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  • Has The Stock Market Reached Peak Optimism?

    Optimism towards key stock indices is increasing each day. The U.S. stock market "seems" to be a safe place, and it's common to hear stock advisors suggesting we are going higher on key stock indices.

    Key stock indices like the S&P 500 are making fresh highs. Google Inc. (NASDAQ/GOOG) has surged above the $1,000-per-share mark. Just take a look at the chart below.

    Recently, we heard the "Godfather of Charts," Ralph Acampora, turn bullish on the key stock indices as well. Not too long ago, he held a very bearish view on them. In August, his stance was that key stock indices like the Dow Jones Industrial Average would decline 20% to 12,000. (Source: Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2013.)

    Read More : Has The Stock Market Reached Peak Optimism?

    Oct 22 10:43 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Price Action Of Transportation Stocks Indicates Slowing Economy

    Transportation stocks are now reporting their third-quarter earnings, and it's important for investors to pay attention to what these leading market indicators have to say.

    J.B. Hunt Transportation Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) is one of the largest trucking firms in North America. The company reported a solid third quarter, but earnings came in just slightly below what Wall Street was looking for.

    Third-quarter revenues grew 11% to $1.44 billion, which is solid growth for a mature business. Earnings were $89.5 million, or $0.75 per diluted share, compared to $78.2 million, or $0.65 per diluted share. Wall Street was looking for total sales of $1.45 billion, with $0.78 in earnings per share.

    The company's cash position and accounts receivable grew solidly, and so did shareholder's equity. All in all, it was a good quarter for this trucking firm. If Wall Street consensus was a little too high, then it was. This was still a solid report, and the company's financial health improved.

    In the railroad industry, companies continue to deal with weakening demand for coal, but earnings are holding up on modest revenue growth and higher prices.

    Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) reported third-quarter sales of $5.57 billion, growing four percent over the comparable quarter last year. The company's earnings were $1.15 billion, or $2.48 per diluted share, compared to $1.04 billion, or $2.19 per diluted share.

    Third-quarter revenues measured by total revenue carloads were flat. Most of the company's gain in total revenues came from price increases. Earnings met consensus, while revenues were just a hair below.

    So there is growth out there, but it's modest and not necessarily the result of improving business conditions.

    The stock market, as measured by its key stock indices, is taking the news positively, and there is a definite willingness on the part of institutional investors to keep buying if earnings reports don't disappoint too much.

    Read More : Price Action of Transportation Stocks Indicates Slowing Economy

    Oct 21 9:04 AM | Link | Comment!
  • Why Opportunity Abounds Where The Rest Of The Market Isn't Looking

    If the trend is your friend on Wall Street, it's also the case that there are opportunities and value among stocks that have been abandoned by investors.

    While the financial media tends to prefer doom and gloom, genuine opportunity in the stock market is rarely in the headlines. The focus needn't be on what is wrong with the world; we already know that. What's lacking is how you can profit from it.

    Precious metals stocks are becoming more and more attractive these days, but I don't think we've seen a bottom yet in gold and silver stocks.

    Currently, some of the best risk-capital opportunities in the stock market are U.S.-listed Chinese stocks. It's a sector that's pretty much been abandoned by the marketplace.

    The reasons why the marketplace is no longer interested in Chinese stocks are obvious, but at the height of disinterest comes the best prices. By the time interest hits and the story is in the newspapers, most of the money has already been made.

    One company that's experiencing a genuine stock market turnaround is China Ceramics Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:CCCL). And it's doing so ahead of its financial turnaround, which indicates that investor sentiment is warming to the story.

    China Ceramics manufactures and sells ceramic tiles to both residential and commercial customers in China. The company stumbled both operationally and on the stock market due to China's planned real estate restraint. The position then met the same fate as virtually all other U.S.-listed Chinese stocks that imploded on the stock market because of the plethora of accounting frauds.

    But the tide is slowly turning for many of these listings and there's real value in some turnaround trades. (See "One of the Best Agriculture Businesses You've Never Heard Of.")

    Read More : Why Opportunity Abounds Where the Rest of the Market Isn't Looking

    Oct 18 7:48 AM | Link | Comment!
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