Some of the experts were predicting that the market would be going through a correction in the first month of the new year and now you have the opportunity to add to your portfolio at some bargain prices.

After the worst start in history for U.S. stocks, everyone will be searching for meaning. One strategy has worked for almost seven years, but what about now?

Is it time to “buy the dip?”

Prior Theme Recap

In my last WTWA, I predicted that the start of a new year would focus attention on one of the several different “January effects.” This proved to be a secondary consideration. Instead, news from China rippled around the world, pressuring U.S. trading before Monday’s opening. The China story continued through Thursday. Even a strong employment report on Friday could not reverse the selling pressure. There are some still debating the seasonal effects, but it was a minor theme last week. You can see the sad story for stocks from Doug Short’s weekly chart. (With the ever-increasing effects from foreign markets, you should also add Doug’s World Markets Weekend Update to your reading list).

Jeff Miller





Best Choice for Dividend Safety in Large Cap Oil

There’s a clear winner for dividend safety, longevity and steady increases in the big oil sector.This company has grown its dividend at  an average rate of over 7% every year for the last 20 years and it also has been able to increase that dividend no matter what the price of oil has been.

In this article, I will be searching for the one large oil company that has the safest dividend. With oil prices continuing to fall towards the $30 level, it is important to see how much flexibility companies have when it comes to their ability to continue paying their dividend. I will be using a similar process as I used for an article I wrote last month after Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) cut its dividend to determine which major oil company has the safest dividend.

Screening Process

I used the FinViz stock screener to find my initial list of companies that are profitable and have outperformed the global energy sector ETF (NYSEARCA:IXC).

Screen Criteria

  • Industry: Major Integrated Oil & Gas, Independent Oil & Gas
  • Dividend Yield: Positive
  • PE: >1 [Profitable]
  • Market Cap: > $10 billion

Screen Results & Elimination

After running the screen, I found fourteen companies that met these criteria.


Now that I had my initial list of large oil companies, I looked at the dividend history of each company and eliminated those companies that have had a dividend cut after the top in oil in 2008. In addition, I also excluded EPD because it is an MLP and I already covered it in my article on MLPs. Like with my MLP article I eliminated any remaining stocks that have underperformed the global energy market over the last year, as represented by the iShares Global Energy ETF [IXC].

Read more from Brad Kenagy




Disney Stock About to go Warp Speed?

Many of us believe that Disney stock prices are too low considering the overall success of the company and the great success of the recent Star Wars movie, with at least two more movies in the works.

 In just 20 days, Star Wars has the No. 1 domestic box office haul ever. It has not even launched in China yet, the No. 2 market worldwide. The success of Star Wars is not only going to drive merchandise significantly higher this year, but also demand for the original films, and also in Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) theme parks. And to put the icing on the cake: Disney has another two Star Wars films lined up for future years, all of which are likely to be equally lucrative blockbusters.

Let’s look deeper into the media world: DIS also has the Marvel Universe, and a dominant kids production that pumps out at least one or two blockbusters each year. With the new Captain America movie later this year, and sequels to Star Wars, DIS is all set to dominate the top of best movies ever for the next five years to come, with several billion dollar movies from its top franchises over this span.

As explained, this continued success feeds into a theme park business that gains pricing power every year, and maintains its popularity. It also gives the company leverage over media outlets that want to distribute its content, allowing DIS to charge partners whatever it wants.

Last but not least, DIS has ESPN. While ESPN has had its fair share of problems, and likely overpaid for rights with the NBA ($1 billion), it is now a leaner company (job cuts) that continues to be the worldwide leader in sports. So yes, DIS had a speed bump with ESPN and subscriptions, but fact is that the NFL, NBA, and NCAA basketball and football continue to grow in popularity year-after-year, and that bodes well for the long-term direction of ESPN, and DIS.


Read more from Brian Nichols


Profitable Tech Trends for the New Year

You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see the future profits in this sector, it’s already here and getting bigger.

Prognostication is a humbling business. Last year at this time Mark Anderson, a tech futurist type and CEO of the Strategic News Service, predicted that Amazon (AMZN) would have a tough time in 2015, citing e-book squabbles, drone expenditures and the Fire phone flop. Oops.

All Amazon did was blow the doors off in 2105, with the stock up over 120% in a flat market. What’s up with that, Mark? “I thought Jeff [Bezos] was making too many mistakes, and that the shareholders and or customers would take it out on him,” he wrote to me in an email. “But AWS [Amazon Web Services] has been throwing off so much cash that nothing else mattered — even though the NY Times story came out and harmed the company’s reputation, and even though the Harvard Business Review dropped him from first place to near last based on some of these flaws. So, the world did indeed catch on to Jeff’s issues, but cloud computing saved the day.”

Fair enough Mark, and good for you for owning up to your miss. (And by the way, Mark had some good calls too.)

