Friday, March 30

US economic data better than expected - DOW rising

Online Stock Trading - DOW Down

DOW up FTSE down - there has been a strange disconnected between the DOW and the FTSE over the last few days, they often end up going in opposite directions. The FTSE was down this morning but the DOW has decided to go up.

VOD is weighing on the FTSE - down 4% at the moment which is a lot for such a big company and it's probably knocking about 10 points all on itw own. It said its profit margins are being squeezed after they introduced lower tariffs to gain mor ecustomers.

Autonomy has shot up 7 % after being upgraded byGoldman Sachs who added it to their 'conviction buy' list. The 7 year chart is 'interesting' from an online stock trading point of view.

The 3 month chart shows resistance just above 700p and it may have got slightly ahead of itself today - another one to watch

Over in the US plenty of economic data - personal income and personal spending better than expected and the DOW is up 57 as a result. the FTSE looks like it wants to turn positive.

Dendreon up 190% after yesterday's news !

Thursday, March 29

DOW up - DELL accounting errors - halted - Dendreon to skyrocket !

Stock Market Investing

Stock markets - DOW finishes up 48 after bouncing up and down all day (spooky - scroll down to see my earlier post where I quoted David Buick who predicted this morning that the DOW would bounce and close up 45 points today ! - memo to me 'pay more attention to David Buick' ) NASDAQ up 1 S&P up 5 FTSE up 57

Markets moved up even though crude oil was up too - T Boone Pickens says crude oil will go to $75 before $55 (he likes making predictions) it finished at $66 a barrel today

Technology was weak all day but recovered. The DOW is still on track for its worst quarter since Q2 2005

Late breaking news : The FDA panel has just said that Dendreon's prostate cancer drug is 'reasonably safe' and that there is 'substantial evidence' it (Provenge ) is effective . Share price was halted today but it is expected to skyrocket tomorrow. Well done to any holders.

Dell is delaying filing its next report - says Audit panel has identified a number of accounting errors and deficiencies - trading halted - not expected to skyrocket tomorrow !

In London, Scottish & Newcastle jumped 64 pence to 595p after talk that Heineken were eyeing up the brewing group, although the rumours were not taken seriously by some "I'm hearing talk of a Heineken bid, but it looks more like a 'oh, the stock is moving let's make up a rumour' story to me," said one dealer. But others said that S&N's 50% stake in BBH, was a "big enough tempter" to encourage Heineken. "That's probably the greatest nugget of value you have left in the brewing industry right now," he said. "whichever way you look at it, getting to Scottish is a way to get a foothold in the BBH business."

ARM was upgraded to 'buy' from 'hold' by UBS. III reported good results and moved up ! Any more of this and I'll be in profit !

Bernanke Clarifies his Thinking ! DOW falls - FTSE rises

Online Trading - Non Interest Rate Cut

Well Bernanke spoke and most people took what he meant to mean no interest rate cut any time soon. He told Congress told Congress that core inflation, excluding more volatile food and energy costs, remained "uncomfortably high,". He also said subprime mortgage market problems could delay a housing recovery, but he felt the crisis had been contained, and doubted there would be any further knock-on effects.

All pretty clear then and the DOW duly dropped 96 points, although it had been 140 points lower earlier in the day, but it is worth pointing out it could have been worse.

But economists still can't agree on which way interest rates are heading According to Tim Smalls of Execution LLC "Anybody that was looking for a rate cut shortly is fooling themselves, the market may have reacted too positively to the Fed's statement last week."

Craig Smith CEO of Swiss America Trading Corp. said "It would make sense to lower rates to stimulate that market, but I don't think Bernanke could do that in light of his concerns about inflation."

But Michael Trounce Chief Interest Rate Strategist at Nomura says he is still expecting Bernanke to cut interest rates relatively soon as inflation may be high but it is expected to fall and wider economic indicators indicate the need for lower rates.

Michael Buick says Bernanke will remain 'flexible', he believs subprime lending is under control. He also aded he expected a 45 point bounce today (pretty specifc there so we can see if he gets it right!) but he seemed to impy that it will be just a bounce not anything more substantial.

All fascinating stuff!

Overnight Asian markets rose with the Chinese markets hitting a new record intraday high. Let us not forget that it was China allegedly that caused this recent 'correction' when it fell sharply around a month ago. Well they seem to have forgotten about that pretty quick, so have the pundits I might add, and is anybody still talking about the Yen carry trade ?

Here in the UK the FTSE is higher after positive updates from Compass and III.

III, one of the stocks I've been watching lately rose 28p better to 1,163p, in early trading after revealing it will return £800m to shareholders, following high returns from sales. It also stated that new investments for the first 11 months of 2006 rose to £1.598bn against £1.184bn for the same period in 2005. At the moment however the share price has fallen back to 1146p. It is rated a 'buy' by Merrill Lynch.

Over on the PET BB at ADVFN they are once again expecting news 'soon'. The price has recently recovered from 60p to 70p and at the moment appears to be resting before deciding what to do next. If the 'news' does actually come then the share price could become 'interesting'!

ICI is up 8p on 'bid speculation'.

YELL is trying hard to go higher but it is like wading through porridge ! Maybe the US wil help this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 28

FTSE flat ahead of durable goods and Bernanke statement - Subsea up 62% !

Online Stock Trading

FTSE more or less flat (down 12) waiting for US durable goods data from February and also Ben Bernanke to provide some certainty and make the universe a better place (hmmmmm). Mr Bernanke is due to speak this afternoon. There now seem to be 3 camps concerning what he said last time.

  1. He has removed the tightening bias and his next move will be to lower interest rates
  2. He hasn't removed the tightening bias and his next move will be to increase increase rates
  3. He has moved from tightening but hasn't quite gone as far as easing

And Ben Bernanke has a reputation of clarity compared to Alan Greenspan ! It seems to me what he has done is create more confusion so that the markets don't know which way to jump, thus creating a sort of stalement in which the markets don't really go anywhere. Perhaps this was his cunning plan all along to stop the recent decline ? Or maybe I am reading too much into it ?

Be that as it may he is due to give us Part Deux this afternoon but nobody is really expecting him to clear anything up. So why the statment we may ask? To try and convince everyone he is doing something to earn his wages ?

Back in the markets Subsea Resources (SUB) has shot up 62% this morning from 5p to 8p. SUB floated on the AIM market back in November 2004 at 20p and after working its way up to 40p subsequently plummeted - like this !

What do they do? They look for buried 'treasure' on the sea-bottom (quite exciting really)

"The principal activity of the Company is the recovery of high value non-ferrous metals and other valuable cargoes from deep water ship-wrecks (in excess of 1000m). This activity primarily involves the location and recovery of bulk cargoes of non-ferrous metals in modern metal-hulled wrecks, where title can easily be established and where original owners can be identified ("commercial salvage"). The majority of these commercial cargoes were lost during the First and Second World Wars, other principal targets were lost in the 1970's."

So why is it up? Nobody seems to know, the investors over at ADVFN BB are in the dark and some of them seem to have been in it for a long time, i.e. since it was 40p ! There must be something happening though as stocks don't move 62% for no reason.

If you like recovery situations have a look at Emerald Energy (EEN) who have just announced an oil find

From the ADVFN BB

'An oil sample was obtained and had a measured API gravity of 21degrees at surface conditions.' 21 degree API oil is better than expected. Not so heavy and should flow ok. eg Much better than Campo Rico oil which is 16 degree API.

Seems reasonably positive

Tuesday, March 27

DOW wobbles - FTSE comes to the rescue !

Stock Market Investing

DOW down 65 FTSE up 10 ! For some reason the FTSE hasn't followed the DOW down for once (Maybe they new I was thinking of shorting something!)

The Conference Board's survey fell in March, for the 1st time in 5e months to 107.2 (the consensus was 109.0) and the February reading was revised downwards to 111.2.

The numbers don't seem dramatic to me, so my uneducated guess is that it's just general jitters and some 'profit taking' or possibly prices just being marked down for the fun of it ! The spending report is also being described as not economically significant, but a market that is sensitive to weak data has viewed it as another excuse to take some profits.

There was also a profit warning from home builder Lennar to add to the fun.

I confidently expect therefore to see the markets rally later on.

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    FTSE slumps after bright opening

    Stocks and Shares

    Well the FTSE started off brightly enough - up 35 at one point, but then caught a cold and decided it had had enough. Although it is recovering slightly now. I suspect it is the DOW futures driving us up and down again.

    March consumer confidence data is due at 14:00 GMT so that may set the tone for the rest of the day. A poll of 75 economists by Reuters expects consumer confidence to fall to 108.5 in March from 112.5 in February. Watch this space.

    Stephen Pope (a professional) was on CNBC he reckons mining stocks and copper are a good bet, I suspect he has just read the new report by the ICSG (maybe he even wrote it?).

    According to the report by the International Copper Study Group copper capacity is expected to reach 24.4 tonnes by 2011, an 18% increase from 2006. 'China and Chile will be the main contributors to the total refinery capacity rise.'

    On the stockmarket base metals were steady as a result of falling inventories and confidence that demand in China was not easing. According to Deutsche Bank 'Falling inventories reinforced confidence that Chinese demand was recovering to a degree sufficient to offset lingering weakness in the US housing sector'. Tin remained close to its new all-time high of 14,575 usd due to concerns over a reduction in stocks and about supply from Indonesia.

