Archive for March, 2012

Stock Chart Update: McEwen Mining (MUX)

March 26, 2012 4 comments

McEwen Mining (MUX) has been on the rise recently, but it looks like it has more to run.

MUX 3-26-12

McEwen Mining (MUX) looks like it has more to run

Looking at the chart, MUX has managed to bounce off the white price support line in the price chart above. It has also been staying within the Andrew’s Pitchfork formation.

Price is currently below the 21-day exponential moving average. Looking at the 21-day exponential detrended price oscillator, MUX is slightly below the zero line.

Given the general upward price momentum for MUX, I am considering buying MUX once it’s price closes above the 21-day exponential moving average. Would look to sell upon a close below the 21-day exponential moving average.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.

Pan American Silver (PAAS) Flashing Buy Signal

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Zignals Chart Image

Just a quick Pan American Silver (PAAS) update.

PAAS finished Friday 3-23-12 above a descending price channel that it had been in for most of this month.

Additionally, its 21-day exponential detrended price oscillator has been at a very low level, but appears to be trending back toward the zero line. The detrended price oscillator tends to stay within a channel, which in this case, I did not draw on its chart. When it rises above the zero line price tends to go up. When it sinks below the zero line price tends to go down.

Moves below the bottom of the detrended price oscillator bottom channel, followed by a price close above the 21-day exponential moving average gives a buy signal.

When the detrended price oscillator exits the upper channel and the 21-day exponential moving price average drops, this provides a sell signal.

Another couple of interesting chart features you should note are price support at $21.23 and resistance at $26.24.

At a later date I will try to produce a better chart with this additional information on it. I made this chart very quickly as I wanted to provide this in a more timely manner.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.

Charts: McEwen (MUX) Price Direction Week of 3-26-12

March 25, 2012 5 comments

McEwen Mining had a nice run on Friday 3-23-12, finishing the day up 38 cents or 10.16% up. Recent action in the charts continues to be very interesting.

That being said, let’s first take a look at the following chart.

MUX Price Chart 3-23-12

MUX price may be on verge of reversing downward

MUX price temporarily fell below both the bottom of the Andrew’s Pitchfork and sell trigger lines on 3-22-12, only to jump back above the bottom line of the pitchfork on Friday 3-23-12.

That being said, the next chart may provide further information on the direction MUX will take.

Mux 1-year price chart

MUX 1-year price chart with detrended price oscillator

MUX had recently been moving down in price following rising above the upper channel of the 21-day detrended price oscillator back in January. It recently crossed the dashed white line at zero and the price fell below the 21-day exponential moving average represented by the dashed line and also by the blue line on the price chart.

It is possible that the detrended price oscillator continues to move toward and then outside of the lower end of the channel. Alternatively, it could cross the dashed line. Should it cross the white line, a price closing above the blue line on the price chart would be a signal to buy. You could then hold until the price nears or crosses below the blue line again.

Alternatively, should the detrended price oscillator rise above the upper line of the channel you could use that as a sell signal.

Next week looks to be an interesting week for MUX.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.

Android App Review: Stock Chaos

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment
Stock Chaos Home Screen

Home Screen for Stock Chaos Android App

Recently I was looking for an application to keep track of stocks, prices and more using my Android phone. However, nothing really caught my eye until I ran across Chimpler’s Stock Chaos.

Stock Chaos offers lots of big features found on applications such as E*E*Trade Mobile*Pro. But Stock Chaos is not dependent on having an account with an online broker.

One of my favorite features is the ability to bring in my Google Finance portfolios. It’s definitely nice to not have to re-enter stock tickers again into yet another application.

Stock Chaos Portfolio

Stock Chaos Portfolio

Aside from Google Finance, you can also add other popular social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIN.Stock Chaos Accounts

Stock Chaos Accounts

Stock Chaos Accounts

Stock Chaos offers a full range of features, including stock charts, news updates (including from blogs, Twitter, StockTwits, and other social networking sites), charting, spreadsheets, transaction tracking etc.

Stock Chaos Stock Details Screen

Stock Chaos Stock Details Screen


Stock Chaos Stock Details News

Stock Chaos Stock Details News


Stock Chaos Charts

Stock Chaos Charts


Stock Chaos Spreadsheet

Stock Chaos Spreadsheet


Stock Chaos Transactions

Stock Chaos Transactions


Stock Chaos also includes the ability to screen stocks and set price alerts. I have been especially impressed with the price alert capability. It is as good or better than what is available in the E-Trade application.

Stock Chaos Transactions

Stock Chaos Transactions


Stock Chaos Alert

Stock Chaos Alert


Stock Chaos Set Stock Alert

Stock Chaos Set Stock Alert


Overall, I have been pleased with the performance of Stock Chaos. It isn’t perfect. It has crashed on occasion, but it has incredible functionality, especially considering it is a free application that does not tie you to any particular stock broker in order to continues using it at no cost. Overall, a highly useful and recommended application if you want to keep track of stocks, do research, and share with your social network while on the go.


Draghi, “the wurst is now over”

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Sausage making

Confirming what many of us already suspected…you don’t really want to know how sausage is made, especially in Europe.

Via The Slog:

“The worst is now over,” proclaimed Mario Draghi yesterday. An excellent comment thread here suggested that this was a misunderstanding, in that Signor Draghi is fond of German sausages, and as he swallowed the last of his snack, said “the wurst is now over”.

But The Slog’s Frankfurt Mole is of a different opinion.

“What we are now seeing,” he began, “is instability in the larger [EU] sovereigns. We always knew this was going to happen, and it is coming to pass. Spain has clearly decided to kick back, and there is an interdependence between Iberia and Italy that is not well understood. We are also going to see massive losses throughout all EU and US banks this time. Further obligations and so forth will then emerge, and for the eurozone it will be the end. Signor Dragi could try and print his way through further bailouts, but we hold all the cards now. Berlin simply will not allow it. It doesn’t matter any more that the [EU] Central Bank is legally beyond the law….it is not beyond reality. The eurozone will shatter once this impasse is reached. In my estimation the situation will be critical before the winter comes.”

Sausages, snausages…one way or the other, with all of the insolvent banks holding worthless assets and central banks pressing CTRL+P over and over, we’re all going to end up with indigestion.

If all else fails, hit CTRL+P

The Fed: In case of emergency hit CTRL+P


Ben Bernanke: All is Well!

March 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Via The Slog:

Further to this morning’s earlier Slogpost….

The spread between Spanish bonds and DeutscheBunds is now broader than it’s been since mid February. The yield on Spain’s 10-year bond rose to 5.36 percent, also the highest since February. Spain’s borrowing rates rose to nearly 7 percent in November.

But Bernanke says it’s ok, because he’s done his stress tests.

You remember stress tests…..

Well, German bankers think Ben’s backside is doing the talking at the moment.

Well, here’s what I think of Ben Bernanke saying “all is well” with the TBTF banks, and the U.S. and world economy.

Or this (but beware of language and bathroom humor)…


Categories: Uncategorized

Chart Update: Pan American Silver PAAS

March 24, 2012 2 comments

Pan American Silver PAAS has been on a wild ride. It recently agreed to purchase Minefinders MFN. In theory, the market reaction has not been positive as the price of PAAS has fallen. However, it is possible that there is more than meets the eye.

First off, for context, let’s take a look at a 5-year chart of PAAS.

Pan American Silver Stock Chart

Pan American Silver Stock Chart by YCharts

As you can see, PAAS encounters some pretty stiff resistance near the $40.00 mark.

As a silver miner, PAAS also moves in concert with silver prices to a degree, so let’s look at a 5-year chart of the silver price.

Silver 5-year price chart

Silver 5-year price chart

Notice anything interesting about the PAAS stock price and the price of silver? Over the long term, the price of PAAS is rising in near percentage lock-step with silver.

Because silver and PAAS move together, the 5-year chart of PAAS doesn’t necessarily look that exciting.

PAAS 5-year chart 3-23-12

The PAAS 5-year chart isn't a thriller

More interesting is a more recent chart.

PAAS Chart 3-23-12

PAAS price is straddling the sell trigger line

Where the PAAS price goes will largely depend on the price of silver. While my research of the general state of the economy, central bank intervention in said economy, and fundamental supply and demand lead me to believe the silver price will rise long-term, you should do your own research and act accordingly.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.

Chart: JCP – Time to Slap a Stock Analyst?

March 24, 2012 8 comments

Stock analysts love to sell the idea of JCP stock at $40.00. Just check out here and here.

However, looking at the 5-year chart, you’ll notice that there is very strong resistance at the $40.00 level.

J.C. Penney Company Stock Chart

J.C. Penney Company Stock Chart by YCharts

So, considering the continued weak state of the economy, and the strong resistance right around the $40.00 level, it appears incredible to me that stock analysts would have a $40.00 or higher target.

Reviewing the chart, JCP, in fact, crossed into overbought territory around $42.00 and then proceeded to drop through all the support levels of the Andrew’s Pitchfork until, on 3-23-12, the price took out the sell trigger.

JCP Chart 3-23-12

JCP has fallen through the sell trigger line

Could JCP stock rise in price and cross the sell trigger line to the upside? Yes, it has been hovering near that line for several days.

A similar chart, over a slightly longer time frame looks almost the same as the chart above.

JCP 1-year chart 3-23-12

JCP 1-year chart

I believe these charts reflect not just technical information and patterns about the price of JCPenney stock, but they also reflect skepticism that JCPenney can execute its campaign to become the “favorite store for everyone”. Such hyperbole is more worthy of a teenager wishing to be the most popular kid in school than a major retailer with the long and storied history of JCPenney.

Steven P. Dennis offers some interesting criticism in a two-part article:

First, anyone who knows retail knows how foolish a high/low pricing strategy seems. The amount of money spent advertising events in weekly circulars and various broadcast media is enormous (and increasingly ineffective). The payroll and collateral costs of constantly changing in-store signing is a major line item. And “forcing” consumers to wait for a sale or have a coupon or get your store credit card to obtain the best price is seemingly a big customer dissatisfier (sic).

So going to “fair and square” everyday pricing would seem to be a win for the consumer and a major improvement to any retailer’s earnings. Why not emulate Nordstrom and get both great Net Promoter scores and have an advertising to sales ratio that is the envy of the competition? It’s a slam dunk, right?

Well, not so fast Skippy.

First of all, unlike Nordstrom, every promotional retailer like Penney’s (and Sears and Macy’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc.) has taught their customers–over many, many years–that their “regular” price is a sucker price. Reversing this perception will not happen quickly, no matter how creative your new ad campaign is and no matter how much money you throw at it in the first few months.

Second, every retailer has a customer segment that is intensely deal driven. This group refuses to buy unless they are convinced they have gotten the best possible price. And they believe they can ferret that out. They love the thrill of the hunt. Buying something without some special incentive is an anathema to them.

History shows–whether you are Sears, Macy’s or Saks–that when you pull back on promotions this segment’s business drops like a rock. If they are a tiny fraction (or an unprofitable piece) of your sales, it’s not a big issue. If, as I suspect is the case at JCP, they are a meaningful profit contributor, the short-term hit is significant and they will be hard to win back.

Third, like it or not, promotional marketing creates urgency to buy. Major events with limited time offers drive traffic. In-store messages that shout a great deal increase conversion. Over time hopefully Penney’s can teach their consumers that every day is a good day to check out their store and that there is no reason to shop around for a better deal. In the immediate term sales will suffer.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the math on everyday pricing is tough. While it is true that most consumers buy at the lowest promotional price, it is also true that there are plenty of customers who pay full price (or receive a lesser discount). To achieve the same gross margin percentage would mean setting an everyday “fair and square” price that is above the lowest historical promotional price. But by doing that, you will be uncompetitive with your direct competitors.

In the second article Dennis outlines how JCPenney takes a swing of the bat and misses with its new strategy:

But at the same time, there are several critical aspects of their vision–and way of thinking–that I worry about.

First, there are the relentless comparisons to Apple and the success of their retail stores. Every time I hear Ron Johnson refer to his success there I’m reminded of the old Steve Martin joke about how to be a successful millionaire: “Step 1: Get a million dollars. Okay, Step 2 …”

While I have no doubt that Penney’s can benefit from many of the leadership lessons and certain tactical aspects of Apple’s retail strategy, Penney’s ain’t Apple. It’s a lot easier to build retail stores around products that are in high demand, have limited distribution and “fixed” high margins. Apple is a single brand specialty store with a clear tribe of loyalists, not a multi-brand, multi-category store serving an incredibly diverse set of customers. Apple is vertically integrated and the stores benefit directly from total brand advertising–and a ton of buzz. All of Apple’s stores are in “A” real estate locations and have a tight prototype and are not unit intensive. The list goes on and on.

Second, in their investor presentation they said “we want to be the favorite store for everyone.” I hope this is hyperbole because it’s so patently ridiculous. While the size and scope of Penney’s footprint necessitates a reasonably broad set of consumer segments, THE number one challenge of this management team is to define the key customer segments they wish to own, rigorously edit (and develop) their assortments against these target segments and then deliver a remarkable and relevant cross-channel experience for them. Penney’s will not win by going broad and shallow. Every winning retailer on the planet wins through a well-honed differentiation strategy and clear positioning.

