLY), (NYSE:HCN), (NYSE:EXC), (NYSE:FE), (NYSE:LLY) and (NYSE:HPT).

    Closes below Dow 9,800 and S&P 1,042 likely set us up for new lows for the year. Use this weakness in September and early October to set up for a post-midterm election rally.

    Disclosure: Long: GPC, COP, VZ, NLY, HCN, EXC, FE, LLY and HPT
    Aug 24 5:06 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Monday Portfolio Recap
    Moderate strength this morning gave way to a late day sell-off, pushing the Dow down 39 points. The S&P 500 was off 0.4% and the Nasdaq fell by more than 0.9%. The market continues to trade erratically, on light volume. Market direction is particularly sensitive to news flow, and is not gaining strength on recent deal news from  Potash (NYSE:POT), McAfee (MFE) and 3Par (NYSE:PAR).

    This morning I added some Fifth Street Finance Corp (NASDAQ:FSC), and maintained my short position in (NYSE:CRM). Finally, I have been adding to my Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR) position ahead of it's ex-dividend date.

    Overall Sentiment:  Cautious
    Portfolio Yield: 7.29%
    Projection: S&P 500 sell-off to 1,044 followed by rally to 1,280

    My largest positions at days end are:
    1. Cash - 12%
    2. Exelon Corp (EXC) - 7%
    3. Health Care REIT (HCN) - 7%
    4. Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI)- 5%

    Disclosure: Long: FSC, FTR, EXC, HCN, PBI; Short: CRM
    Aug 23 4:29 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Next Big 'Cloud'
    This morning's $24 bid by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) to acquire 3Par (NYSE:PAR) once again has 'the cloud' in focus.

    By my calculation, HP's offer values 3Par at 160x estimated 2010 earnings per share. Wait, WHAT!?!?


    It's beginning to feel a lot like 1999 again. I know, I know... 'it's different this time'.

    Not really. It's never different. The names and faces change, but the story and the outcome remains the same.

    So what is an investor to do to catch a ride on the next 'cloud' without getting slammed back down to earth? One name investors should take a closer look at is Xyratex, Ltd (NASDAQ:XRTX). It's Network Storage Solutions group provides investors just enough access and exposure to the 'cloud computing' trend without requiring a leap of faith.

    Trading at just 2.7x estimated 2010 earnings per share and a squeaky clean balance sheet, Xyratex may just be the Next Big Cloud.

    Disclosure: Long XRTX
    Tags: PAR, HPQ, XRTX, cloud
    Aug 23 9:24 AM | Link | Comment!
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