    Production levels are being affected by government measures against illegal small-scale mining in Indonesia, the world's second largest producer (China is no. 1). It seems private tin smelters are unlikely to receive export permits after being told to get themselves new mining permits (they must be pleased - what they gonna do with all those bags of tin?).

    So Stephen Pope says copper is likely to remain strong given reduced supplies and inventories and steady demand in China and India. Minign stocks should do well he says (ANTO, XTA, BLT, KAZ, VED - for info. he didn't specifically recommend any stocks.

    FTSE at the moment is up 2, which is a pity as YELL was doing OK until everything turned south ! Perhaps it will turn north again in a minute.

    One that is doing well today despite the soggy market is THUS, I had intended grabbing some at 170p but got sidetracked it's now at 186p (they won a contract) and looking good, maybe it'll drop back a bit so I can get in at the price I want (famous last words !).

    III has dropped back to 1143p after its recent excursions into the 1170s maybe it'll fall a bit further ? I'll be watching it too !

    MDW has fallen back today - one for the long-term investors I guess (which I am not) but it seems to have plenty of potential.

    Monday, March 26

    DOW recovers to close down 12 S&P and NASDAQ finish positive

    Stock Market Investing - DOW FAlls

    The DOW quietly made its way back from 100 down to finish 12 down even the financials and homebuilders came back, this after very poor housing figures in the morning. Volume was light. The FTSE should open up higher tomorrow, although it may depend on what Asia does overnight. All in all a positive day given the recovery on such poor figures. Maybe the third leg down isn't going to happen after all ?

    Apparently wealthy investors are putting their money into stocks, not into real estate.

    DOW drops on poor housing numbers

    Online Stock Trades - Housing Numbers

    Poor housing numbers spooked the stock markets, DOW now down 98 FTSE followed suit of course and is now down 46

    Art Hogan on CNBC says the markets were spooked by today's housing numbers, and have overreacted, plus there is some profit taking after last week's strong gains. He says durable goods numbers will be important later in the week and also Ben Bernanke who is due to speak again and hopefully clear up what he said last week. Hmmm is that a pig I just saw flying buy ? I think they make things as murky as possible on purpose (they like to feel important). Tip : Avoid gurus who don't tell it like it is !

    So far my current favourite YELL is holding up well which is a good sign !

    EMED is another one that is improving - rising back to resistance levels, another on eon the watch list.

    Highland Gold (HGM) Shares Improving

    Stock Market Investing

    Not much happening with the stock markets today - FTSE (up 10 at the moment - DOW down 15) so I have had a look at Highland Gold, which has just started moving up. The charts looks interesting

    There seems to be a pick up in volume and another 'golden cross'
    "A crossover of a security's short-term moving average (such as 15-day moving average) above its long-term moving average (such as 50-day moving average) or resistance level.

    As long-term indicators carry more weight, the Golden Cross indicates a bull market on the horizon and is reinforced by high trading volumes. Additionally, the long-term moving average becomes the new support level in the rising market.

    Technicians might see this cross as a sign that the market has turned in favor of the stock. " [From Investopedia]

    They have had their problems in the past, notably a fire at Darasun, but they seem to be recovering. Another one on the watch list.

      Saturday, March 24

      Watching Mediwatch (MDW) - Faster Prostate Cancer Test

      Online Stock Trading

      Prostate cancer is something that concerns a lot of men as they grow older. The UK company Mediwatch has just announced that it has developed a new test which can help detect prostate cancer in 10 mins. at 1/3rd of current costs.

      'PSAwatch' detects raised levels of prostate specific antigen in blood samples. The test can be administered by a nurse at your local GP's.

      CEO Philip Stimpson said “It is small enough and cheap enough to have a place in every GP's surgery. The directors believe that ... this is a major step towards successfully combating a disease which is affecting millions of men across the globe,”

      PSAwatch, received European Union approval last month and it is hoped US FDA approval will be given this autumn.

      Shares rose 37% on Friday - so another one to watch. It may jump again on Monday morning, after that who knows in ths short-term but long-term it looks interesting. I've got to admit it's not one I know much about but there are knowledgeable guys/gals on the ADVFN BB who are enthusiastic about the prospects.

      Friday, March 23

      Markets up - Kensington Subprime Mortgage Problems

      23 March 2007 - 14:05

      Just been in blogger hell. Spent half an hour writing a post and then lost it ! Aaaagh!

      DOW has just moved sharply up on good house sales data. FTSE now up 20.

      Back in the UK we have our own subprime problems. Shares in subprime lender Kensington slumped 16% after it isued a profit-warning for next year as a result of increasing competition. CEO John Maltby has resigned with immediate effect. (But don't worry he probably has a nice platinum parachute lined up).
      Kensington specialises in lending to people who can't get a mortgage anywhere else . There are takeover rumours, but in the present climate I can't see them getting a 'premium price'.

      Over on the ADVFN BB 'roverisback' predicted just such a scenario back on 13th March so well done Rover.

      Partygaming (PRTY) has suddenly gone potty - up 14% at one point - rumours abound.

      YELL is creeping up slowly - could do with some more rumours please.

      For realtime quotes and ADVFN BB click here
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        Thursday, March 22

        DOW rises again - best week since July 2006

        Online Stock Trading

        DOW closed up 14. Incredibly it is on track for its best week since July 2006. Volume was only average - financials and techs were weak - but it has been a great week for energy, oil, commodities (copper).

        Nobody seems to know what the FED meant by its statement - some say tightening some say easing - but the markets have gone up two days in a row since the statement and it is significant that after yesterday's sharp rise that the markets did not give back any of their gains. There was an attempt at sending the DOW down but it didn't come to much and the DOW ended up on the day.

        I bought some YELL at 592p, because the DOW was moving back up at the time and YELL seems to me to have a fair amount of upside in it at these prices, plus there is the rumour of a possible takeover, which may get more press over the weekend.

        People on the ADVFN bulletin boards are expecting big news for PET on 28th March. I may have a closer look tomorrow.

        My guess/prediction for the markets is more upside tomorrow! My score so far is about 4/9 (very impressive - not).

        DOW falls back - FTSE up but falling

        Online Stock Trading

        Asian marktes up overnight. European markets up too, although the FTSE is not up as much as the DAX and the CAC. FTSE up 46 at the moment. The DOW has opened very slightly down and the internals are weak, more volume in declining stocks. Yesterday's rise may just have been short covering so now the momentum has run out of steam.

        Jobless claims numbers were good.

        I expected the markets to go down yesterday so they went up, no surprise there then. I am trying to apply logic to an illogical situation, which in itself is not logical. "Hmmmm fascinating Jim, it's logic but not as we know it."

        III powering ahead now that I have sold ! Aaaagh. (I'll buy back if they drop down again).

        YELL is looking interesting, takeover rumours yesterday but not much follow-through today. Chart still looks interesting though. I've put it back on the watchlist in case it starts moving up again.

        DOW now down 20 FTSE still up 39 but off the highs of the day.

        Wednesday, March 21

        FED leaves interest rates unchanged - says inflation is biggest risk

        Stock Market Investing - DOW Rises

        DOW up 114 NASDAQ up 26 S&P up 17

        Well there was a unanimous decision to leave interest rates unchanged. The FED statement says that inflation remains the biggest risk. The bulls didn't get the statement they wanted, so according to some there is no likelihood of any reduction in interest rates any time soon. So this is exactly what the bulls didn't want to hear, but the markets have gone up, which leads one to conclude that they were going to go up anyway, no matter thwat the FED said ! Some of course are now saying that in their statement the FED has formally taken away the tightening bias ! Aaaagh! [Stop Press : DOW up 160 but it now turns out that the FED according to many people has not taken away the tightening bias, so we were right the first time ! and the rise in the US markets is just a 'short' i.e. people getting squeezed and being forced to buy back their shorts !]

        YELL takeover rumours

        Online Stock Trading - Yell Takeover Bid

        According to Reuters someone may be getting ready to make a bid for YELL - "Shares in Yell Group (YELL) rose 3.6% after talk of bid interest for the UK-based directories publisher.

        Yell was not available for comment. "Someone is stalking them," one trader said."

        There was a sharp rise at the end of the day and I was tempted to take a punt but the possibility of the DOW falling back after the FED statement later and of course the possibility that YELL might issue a statement denying the rumour persuaded me to keep my powder dry. I may regret it, especially as YELL is one I have been watching for a while!

        DOW down FTSE up ! - waiting for the FED

        Online Stock Trading - DOW DOwn

        DOW down 14 but market internals are good. Unusually the FTSE is up 38, due no doubt to the budget reaction, if that is the case I would expect the reaction to be short-lived so the FTSE will have to get back in line with the DOW at some point. The weak DOW is apparently not too important. Housing news was good, for currency trading the Yen has stabilised. Fedex figures were too good but are not affecting the markets because everyone is waiting for the FED. Everything could be different at14:30 NY Time. Ben Bernanke is very good at soothing the markets and they love him on Wall Street, mainly because they understand what he says, not like that other guy!

        Gordon Brown has reduced our income tax by 2% which should come into effect just before the next general election, what a happy coincidence ! But he has also apaprently abolished the lower rate 10% tax band, which he somehow forgot to mention.

        Paula Tallon, director and head of direct tax at Chiltern, says smaller companies are getting thumped again. "While headline Corporation Tax will go down, for smaller companies it is not good news, as the small companies rate is going up by 3%. This unlikely to be neutralised by the reliefs announced. Once again the less powerful are paying the price."

        This is strange for a chancellor who is supposed to be more of a 'socialist', he seems intent on clawing back money from the little guy and sucking up to the big corporations.

