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Dr. Kris hails from the land o' lakes, beer, bratwurst, and Bucky Badger. She traded in her cheese hat for a propeller beanie and has never looked back. She has two degrees from MIT because one just wasn't enough. Her life goal was to figure out the universe and having done that (at least to her... More
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  • Intraday Market Notes -- July 31 0 comments
    Jul 31, 2012 3:51 PM | about stocks: HTLF, FRME, HOPE

    3:35 pm ET: Arrggh! I lost my post for the second time in a week! Okay, I'm not going to repeat the entire thing and will instead give the stripped down version: Market drifting ahead of FOMC rate decision tomorrow. Although movement in the major averages is muted, there is an intense struggle going on behind the scenes between the bulls and the bears, and for good reason. Both have a lot of grist to grind:

    Bullish grist: Rising consumer confidence (over last month), rising wages, improving housing market
    Bearish grist: Continuing Eurozone worries, uncertainty over Fed QE policy, increasing concerns that unemployment may be rising (we'll know more on Friday), uncertainty over the Presidential elections (Romney=good for the market; Obama=bad for the market)

    Tomorrow's rate decision could be a market mover as well as Friday's jobs numbers.

    Trade Note: Regional banks still rallying
    Regional banks have been rallying steadily for the past ten months. Some of the best of the best (technically and fundamentally speaking) are Heartland Financial (HTLF, $26, P/E=15), First Merchant's (FRME, $14, P/E=19, D/Y=0.8%), and Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC, $6, P/E=8). These stocks are all making new highs today with Heartland rising a whopping 11% on record earnings. First Merchants has been on my subscriber Stock of the Day list since 3/21/12 and has risen nearly 20% since. Note that it's the only one of the bunch that pays a dividend but on the downside, it does sport the highest P/E. Still, a lot of its stock is being held by major institutions (as is Wilshire Bancorp's). A continued improvement in the US economy should be good for growth in the regional banking arena.

    Stocks: HTLF, FRME, HOPE
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