With that cautionary tell in mind, I set out to make some calls of my own, putting out three big tech trends for 2016. These aren’t the “holy-crow-I-never-even-thought-about-that” variety. Rather, they’re existing trends that I think will either hit the mainstream, become part of the public conversation, or have mega implications for investors in 2016. So here goes:

—VR. (If you have to ask what that means, you are officially behind the eight ball.) VR stands for virtual reality, of course, and yes, it’s those goofy headsets that zoom you into another world, and yes, you’ve been hearing about them for a few years now. But the point is that 2016 is the year these puppies will actually roll out to the general public. Even more significantly, VR really looks to be a major, incipient, platform battleground in the world of Tech. To wit: Sony (SNE) and Microsoft (MSFT) are debuting VR products next year. So, too, is HTC, which may be a Hail Mary for that company. Google (GOOGL) has already introduced Google Cardboard, a low-end VR offering and has also invested in a stealth VR company with the ultimate VC-bait name: “Magic Leap.” But maybe Facebook (FB) will plant the biggest stake in the ground with a product from its Oculus Rift subsidiary, which Zuck & Co. bought for $2 billion in 2014. How big a deal is this? In a recent interview I did with Facebook’s head of sales, Carolyn Everson, she talked about how the company operates with mobile as its primary platform today but then went on to characterize Oculus thusly: “We think that can be the next operating system for the future.” Wow! No small thing there. (If you want to see how enamored Zuck himself is of Oculus, check out this Vanity Fair piece.) Still early days here. Oculus will only work on high-end PCs (which is weird), and the audience is all about gamers for now. But 2016 is merely year one. What the VR biz looks like in 2026, no one knows, but it will be big.


See more of the future

A lot of us start out investing in different Mutual Funds for retirement because we feel that we need to be more aggressive in building up our portfolio.  Now that retirement is just around the corner or maybe it’s already arrived, it may be time to move that portfolio into something more stable.  Here’s a couple ideas to do that .

In a previous article, I discussed various ways that investors can accumulate their nest egg. One strategy includes putting a portion in one or a few attractively valued dividend growth stocks every single month and reinvesting dividends selectively. The other strategy involved investing in index funds, using tax advantaged accounts such as 401(k) for example.

Traditional vehicles for saving such as index funds and target-date funds work well when you accumulate your nest egg, but could present a challenge if you try to live off them. Many retirees prefer to have a stable and growing source of income, which maintains purchasing power over time, and is not dependent on the manic-depressive swings in stock prices. Therefore, investing in dividend growth stocks is the ideal way to generate income from your nest egg in retirement, due to the stability of dividend income. Therefore, if someone were to accumulate their nest egg in other items such as index funds, but wanted to convert to dividend investing, there are two ways that they can achieve that.

The strategies outlined in this article also work for situations where you have a lump sum amount, and you are thinking of investing it.

The first strategy involves selling all funds in your portfolio, and using the proceeds immediately to create a diversified portfolio of quality dividend-paying stocks.

This strategy is quick and easy to achieve, as it involves just a few steps. If you want to make the conversion all at once and not have to worry about how to invest the amounts for months, this is likely the best deal for you. If you could find 20-30 quality dividend-paying companies, which are also attractively valued, and your money is spread in several sectors, you could be done with this exercise in one day. After that, the only thing to worry about would be to monitor the investments, decide what to do with dividend income, and enjoy life.


Read more on Dividend investing

Startup Business Rules to Live By

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, here are 38 rules to live by to make your journey into the business world a little easier.

I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) is all about.

At my age, 38, I’m not claiming to know everything, nor to be an expert in anything, for that matter, but I do believe I’ve learned a few things. As I approach my 40s, I thought I’d share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I’ve earned–and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don’t beg for investment dollars. Someone’s paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever, ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn’t do sh*t. It’s good for the ego, though.
  8. Some people care only about people whom they think are popular. They’ll acknowledge you only when you appear to be more connected than they are. Get rid of these people.
  9. Some people like you only for what you can do for them. Pay them no mind.
  10. Accelerators are good only for funding and meeting new friends. Is that what 6 to 8 percent equity is worth to you?
  11. Take a job if you have to. You will not lose your will to be an entrepreneur for doing so.
  12. Take huge risks in your 20s. Take calculated risks in your 30s.
  13. If you have an idea that keeps you up at night, do something with it. If not, it will always be only a dream.
  14. It’s OK to be driven by money at first. Once you have it, you’ll find your true motivation.
  15. Nontechies: If your tech co-founder says it’s going to take three months or more, she’s lying.
  16. If your tech co-founder says she can’t use existing code, cut ties immediately.
  17. If your nontech co-founder says he can’t sell X until you build Y, he’s making excuses for not working.
  18. Sales are everything. Nothing else matters. Nothing.
  19. Learn something new every day. One thing at least.
  20. Write. Even if you don’t publish it.
  21. Marketing isn’t luck. It’s hustle.


See more from Dana


Zacks Bull of the Day 8-17-15

This Bull of the Day is in the Health and diet category that’s been pushing past all expectations and is now considered a strong buy. Check out Tracey Ryniec’s  post below

Nutrisystem, Inc. is on the right side of the health and wellness debate. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) just raised full year guidance for the second time this year.