        Fat Cat Bankers - Smarter than Your Average Mugger

        Stock Market Investing - Banks Grab Your Money

        The FTSE is up 25 at the moment, but basically it is waiting to see what Ben Bernanke says after the UK stock markets close and how the DOW will react. There are still plenty of people expecting a third leg down, so maybe we'll get it, I've got to admit that's what I'm expecting, not that there is any particular reason why the markets should go down, just that if enough people expect it or are more afraid of buying than of not buying then down it will go.

        The DOW has had its best 2-day rise since February, moving up 177 points so far this week. The Nasdaq rising 14 points to 2,408. The FTSE has been following up behind.

        Budget day in the UK with the 'Stalinist' Gordon Brown raising taxes no doubt. Expect more taxes on petrol as he jumps on the green bandwagon to remove more money from your pocket so he can waste it giving it away to somebody else!

        Greed is Good ! But it does give off an awful stink.

        HSBC made record profits of £11.5bn last year, yet staff were forced to accept below-inflation pay rises averaging just 3%. The bank also has the lowest starting salaries, £10,000.

        In contrast HSBC CEO Michael Geoghegan decided to help himself to £7.8million (£150,000 a week or £30,000 a day, in case you were wondering) - only a 72% increase on the previous year. He also stuffed more than £12.5m into his pension pot. So next time you are wondering why bank charges are so high, now you know, Mr Geoghegan has decided he wants more of your money in his bank account. It may be only £25 here and there, but it all adds up ! He has also decided that his employees can live for year on less than he makes in one day ! What was that song by Fagin ? "You've got to pick a pocket or two!"

        HSBC has, however, closed its final salary pension fund to new members, to save money, so that's alright then.

        And what about the rest of the bunch down at the farm ?

        Lloyds TSB
        Profits: £3.7 billion +8%
        Staff pay rise: +3.8%
        Starting salary: from £11,389 Final salary pension fund closed to new staff
        Highest paid director: Chief Executive Eric Daniels £1.9million - pension: £1.5million

        Profits: £9.4billion +16%
        Staff pay deal: 4.1%
        Staff starting salary: £11,000 Final salary pension fund closed to new staff
        Highest paid director: Chief Exec Sir Fred Goodwin £4million - pension: £5million

        HBOS plc
        Profits: £5.7 billion + 14%
        Staff pay deal 4.4%
        Starting salary: £11,000 Final salary pension scheme closed to new staff
        Highest paid director: Chief Executive Andy Hornby £1.3million - pension: £1.2m

        Profits: £7.1billion +35%
        Staff starting salary: £12,000
        Staff pay rise: +4.75% Final salary pension fund closed to new staff
        Highest paid director: Chief Executive John Varley £2.3million - pension:£6.4m

        Snouts in the trough ? Personally I find it disgusting. I really don't understand the mentality which seems to force people to stuff their pockets at other people's expense. It's basically just more legalized theft. A more intelligent form of mugging.

        Tuesday, March 20

        Markets turn positive

        Online Stock Trading

        After starting negative the US stock markets turned positive DOW is now up 49 NASDAQ up 13 S&P up 7 no prizes for guessing that the FTSE turned up to follow the DOW and closed up 30

        The US economic data was OK. Housing starts are good, inventory is down, FED will not do anything i.e. it will not lower lower interest rates, which is seen to be good for some perverse reason ! Also the Yen has stabilized against the dollar and there are lots of mergers and stock buy-backs to buoy the market.

        Bears (Peter Boockvar - from Miller Tabak) reckon there is a lot further to go to the downside due to credit bubble caused by Grenspan cutting rates to 1% - it will all end in tears. Lighten up on stocks and get into cash, bonds and gold. He's looking for a 30% drop in the stockmarkets - sounds like he's shorting stocks to me ! But what do I know, he may well be right.

        Another bid rumour surfaced in London, this time it was Whitbread (WTB) - rumoured bid coming in at £23

        ICAP was also higher on bid talk at 522.5p, with rumours of a 700p per share bid. But listen to this - "a London-based sales trader said bid rumours have surfaced over talk that chief executive Michael Spencer, who owns 21.7% of the group, is looking to spend more time with the Conservative Party and is keen to offload the stake" does this mean there will be a 700p bid? Or does it mean that said Michael Spencer wants to sell his stake but he wants the price higher before he sells? I for one will be giving ICAP a wide berth.

        House prices in the UK are being given a boost by foreign buyers. 33% of houses bought in Central London are bought by foreign buyers and this figure rises to 75% forhouses over £ 5 million. Average house prices in Central London tripled between 1996 and 2006

        A first ! The FSA has fined former Citigroup equity analyst Roberto Casoni £52,000 for market misconduct. He used to be head of Citigroup’s Italian small and mid-cap research team and leaked details of a research note to selected clients prior to its publication (a bit naughty but hardly earth-shattering news, except that he got caught - how the hell did that happen?).

        Dancing On Ice (a ridiculous TV program here in the UK) has been hit by 'phone vote problem'. Why on earth do people phone in to such rubbish in the first place ? Is the human race congenitally stupid ? You wanna see something really stupid - check out - I ain't got a clue what it is and I stuck it for 2 minutes !

        Gordon Brown to Grab Money from your Bank Account

        Stock Market Trading - Bank Accounts Robbed

        Just a quick word while the markets are going nowhere.

        If you have money in a bank account which you never use, e.g. money placed in an account when you were a kid, fear not Gordon Brown intends stealing it and using it for you.

        FTSE mainly going nowhere

        Online Stock Trades - FTSE Falls

        The FTSE started higher but has since turned down, but is mainly going nowhere, no doubt waiting to see what the FED says or doesn't say and waiting to follow where the US decides to go. Asian markets were up slightly.

        Bids, bids, bids,

        Whitbread rose on rumours of a bid at £23 per share. Whitbread was up more than 7 pct in reaction, Citigroup said it believes a break-up of the company by a third party could "unlock property value". One dealer said 'We've only been open 2 hours and there are already four bid stories out there.It's just people trying to create a bit of mischief.'

        Bid rumour no. 2 around the Prudential (PRU), AIG of the US is reported as possibly offering 850p a share (733p at the moment) - easy money ? highly unlikely - probably too easy so I'll wait and see.

        Bid rumour no. 3 - this time around ICAP talk of 700p bid (511p at the moment, the chart is strangely similar to that of PRU).

        Bid rumour no. 4 - Marstons in the FTSE 250. Plus, of course, Barclays and ABN, people must be bored.

        US futures are negative, so my prediction/guess for the rest of the day is still negative.

          Monday, March 19

          DOW up 116 on light volume

          Online Stock Trading - DOW Strong

          DOW had a strongish day in the end and finished up 116 but volume was light, so there was no great conviction. People are still talking about a third leg down and remaining 'defensive', but volume needed to show people are coming back into the market. FED is meeting over the next 2 days and the markets want to hear there may be some movement on interest rates at some point.

          My prediction/guess is for a down day tomorrow.

          Stockmarkets fall back slightly

          18 March 2007 - 14:10

          DOW opens up then moves back slightly - FTSE down from highs of the day.

          Energy, gold, brokers, home builders all up. The FED 2-day meeting starts tomorrow and the statement will be important. Markets need to see that the FED may be softening its stance re. interet rates, i.e. they need to imply htye may consider lowering rates. There are still people wanting the 10% correction although they still think a 6.5% increase in the S&P is likely this year, which means up 8% from current prices. Others see volatility continuing for next 2 - 3 weeks as a good buying opportunity.

          At the moment the markets are falling back from their highs DOW up 56 FTSE up 12 - well off highs. I was going to pick up some III again, but I think I'll wait.

          Another good site for candlestick chart information - they even give recommendations and show their track record (good so they say - 90% success rate) is British Bulls - it's free, just type in the 3-letter code to get their candlestick analysis.

          FTSE up following rises in Asia

          Online Stock Trading - FTSE Up

          FTSE up 32 at the moment following rises in Asia where Shanghai fell 2% before bouncing back and finishing up 3% - it is now back above where it was before the 'correction' started 2 weeks ago!

          Edmund Shing says there is still the possibility of a new down leg, even though technical analysis says the correction is winding down. Basically he doesn't trust the technical analysis, there has been a correction then a double bottom in Shanghai but he still thinks there may be more to come, so that's fine then, but it ain't technical analysis - more of going with your gut! US construction will be a drag on GDP he says so short-term risk continues.

          In London the Prudential (PRU) is the highest riser. The Observer said the Tosca fund, is increasing its stake in the insurance giant, leading to speculation that it could face pressure from it sahreholders to break itself up. It is up 21p at the moment .

          III is bouncing again and at this rate could soon be back to its recent highs of 1180p, pity I don't have any ! But it is still proving very resilient and has still got a long way to go to get back to its highs of 2000.

          Saturday, March 17


          Online Stock Trading - Swing Trading - Pivot Points

          Whilst searching for the infallible online trading system (which apparently does not exist) I stumbled across this excellent site, which readers may wish to check out. It has lots of free information on stock charts, swing trading, day trading and Japanese candlesticks, which to my mind is a good sign, as it indicates that the guy who runs the site actually makes money from trading shares and not from selling books on how to trade shares -

          Update : for more information on pivot points see Stock Market Pivot Points

          Friday, March 16

          Stockmarkets weak

          Stock Market Investing

          Stock markets

          DOW down 47 NASDAQ down 8 S&P down 5 FTSE closed down 2

          Core inflation inline, industrial production quite strong, but food prices rose. Next week housing is the big issue, and also the statement by the FED Chairman. Need to watch FEDEX figures too, as they tend to move before the rest of the economy. Traders confident FEDEX will show good figures in middle of next week.

