Saturday, September 26, 2009

If the TVs on they are buying on HSN

HSN Inc (HNSI) known by most of you as the Home Shopping Network was added to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio and is covered on my blog Financial Tides. What caught my eye was 17 new highs in 20 trading sessions and press releases that they will be carrying Serious Skin Care's FIRMA-FACE XP product line. This is their largest product launch to date with 103,000 units sold in the first 4 day. Landenburg Thalmann announced that they have initiated coverage of this stock with a BUY recommendation.

HSNI is a retailer and interactive lifestyle network offering a broad range of products through TV home shopping programming and on the Internet through They are the leader in the TV home shopping industry far out selling Value Vision (VVTV) and privately held QVC and Access Television Network.

The 3 analyst that cover HNSI have a STRONG BUY consensus rating and project sales growth of 2.5% and earnings growth of 13% next year. Good fundamentals.

Market still up W/E 9/25/2009

At the end of each week on my blog Financial Tides I like to analyze what the market did by using several ways to evaluate the trends. There is some tracking error in each method which is why I like to use several and then compare the results of each to get a consensus. I use BarChart to get all my data.

Value Line Index -- VLA This is an arithmetic index of 1700 stocks followed by Value Line. I like an arithmetic index because it duplicates the way most individuals purchase stocks. You buy 10 or 20 stocks with equal dollar amounts of each. Professionals and mutual funds might weight by market cap but most individuals don't.
  • The VLA was down 66.6 points for a loss of 3.05%
  • BarChart uses 13 technical indicators and the VLA was a BUY on 6, a HOLD on 4 and a SELL on 3 TA indicators for an Overall rating of BUY 24%
  • The Index was tracking above its 20, 50 and 100 Day Moving Average (DMA)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Too big to fail? -- Who said?

Whenever I hear the words: "Too big to fail" I'm reminded of a poem I read in my high school English Literature class by Shelley titled Ozymandias. The lines that come to mind are:

"....Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Can you think of anything but GOD who is now and always was? Just look at the DJIA. Since its inception in 1896 GE is the only original component. The list of recent drop outs include GM, Citigroup, AIG, Altria Group, Honeywell. 57 percent, 17 of the 30 have come on the list since 1990. The S&P 500 constantly changes and so does the Forbes Wealthiest 400.

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty sprit before a fall" -- Proverbs 16:18

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Avista Corp (AVA) --Utilities still rising

Even with the recent market pull back I still feel that utilities are a safe bet, Avista Corp (AVA) among them. This stock is a position in my Marketocracy New High Fund and followed on my blog Financial Tides.

AVA is a diversified energy company with operations throughout the US. With both regulated and non-regulated energy businesses plus some other non-regulated businesses they seem to be well diversified. Their main utilities divisions distribute electricity from hydroelectric and thermal sources. The non-regulated businesses are in metal fabrication, expense management systems for utilities and real estate.

Beat the Market -- Pick up 3 more on the dip

Beat the Market is a series on stock picking, portfolio management and keeping score. Wall Street Survivor will keep score on my picks not only against the market but also against the other contributors to MSN's Top Stock Blog.

Yesterday the market took a little dip but has not shown signs of reversal so it may be an opportunity to pick up 3 more stocks at lower prices. Today's picks are Limited Brands (LTD), Korea Electric Power (KEP) and Factset Research (FDS) and here's why:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Healthcare providers need Cerner Corp (CERN)

Cerner Corp (CERN) is followed on Financial Tides and is part for my Marketocracy S&P 400 Fund, CERN designs, develops. markets, installs and supports information technology and content solutions for health care organizations and consumers. They assist health care providers to improve operations, reduce costs and improve the quality for care provided. Isn't that what President Obama wants?

The stock has gotten recent buzz on MSN Fast Money and is said to be on Dell's short acquisition list by Lee Brodie editor of that site. The company is also followed by 20 analyst and has recently been upgraded by Auriga. Most analyst are predicting higher revenue and improvement of their 17.7% Operating Margin. A nice fundamental stock.

Beat the market - 3 new picks

On the Top Stock Blog we're having a little contest to show how our stock recommendations perform not only against the market but a little friendly competition against each other. We'll enter our picks on Wall Street Survivor and they will keep the score.

My picks will use the same methodology I use on the New High Fund I've had on Marketocracy for quite some time. I use BarChart's new high list of stocks trading over 100.000 shares a day, sort for frequency, hopefully weed out ETFs and closed end funds, choose only stocks selling above $5. I then take the top 10 or 15 and only consider stocks that have made at least 10 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions. If I can't find any that have hit new highs at least 50% of the days I make no additions that day. The stocks then are reviewed to see if the short term technical analysis indicators are at least 80% BUY. Last I review the chart to look for any inconsistencies. Here are my picks for the day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Harman (HAR) Sounds Great

Harman International (HAR) should be a name you immediately recognize. It is a high end, high quality manufacturer of audio and electronic products. This stock is a holding in my Marketocracy S&P 500 Fund (see disclosure below). HAR makes products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Their products are found in theaters, stadiums, homes and automobiles around the world.

