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Jan. 16, 2014 2:34 PM ET
Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors.

Long/Short Equity, Portfolio Strategy

Seeking Alpha Analyst Since 2008

Wall Street Strategies has been providing independent stock market research since 1991 to individual, retail and institutional clients through a balanced approach to investing and trading. Charles Payne, our founder and chief analyst, is routinely sought after for his stock market, political, and general opinions by several prestigious news organizations. Currently, Mr. Payne is a contributor to the Fox News Network and Fox Business Network. He also hosts his own radio show on KFIAM 640 every Saturday from 2-4pm PST. Mr. Payne recently released his first book entitled Be Smart Act Fast Get Rich. Our all-star analytical team is called first when the media needs to know. We are regularly featured on several well respected finance-oriented radio and television programs such as Fox, CNBC, BNN, WSJ to name a few and widely recognized in the media as a leaders in the analyst community. In addition, Wall Street Strategies is part of Factset, Jaywalk, and Thomson-Reuters Consensus Estimates. Meet our analysts: Brian Sozzi is an equity research analyst specializing in the softline/hardline goods sectors of the retail industry for Wall Street Strategies Inc. Mr. Sozzi graduated Summa Cum Laude from Dowling College, receiving his Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. Routinely sought after as a trusted point of reference for opinions and insight on the global economy and retail sector stock evaluation, Mr. Sozzi is a frequent on air contributor to CNBC, Fox Business Network, and Bloomberg, and is cited regularly by online/print publications that include Forbes, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Thestreet.com, CBS Marketwatch, Reuters, Seekingalpha, Associated Press, Crain’s NY Business, Fortune, Barron’s, AOL Finance, and the Financial Times. In 2009, Mr. Sozzi became recognized by Starmine as a top-ranked equity research analyst for stocks under coverage in such categories as EPS Estimate Accuracy and Industry Excess Return. David Silver is a Research Analyst for Wall Street Strategies. He is a graduate of Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business where he received his Bachelor of Science in Management with a dual degree in Finance and Accounting. David actively covers companies in the Transports, Autos, and Beverage sectors. He is routinely invited to appear on business oriented television and radio shows including CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business News, the Business News Network of Canada, WCBS Radio, and the Wall Street Journal Radio. In addition, David has been quoted in major business publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Marketwatch, CNN Money, and Autoweek. David Urani is a research analyst with concentrations on the homebuilding, staffing, medical devices, and logistical services industries. Along with providing institutional clients with up-to-date reports of individual stocks within his industry coverage, David assists the rest of the Wall Street Strategies research desk with timely analysis of vital economic data. A graduate of the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, David earned a Bachelor of Science in Management while majoring in finance. With prior training experience running small businesses, he has an eye for key fundamentals that keep Companies running efficiently. David’s insight has been featured in several outside sources, including the Fox Business Network, MarketWatch, and SeekingAlpha. Carlos Guillen is an Equity Research Analyst providing coverage of the technology sector for Wall Street Strategies, Inc. Mr. Guillen has had experience working in both the sell side and the buy side. Prior to working as an analyst, he was a Design Engineer for Lambda Electronics. Mr. Guillen holds an M.B.A. from NYU’s Stern School of Business, and he has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College. Conley Tuner is a Research Analyst with Wall Street Strategies Inc. He is a frequent contributor to a number of media outlets including MarketWatch, Bloomberg, BBC news and Xinhua news. Conley holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in International Affairs from the George Washington University. Jennifer N. Coombs is an Equity Research Analyst at Wall Street Strategies. She previously worked on the buy side as an Associate Equity Research Analyst covering the transportation subsector of the industrials sector at AIG SunAmerica Asset Management Corporation. Jennifer also covered Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and has done broader research for the industrials, financials and consumer sectors. Prior to joining their research department, Jennifer worked as a Trading Assistant for SunAmerica’s index funds. She also worked briefly in the client portfolio management department at Dwight Asset Management Company – a fixed income subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. Jennifer graduated with distinction from Clarkson University where she earned a B.S. in Financial Information Analysis and Political Science, with minors in Economics and Law. Jennifer specialized in international markets, and briefly studied East Asian Economics at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. Jennifer is currently a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA).

By Carlos Guillen

After a magnificent trading session yesterday, equity markets are giving up some of the gains as investors take some of the table.

While last Friday's employment data was rather discouraging, particularly as nonfarm employment actually only increased by 18,000 during June, which was much lower than the Street's estimate of 80,000, today the Labor Department brought us a bit of encouraging news that showed the number of people filing for unemployment benefits decreased, reviving some credence to the perception that the overall employment backdrop is making small but consistent improvements. According to the Department of Labor, initial claims during the week ended January 11 totaled 326,000, decreasing from the 328,000 revised figure reported for the prior week and landing below the Street's estimate of 333,000. Moreover, the initial claims' four-week moving average was 335,000, decreasing from the prior week's average of 348,500 further below the 350,000 level that economists say is consistent with moderate labor market growth of about 150,000 net new jobs a month.

Perhaps a bit encouraging today was that increases in the cost of living are not supporting the rumors of economic deflation. According to the Department of Labor, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) in December increased month-over-month by 0.3 percent, in line with the Street's consensus estimate. Excluding food and energy contributions to the price index, core CPI increased month-over-month by 0.1 percent, while economists' average forecast called for a 0.2 percent rise. Overall inflation still remains rather low, and while we do not believe there is deflation taking place, there is a case for disinflation. Fed officials are carefully monitoring inflation as they wind down their bond-buying program. As it stands, with full year inflation of 1.71 percent, the Fed is not quite meeting its inflation target of 2 percent. This may reduce the likelihood of tapering in the Fed's next meeting.

Perhaps encouraging but certainly not enough to mitigate stocks' downfall today was that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded this month. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, its diffusion index of current activity January result landed at 9.4, higher than the Street's consensus estimate of 8.0, increasing from the 6.4 reached in December. Given that a level above zero indicates an economic expansion, this represents the eight consecutive month of growth in the region covering eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Yesterday, manufacturing data from the New York region also showed expansion as the general business conditions index January result landed at 12.5, higher than the Street's consensus estimate of 3.5.

Homebuilder Confidence
By David Urani

The NAHB housing market index for January, a measure of home builder confidence, is out showing a one-point decline to 56 versus consensus estimates for it to stay at 57. That said, it's a modest move down and remains just below the 58 high from August. All three of the major components were down, with perceptions of present conditions down from 63 to 62, expectations for the next six months down from 62 to 60, and traffic down from 43 to 40. For traffic in particular, that's the lowest reading since July. That being said, as we all know there was a sweeping cold front across the nation during the month, which could well have deterred home shoppers. Overall, builders continue to remain quite optimistic, as the index is still holding around levels last seen in 2006.


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