Choose Life! (MO, XOM, FB)

It’s not a comfortable topic to discuss at the best of times, and certainly not in polite company. But it’s become topical of late and because it has relevance to the world of finance and markets in general we feel it’s worthy of a word here.  The subject is suicide. Yes, friends, suicide. And it’s no joke. There have been a rash of bankers and other high-ranking financial types (among others) who’ve taken their lives as of late and our feeling is this is anything but coincidence. Blame it on growing work demands in a world of tightrope performance pressures. Blame it an increasingly alienated citizenry, whose social time is now spent with virtual friends instead of the real, flesh and blood variety. Blame it on the material culture that we inhabit, that focuses exclusively on one’s cash hoard, social standing or notoriety at the expense of matters of the heart and spirit – and you have reasons aplenty to figure why people opt for the most desperate act of all. A New Financial Reality? January 25th – Tim Dickenson, communications director at Swiss Re AG. January 26th – William Broeksmit, 58, senior executive at Deutsche Bank AG. January 27th…

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HPI

Playing the Pullback with Highpower International, Inc. (HPJ)

As we’ve witnessed over the past several weeks, when equity markets begin to reel to the downside, the hype surrounding the sector moves and individual stocks in those sectors tend to give way to reality. Selling in momentum names and high-risk issues generally becomes more pronounced, leaving shareholders scratching their heads as to why a stock they bought at $7.50 per share has rapidly traded down to $4. That set of events seems to apply to the share price movement of Highpower International, Inc. (HPJ), a company I brought to your attention in October, 2013. At the time of that first mention, HPJ shares were pushing to new 52-week highs above the $1.50 level and appeared primed to breakout to the upside based on both business fundamentals and the stock’s technical chart picture. In fact, that’s precisely what they did, ultimately ripping to a new 52-week top above $7.70 reached earlier this month. To refresh your memory, HPJ is engaged in the production and sales of rechargeable nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) batteries, lithium batteries and battery systems. The company also recycles scrap battery materials through outsourcing and resells the recycled materials to some of its customers. The company’s batteries fall into…

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Coffee Spills

Make Money while the Coffee Spills (GMCR, FB, SLV, TSLA)

We’re going to look at a few items this week. With spring upon us, it seems appropriate to survey the scenery before the heat of summer and that sweaty July madness arrive and make it hard for us to think. We’ll begin with what could only be considered a schizophrenic trade in silver. A quick look at the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV), the most popular equity ETF for the grey metal reveals the following – And we ask you, as fellow men and women of reason, educated people with a disdain for all things coarse and corrupt – just what the hell is going on here!? Is it some kind of joke?  Is this what they refer to when they say ‘silver’s merely working itself out’? Or is it a bolt-tight indication that the metal has lost it’s mind? Look’s whacked from our standpoint. But before we grind into the nitty gritty, a few general technical observations on the chart above – First, all SLV’s major moving averages are trending lower and price is below them all – bad news for the bulls. RSI and MACD are confirming the bearish read with their sub-waterline activity over the last two weeks…

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Profits

Prying Profits from a Return to Risk (FB, IXP, TSLA)

Did anyone catch that drop in Tesla shares last Friday? A drop of over thirteen bucks that sent six percent of the company’s market cap up to money heaven. And all on the back of our call last Monday to stay the hell away from this puppy. What Caused it? Good question. Over the last two days the loss has amounted to nearly ten percent, but according to varying mainstream media reports the decline was either the result of 1) a market that’s gotten tired of high flying stocks, or 2) California’s electric vehicle rebate program running out of cash, or 3) Tesla’s so-called gigafactory being a much bigger gamble than most stock watchers previously thought. All that notwithstanding, we know the real reason for the decline… That’s right. What’s more likely is that we’re simply between earnings reports and folks are getting edgy about whether we’ll see Tesla deliver with its coming quarter’s sales and profit numbers. This week kicks off first quarter earnings. We’ll see what happens. Face the Facts, Chump! Let’s get down to this week’s trade by looking at our favorite bull market poster child, Facebook (NYSE:FB). You’ll forgive us, by the way, if we feel…

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Capstone

Riding the Alt Energy Wave with Capstone Turbine Corp. (CPST)