J P Morgan has recently projected favorable sales estimates for the industry and had upgraded their recommendation to Overweight. 4 other analyst have also upped their future earnings estimates for HAR. The industry is projecting increasing sales and since their major competition in Bose, Boston Acoustics and Pioneer all of which are private and not traded, HAR is the only major play you can make in this industry.

On a technical analysis basis BarChart's TA indicators are 13 for 13 for a 100% BUY rating. The stock has hit 4 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and 3 new highs in the last 5 trading sessions. The 65 day price appreciation has been 80%.

The earth is round, but the economy is flat

Last week I wrote a blog titled "Recession over? Tell the bankrupt and unemployed". I took a lot of flack from readers saying that I picked a lagging economic indicator and was unfair in my criticism of the Fed's press release. For those of you who followed me in the 2008 Strategy Lab you might remember that I always looked forward to and commented on BoaThe Conference Board's US Business Cycle Indicators. Just like I look at BarChart every week to get a read on the short, mid and long term market movement, I look at the Conference Board to give me the Leading, Coincident and Lagging economic indicators.

The latest report is dated September 21, 2009 and has the Leading Economic Index (LEI) up 0.6%, the Coincident Economic Index (CEI) unchanged and the Lagging Economic Indicator (LAG) down 0.1%. How do we interpret this data? When I taught Graduate School I told the students to think of the economy as a roller coaster with 21 cars.

When the coaster gets to the top, the first cars go over and begin to go down while the last cars are still going up. When it gets to the bottom of the trough, the leading cars begin going up while the last cars are still going down. The LEI is like the lead cars, the CEI the middle cars and the LAG the last cars. Not really that hard to figure out.

Let's take a minute and list the components of the Indexes:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beat the Market - 2nd & 3rd picks

Today for the MSN Top Stock Blog I've gone ahead and picked 2 more stocks to add to my portfolio of 10. The picks are Pharmasset Inc (VRUS) and Deutsche Bank Contingent Capital Trust V (DKT). These stocks were picked by using the BarChart New High list for stocks trading over 100K shares today and sorted for frequency.

I then eliminated any stocks trading below 5 dollars a share and tried to take out any EFTs or US closed end funds and reviewed their charts.

Let's look a little closer look at these picks: DKT has made 14 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and has had a 26% price gain in the last 65 days. VRUS has made 13 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and 5 new highs in the last 5 days, with a 134% price appreciation in the last 65 trading sessions.

Jim Van Meerten is a full time investor and blogs at Financial Tides.

Disclosure: I hold no position in either VRUS or DKT at the time of publication

Esterline ESL is Flying High

The aerospace and defense industry might not seem like a great play today but there are still a lot of orders in the pipeline that have to be filled. As the economy recovers some of the suppliers and developers of this industry should see many new orders. One of the biggest recipients of those new orders will be Esterline Technologies Corp (ESL). This stock has been a position in my Financial Tides blog S&P Small Cap Fund on Marketocracy.

Recently they elevated Brad Lawrence to be CEO and he has great plans for this engineering, manufacturing and supplier to defense, commercial aerospace and general industry The main products are GPS technology and display equipment. The are a major supplier to Boeing, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon. As the industry goes so goes ESL.

Even though the rest of the industry has taken a hit in the last recession ESL hasn't really lost much revenue. With a P/E of only 9.1 compared to Boeing's 17 there is a lot of room for price appreciation.

On a technical basis BarChart rates the company a 96% BUY with only 1 HOLD. The stock has been on a march lately with 9 new highs in the last 20 days with 4 new highs in the last 5 days. Your 65 day price appreciation has been 51%.

Recommendation: ESL is a BUY around 39.50 but because of recent volatility I'd have a tighter than normal stop loss at 35.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Test blo for top stock blog: Beat the market --You can do it!

I really believe that any investor using a little experience, knowledge, discipline, common sense and a basic knowledge of technical analysis can consistently beat the market as measured by the S&P 500 Index. This is the premise behind my blog Financial Tides. I've been using this theory on my portfolios on Marketocracy for several years and I have consistently beat the market.

Over the next few weeks I'll explain how I pick my stocks and we'll build a portfolio together. I'll use the exact same methodology I use on my Marketocracy New High Portfolio that has been measured over the last 4 1/2 years and has beaten the market by 59% for that period. At the end of a year you will see that you can beat the market using this methodology

We will build a portfolio of around 10 stocks and the first to be added to the portfolio is Emeritus Corp --ESC and I'll explain why [more].

I begin by using BarChart's new high/low list and sort for frequency. I use the over 100K shares traded per day column and sort those. I try to find stocks that have had at least 10 new highs over the last 20 trading sessions. I start with the top 10 and see how they stack up on BarChart's 13 technical analysis indicators and only consider those that score BUY on at least 80% of the 5 short term indicators.

This is where the experience sets in, I look at the charts and try to get a feel of consistent upward movement. This week I felt good about Emeritus Corp ESC.

ESC is 100% BUY on Barchart's TA indicators. It made 14 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions including 5 new highs in the last 5 trading sessions and has had a 70% return over the last 65 trading sessions.

Let's add it to the portfolio and remove if it ever drops below its 50 day moving average.

Please share you comments below or email me at

Disclosure: I hold no positions in ESC at the time of publication