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TAPERING OFF AHEAD OF THE TAPER - By WSS Research Desk

|Includes:Apple Inc. (AAPL), OWW, TSLA

By David Urani

The news wires continue to be relatively quiet, although there's a storm brewing for September. As of now, the market continues to slide slowly lower, and in a way, you can't necessarily blame investors for wanting to take a few profits off the table as July saw a nice run in stocks. For September, we will have to contend with Congress' ineptitude in trying to strike a budget deal as well as the debt ceiling. And for the trader types, of course, there is the Federal Reserve's meeting on the 17th and 18th. A hint was given by Dallas Fed chief Fisher last week for a September taper of QE, and now all of a sudden, it seems to be the consensus among economists. Going into last week December was being seen as the most probable start date for winding down the cheap money stimulus, but now the odds are for next month.

Yet, at the same time, there's also been a theme of not betting against America. Orbitz (NYSE:OWW) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) are just a couple examples of heavily shorted stocks who posted great numbers last week and "squeezed" the short sellers to make huge rallies. The latest short squeeze appears to be precious metals, particularly silver, which is up more than 4% today and also lifting stocks of related miners.

Silver - 1yr

And it wouldn't be a proper Monday without some Merger Monday news. Well, today I suppose it's the (not) merger potential for Blackberry (NASDAQ:BBRY). The not-so-smart-anymore-phone maker is reviewing "strategic alternatives" which of course on the Street means they are looking to sell themselves. This has come up in the past with Blackberry with no sale being made, so it's not something you would bank on happening.

Sticking with smartphones, word is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) (remember them?) has a new iPhone ready for next month. It's amazing how much less people talk about them nowadays compared to even just last year, my guess is you could find a pretty good correlation between the number of media mentions they've gotten versus the stock price over the last several months. So can it bring the heat next month and blow Samsung and company out of the water? My guess is probably not; smartphone innovation not just from them but from everyone seems to have hit a plateau for now. But I'd love to be proven wrong.

AAPL - 1yr

https://www.wstreet.com/user/register.asp?source=3

Stocks: AAPL, OWW, TSLA