With the United States’ energy policy focused on ramping up domestic production to reduce foreign oil dependence, shares of alternative energy companies have been in demand so far in 2014. The prices of many stocks even remotely associated with hydrogen fuel cells, for example, have experienced at least a temporary run-up, as have bio-fuel issues. One promising company in the non-traditional energy space, Capstone Turbine Corp. (CPST) and has been hitting fresh 52-week highs in recent weeks. They could be poised for more gains ahead as the company’s business model begins to hit on all cylinders. Capstone Turbine Corporation develops, manufactures, markets and services microturbine technology solutions for use in stationary distributed power generation applications. This includes cogeneration (combined heat and power (CHP), integrated combined heat and power (ICHP), and combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP)), renewable energy, natural resources and critical power supply. In addition, its microturbines can be used as battery charging generators for hybrid electric vehicle applications. Microturbines allow customers to produce power on-site in parallel with the electric grid or stand-alone when no utility grid is available. When shares of Capstone first came to market almost 15 years ago, the stock was very much in favor,…

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Going Long with Stigma Labs

If you’ve ever bet on sporting events, then you probably know that professional handicappers look for strong trends to help determine winners and losers. In the stock market it’s no different—with the exception that uptrends in stock sectors are generally more reliable for generating profits than their sports counterparts. This year, it’s all about fuel cells and marijuana. Today, however, I want to revisit an under-the-radar play in one of last year’s strongest sectors—the 3D printing space. While the pure momentum run in many large cap issues in the sector has cooled a bit (DDD, SSYS), there are a host of emerging plays related to the field that continue to attract marketplace attention, and appear to be true ground-floor opportunities in a rapidly expanding industry. One of the strongest, in my opinion, is Sigma Labs, Inc., currently trading over-the-counter under the symbol SGLB. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Sigma Labs, Inc. engages in the development and commercialization of manufacturing and materials technologies, and R&D solutions. It also focuses on commercializing technologies and products in various industry sectors, such as in process quality assurance for manufacturing; aerospace and defense manufacturing; additive manufacturing; active protection systems for defending light armored vehicles;…

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Under Armour

Under Armour (UA) Stock Split, The Fed Announces Production Increase

Markets were headed higher on Monday morning as manufacturing output posted the largest gains in nearly six months. The Federal Reserve announced that production was up 0.9% in February, a gain not seen since last August. This surpassed economists expectations of a 0.2% gain for the index. In January there was a 0.9% drop for the index, this happened to be the largest decline since May 2009. This adds to the mounting data, such as retail sales and employment numbers, that the economy is rebounding after a particularly harsh winter put a damper on the economy. There was a gain of 0.3% in mining production which helped to balance out the 0.2% drop in utilities output. The categories posting the largest gains were motor vehicles, gaining 4.8% after falling 5.2% in January, along with gains in machinery and fabricated metal production. Gennadiy Goldberg, an economist with TD Securities, said, “Manufacturers are becoming more optimistic about the impending rebound in economic activity, suggesting improving prospects for economic growth after weather-inspired first-quarter weakness.” Shares of Under Armour, Inc (UA) were trading up over 2.5% after the company announced that their board approved a 2-for-1 stock split. This will mark the second split…

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General Motors

General Motors (GM) Recall Drama, while Consumer Sentiments Impresss

Markets were headed slightly lower on Friday morning after the U.S. producer prices index dropped in February. The Labor Department announced that the seasonally adjusted producer price index fell 0.1%. This was below the 0.2% increase economists were expecting. The dip was partially attributed to a drop in costs for services. The data shows little sign of rising inflation pressures. Inflation has maintained incredibly low levels in the most recent years due to high unemployment rates. This data leads many to believe the Fed will continue to hold their interest rates near the zero mark for months to come. John Canally, an economist and investment strategist with LPL Financial, said, “There is nothing in this report that raises any concerns about inflation. The economy is running too far below capacity for that to happen.” The index was recently renamed and had the service industry and construction added to it’s roster of sectors included in the data. The previous name for the index was the PPI for finished goods. Consumer Sentiment readings came in this morning and were below analysts expectations. The preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan overall index showed that sentiment was down to 79.9 in March…

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