          The FED chairman is due to speak next week and on CNBC Art Hogan said he is expecting the FED to sound more flexible next week, he says they need to focus less on inflation and more on production and he reckons they may impy they will be adding liquidity to the system i.e. reduce interest rates. Equities would get some stability from such a statement - Grenspan was quick to add liquidity when he was FED Chairman and the markets need encouragement that the FED will react. So watch out for the FED statement next week asi tic ould get markets moving again.

          Manoj Ladwa of TRADINDEX says the FTSE is bouncing around between 6000 and 6300 and a break above or below this range would be significant and a time to buy or sell.
          He also gave two tips to watch Home Retail Group (HOME) could rally from here (443p) to 500p, but if it falls below 410 - 400p it would be time to get out - there have however been lots of broker upgrades

          Drax (DRX) has been holding up well in these weak markets, if it closes above 740 - 750 (745p toda) it could move up 10 - 15%, but it needs to see an increase in volume. It's a good defensive stock and could outperform if the FTSE starts moving up.


          Online Stock Trading

          Paul Kavanagh from Killik on CNBC just mentioned that the Vodafone price is starting to look interesting. It's fallen back from 150p to 138p, it could fall further of course if the stock markets continue their downward move, but one to watch.


          Stock Market Trading

          FTSE down slightly after yesterday's recovery and falls in Asia overnight.

          Today is triple witching when contracts for stock index futures, stock index options and stock options all xprie on the same day. Volatility is expectd as a result but sof ar we haven't seen it. Banks are down most. And now after yesterday's PPI which was bad we are now all on hold until we get the CPI data which are expected just before Wall St opens, after which the FTSE will go wher the DOW futures go.

          Elsewhere we have discovered that we can't even trust Blue Peter, which is also not above 'fixing' its phone in competitions! So if we can't trust Blue Peter, can we trust the stockmarket ? I leave you to provide your own answer to that one. (For our non-UK readers, Blue Peter is not a star of the porn industry but in fact a kid's programme on the BBC that has been around since the beginning of time, providing good clean entertainment to the nation's kids, surrounded and ably assisted by all manner of cute fluffy animals.)

          In a aimilar vein we learn, once again, that banks have been dumping customers' details in bin bags in the street. They cunningly did not put stickers on the bags saying 'Secret Customer Details - DO NOT TOUCH - THIEVES WILL BE PROSECUTED' as they felt some of the more daring criminal element might have ignored this warning. Nevertheless, given that we are constantly being warned of the dangers of Identity Theft, some people feel that the banks were acting like the pillocks we know them to be! No doubt they will blame it on Tracy or Wayne.

          The Deputy Information Commissioner no less said that this practice was 'unacceptable' (he doesn't mince his words!) and added 'if banks do not take security seriously they risk 'further action' from the Information Commission. Wow they must be quaking in their boots. The banks involved (and found out) were Halifax-Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Nationwide Building Society, the Co- operative Bank, HFC Bank, Clydesdale Bank, the Scarborough Building Society and United National Bank. Plus the Post Office and the Immigration Advisory Service.

          The bin bags contained names, addresses and bank account numbers, i.e. all anyone needs to steal an identity, change account details, take out loans or get hold of credit cards and debit cards in the victim's name.
          You can tell there's not muching happening on the stock market this morning! We need more stock market investing news.

          Thursday, March 15


          Online Stock Trading - Swing Trading

          Swing trading is basically buying stocks for a few days as you expect them to move up or down for for a while.

          If you are looking for strategies to apply for swing trading and day trading then you can check out these sites and - oscar gives lots of information free and live online but he is strictly a day trader. He also tends to get it right more often than he gets it wrong.

          Points to note for swing trading

          1. If a stock gaps 1-2%, enter 1/2 of the intended position size and monitor the stock for its behavior before adding. If the gap holds, then add to the position.
          2. If a stock gaps 2-3%, only enter 1/4 of the intended position size.
          3. If a stock gaps over 3%, it may be best to pass on the trade entirely, as the risk/reward profile of the trade is no longer the same.

          DOW down then UP - FTSE up then down then back up

          Online Stock Trades

          DOW up 20 NASDAQ up 7 S&P up 4 FTSE up 94

          Despite the poor economic news from the US, the DOW has managed to bounce back up after initially selling off. Of course that could all change in the next half hour and don't forget there is Mr Greenspan who is scheduled to speak again today! He has the knack of spooking the markets and given that he thinks interest rates should be cut (see earlier article) he might say something to spook the markets to try and encourage Benanke to cut interest rates (highly unlikely apparently) and maybe I am being too cynical?

            DOW Futures turn negative FTSE bounce unconvincing

            Online Stock Trades - DOW Turns Negative

            DOW Futures turn negative - PPI were 'hot' i.e. likely to turn the stockmarket down - not what the market wanted so we could be in for another rough day. One trader says the stock markets might react the same as yesterday, i.e a sharp fall followed by a recovery.

            Food inflation was also a lot higher than expected. The FED is therefore unlikely to cut interest rates any time soon.

            The FTSE was up over 110 at one point, now just 92 up. So although the FTSE bouned it wasn't very convincing as far as bounces go, particularly with all the M&A activity boosting the market too. As always the DOW will let us know what to do.

              Fascinating Analysis of Why Greenspan Spoke !

              Stock Market Investing

              Roger Nightingale of Millennium Global Investments has just presented a very interesting analysis of why Greenspan has started raising the possibility of a recession. He (Greenspan) is scheduled to speak again later today. Normally a retiring CEO is instructed not to say anything so as not to undermine his successor. Greenspan knows this yet he has gone out of his way to say what he thinks.

              According to Roger Nightingale there is a very definite reason for this. Namely, Greenspan actually thinks he went too far when he was FED Chairman and increased interest rates too much. He did this to contain debt, but in doing so he probably provoked the whole subprime mortgage debacle. He now wants Bernanke to do something about the problem, i.e. reduce interest rates in order to avoid a recession because he (Greenspan) would be blamed if there is a recession. A very interesting analysis and one that I haven't heard before, it also actually makes sense, as Greenspan is usually very careful in everything he says. It's a pity that Roger Nightingale wasn't allowed to develop his thoughts further, as he kept getting interrupted in mid-flow by the CNBC talking heads who seemed more interested in hearing their own voices then actually listening to what Nightingale was saying !

              Wednesday, March 14

              Stockmarket Fall Gets onto BBC News

              Online Stock Trading - FTSE Falls

              The 160 point fall on the FTSE has just been mentioned on the 10 o'clock news on the BBC with the usual doom and gloom hype about subprime mortgages, credit crunch etc... They failed to mention the fact that the DOW bounced 180 points to finish 56 up.

              If the stockmarket falls make it to the headline news it could well be a sign that we've seen the bottom!

              DOW down then up

              14 March 2007 - 21:15

              DOW finished up 57 after being down 130 at one point. So volatility is back, which is not what was wanted.

              Bob Parker, speaking before the DOW bounced, said he expected further risk for rest of March and April. Directors have not started buying their stocks yet. He expects a temporary weakness in US econmic data and a further rise in defaults on subprime mortgages. Market shold trade moderately lower, i.e. another 3 - 5% and any recovery from May onwards will be muted over the 2nd half of the year. We shall see !

              On the DOW, brokers and big banks turned around mid-day and led the market back up. Some more experts on CNBC recommended buying bigger banks and brokers.

              I'll be looking at III again tomorrow, it seemed to me the fall today was overdone and disproportionate to the rest of the market,but it will no doubt gap up in the morning. Let's see what the Asian markets get up to overnight.

              DOW Flat FTSE down 96

              14 March 2007 - 15:10

              DOW flat along with the NASDAQ and the S&P, could be good, could be bad. Good because it has followed on from yesterday's falls, bad because it hasn't bounced back.

              1371 still the level to watch on the S&P. 12,037 on the DOW if they are breached things could get much worse.

              In London it's the financials which are the hardest hit, due to consumer spending and subprime mortgages. UK and Spanish banks could suffer the most apparently as most of their income is fee-based and the mortgage sector expanded enormously in the past few years.

              GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was higher in early trades but is now down 9p after it announced FDA approval of a breast cancer drug. Sanford Bernstein reiterating its 'outperform' and Collins Stewart its 'buy'.

              PartyGaming (PRTY) is up 17% on renewed talk the US could relax its gaming regulations. Just why they would do that I don't know, as they have successfully sabotaged all non-US Internet gambling, and I was expecting them to set up their own US companies before changing the laws back again, but perhaps I'm just an old cynic.

              At the moment I'm on the sidelines - got out of III yesterday for a small loss.

              My prediction/guess is for another fall in US markets later on in the day.

              See charts and realtime FREE stock quote

                Tuesday, March 13

                DOW slumps again

                13 March 2007 - 20:00

                DOW down 243 NASDAQ down 51 S&P down 28

                Well it looks like we've got the famous 'second leg' that everybody has been waiting for. Support on the S&P is 1371 apparently, it needs to bounce off this level, if it doesn't, lots of hedge fund managers will be dumpng more stocks so things could get hairy, so we are told. Liquidity crisis in subprime mortgages etc... Financials led declines down today, even Goldman Sachs which posted record profits this morning. Finsihed at lows of the day.