Related to this is the new team’s apparent unwillingness to believe that “treating different customers differently” is an increasingly powerful point of competitive advantage and fuel for profitable growth. Various reports suggest that little to no consumer research or segmentation analysis was done to vet their new strategy and one of their first moves was to blow up major pieces of their customer analytics/CRM group and bring in a guy with little apparent direct marketing/customer analytics experience to head up the remnants. In their 2 day investor presentation there was little mention of any actual consumer behavioral data and what was mentioned was, to me, either obvious or irrelevant.

Clearly Penney’s must get the big, foundational pieces right or the notion of competing on analytics by moving to deeper personalization will be irrelevant. But to move towards an everything to everybody sort of strategy strikes me as somewhere between folly and lunacy. I suspect you will see them reverse their course on this by year’s end.

As Penney’s reports what I am fairly certain will be a disappointing set of initial results, I hope the new team will embrace humility, stop flogging the Apple comparisons and get focused on deep customer insight and the need to build a set of rich, relevant, channel-agnostic and increasingly personalized set of value propositions for a well-defined set of customer segments.

If not, it will be strike 2.

Ultimately, I believe that JCP will strike out with its new strategy. The idea that JCPenney can transform itself into a cross between Apple and Target is absurd. Apple and Target already exist and fill their niches quite nicely. The idea of becoming the “favorite store for everyone” is equally absurd.

In my opinion JCPenney needs to focus on delivering the right products at the right price. These products need to be merchandised attractively and easy to find. Sales staff should be made to stand out rather than blend into the boring JCPenney woodwork as they currently do. The idiotic concept of stores within a store should be abandoned. Such a concept strikes me as concentric circles of shopping hell. Instead, JCPenney should concentrate on creating one unified, pleasant, and affordable shopping experience. Perhaps, if JCPenney focused on this rather than their current incomprehensible and dead-end strategy, they might give the public a reason to shop there and stock analysts a real reason to raise their price forecasts.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment advisor.

Chart: SHLD Long-Term Price Trend is Down

March 24, 2012 3 comments

SHLD has had an incredible price surge this year from $28.89 to a high of $87.66.

Sears Holdings Corporation Stock Chart

Sears Holdings Corporation Stock Chart by YCharts

However, the recent surge has broken down a bit.

SHLD Chart 3-23-12

SHLD price breaking down?

Looking at the chart, SHLD broke through the top of the Andrew’s Pitchfork as well as the buy trigger line. However, in recent days SHLD fell back through the price trigger line and is headed back not only towards the top line of Andrew’s Pitchfork, but also through a support line going back to early January of this year.

While the recent price action of SHLD has been pretty spectacular, longer term SHLD is in a clear downward trend looking at the 5-year chart.

SHLD 5-Year Chart

SHLD 5-year chart clearly shows downward trend

Trends, of course, can always change, but the 5-year trend combined with the current chart does not offer much reason for optimism. If you’re long SHLD or thinking of going long, be aware of the current and long-term trends.

Disclaimer: The above is for informational purposes only. This should not be considered investment advice. Any investment decisions are your own and should be made after conducting your own independent research and / or in consultation with a professional investment adviser.

Chart: Pan American Silver PAAS

March 19, 2012 2 comments
Pan American Silver PAAS Chart

The PAAS Chart Has Several Bullish Aspects

Pan American Silver (PAAS) has a 52-week low of $19.93 and has seemingly struggled with its price after agreeing to purchase Minefinders (MFN).

Despite this, its chart has some bullish aspects, including being near a 50/200 Day MA Crossover.

PAAS has been descending from its high of $43.06 since last April. You can see part of this descending line from the top left of the chart until it intersects with the ascending Andrew’s Pitchfork on the right.

As of the current time today, PAAS has managed to bounce off support at the bottom of the Andrew’s Pitchfork.

Pan American Silver Stock Chart

Pan American Silver Stock Chart by YCharts

PAAS rested right near that support of around $21.29 at the close on 3-18-12. You’ll also notice if you look carefully, that the bottom fork of the pitchfork and the sell trigger line are right on top of each other but will soon diverge.

I think as long as PAAS manages to stay within the pitchfork it should rise in price. I am thinking PAAS has put in its low price for the year. I don’t know if buying PAAS is like buying silver at a 93% discount, but I believe that with the purchase of Minefinders (MFN) you get a lot of silver and gold for a very low P/E of under 7.

Disclaimer: None of the above constitutes investing advice. It is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please seek the counsel of a registered investment professional before investing. Didn’t your mother teach you anything?