While stocks received an unexpected boost from recent discussions regarding the fiscal cliff, investors and traders are probably wondering if this upward move has any staying power. With no real progress being made yet in Congress, the market seems to be trading higher on optimism that a resolution will come to fruition before the end of the year. However, if no concrete developments materialize in the coming weeks, Wall Street will be susceptible to the headline-driven gyrations that shake out many investors who don't have the stomach for the ride.
In this week's interview with Toni Turner of TrendStar Trading Group, we discuss the next phase of the recent rally and whether this technical bounce from an oversold market has any potential to last a bit longer.
EQ: Stocks jumped on Monday, but there doesn’t seem to be any consensus explanation for the move higher, except perhaps maybe stocks are just bouncing back from oversold territory. What are your thoughts?
Turner: First of all, we saw the first move higher on Friday when a meeting at the White House between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner was reported to have gotten off on a good foot. Secondly, stocks are indeed very oversold here and I believe the old inclination to buy low isn’t going to go away anytime soon. Third, the market likes to rise before a holiday. In fact, the only holiday the market doesn’t really care about rising ahead of is St. Patrick’s Day, because that’s typically going into the first quarter earnings.
EQ: Another possible reason for the renewed optimism on Wall Street is that sentiment toward a possible resolution for the fiscal cliff has been more positive as President Obama said he’ll be reaching out to business icons like Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon. Do you think that news has any staying power for more bullish momentum?
Turner: When Obama said he’s reaching out to Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon, of course, he’s mentioning two men who are U.S. icons. Warren Buffett is the legendary businessman and investor, and Jamie Dimon is one of the most respected CEOs in the country and the head of JP Morgan (JPM), a highly respected financial institution. So that would very necessarily create an aura of goodwill. Now, with that said, usually in my experience with good news is of this type, it lasts about one day. Next week, if the market doesn’t see any forward progress then what we’re experiencing now may-- and the operative word here is “may”--just be a rallyn the context of the current downturn.
EQ: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are less than a week away as we hit Thanksgiving Weekend. Have retail stocks fared any better since we talked last week?
Turner: Analysts expected holiday shopping sales to grow at 3.5 percent in 2012. That’s a drop from 2011 when holiday sales grew at 3.7 percent, and from 2010 when it grew 3.8 percent. To look at it from an even bigger comparison, holiday sales grew around 5 percent in 2004 and 2005. So analysts are expecting a slight pullback in holiday sales growth this year. Now, holiday sales account for one-fifth or more of annual retail sales, so many times these sales can mean the difference between success or a soft year. The third quarter of this year saw growth slow in Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), and Saks (SKS). Toni’s Market Club’s pick was Family Dollar Stores (FDO), which broke out this on Monday and is doing really well.
If we look at some of the high-end retailers like Tiffany & Co. (TIF), Coach (COH), Saks, and even Michael Kors (KORS), we see that they have been struggling. It seems like the mid-range retailers like Macy’s (M) and Dillard’s (DDS) are doing better, at least based on stock performance.
EQ: Are there any other plays you’re looking at for the holiday shortened week?
Turner: Most stocks gapped up at Monday’s open, and then kept rising with the major indices. While that’s really good news, I’m not fond of buying stocks on a gap opening, especially if that opening is more than one average true range (ATR) for that particular stock. But because so much of what’s going on right now with the fiscal cliff is just in its nascency, and certainly in no way finalized or completed, I will look for bargains out there, but mostly will wait until next Monday to see if this rally has legs.
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