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Strong

They Do Ring A Bell At The Top Of The Market

Hello traders and MarketClub members everywhere! Just this morning I was thinking of an essay I had read many, many years ago. The intriguing feature to me was the headline which read, "They Do Ring A Bell At The Top Of The Market."

Well, I have to say it was an intriguing headline which got me to read the article, perhaps like you're reading this post now. The essence of the article was when interest rates go up, they usually signal a top in the market. As we all know, we have had unusually low interest rates for a prolonged length of time with one QE after another. All of which has boosted the stock market, but I believe the jury is still out on the economy.

With the end of quantitative easing, it's only going to be a matter of time before the Fed begins to raise interest rates. So the question is, how is that going to affect the markets? On one side of the coin, you can argue that it is only going to be good for people that have fixed incomes and rely on bonds and interest-bearing instruments. On the other side of the coin, will investors be willing to risk hanging in the market if they can get a return elsewhere with little or no risk? [Read more...]

World Cup Questions Answered

We've had a lot of questions about the World Cup portfolio (WCP) and its amazing performance so far this year. Through the first 3 quarters of 2014, it's had a very positive 99% return on invested capital.

One of the many questions we have had is, "Can I substitute ETFs for the markets in the WCP?" The short answer is yes you can, but there is one important caveat.

You're not going to get the same returns as the World Cup portfolio. The main reason for this is the leverage involved in the futures markets. In the futures market, you're only putting up a small percentage of the value of the contract. For example in gold, the current margin is $4,400 to control 100 ounces, which is the size of one gold futures contract. Your margin requirements are less than 4% of the total value of one contract. If gold is trading at $1,250, 100 ounces or one contract is worth $125,000.

You don't have that same kind of leverage in an ETF.

Here are the equivalent ETFs to replicate the World Cup portfolio. Please remember this is not a recommended portfolio, as there is no way to short corn, wheat, or soybeans. [Read more...]

There's Going To Be A War

And it is taking place right now in your neighborhood. No, I'm not talking about ISIS invading your neighborhood, what I'm talking about is credit card payments to merchants.

Earlier this month, Apple announced its mobile payment system called ApplePay. The Apple iPhone 6 uses a technology called Near Field Communication or NFC, which is built into their new iPhones to pay for a product in a store that supports this technology. This is similar to Google Wallet which uses the same technology.

On one side of battlefield you have Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), on the other side you have a consortium of merchants led by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT), , which includes CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD). That consortium whose name is MCX (The Merchants Exchange) want to use their own mobile system that they have been developing since 2012. That system is named CurrentC. What's that going to do for consumers? You only have to look at the MCX website to understand what their goal is.

From the MCX Web site: "Merchant Customer Exchange is the only merchant-owned mobile commerce network built to streamline the customer shopping experience across all major retail verticals."

From the press kit: "It will also offer innovative features and benefits, such as merchant loyalty programs and instant coupon savings, all stored on the phone and available right at the point-of-sale."

Sounds very similar to Google wallet and ApplePay, does it not? Mobile payment solutions such as Google wallet have not really caught on with Millennials or anyone else for that matter. It was only when Apple came along with their new payment system that the MCX realized they had to attack. The first part of the attack was putting pressure on CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) and Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) to turn off their NFC receivers on their cash registers so ApplePay would not work. What is strange is that Target, who is also a member of MCX, will accept ApplePay as it offers a more secure and superior method of payment over a regular credit card. Looking at some of the recent challenges that Target has had with credit card theft, it is understandable.

So today's poll question is:

Who do you think will win the mobile payment wars?

View Results

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If you have any comments you'd like to share with us about this post or about mobile payments in general, please feel free to leave them below this post.

Life is never boring, even in the mobile payments section.

Every success with MarketClub,
Adam Hewison
President, INO.com
Co-Creator, MarketClub

The Real Reason Why Crude Oil Is Moving Lower

As you may well know, crude oil (NYMEX:CL.Z14.E) prices have been dropping precipitously this year. In fact, they are at their lowest level in two years. I have a theory as to why oil prices are dropping.

I believe one of the great unsung victories for automobile manufacturers are the new cars they are producing that are getting, on average, an amazing 25 miles per gallon. That is a quantum leap from just a few years ago. With hybrids (cross between electric and gasoline) becoming more mainstream and more motorists turning in their old cars to buy new, more efficient cars, I would expect to see this trend continue. Better cars produce better mileage, therefore their need to go to the pump to fill up is less frequent than before.

Last week I witnessed the markets having one of their best weeks ever, up close to 4%. This strong market action for the week put a smile on a lot of people's faces, however it is still too early to confirm a major trend reversal to the upside.

I also mentioned in my last video that I liked Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which was making new all-time highs on Friday, along with Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). I will be checking in on those stocks today to see how they're doing. Also in today's video, I'll be looking at crude oil (NYMEX:CL.Z14.E), gold (FOREX:XAUUSDO), the U.S. Dollar Index (NYBOT:DX) and the major indices.

You are more than welcome to join in the conversation or leave your comment below this post.

It's going to be an interesting week for sure, so stay tuned.

Every success with MarketClub,
Adam Hewison
President, INO.com
Co-Creator, MarketClub

Amazon's Greatest Nightmare

Yesterday, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) reported its earnings. They were a shocker and pushed the stock down over 9% overnight.

While Amazon was reporting no profits, Jack Ma, the head of Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA), was in Hollywood looking to buy content and movie studios for his mammoth "find everything" website. Mr. Ma has also said publicly he wants to have US companies on his website so they can sell their products in China. Alibaba has over half a billion customers at the moment and is growing fast.

When I look at the stock of Amazon I can see that this stock hasn't gone anywhere and keeps losing money. Somewhere along the line, I think investors are going to say enough with Amazon already, it's got to start making money. Amazon has its fingers in a lot of pies including advertising, merchandising, newspapers, the cloud and probably a lot of other ventures you don't even know about.