                Bob Pisani says - we had weaker dollar/stronger yen - Goldman turned negative - Europe closed at lows.

                Texas Instruments didn't raise guidance led to bad day on Nasdaq


                13 March 2007 - 16:25

                Nicole Elliott just been on CNBC with an interesting comment re. dollar/yen trade. The markets have beenfollowing the dollar/yen trade for a couple of weks, and she says she expects the dollar/yen to bounce around beteen 115 and 119 for the next 6 weeks or so. The implication being that the stockmarket will follow and that the bounce should come when the Yen gets back down to 115.

                See charts and realtime FREE stock quote

                  DOW DOWN FTSE DOWN

                  13 March 2007 - 14:45

                  DOW down 60 FTSE down 33

                  Same ole same ole - Yen - subprime mortgages - New Century delisted etc... also another subprime lender - Accredited - is down 50%. Market internals are fairly flat which is seen as a victory for the bulls. Goldman Sachs stated record profits - 36% above estimates but DOW lower for first time in 4 sessions nevertheless. Texas Instruments disappointed some people apparently - retail figures were not good and Viacom is suing Google and Youtube

                  Warren Buffett says you need to be in it for the long term (no surprise there) he doesn't worry about what the markets will be doing in 1 week, 1 month or 1 year and he implied that he's been buying during this sell-off. He also said to avoid 'funds of funds' because of the ridiculous rip-off fees!

                  Trading Signals That Work

                  13 March 2007 - 12:15

                  Ever wondered which trading signals are the ones that work? Well wonder no longer. According to Business Week there are 5 signals to follow. These apparently, among the myriad of signals that exist are the ones that the professionals on Wall Street use, which means of course that if they all use them then they should work simply because they are all using them! A self-fulfilling prophecy! But not to be sniffed at. The signals are :-

                  1. The VIX or Volatility Index (or 'fear gauge') VIX.X
                  2. The TRIN or Short-Tern Trading Index which shows whether there is more volume in advancing stocks or in declining stocks, which indicates whether stocks are overbought or oversold. Last week the TRIN reached 8 indicative of panic and a possible bottom.
                  3. Odd-lot shorts - an interesting one this. The amount of bets against the market (shorts) in lots of less than 100 shares, this shows small investors are shorting the market. Traders often use this as a contrary indicator. Odd-lot short interest surged last week , possibly signaling the rally that followed on Mar. 6. (Also known as screw the little guy).
                  4. Moving averages - in particular the 50 day exponential moving average for the S&P 500
                  5. The Relative Strength Index (RSI) . To show a market bottom the 14 day RSI must fall below 30 (oversold). If the S&P subsequently rebounds then suffers a pullback, the RSI must stay above its initial low.
                    See charts and realtime FREE stock quote

                  FTSE SLIGHTLY WEAKER

                  13 March 2007 - 11:47

                  Asian markets proved unable to follow the US up and the FTSE fell back on vague rumours of hedge fund trouble.

                  Apparently there are rumours that one hedge fund might go bust, quite dramatic if it's true but just a rumor at the moment.

                  Another theory for the fall is that US subprime mortgage lender New Century could file for bankruptcy, although why this should bother the UK more than it bottherd the US yesterday is a mystery.

                  The banking sector fell as a result partly due to the better producer price index data yesterday as there is now the possibility that the Bank of England will raise interest rates again.

                  Barclays, RBS and Standard Chartered all fell due to the weak Asian markets.

                  Alliance Boots rose on hopes of a bidding war after it rejected a £10 per share offer from KKR and Mr Pessina. There may be rival bidders willing loitering with intent.

                  Cadbury Schweppes rose on rumours someone was building a stake.

                  Antofagasta rose in early trades on impressive full year results, an 87% jump in full-year net profit, record copper prices outweighing lower production and increased mining costs. It has since fallen back and is now negative on the day and IMHO the chart looks decidely soggy.

                  Earnings report from Goldman Sachs should be key today as we wait for the US to tell us what to do again.

                  For an interesting look at the US markets check out The Trading Goddess

                  Monday, March 12

                  HOUSE PRICES UP 10% IN THE UK

                  12 March 2007 - 14:00

                  House prices rose 10.9% in the UK in January. A 2.1% increase in property purchased over the month means that the price of an average UK house is now £205,286 (over 400,000 USD) in London the average price is now £305,248.

                  For the three months to January, house price inflation was 9.9% for the UK and 11.6% for London. Northern Ireland once again saw highest rises, with year-on-year increases of 42.5% .

                  So no property crash yet, although people have been predicting one for years. It certainly is strange that prices keep going up, how on earth first-time buyers manage to buy anything I'll never know. Shortage of supply is apparently the main reason for the continued upward trend.

                  FTSE UP THEN DOWN

                  12 March 2007 - 13:24

                  Well the FTSE started off OK then turned down then went further down - down 15 at the moment at 6229.

                  The reason being the DOW futures turned negaive, so we followed - no surprise there, the DOW futures turned negative allegedly because the Yen started moving up and also more bad news regarding the US subprime mortgage sector, although it was not unexpected, but nervousness abounds apparently.

                  Re. FTSE stocks - PLM up another 25% (another one that got away !) - PXC (Pipex) has put itself up for sale but it seems no-one was listening as the price has fallen back to 13.5p even though they are looking for a price of between 16 and 22p.

                  IMG could be another one to watch as SAAD INVESTMENTS COMPANY LIMITED has just bought another million shares - increasing its stake to over 14%

                  Bid rumours around ICI apparently, Collins Stewart repeated its 'buy' stance with a raised target of 550p (up 6% to 492p at the moment), they are now factoring in a 50% chance of a bid, possibly by Akzo.

                  So we now await the US opening to see what we should do.
                  Realtime FREE stock quote here.

                  Sunday, March 11

                  The Bullish View by Anatole Kaletsky of The Times

                  Stock Market Investing - A Bullish Opinion on the Stock Markets

                  There is a very interesting article in the Times by Anatole Kaletsky, a well-respected economist who was spot on back in 2000 when he said that the stock markets were due for a sharp correction and that many stocks would be totally wiped out and other would slump by between 90 and 99%. This time he is bullish (thank gawd)

                  Saturday, March 10

                  Tips from the Telegraph

                  Online Stock Trading - Stock Tips

                  Stock Tips from the Telegraph

                  ACP Capital (116p).

                  Invista Real Estate Investment Management (134.50p)

                  Galiform (147.75p)

                  Not my tips, which is probably just as well ! And they will no doubt be up Monday morning so wait a bit - stock market trading is 100% about timing !

                  Friday, March 9

                  DOW up NASDAQ unchanged

                  Stock Market Trading - Stock Markets Rise

                  DOW finished up 16 NASDAQ unchanged

                  All the economic data was good today, but skeptics sold into rally in the belief that the stock markets correction wasn't over. DOW up 1.4% for the week. Fear and volume dropped.

                  Next week we get quadruple witching (ooo) .

                  DOW up down up FTSE down up down up

                  Online Stock Trading - Stock Markets Up

                  DOW up 26 NASDAQ up 4 FTSE up 18

                  Stock markets have fallen back from their highs in the opening half hour, the reason being, apparently, that there are plenty of skeptics around who do not believe the correction is over, consequently they either short the market when it rises or sell if they have made gains by buying low. Bob Pisani however thinks the data are fine so he doesn't buy into the skepticism.

                  Yen is falling again - and the pullback in the DOW coincided with a rally in the Yen - but currency trading is a difficult art best left to the experts.

                  In the UK an interesting rise in Plasmon (PLM) due to a proposed placing 'subject to shareholder approval' of 40 million shares at 20p, heavy dilution but the market seems to like it (up 35% at the moment) the chart looks awful

                  so it could be an interesting recovery situation (you can make up your own mind about that one) but a placing of 40 million shares does seem to be a vote of confidence, but beware of institutions selling into any rally. Hanover will be taking 24 million which i sseen as being significant on the ADVFN BB.
                  Could be one to watch.
                  Get your realtime FREE stock quote here.

                  Jobs - Non-farm payrolls up 97,000 -FTSE recovers

                  Online Trading - Non Farm Payrolls

                  US non-farm payrolls have just been announced at 97,000 not too hot not too cold - just want the stock markets and the online trading community wanted. YEN carry-trade is now forgotten and in the past !

                  February unemployment rate 4.5%

                  Average hourly earnings up 0.06 to 17.16

                  Stockmarket Clinic on CNBC

                  Online Stock Trades - Stock Market Forecasts

                  Stock Picks

                  A couple of experts just been on CNBC with their potted thoughts on the stockmarkets.

                  Max King from Investec said you should be looking to buy at the moment, but wimped out when asked to give his top picks (!) (hmmm why was he on Investor's Clinic in that case?) - although he did later mention healthcare especially Glaxo (GSK). He also says he doesn't like mining and gold - and in response to a viewer's question says some fund managers are keen on ARK therapeutics. He is not keen on ISoft or EMI (which apparently Hugh Hendry mentioned as a buy early on today).

                  Julian Pendock of Bedlam (?) said he was into Telcos especially BT. but not VOD - he likes soft commodities - but not other commodites (miners) - and is keen on Japanese property as prices are roaring again. So there you have it ! And you can do what you like with that lot !

                  FTSE down - waiting for Non-Farm Payrolls

                  Stock Market Investing - FTSE Falls

                  FTSE down 21 at 6206 the moment off the early lows. Pivot point today 6215

                  R2 6277
                  R1 6252
                  P 6215
                  S1 6190
                  S2 6153

                  so watch out for 6190 or 6252.

