Stock Market News – 7-3-15

Markets: It was another down week for the market, and June was a down month, as the S&P put in its worst 1st half since 2010. Investors remained skittish this week, facing the uncertainty ahead of the Greek bailout referendum on Sunday. (The table below shows July performance for the month.)
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Volatility: The VIX rose as high as 19.80, before closing the week at 16.89, rising 20.47%.

Currency: The $ fell vs. the Yen and Pound Sterling, and gained vs. most other major currencies in June.
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Year-to-date, the $ gained vs. most major currencies, except the Pound and the Swiss Franc.
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Market Breadth: 6 out of 30 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 10 last week. 26% of S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 32% last week. 6 out of 30 DOW stocks also rose this month, while 33% of S&P 500 stocks rose for the month.
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US Economic News: The US added 223K jobs in June. Employment gains in April and May combined were 60,000 lower than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job gains have averaged 221,000 per month. In June, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, retail trade, financial activities, and in transportation and warehousing.
The Unemployment Rate fell to 5.3%, the lowest since the Spring of 2008. Pending Home Sales hit a 9-year high. 30-year Mortgage rates rose to an average of 4.08%, the highest since October.
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Our latest Dividend Stocks Blog article: “The 7 Best Dividend Stocks In 2015″ (You can read our latest blog articles by scrolling down our Dividend Stocks Blog page)

Week Ahead Highlights: (Reuters) Alcoa will kick off Q2 Earnings results season next week. Investors are eyeing a 3% projected drop in benchmark S&P 500 earnings from a year ago, which would be the first profit decline since the third quarter of 2009, according to Thomson Reuters data. However, a similarly dismal forecast from analysts for first-quarter earnings proved overly pessimistic, and S&P 500 companies ended up with a profit gain of 2.2 %.
U.S. companies themselves have offered dismal outlooks for earnings, (often blaming a strong dollar), with negative forecasts for the second quarter outpacing positive ones by a ratio of 4-to-1, compared with 5.7- to-1 in the first quarter. The lower Q2 forecasts give companies a lowered bar which should be easier to beat. There was some stability in the second quarter with the dollar and oil, which may translate into positive earnings surprises for multinationals and the energy sector.

Next Week’s US Economic Reports:
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Sectors & Futures:
Healthcare led in June, while Basic Materials stocks trailed.
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Soybeans and Corn led in June, while Palladium trailed.
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Stock Market News Update – 6-27-15

Markets: It was a down week for the market, in spite of strong US Consumer Spending, Consumer Sentiment, and Housing data. The culprit? You guessed it – the ongoing Greek drama. How fitting that the country which gave the world the art of drama millenia ago, hasn’t lost its flair for it in the 21st century. There’s yet another round of meetings this weekend, to try and stave off a default on the looming June 30th payment due date.
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Volatility: In spite of the down week, the VIX barely budged, finishing at 14.02, vs. last week’s 13.96 close.

Market Breadth: 10 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 20 last week. 38% S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 66% last week.

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US Economic News: Consumer Spending had its biggest monthly jump in over 6 years, rising .9% in May. Initial Claims have now been under 300K for 16 weeks. Existing Home Sales jumped 5.1% to 5.33M, best since 2009. New Home Sales also surprised to the upside, at 546K. Consumer Sentiment hit a 5-month high.
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Stock Market News – 6-20-15

Markets: Markets put together an up week, the best since April, in spite of Friday’s down day, which was inspired by the continued uncertainty about Greece, ahead of the Monday pm Eurozone meeting which aims to come up with a last-ditch bailout plan for Greece. Investors were cheered by no rate hike moves by the Fed. The NASDAQ hit a new high, and the Russell Small Caps had yet another up week, and continue to lead the DOW and S&P 500 large caps year-to-date by a wide margin.
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Market Breadth: 20 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 18 last week. 66% of all S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 53% last week.
Currency: The US $ fell again vs. most other currencies, except the NZ Dollar.
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Volatility: After reaching as high as 15.62 mid-week, the VIX rose 5% for the week, ending at 13.96.
US Economic News: As expected, the Fed kept its rate at .25%.
FED Statement excerpt: Click here to read more
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Small Bank Dividend Stocks Outperforming In 2015

by Robert Hauver
Looking for outperforming dividend stocks to capitalize on rising interest rates? As it turns out, many regional and small bank stocks and ETF’s have been outperforming the S&P 500 handily over the past month, and year-to-date. Here’s a look at how 4 of these ETF’s have trumped the S&P 500 in these periods:
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Digging down further, we culled out the stocks from the universe of outperforming small and regional banks, to find the high dividend stocks within this group. As you can see, these are a far cry from the 6% to 12% high yielding stocks which we usually write about, and also track in our High Dividend Stocks By Sector Tables. This group has a dividend yield range of 2.42% up to 3.53%, and its Dividend Payout Ratio range is quite wide, from a low of 30.80%, up to 92.60%:
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Performance: All of these small bank stocks have outperformed the S&P 500 over the past month, and the overwhelming majority have also outperformed over the past year and year to date:

Click here to read more…

Stock Market News – 6-12-15

Markets: The Russell Small Caps led again, for the 2nd week in a row, followed by the DOW, and the S&P, which was virtually flat. The NASDAQ was negative for the week, but still leads year-to-date. The Greek debt deal seemed stalled Friday, which led to a selloff in all sectors.
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Forex: The US $ took a breather this week, falling vs. most major currencies, except the NZ $.
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Market Breadth: 18 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 6 last week. 53% of S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 38% last week.

