Labor Report Offers Cushion 08-01-14

Average Annualized Return Per Closed Trade: 37.3%
Average Return Per Closed Trade: 19.7%
Average Holding Period: 207.2 days

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July, less than the 230,000 gain economists expected. However, the increase represented the sixth consecutive gain of more than 200,000 jobs, the longest such streak since the late 1990s. The headline unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.2 percent as more people entered the labor force. The payrolls increases from May and June were also revised upward by a total of 15,000. The worrisome June 523,000 drop in full-time jobs reversed to a 285,000 gain last month, but average hourly wages remained essentially flat. Read more about Labor Report Offers Cushion 08-01-14

Checking Quarterly Report Cards 07-25-14

Average Annualized Return Per Closed Trade: 37.3%
Average Return Per Closed Trade: 19.7%
Average Holding Period: 207 days

With the second-quarter earnings season in full swing, today we review some of our picks that reported results this week. Read more about Checking Quarterly Report Cards 07-25-14

Stocks Snap Back 07-18-14

Average Annualized Return Per Closed Trade: 38.0%
Average Return Per Closed Trade: 20.0%
Average Holding Period: 207 days

Yesterday, a Malaysian civilian airplane carrying 298 people crashed at the Ukrainian border with Russia, suspected of having been shot down by a missile fired by separatist militants with weaponry supplied by Russia. The VIX Index, a measure of implied market volatility also popularly known as the fear index, shot up 32.2 percent for the day. With the ramifications of the tragedy, which can be considered an act of war, unknown, stocks fell sharply as some investors reflexively reduced their exposure to risky assets. Read more about Stocks Snap Back 07-18-14

Europe Back Under Scrutiny 07-11-14

Although far from enjoying a robust recovery, Europe had recently been managing its financial problems well enough to avoid the frequent flirtations with disaster that characterized the region for a long time. However, like a warning to investors not to become complacent, the euro zone has returned to the spotlight. Read more about Europe Back Under Scrutiny 07-11-14

Strange Number in the Jobs Report 07-03-14

As tomorrow is Independence Day, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) unveiled June employment numbers one day early today. Yesterday’s separate employment report from payrolls processor ADP, generally regarded as a preview of the official government numbers, indicated that June had been a strong month, and the BLS figures did not disappoint. Read more about Strange Number in the Jobs Report 07-03-14

Closing the Book on the Winter Freeze 06-27-14

We found out this week that the unusually long and cold winter’s impact on the economy was much worse than originally estimated. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported in its third and final first-quarter real GDP estimate that it contracted 2.9 percent. As more data has rolled in, the BEA has revised the estimate downward twice from the originally reported 0.1 percent increase: to minus 1 percent and now to minus 2.9 percent. This is the worst showing since the first quarter of 2009, when the country was still mired in the Great Recession. Read more about Closing the Book on the Winter Freeze 06-27-14

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