                  Waiting now for non-farm payrolls at 1:30, so it is unlikely that anything much will happen before then. Range now apparently 50 - 75,000 - anything above that would be good - it depends a lot on who you listen to ! Bill Hubard now expecting between 0 and 25,000. I have heard everything from 0 to 100,000 as the forecast figure.

                  Ian Stannard from BNP Paribas reckons 75,000 says consensus has been moving lower lately.

                  ADVFN have an interesting page for finding stock picks and stocks on the move - they list the top percentage gainers of the day but underneath if you click on 'turn on MoverScope' you get a quick daily chart of when they started moving and which way they are going. One which I shall be looking into further is LCG (London Capital) it is close to its all-time highs but appears to want to move up further.

                  Thursday, March 8

                  DOW Closes up 68

                  Online Stock Trading - DOW Rises AGain

                  DOW finished up 68

                  Henry McVey from Morgan Stanley has just been on CNBC he was quite talkative ! Morgan Stanley is neutral on equities at the moment (by which he meant 65% equities). He doesn't believe the correction is over, he expects the lows to be tested one more time and we should see the bottom some time this spring, a bit vague there (and a bit wrong too as is turned out ! ) He expects 40,000 jobs tomorrow, so doesn't expect a good news rally, we don;t have long to wait to see if he got that right ! Morgan Stanley has a fair amount of cash as they went neutral in January, so they can come back into the market at new lower prices. The sectors he likes are - tobacco, telecoms, defense, large cap financial, life insurance that are buying back stock - they are optimistic now on brokers near-term - so they say to buy on further weakness and they are moving into healthcare and big pharmaceuticals slowly which they expect to outperform.

                  My prediction/guess for tomorrow FTSE up slightly then down after jobs data comes out. Score so far 2.5/5. No stock picks today but stay tuned.

                  DOW up NASDAQ up FTSE up

                  Stock Market Investing - DOW Rises

                  DOW is up 97 NASDAQ up 25 FTSE up 68

                  Stock market indicators are looking good, volatility is dropping, there are a lot less new lows and what appears to be very important the YEN is falling now at 117.5 Online stock trades are always fraught with risk so take care.

                  Everything seems to be hunkydory again !

                  According to Alec Young from Standard & Poor's the non-farm payroll data tomorrow will be important if they are good rally should continue. Consensus is for 95,000 new jobs so anything above that will be a positive sign.

                  Even III is grinding up (at a painfully slow rate) ! I do know how to pick 'em.

                  FTSE UP Again - UK Interest Rates Unchanged

                  Stock Trading - Stock Market Correction

                  FTSE up 49 at the moment - Asian markets were up overnight. US futures up at the moment too.

                  Tom Hougaard a chart analyst from City Index was on CNBC basically he said that we could be in the middle of a 3 or 4 day bounce and we will only know whether the correction is over next week if the markets continue to rise. There is stil a possibility that they could fall back, the key level for the DOW he said is 11,700. So the markets would need to bounce off that level if they get there. If they do that is a bullish sign. He has been bying the FTSE and the DAX today. He expects further falls but not today presumably. It will be interesting to see if he gets it right, Tom Hougaard is a nice fellow but as far I can remember Art Hogan is a more accurate predictor of where the stock markets are going - be that as it may stock market investing is not for the faint of heart.

                  A few words about house prices as the BoE leaves interest rates unchaged.

                  • House prices rose by 1.8% in February, the UK average house is now £192,233.
                  • Halifax said low supply had contributed to the rise but noted there were signs that interest rate rises had slowed demand.
                  • Annual house price inflation is at 9.9% for the 3rd month in a row.
                  • Housing statistics show that the rate of increase is accelerating, up from 1.3% in January.

                  Wednesday, March 7

                  Cannabis - 68 year old grandmother found guilty in UK courts

                  Online Stock Trading - Stock Markets Chill Out

                  In what would be a farcical case if it was not so disturbing, a 68 year old woman Patricia Tabram was again found guilty of growing cannabis at her home in Northumberland. She takes the cannabis as a medicine to relieve her pain and depression but this has not stopped the local police and courts from pursuing her with greater vigour than if she were a drug dealer. Mrs Tabram is defiant and says she wil continue using the drug as it is the only thing that works, other drugs precribed by doctors have terrible side-effects. After the verdict she said :

                  "I am old and I am tired and I am disappointed, not in the result by the jury.

                  I am disappointed in the attitude of the court regarding someone my age with my health problems and the way I deal with it.

                  I just want to go home and get some rest."

                  The most disturbing aspect is that a UK drugs company (GWP mentioned here previously) has already developed a cannabis-base drug for use in pain relief but has so far been prevented from marketing it in the UK and in Europe even though 40% of those using it in the trials found that it helped with their MS symptoms. It has however been licensed for use in Canada.

                  Recently a GWP director transferred 350,000 ordinary shares in the Company into his personal pension scheme.

                  The fuss that is being made here in the UK about this recent court case, it's been on all the prime-time news bulletins and in all the newspapers, may make GWP more well-known to the general public. Price is 91p at the moment, I guess there may be a possibility for a rally back to the recent high of 101p - once again place your bets !

                  DOW being boring - hooray !

                  Stock Market Investing - Are the Stock Market Bears Right?

                  Interesting stuff from Bob Pisani again. Today has been fairly dull so far - DOW up 10 - but we need some boring days. The stock market falls may not yet be over, the bears are arguing that the economic fundamentals are bad, that economic growth will slow and therefore the market will drop later in the year (not Uncle Bob's view). The bulls need to see good economic data to refute the bears constant doom and gloom (which I have been listening to for the last 3 years - of course one day they will be right like a broken clock is right twice a day - and they certainly had a lot of fun saying I told you so from 2000 - 2003) [UPDATE - that day came in OCtober 2007 ! when the stock markets started their decline ! They were right !] . Traders want to see the jobs report on Friday around 125,00 - 140,000.

                  DOW rises FTSE folllows baaaa

                  Stock Market Investing - SBT Bidding War?

                  DOW up 31 FTSE has reverted to its normal mode of following on behind the US's coat tails and is up 28 (47 if you count the ex-dividend factor), so let's hope the US momentum continues. Everybody is waiting for the jobs report on Friday so online stock trades may suffer so maybe some stability will return as we hang around till then.

                  Thoughts on SBT which also applies to other cos. - it started moving up on 20th Feb. it moved up 20% in 2 days then went sideways for about a week then up another 20% then sideways 3 or 4 days then up again today onthe takeover approach announcement. The important thing that I should have paid more attention to is that it didn't fall back by any significant amount, normally when a stock moves up so sharply you can expect some sharp pullbacks, but this time it didn't happen, which is something I have noticed before and I should have paid more attention to ! If something goes up sharply then goes sideways without a real pullback expect some news?

                  The ADVFN BB people are expecting a bidding war - the rumour is that a 65p offer has already been put forward by BWIN which has confirmed it is in talks, but any bidding war should take it higher than that, but at the moment it's a bit of a gamble which way it will go.
                  FREE stock quote

                  FTSE undecided - Sportingbet takeover approach

                  Online Stock Trading - SBT Takeover Bid Approach

                  The FTSE started down, went up and has now gone down again, but a lot of FTSE stocks went ex-dividend today and this apparently has taken 29 points off the index, so although the FTSE is down 10 points at the moment that actually equates to a 19 point rise. Things are not always what they seem in the world of online stock trading.

                  SBT has received an approach which may or may not lead to a takeover of the company. Fromthe Daily Mail - "rumours of a 65p a share bid from BWIN, an Austrian-based online gambling company" Good news for SBT holders, unfortunately for me I sold mine last week ! Aaaaaagh!

                  Sportech (SPO) the UK's leading football gaming business is up 10% after disclosing it has entered into exclusive negotiations with Ladbrokes re. the possible acquisition of its Vernons Pools business by Sportech.

                  Another favourite of the bulletin boards Bioprogress (BPRG) has announced that it has completed an agreement with Tiber Laboratories to promote the Accuhist(R) line of pediatric drops throughout the U.S.. The company will be responsible for sales and promotion of - Accuhist Pediatric Drops, Accuhist(R) PDX Drops, and Accuhist(R) DMDrops in the market for cough/cold drops for infants, which is currently worth in excess of $2 billion.

                  Bioprogress used to be viewed with a great deal of optimism by many on the bulletin boards, but had all sorts of trouble a couple of years ago and the share price slumped to under 30p at one point. It has since recovered, climbing to around 74p before falling back to 60p after a director sold a load of shares just recently, it may now be recovering again. For the full story read the 200,000 posts over on the ADVFN bulletin board!

                  On the stock markets as a whole, a DOW move above 12300 - 12350 would be a positive sign, people seem to be cautiously optimistic and there could be a recovery back to 12800 over the next few months. Unless of course the opposite happens! Although at the moment optimism seems to be in favour. We await the US opening and also the economic data on Friday.

                  Tuesday, March 6

                  Imperial Energy Sharply Up

                  Online Stock Trades - Energy Soars

                  Imperial Energy (IEC) soared nearly 40 per cent on the AIM market when it announced it has 3.4 billion barrels of reserves in Russia, which apparently was predicted by The Times. So respect to the Times.

                  The 803 million barrels have been rated “2P” proven and probable, meaning a 50 per cent likelihood of recovery.

