Ride The Prevailing Winds With This Utility Play

Daniel Cross - INO.com Contributor - Equities

Almost two months into 2016 and the stock market isn't sending investors much news to cheer about. The S&P 500 is down roughly 6% year-to-date and global economic concerns regarding a lack of growth and record low oil prices means that volatility is high and investors are skittish.

While high growth sectors like energy and industrials are suffering, defensive sectors finally have their moment to shine. But not all defensive sectors are performing as well as expected in the current environment. Consumer staples, generally a sector that does well when the broader averages are doing poorly, doesn't have much to offer investors. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (PACF:XLP) is up marginally at only 1%. However, there's another defensive sector is enjoying the performance spotlight. Continue reading "Ride The Prevailing Winds With This Utility Play"

This Stock Could Be The Right Flavor For Your Portfolio This Year

Daniel Cross - INO.com Contributor - Equities

After a disappointing 2015 for the stock market in general with the S&P 500 ending basically flat, investors will need to exercise extra care when selecting solid companies for this year. One way to make sure your stock picks are high quality is to follow those that performed well in an otherwise apathetic market.

When macroeconomic fundamentals aren't giving off a positive vibe, investors need to focus on microeconomics – individual companies and their strengths. Certain sectors of the market actually enjoyed a very successful year last year but got overshadowed by the malaise seen in the markets as a whole. Continue reading "This Stock Could Be The Right Flavor For Your Portfolio This Year"

This Shooting Star Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down

Daniel Cross - INO.com Contributor - Equities

Value investors love finding a small cap stock that's outperforming while flying under the radar. Wall Street analysts tend to focus on larger companies which means their smaller counterparts can often be mispriced – a scenario that value hunters live for.

Finding an undervalued stock in an industry that's growing fast as well is like having your cake and eating it too.

The US hosts the largest medical supplies market in the world valued at around $110 billion and expected to reach $133 billion by next year. The US constituted 38% of the worldwide medical equipment market (as of 2012) and exports are expected to rise over the next several years even in the face of a challenging environment driven by the high relative value of the dollar. Continue reading "This Shooting Star Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down"

No Matter How You Look At It, This Stock Is A Screaming Buy

Daniel Cross - INO.com Contributor - Equities

Investing in the market is a lot like anything else – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Then again, sometimes a stock play makes so much sense, it's impossible to ignore.

The current economic environment has investors concerned what 2016 will bring. China's stock bubble burst, commodities are suffering in the dredges with no positive catalysts anytime soon and the US stock market is looking more and more like it's hit the top and could be reversing course sometime over the next six months or so. And the Fed rate hike still looms large as investors prepare to get defensive against a rising rate environment that could last several quarters.

After more than five years of economic expansion, consumer spending is at all time high levels, although further growth has been mixed over the past few months – another sign of a market top. Margin debt levels hit a record high this year as well meaning consumers and investors both are leveraged more than ever financially. Continue reading "No Matter How You Look At It, This Stock Is A Screaming Buy"

Bet On This Retailer For The Holidays

Daniel Cross - INO.com Contributor - Equities

The holidays are right around the corner, and that means retailers are gearing up for their biggest sales and marketing campaigns of the year. While the broader averages haven't given investors much to cheer about this year, one stock could still deliver gains and brighten up any portfolio.

Unemployment is down to just 5.1% with a healthy job market, and consumer spending is up over 3% and could be headed higher for the fourth quarter. Inflation, which began this year as a negative figure, has finally begun to pick up a little in the past few months as well and currently stands at 0.2%. Retail sales this year have been choppy with growth of 0.6% in July but only 0.2% and 0.1% in August and September. However, retail sales are still up 2.4% year-on-year.

A strong US dollar has been hurting stocks, but could be a positive factor for retailers going into the holiday season. A high dollar relative to other currencies make imported goods cheaper and could help out consumers. Continue reading "Bet On This Retailer For The Holidays"