But even if you didn't know anything about Amazon or Alibaba and you just look at the charts, you have to say that the chart on Alibaba looks a lot more positive than the one for Amazon. Now admittedly, Alibaba has not been trading in the US that long, but something seems to be right about what's going on with this company and its charismatic leader, Jack Ma.

While Amazon stock has gone up and come down, it's practically unchanged from where it was a year ago. It is down over $100 for the year, while AliBaba's stock is within 2 or 3% of its IPO high price of $99.70 on September 19th.

In today's video, I will be looking at both the stock of Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA). I'll also be looking for some weekend trades of the 52-week kind and see what I can come up with. And of course, I will do a recap of the week and show you the winners and the losers.

Every success with MarketClub,
Adam Hewison
President, INO.com
Co-Creator, MarketClub

What's More Volatile, Stocks Or Commodities?

If you said stocks, you'd be right. There's a big misconception that commodities or futures are more volatile and risky than stocks. The truth is, what makes commodities or futures appear risky is the leverage factor. You only have to margin up a small amount of capital, usually less than 5%, to control a large amount of capital. What that means is when the market moves even a small amount, you get a bigger return, or in some cases a bigger loss, on your money because of leverage. If you put up the whole value of a commodities or futures contract, you effectively de-leverage your investment and at the same time lower your risk and return.

For example, say you want to buy 100 ounces of gold. At the current price, you would have to pay $123,500 and you would own the gold. Instead, you could buy 1 futures contract of gold worth $123,500 and only margin up $4,400. Now let's say we have a $10 move in gold. On 100 ounces that would be worth $1000. As you can quickly see, the return on $4,400 is a heck of a lot higher than the return on $123,500 if you owned the gold outright. Which would you rather have, close to a 25% return on your margin on 1 futures contract, or have a $123,500 tied up in physical gold and see a return of less than 1%?

That, my friends, is why commodities or futures are interesting and can be very profitable when you approach the market with discipline. Naturally, leverage slices both ways and you could lose just as fast as you make money. The key here is to be diversified like our World Cup Portfolio.

Here's the 6 individual markets of the World Cup Portfolio shown quarter by quarter. As you can see, not every market made money every quarter, but combined every quarter was profitable. This underscores the power of diversification and disciplined trading. [Read more...]

2 Stocks To Buy Today

Good day traders and MarketClub members everywhere! I have found two stocks that I believe are going to move higher in the near future and I will be discussing those stocks with you today.

I'm also going to be looking at the general market and analyzing how much further this rally can go in the major indices. Also included in today's video is a look at gold (FOREX:XAUUSDO). How much further can it go on the upside? Has crude oil (NYMEX:CL.Z14.E) finally found a bottom? Lastly, a quick peek at the US Dollar Index (NYBOT:DX) and why it took a breather.

You are going to have to watch the video to find out which two stocks I really like. I think you'll find the stories behind them very compelling as one of these particular stocks takes up almost 40% of a well-known hedge fund's portfolio.

Don't miss today's video!

Every success with MarketClub,
Adam Hewison
President, INO.com
Co-Creator, MarketClub

How To Beat These Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers

If beating the billionaire hedge fund mangers seems like a dream to you, then I am about to give you a reality check. Before I go there, let me share with you some of the results of these billionaire hedge fund managers this year. I'm only going to give you the top three, as they have achieved outstanding results.

Let's start off with the number one hedge fund manager of the year. I'm sure you're familiar with this name, as it seems to be in the news every week. I'm talking about Carl Icahn. Icahn has produced an incredible return of 48.96% year-to-date. That truly is an amazing return, but he's not alone. Next up is David Einhorn with a return of 41.37% YTD. Bringing up the rear with a very impressive 27.95% return YTD is Bill Ackman.

I think we can all agree that these three brilliant billionaire fund managers have all produced outstanding returns so far this year. I congratulate all three hedge fund managers. It's even more remarkable when you consider that the stock market hasn't had much sustained movement to the upside this year. In fact, just recently most of the major indices were flat to lower on the year.

This leads me to the main lesson at hand... with the right tools you can surpass the returns of these hedge fund all-stars. [Read more...]

Will The Rally End?

Will Friday's rally continue or was it just a "dead cat bounce"? There is no doubt about it, we have been seeing lots of volatility in the markets. Is it likely to continue? Like in the past, it will continue until it stops and the market settles down. Nobody can give you an exact timeline when that's going to happen, but it will happen. In the meantime, having a solid game plan, one that you know has been successful in the past, will lead you to successful trades.

You've heard me say this before, the market can only move three ways, it can go up, down and sideways, that's it! When you boil it down to those simple terms, it is easy to see how investors can create many of their own problems by over-thinking a situation. You may have been guilty of this yourself at some point in time, I know I have. It is so easy to get caught up with the hubris of the market and lose sight of your investment goals. It's also easy to fall into the trap of listening to too many talking heads. Oftentimes when this happens, it leads to confusion and will leave you in a state of paralysis. [Read more...]

Our Most Important Poll Ever - We Need Your Input

I feel this is the most important poll that we have ever taken on our website. The reason I say that is that we have never faced uncertain times quite like this. Some of you are going to say, "Adam this is a political posting and not market related." I'm going to respectfully disagree with you as it has everything to do with the markets. What is affecting the minds of investors and the market has, in a large degree, everything to do with Ebola and ISIS. You only have to look at what has happened to the markets in the past two or three weeks. There is not a person I've spoken with in the past two weeks who isn’t concerned about Ebola and what's going on in this country. Forget politics, Ebola doesn’t care if you are a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent. Ebola has no political agenda. [Read more...]

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