Nutrisystem is famous for weight loss programs including Nutrisystem My Way, its 28-day food delivery program. Feeding on the healthy food frenzy sweeping the nation, the company’s meal choices including 100 foods which do not contain artificial preservatives or flavors.

Plans can also be customized for specialized diets, including those with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Another Beat and Raise

On July 29, Nutrisystem reported its second quarter results and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4 cents. Earnings were $0.41 compared to the consensus of $0.37.

Revenue rose 17% to $130.3 million as both direct and retail channels remained strong. Diret rose 15% year over year while retail grew 43%.

Gross profit margin jumped 80 basis points to 52%.

Full Year Guidance Raised

Very few companies are beating and raising this year in tough market conditions, but momentum from early in the year continued. It raised full year guidance for the second quarter in a row.

Earnings are now expected to be in the range of $0.87 to $0.97 up from its previous guidance of $0.81 to $0.91. Guidance is now up sharply from earlier in the year when the company was only looking for $0.73 to $0.83.

Zacks Bull of the Day

Zacks Reveals Best Oil Stock to Buy Now

The top dogs in the oil business, Chevron, BP and Exxon have been taking a beating lately with crude oil prices in the $40 per barrel range but no need to feel sorry for them, they haven’t switched to driving Yugo’s. Yeah, they’re still making money but it’s a bit tougher for the average investor to cash in with oil stocks, unless you can think a little differently. Dave Bartosiak has a better idea.

I get the question “What are the best oil stocks to buy?” all the time. Recently I’ve been asked that more and more as oil continues to drop. For some reason Americans love oil. Even more, they love oil stocks. We’ve been pounded over the head so much with “peak oil” theories and talk of oil going up forever that the thought of a new paradigm in oil prices is just beyond us.

Don’t think that the bottom for oil is in. There is new supply coming online daily, a weak Chinese currency isn’t going to help, and neither will changes on the demand side of the equation. If you’re looking to pick that bottom, good luck. The problem with trying to pick bottoms is you can only be right once, but you can be wrong a lot of times.


See full post from Dave

Picking Stock Market Winners the Easy Way

Picking winners in the Stock Market can be confusing, complex and time intensive sometimes but here’s a system that isn’t really new but it can get you moving in the right direction.

Every week the government and other entities release economic reports that cover all areas of the economy – from retail sales to housing, to international trade to consumer sentiment.

In fact, on virtually any given day there could be anywhere from one to a handful of reports.

And while the financial media does cover them, they usually focus on headline numbers without doing a deeper dive.

This is unfortunate because within these reports often exists money-making details that can quickly be uncovered with just an extra few minutes of reading.

For example, in the Employment Situation report, it details what sectors saw the most new jobs or labor force expansion, and which ones contracted.

I can remember countless times where that report got me into the right sectors and industries at the right time before anybody else was talking about them.

In fact, I still remember getting into housing in early 2012 while everybody else was staying as far away from it as possible. But, after seeing construction jobs continue to rise in report after report after report, I knew the housing market had turned. And that was one of the first alerts to the housing recovery – for those who knew where to look.

But the headline number and the obligatory one-or-two-sentence write ups on many news sites missed the best part of the story by not going the extra mile (or paragraph).

Well here we are again, with more stock-picking insight, straight from last week’s Employment Situation report. Last week it showed that some of the biggest job creation came from these three industries:

1) Retail Trade +36,000
(up 322,000 over the past year)

2) Food Services and Drinking Places +29,000
(up 376,000 over the past year)


Zacks employment strategy

Oil and Gas Stocks Best Bets

Oil stock prices continued heading south but one investor is betting big time on gas futures, spending about $1 Billion for just over 19 million shares. 

It was a week where oil prices tumbled to their lowest close in more than 4 months but natural gas futures gained for the first time in 3 weeks. On the news front, the top story came from billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s 8.18% stake buy in natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc.

Overall, it was a mixed week for the sector. While West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dived 6.9% to close at $43.87 per barrel, natural gas prices gained 3% to $2.80 per million Btu (MMBtu). (See the last ‘Oil & Gas Stock Roundup’ here: Crude Slump Batters Exxon, Chevron Profits.)

Oil prices extended their losing streak and fell for the sixth straight week, the backdrop being another increase in the number of crude-directed rigs. An upwardly moving rig count has underlined concerns about an expansion in the commodity’s global supply glut. The recent turn of events in Greece, Iran and China also created pressure. Finally, a stronger dollar has made the greenback-priced crude more valuable for investors holding foreign currency.

Meanwhile, natural gas fared much better amid predictions of strong summer cooling demand with majority of the central and southern U.S. reeling under extreme heat. The U.S. Energy Department’s weekly inventory release – showing a smaller-than-expected increase in the commodity’s supplies – also helped to push up prices.

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1.    Shares of Houston-based natural gas company Cheniere Energy Inc. jumped more than 8% following the announcement that Carl Icahn has taken a 8.18% stake in the company. The activist investor spent slightly more than $1 billion to accumulate 19.4 million shares of Cheniere Energy.


Zacks comments on Oil & Gas


 Page 1 of 139  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »