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James Brumley

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Top Stories by James Brumley

After a multi-week slump, financial stocks finally took off and led last week’s gains. Given how badly they’d underperformed since mid-September, any marketwide bullish tide should continue to prove very fruitful for the group. On the losing end of the spectrum were health care stocks, though they still ended the week with a small gain. Sector Rank Here’s a look at how each sector has been accelerating or decelerating since the late-April top. The remaining upside for the financial sector is clear here. And, it’s also clear with this graphic that telecom remains stretched thin. Sector Comparison Industry Performance No major surprises here, considering the leading and lagging sectors. Banks blazed the trail for financials, and biotech pulled health care stocks lower. That said, some of the best and worst from last week are newcomers… and made big reversals that m... (more)

Option Greeks for Beginners

Wealth Management on Ulitzer New option traders often struggle with unpredictable pricing - the mathematical value of an option may or may not be the actual or perceived value at any given time. The reason for the disparity? The 'Greeks'. Fortunately, understanding how the Greeks can impact option pricing is pretty simple to learn. There are four primary option Greeks all option traders should become familiar with. Two of them generally need to be considered before choosing an option to trade. The other two may not be of great value for newcomers in terms of selecting an option... (more)

Weekly Market Outlook – December 19th, 2009

Despite Friday's late gains, it still wasn't enough to push expiration week back into the black for the market. The S&P 500 closed 4.0 points lower (-0.36%) than the prior Friday's close. It was the fifth straight week of the bull/bear stalemate, and as we've mentioned before, the longer the bulls don't make progress, the greater the pullback risk becomes. Needless to day, none of the indices hurdled their key ceilings last week. We standing pat on the stance that stocks will need to go significantly lower again before going higher. More details are below. On the economic front w... (more)

The Pros Picks, and Why: T, IBM, KFT, HPQ, MSFT

Economics for Investors on Ulitzer He gets zero points for creativity, but a few points for being bold enough to be boring. Tom Forester - portfolio manager of the Forester Value Fund has recommended Microsoft Inc. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) as his top tech picks right now…. a sector he’s keen on as a way of avoiding the looming problems that could be stirred up again by the lingering real estate crisis, which would infect banking. He mentioned Microsoft was trading below the market’s average price multiple, and that Hewlett-Packard is prices at about ... (more)

Five Stocks You Can’t Turn Your Back on Yet

The economy may well be in recovery mode, but it isn’t taking all stocks along for the ride. Earnings results are going to remain erratic simply because we’re still shaking of a recession. For a few companies though, the problems may be bigger than mere lingering economic weakness. U.S. Steel Corp. (X) – During the first half of 2009 a loss may have been acceptable - low steel prices and weak demand made it tough for U.S. Steel and its peers to make a buck. Between a major infrastructure stimulus in China and a 40% increase in steel prices though, the per-share loss of $2.11 lik... (more)