                  The “2P” figure is almost 150 per cent higher than the amount previously listed on Imperial’s books, and it is nearly double that held by Cairn Energy, the FTSE 100 explorer.

                  The details stunned analysts. The company floated three years ago on AIM at 25p.

                  One analyst said: “I think the word one of our clients used is ‘astonishing’.”

                  The the group will move to the main market in April.

                  Mr Levine said: “This is the end of the beginning of the Imperial story. But ... we have to build on this.”

                  Some of those who have been following the stock prices on the ADVFN bulletin board are putting some pretty extravagant valuations on the share price, so even those it's already run up from £6 to £13 it could be worth keeping an eye on it.

                  DOW and NASDAQ rise sharply

                  Online Stock Trading - DOW Rises Sharply

                  The DOW had its best trading day since last July finishing up 157. Another significant event for the online trading community is that volatility declined, which is what some people have been calling for. We now need to see higher lows, as the stock market falls back, as it inevitably, will it is important for the lows to be higher than the previous lows.

                  The NASDAQ had its best day since Oct 2006 with internet and tech stocks like heavyweights Yahoo and Google etc... having a strong day.

                  FTSE should see a strong start to the day and III should finally move higher after having recovered today from the previous day's falls. Hooray.

                  Prediction/guess for tomorrow FTSE up then down then back up to finish up 70. Score so far 2/5 !

                  FTSE and Asian Markets Recover - DOW Futures higher

                  Stock Market Investing - FTSE Rises

                  FTSE up (as predicted ! :-)) Asian markets up - according to tech analysis it would be better if the DOW finished up 100 or more as that could signal that we have seen the lows.

                  Stock Prices
                  • ARM - Legal & General bought another 8.9 million last Friday.
                  • PET - have placed 1.7 million shares with institutions - that explains why the share price has been falling back - not anything anyone predicted so a bit of an unwelcome surprise but price may recover from here - it would be nice to see it finish positive today
                  • SBT doing well
                  • III recovering in slow motion
                  • XTA proforma EBITDA jumps 112% - results good - price up - should have bought yesterday ! (I don't buy before results though too many nasty surprises in the past) Deutsche Bank reiterated its 'buy' recommendation and 2,900p target, said it was a solid result with potential for strong earnings growth in 2007.

                  Bob Pisani - could get a nice rally at the open, the problem may be the close as stock markets keep ending at the lows for the day, if that continues it is not a good sign for the bulls.

                  Monday, March 5

                  DOW closes down 64 NASDAQ down 27

                  Internet Stock Trading - Subprime Loans Send DOW Lower

                  [UPDATE : This was the first mention of subprime mortgages on this blog ! 5th March 2007]

                  Concerns about subprime mortgages and the rising Yen sent the DOW lower at the close as presumably no-one wanted to be long overnight. Early in the day the DOW had recovered because shorts were nervous about being short. I guess the message is - people are not sure what they are supposed to do next !

                  So stability has not returned yet, but the swings are less dramatic.

                  "Stability is a good sign," said Todd Salamone at Schaeffer's Investment Research. He reckons the markets could be volatile for months, but that long term they are still in an uptrend. Expectations have been lowered but this is as seen as a good sign.

                  So it's over to Asia once again. Hmmm. Funny how we never took any notice of what the Asian markets were doing when they were going up.

                  My prediction/guess for tomorrow - FTSE to open up ! Just for the hell of it.

                  DOW falls back again

                  Stock Market Investing - DOW Falls Back

                  DOW back to flat.

                  Art Hogan repeated that basic fundamentals are still sound - but need to see some stability, need to see Asia and Europe stock markets having normal days instead of plummeting all the time, although he seems to have pushed that back from beginning of week, to 'sometime this week' - online trading is not easy at the best of times and this is hardly the best of times on the stock markets!

                  Bob Pisani made some interesting points :-

                  • sentiment is still very negative
                  • people buying protection in the form of 'puts'
                  • US opened down but not as bad as elsewhere
                  his conclusions were :-

                  • selling pressure is not quite there in the US
                  • consequently people covered their shorts
                  • fear is coming down although it is still high

                  My prediction/guess was wrong again :-( 1 right out of 4 so far. (Don't give up the day job for full time online stock trading)

                  DOW recovers - FTSE plays catch up

                  Stock Market Investing - DOW Rises

                  DOW has gone from down 80 to up 63 - so if this continues the Europeans will follow behind as usual.

                  ISM index came in at 54.3 against forecast 57.2 although this was not seen as too negative as anything above 50 is still positive

                  A wild ride - possibly triggered by shorts closing in a hurry ? Allin all a volatile day on the stock markets for the online trading community !

                  All about the YEN

                  Internet Stock Trading - Currency Trading

                  Art Cashin just said that this stock market slide is all about the YEN - DOW futures have started to improve because the Yen trade has improved but there is still a lot of nervousness around.

                  If you are considering trading stocks online you might want to have your head examined ! They all got it wrong - where were the people saying the DOW would slump to 6600 ! Yes, there were a few but just a few and far between. This was an update added in March 2009 - I am not psychic.

                  FTSE Slide Continues

                  Online Stock Trading - Stock Markets Slide Again

                  European stock markets continue their slide. So my first guess was right ! Let's see if they bounce back up in line with my second guess. If they do I shall set myself up as a market guru. Miners were partcularly hard hit as copper fell 4% in Asia.

                  FTSE support points on the down side today are 6039 - 6010 - 5096 (at the moment the FTSE is at 6012 it fell below 6000 at one point before bouncing back)

                  My decision to go long on III is looking particularly dumb at the moment, so I guess it has now become a long-term investment. I must admit I do have a certain knack for getting in at the wrong time. I have just discovered an online tutorial on 'behavioural finance' maybe it might give me some insights into my own behaviour.

                  Re. GWP one of the directors seems confident :- "The Company has been notified today that on 2 March 2007 Dr Geoffrey Guy, aDirector of the Company, transferred 350,000 ordinary shares of 0.1p each in theCompany into his personal pension scheme. The transfer amounts to 0.29% of theissued ordinary share capital.Following this transaction Dr Guy's beneficial interest remains unchanged at22,019,663 ordinary shares of 0.1p each, amounting to 18.3% of the shares in issue."

                  Want to win a million dollars ? Check out where they are starting a game today, basically I guess you invest pretend money and the winner gets to win a million, there are also weekly prizes and as far as I know it doesn't cost anything. But it appears to be open to legal US residents only.

                  WPP with its 3 buy recommendations over the weekend did manage a small rally early on but has now fallen back. On the online trading watch list. In fact lots of stuff on the watchlist, XTA was also mentioned but finding the bottom is what it's all about at the moment.

                  Sunday, March 4

                  HEALTHY CORRECTION ?

                  Internet Stock Trading - Healthy Stock Market Correction

                  The consensus for what happened to the FTSE, DOW, NASDAQ etc... last week, although there are some who disagree, is that it was a 'healthy correction' and that stock markets should resume their upward movement soon. Lots of online traders being wise after the event, though some of them must have lost a packet, they can't all have got it right! But as they were investing online with other people's money they aren't really too bothered, and managed to remain cheery and in good heart. As ever, we shall see. The Asian markets later tonight may give a clue.

                  Mining stocks were particularly hard hit on the FTSE, with Xstrata (XTA) falling 12% last week. Demand for commodities has not gone away however so mining companies should recover, although personally I will be waiting to see which the wind is blowing before dipping my toes in.

                  Another stock recommended over the weekend is the advertising giant WPP - tipped by the Daily Mail and the Independent and Tempus in the Times - they can't all be wrong can they ? [UPDATE in March 2009: Yes I think they all were !] Probably not, but expect a rise Monday morning based on the tips, so I shall be waiting for a better entry point.

                  RBS also got a lot of good press so I shall keeping a close eye on my online stock trades too. Along with ARM, III and PET (for which, as ever, good news is expected soon). My prediction/guess for tomorrow - down then up finish up 30 points.


                  Internet Stock Trading - Spread Betting

                  In an article in the Sunday Telegraph (a widely read newspaper in the UK) Mark Choueke says : "An estimated 15,000 former City traders and brokers currently make a living betting six and seven figure sums on horses and footballers - professionally trading on the sports gambling market as they would on foreign exchange, equities and commodities."

                  A fascinating article about how city traders who have lost their jobs due to the electronic revolution have taken to gambling large sums on sporting events - swapping one form of online trading for another. Some of them seem to make a lot of money, but it seems to me that for every winner there must be a loser?

                  I had a look at the Betbroker chart (BETB) thinking that if they are making the money they say, they may be worth investing in. Unfortunately the chart is awful. It floated on AIM on 1st November 2006 at 15p and since then has gone steadily down. Posters on the ADVFN BB were very scathing at the time, and they seem to have been proven right.

                  The CEO, Wayne Lochner, used to be CEO of Affinity. Affinity was forecast at the time to generate more than £10m of turnover in 2001 from running 150 ISPs in the UK on behalf of companies, charities and institutions ranging from Arsenal football club to the Open University.

                  Lochner said at the time : "It is always easy to be a doomsayer and to tell the world that the end is nigh. It is much easier to take that line than talk about how small ISPs can carve their own niche. There is nothing to suggest that there is going to be a mass reduction in the number of ISPs." He conceded that there would be consolidation but argued that, contrary to City expectations, the market would not be dominated by only two or three ISPs.

                  Affinity went into administration 2 years later.