US Economic News: Consumer Sentiment jumped more than expected…The Producer Price Index turned positive again…Retail Sales surprised to the upside – Ex-Auto especially.
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Stock Market Update Bulletin – 6/6/15

Markets: 3 out of 4 indexes fell this week, but the Russell small caps actually had an up week. Stocks traded in their tightest weekly range in 21 years, due to mixed economic data. Friday’s strong Non-Farm Payrolls Report stirred investor fears about a Fed rate hike coming in September, rather than December, as many market analysts have predicted.
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Market Breadth: 6 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 5 last week. 38% of S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 21% last week.

Currency: It was a mixed week for the US Dollar, which fell vs. the Euro, Loonie, and Swiss Franc, while rising vs. the Aussie & NZ Dollars, and the Yen.
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US Economic News: May Non-Farm Payrolls surprised to the upside, and April & March’s figure was revised upwards by 32,000. the 6-month avg. is now 236,000 jobs/month. Job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and healthcare. Mining employment continued to decline. The Unemployment Report inched up to 5.5%, due to a rise in the labor force. Wages rose by 2.3%, the best since 2009. Auto & truck sales also surprised to the upside, and are on the best pace since 2005.
Private sector wages and salaries were up 4.6% year-over-year.
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Our latest Seeking Alpha article: “This High Dividend Stock Will Grow Revenue By 85%-Plus, Yields 7-8%, & Goes Ex-Dividend This Week”

Our latest Dividend Stocks Blog article: “High Dividend Growth Stocks In 2015″ (You can read our latest blog articles by scrolling down this page)

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Stock Market Update – 5/30/15

Markets: It was a down week for all 4 indexes this week, the market actually outperformed its historic May averages.The NASDAQ remains the leading index of this group by far, up over 7% year to date.
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Market Breadth: Only 5 of 30 DOW stocks rose this week, vs. 14 last week. 21% of all S&P 500 stocks rose this week, vs. 53% last week.

US Economic News: The Housing Recovery got more good news this week, as New and Pending Home Sales, and the Case Shiller US index all surprised to the upside. Core Durable Goods Orders also surprised to the upside, as did Consumer Confidence and Sentiment. Q1 GDP 2nd Estimate was worse than the 1st Estimate – down -0.7%, due to bad weather, and a strong dollar.
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High Dividend Growth Stocks In 2015

by Robert Hauver
Looking for the sweet spot between dividend growth and dividend yield? We parsed the data from S&P 500 dividend stocks through April 30, 2015, to find out which dividend stocks have had strong dividend increases in 2015.
Sector-wise, Consumer Discretionary and Tech S&P 500 stocks had the best combination of overall performance and dividend increases. Even though Healthcare has been the leading sector for ages, it’s not known for having a lot of dividend paying stocks. In addition, this sector’s dividend increases haven’t kept pace with its rising share prices, which has also contributed to a lower overall dividend yield.
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We found 3 prospects which had a good combination of dividend yield and dividend increases in 2015.
Click here to read more…

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Stock Market Update: 5/23/15

Markets: 3 out of 4 indexes rallied this week, in the lightest volume since New Year Eve week, as the NASDAQ led the way, finishing just 3 points below its record high. The S&P closed within a very tight range of only 5 points this week, the narrowest range since November. Fed chief Yellen’s comments in a speech she made Friday, didn’t seem to impress Wall St. too much – she said that the Fed would most likely raise rates this year. More interesting, though, was her statement that the Fed Funds rate wouldn’t reach its historical average of approx. 3.5%, “for several years to come”. So, it appears that the Fed won’t be making any rapid, big hikes, but slow, gradual hikes, so that it doesn’t shock the economy, or kill the recovery.
Volatility fell to its lowest point since November, ending at 12.13 this week, vs. 12.38 last week.
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Market Breadth: 14 DOW stocks rose, vs. 20 last week. 53% of S&P 500 stocks rose, vs. 60% last week.
To read more, Click here…

Stock Market Update: 5/16/15

Markets:
The indexes eked out a small gain this week, with the S&P hitting a new intraday all-time high, of 2123.89, and an all-time closing high of 2,122.73. Tepid economic data served to dampen investors’ enthusiasm, as US markets continued to stay range-bound, as they have over the past 3 months.
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Volatility fell 3.7% this week, ending at 12.38.

The US Dollar again fell vs. most major currencies, except the NZ dollar:
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