stock market

ETF Battles: XLE vs. ICLN Who Wins?

This is an excerpt from ETF Battles on ETFguide TV between XLE vs. ICLN – two beaten up energy ETFs with very different goals. Who wins the battle? Energy ETFs were pulverized during the first quarter along with the rest of the broader stocks market.  And the collapse in oil prices and energy stocks has …

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A Wonderful Fluke

One online dictionary defines the word “fluke” as an “unlikely chance occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck.” Alternative descriptions include chance, coincidence, and accident. All of these synonyms are accurate adjectives for the cryptocurrency market. For the record, I am not cryptocurrency hater. In fact, my stake in Litecoin – a smaller cousin of Bitcoin – …

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Risk and Volatility: Know the Difference

On financial networks and in finance classrooms around the globe, stock market volatility is routinely mis-classified as “risk.”  Unfortunately, this erroneous view causes people to make investment mistakes. Elroy Dimson, a London Business School professor once wrote, that risk “means more things can happen than will happen.” It’s an eloquent way for describing risk, which …

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How to Profit from Rising Volatility

Stock market volatility is often wrongly portrayed by the mainstream media as an enemy. In reality, it’s not. First, prudent investors use volatility (ChicagoOptions:^VIX) as an effective tool to measure the stock market’s psychology. Why? Because excessive bullishness or bearishness in market prices is instantaneously reflected in the VIX. And therein lies the opportunity! At ETFguide, we use VIX readings in conjunction …

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Should You Invest in Market Neutral Funds?

I was recently asked by a reader named M.M. about the benefits of investing in market neutral funds. Equity market neutral funds hold long/short stock positions and aim to capitalize on investment opportunities in a specific group of stocks while keeping neutral exposure to broader groups of stocks either by sector, market size, or country. (Audio) …

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Ocean Waves

Is Elevated Volatility on Modest Losses Normal?

Stock market volatility creeps up when most investors least expect it. But even more intriguing about the latest upward explosion in equity volatility is that it occurred on small percentage losses in major stock index benchmarks like the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Russell Small Cap 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM). (Audio) Portfolio Report Card: Diseccting a $1.2 Million …

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Love Affair with High Risk Debt Overtakes Bond Market

The most important single factor in shaping security markets is the public’s psychology. That was Gerald Loeb’s observation about how financial markets operate. And history has proven this assessment to be consistently true. What about now? Although the broader bond market (NYSEARCA:AGG) is generally considered to be a more conservative place to invest versus stocks, there’s been …

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Volatility: Friend or Foe?

Stock market volatility is frequently portrayed as an evil force that all investors should strive to avoid. However, embracing volatility (ChicagoOptions:^VIX) rather than avoiding it can be extremely lucrative. On 12/17/14 we told our subscribers the following via our Weekly ETF Picks: “The VIX has been on a tear, gaining almost 40% since early December. Here’s …

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Is the Table for Higher Stock Market Volatility Set?

Rising stock market volatility on the heels of rising stock prices is among the most intriguing market developments over the past few months. And it’s gone little noticed by the mainstream financial media. Our chart below shows how this phenomenon has unfolded. Do you notice how the total U.S. stock market (NYSEARCA:VTI) and the S&P 500 (ChicagoOptions:^GSPC) …

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Roller Coaster Ride 2

Are Momentum Stocks Losing their Momentum?

Are momentum stocks losing their luster? High flying momentum stocks like Tesla Motors (NasdaqGS:TSLA), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), and GoPro (NasdaqGS:GPRO) have experienced sharp pullbacks over the past few months. Tesla and Twitter have fallen below their 50-day and 200-day moving average while GoPro now trades below its 50-day moving average. What’s next? (Audio)Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing …

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How Long Will Stock Market Volatility Stay Subdued?

Reader poll: What’s among the most depressed asset classes in the world? If you answered “volatility” you’re right on! The problem for volatility bulls (NYSEARCA:VXX) is we haven’t had a sustained level of stock market volatility.  That hardly means a lack of opportunities to profit from short-term volatility exist. The opposite in fact is true. The chart …

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Ocean Waves

Is Swelling Volatility on Modest Declines Bullish?

It’s been three years since the last significant stock market decline. The 19% slide from April 2011 to October 2011 stoked fear, but still missed the official definition of 20% bear market. This time around, it’s still too early to know whether the modest pullback in the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) that began several months ago …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A $200,598 Retirement Plan Stuck in Neutral

Whenever we begin a journey, the excitement of getting started frequently overtakes us. We begin with unrealistic expectations and end disappointed. The investing experience of many people follows this unfortunate pattern. If you’re in this situation, there’s hope. Before I do a Portfolio Report Card for J.W. in Nashville, TN, here’s some background on him: …

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Stop Sign Crossing

Are Junk Bonds Signaling Pause in Equity Rally?

What does the bond market know that the stock market doesn’t? Even the U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:IWV) have been scoring one record high after another, the SPDR Barclays High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:JNK) has gone in the opposite direction. The performance divergence between high yield bonds (also known as “junk bonds) (NYSEARCA:HYG) and the S&P 500 …

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Warren Buffett is Once Again Doing the Opposite of the Crowd

The disdain for cash is nearly universal. Cash instruments like money market funds are yielding around 0%. And nobody needs or wants cash because stocks are up. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV) just rallied 3.8% in August, almost one-third its year-to-date (YTD) gain of 9.73%. AUDIO:  Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show Performing …

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Do Regulators Encourage Market Manipulation?

The latest episode of stock market cheating by high-frequency traders (HFT) has set in, yet unanswered questions remain. Do regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) encourage market manipulation? Manipulation refers to the dishonest activity by individuals or institutions who try to game the price of a stock (NYSEARCA:IVV) or a certain market for their …

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Ocean Waves

Is Stock Market Volatility Increasing?

Is stock market volatility rising or falling? For most of this year, stock market volatility has actually outperformed the stock market itself. But for whatever reason, it’s an unpopular narrative that’s been and continues to be ignored by the mainstream media. The chart below illustrates the relationship between stocks and volatility in 2014. You’ll notice how the S&P …

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Corporate America’s Late Cycle Behavior

The pace of U.S. merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has erupted. Bankers and lawyers love it because it gives them work. And investors of the targeted companies love it so long as the buyout premium hovers between juicy and ridiculous. What does the velocity of M&A deals tell us about the state of the stock market? During the …

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SEC HQ

43 Questions for Regulators about High-Frequency Trading

Note to the reader: “High-frequency trading” also known as “HFT” is done by firms established for sole purpose of gaining an unfair advantage over other stock market participants. Please keep that in mind as you read on. Why has the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) failed to abolish HFT? Wasn’t the 60 Minutes report about …

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