                  This is not to say that BETB wil not prove to be a good investment, at 8p they are now half what they were at the time of the float. Is this the bottom and the start of a recovery? Place your bets. But as the old adage goes "better beware".

                  For the full article click have a look in the links.

                  Friday, March 2

                  DOW FINISHED DOWN

                  Online Stock Trades

                  The DOW finished down 120 points as 12,114, the S&P was down 16 at 1,387. Both finished above the crucial support levels of 12,059 and 1,381 respectively, as identified by Bob Pisani.

                  My take on this week's stock trading is that there has been a lot of media hype around an event which in itself was not exceptional. The DOW fell around 500 points, which is roughly 4%, hardly a big deal, but the media need to have something to talk about and pundits seem to love having opinions to express in public. I can see their problem now that I'm writing this blog. It's better to have something exciting to write about! And if there isn't anything exciting then you hype up ordinary stuff to make it sound exciting! Amateurs do it in an amateur fashion, professionals do it in a professional fashion, plus they are aided and abetted by people with their own agenda, in this case the stockmarket professionals.

                  That doesn't mean that the markets can't fall further, but like I've said before I do listen to Art Hogan, who said it will be over when the volatility is over and that will probably be at the beginning of next week. He is usually right, I suspect he controls so much money he can make the markets go where he wants them too!


                  Internet Stock Trading - Stock Market News

                  Bob Pisani (respected CNBC journalist) just gave a few interesting insights into what's been happening in the markets, which should be of interest to anyone interested in trading stocks online. I missed some of it but a few of things he said are :-

                  • The markets have been testing the lows on light volume, i.e. not a lot of selling
                  • There was a lot of corporate buying last week, companies buying back their own stocks - $82 billion - the 2nd highest on record, and that was last week when stocks were 3% higher, so quite possible they have been buying back even more this week
                  • Positive sign would be if the DOW closes above 12,059 and/or the S&P500 closes above 1381


                  2 March 2007 - 15:55

                  DOW turned positive briefly FTSE positive

                  But strangely quiet day compared to 3 previous days - some are saying they don't want to be 'long' over the weekend so maybe a pullback before the close ?

                  For free realtime prices check out the ADVFN ads. in the sidebar ! You can also get Level 2 from ADVFN but you gotta pay for that.

                  An announcement due from ROS (Ramco) apparently re. court case settlement - a rumour but we shall see.

                  Edward Shing from Kepler reckons possible another couple of percent downside. Also he recommends getting into renewable energies (wind, solar etc..).

                  Manos Ladjwa says buy Cognos (US stock) and don't buy Antofagasta as it could drop to 360p. We shall see.

                  FTSE UP DOWN UP DOWN

                  2 March 2007 - 12:35

                  A bouncy day so far for the FTSE which seems to be back into following the US futures mode. FTSE down 12 CAC down 39 DAX down 57 DJ Futures down 44

                  Apart from that we are waiting for the US again

                  According to two experts on CNBC (Neil Shah and Ian Morley) the uptrend still intact - this is an overdue correction and an overreaction overreaction. Both were positive on tech stocks - particularly the large caps e.g. Google - an interesting statistic - we spend 30% of leisure time online - and don't forget the work time we wpend online, but only 4% of advertising spend is onlne so lots of room for increase.

                  Thursday, March 1

                  DOW TURNS NEGATIVE AGAIN !

                  1 March 2007 - 21:15

                  DOW finished down 34 points. John Bollinger says it's a one-off event which has led to buying opportunities in the hardest hit sectors. Good - let's hope he's right - but maybe best to wait till Monday.

                  Dell reported results after hours which were not as bad as anticipated

                  Finally on Greenspan, I am of the opinion that he was never very good at what he was supposed to be doing, and he was abysmal at expressing himself, plus people attach far too much importance to his opinions. But I will let him have the last word, as he once famously said :

                  "I guess I should warn you, if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said."

                  DOW TURNS POSITIVE

                  1 March 2007 - 19:06

                  The DOW just turned positive 14:00 New York time. Quite remarkable really considering it dropped 209 points in the first 15 minutes. Two hours to go till the close.


                  Online Stock Trading - Pivot Point Calculation

                  Pivot point calculation is often used by traders to get an idea of the strength of a market movement and to anticipate price movements. It is a simple calculation of the pivot point based on the previous day’s high, low and close.

                  Pivot Point = (H+L+C)/3
                  Where :
                  H = the previous day's high
                  L = the previous day's low
                  C = the previous day's close.

                  e.g today in the FTSE H = 6230 L = 6116 C = 6175 the pivot point is therefore 6173.6

                  There is no need to carry out the calcualtion manually, just use the calculator in th left hadn column.

                  This will calculate the pivot point, but also, crucially the resistance and support levels (see below).

                  The pivot point is used to calculate the following day's resistance and/or support levels.

                  Resistance Level 1 = (2*PP)-L
                  Support Level 1 = (2*PP)-H

                  Resistance Level 2 = (PP-S1) + R1
                  Support Level 2 = PP - (R1 - S1)

                  If a price moves to the upside above the pivot point, it will tend to remain above that point until it reaches resistance at R1 (or R2). If a price moves below the pivot point, it will tend to remain below that point until it reaches support at S1 (or S2).

                  When the price approaches R1 the trader waits to see if there is a reversal, if there is he/she sells. If the price action is trending down, the trader waits to see if it approaches S1, if there is a reversal at this point he/she buys.
                  The pivot point is a useful means of attempting to avoid buying at high points (R1 or R2) or selling at low points (S1 or S2).

                  Using today's FTSE numbers gives :
                  • R2 = 6267
                  • R1 = 6231
                  • PP = 6173
                  • S1 = 6117
                  • S2 = 6059

                  DOW TURNING POSITIVE ?

                  1 March 2007 - 16:25

                  DOW now only down 15 points. Art Hogan said tis morning that a further 2% drop was possible - the DOW in fact fell 209 points which is not far off 2%

                  He has also said this afternoon that stability is required - and that will probably come at the beginning of next week - lots of people are sitting on the sidelines - but fundamentally nothing has changed in the economy.

                  DOW now down 30 points - lost 15 points while I was typing this.

                  EDIT : It almost got there - just 1 point from positive before it turned down again.

                  MORE COMPUTER GLITCHES

                  Traders are not happy apparently with the computer glitches affecting the prices being displayed. There appears to have been more than one and it doesn't seem to be fixed yet.

                  I took out a long position on III - the reason being it was recovering well from its falls this morning until everything went pear-shaped, but then started recovering again, my logic is that if it was recovering before then it will recover again provided the markets don't plummet. Price paid 1125p - watch this space.

                  Economic news from the US was good, not indicative of any reason for the markets to be falling. Greenspan almost apologized for his remarks the other day - ha ha. He's been doing it for the last 15 years I don't think he'll change any time soon.

                  ART HOGAN ON CNBC

                  1 March 2007 - 14:30

                  Art Hogan has just been on CNBC - he is someone who in my experience generally calls it right - he says there may be a 5% drop overall and we have already had around 3% of that - so approx. another 2% (240 points) should see the bottom. He doesn't buy in to the 10% drop scenario - people are selling everything which is not rational.

                  DJ down 85 at the open.

                  Note :
                  • Another Art - Art Cashin says give it a few days (5) when the volatility stops that's probably the time to get back in.
                  • DJ down 206 at the moment.

                  BEARS IN CHARGE

                  Online Stock Trading - Stock Markets Fall

                  Stock markets falling sharply again FTSE down 52 CAC down 83 DAX down 95 DJ Futures down 94 - quite a change from early UK morning. The internet stock trading community is feeling the pinch !

                  Doug Kass of Seabreeze who 'predicted' Tuesday's fall on Monday, and is 100% short says a 10 - 15% drop is coming. He got it right on Monday, but if he's been saying that for the last 6 months (apaprently he made the same comments last autumn) he got it wrong up until Monday, so I still take such predictions with a pinch of salt. Others say we need to drop back to 'test the bottom'.

                  Greenspan getting slated on CNBC - saying he didn't forecast any of the previous recessions when he was FED Chairman, so why should he be right this time? Also said Doug Kass got lucky on Monday, like betting 'red' at the casino.

                  So, place your bets.

                  MARKETS TURN DOWN AGAIN

                  Internet Stock Trading - Markets Turn Down

                  Markets have turned again
                  FTSE up 21 CAC down 14 DAX down 20 DJIA Futures down 22


                  Online Stock Trades - FTSE DAX CAC

                  FTSE up 39 DAX up 5 CAC up 9 DJ futures up 11 - despite the falls in Asia.

                  As suspected, the 70 minute computer glitch on Tuesday cost some people millions and lawsuits may follow : "Dow Jones faced a flurry of lawsuits last night after the business information provider admitted that a computer glitch had misled investors about the value of its benchmark stock index and potentially exacerbated some institutions’ losses by millions of dollars. "

                  Somebody's buying stocks online in ARM - Legal & General. They bought 10 million on 23 February and just bought another 17 million during the recent sharp falls - on 27 February, which means they have increased their holding from approx. 47 million to approx. 74 million, quite a large increase IMHO, which is fine by me as I am long and was expecting a move to 140p before the shenanigans of the last two days.

                  In the UK the big story at the moment is the contaminated petrol (gas if you're in the US), thousands of people have been sold contaminated fuel which has totally screwed up their engines and the 'oxygen sensors' (which cost hundreds of pounds). More lawsuits? Invest in garages? Thousands of people all over the country have been affected. So far nobody knows what caused it, sabotage is not ruled out.