Monday, April 28, 2008

Oil vs. US Dollar Index (Inverted)

Courtesy of Bespoke, the oil bulls worst nightmare... a stronger US Dollar

Friday, April 25, 2008

Trailing Stop Orders

This week's dip in the share value of Timminco (TIM-T) triggered my long-standing buy order on Wednesday (see the April 23rd intraday chart below).

Unfortunately, the quick run-up soon thereafter was much faster than I ever thought possible and I cashed out way, way too early as my eager sell finger was not stuck in a meeting that morning.

If only I knew I had access to trailing stop orders!

As you can see from the 5-day chart below, the stock had a pretty wild week thanks to severe shorting pressure from the professionals.

Since I didn't want to lose my quickly earned cash on a volatile stock, I sold my shares to secure my profit but I could have used a trailing stop order to provide similar protection while leaving my position open to bigger gains.

It was an expensive lesson but is one that I think will revolutionize my trading style and hopefully, lead to bigger gains in future trades.

QuickTax Ready for the April 30th Deadline?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Intrepid Potash IPO

After kicking myself countless times over the past several weeks for not following my 2008 portfolio plans of placing 50+% of my assets in fertilizer stocks and my quick trades for relatively small profits of the agricultural stocks I've held this year, I noticed that a new Ag. player arrived to the stock market today.

Intrepid Potash IPO'ed and shot up over 50% on its debut today. Just like I did with VISA, I've included today's action of IPI-N for future reference.

Interestingly enough, I'm finding different chart views of the market open for this stock on various web sites. I ended up using the Google Finance chart above since it appears to have the least amount of noise on the open.

I haven't had any time to do any research on this company just yet but for those interested in reading up on the company, 1440 Wall Street appears to be covering the story very well.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Watch for a Flip in Real Interest Rates

In a Market Blog posting, David Berman refers to John Hussman's weekly market comment, and states:

On that note, Mr. Hussman – who worked at the Chicago Board of Trade in the mid-1980s – is particularly bearish. He believes that the commodity bull market will shift into reverse within a few months, when the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond rises above the year-over-year inflation rate, as measured by the consumer price index.

In other words, he believes that commodity prices will be in trouble when real interest rates flip into positive territory from negative territory. At the moment, the 10-year benchmark bond is yielding 3.7 per cent and the CPI was 4 per cent year-over-year in March, meaning that real rates are slightly negative – which is widely identified as one of the drivers of the current commodities boom.

Something to keep an eye on...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Earth Week

To coincide with the start of Earth Week, I thought I'd mention a piece of software called GreenPrint I just came across...

GreenPrint is a simple idea, but it solves a problem nearly everyone can relate to: The ubiquitous wasted page. This is the page with just a URL, banner ad, legal disclaimer, etc. These wasted pages occur many times a day littering homes and offices around the world and wasting money, trees, and time.

In an effort to end wasteful printing worldwide, GreenPrint World is available at no cost to home users around the globe. With widespread use we will save over 100 million trees and reduce greenhouse gasses by over 300 million tons. The World Edition is perfect for anyone who wants to eliminate the frustration and waste of unwanted pages and have a positive environmental impact right at home.

GreenPrint provides a simple solution to printing to PDF. This preserves the document format including web pages without wasting paper. This PDF writer is also incorporated into the print preview so any document can easily be saved to file (after eliminating wasted pages) rather than being printed. For most users, this will also eliminate the need to buy a separate PDF writer such as Adobe Acrobat.

GreenPrint also integrates a reporting function that allows users to easily monitor their printing habits in order to quantify the dollars and pages the software has saved.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Agrium Hit Resistance

Last week, I picked up a few shares of Agrium when it appeared to have broken out of its down trend. Well yesterday, AGU-T hit an obvious resistance point of around $75 that it couldn't pass through with any real conviction.

The quick move to the upside yesterday triggered my sell order.

While I still believe Agrium could go higher, I couldn't resist taking profits at such an obvious resistance point and lock-in a nice gain. In the very short-term, it looks like I made a wise choice. But when it comes to the longer term horizon, I've been wrong many times before. It's a great stock in a hot sector so we'll see what the markets bring us next week. Hopefully, they'll give me an opportunity to get back into this stock at a lower price.

AGU's April 11th Trading Range: $72.00 - $75.20 (Closed at $73.19).

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Global Fertilizer Conference

If you're interested in learning more about the agricultural fertilizer market and how you can potentially profit from the currently booming business, BMO Capital Markets held its 2008 Global Fertilizer Conference on April 2nd where leading fertilizer companies (including Agrium) offered an in-depth global perspective on the sector’s current challenges and future opportunities.

Moderated by Chemicals & Fertilizer Analyst Edwin Chee of the BMO Capital Markets equity research team, this webcast includes presentations and panel discussions that may be of interest to you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tax Filing Time

If you're like most Canadians and myself, you dread April since it's that time of year when you are expected to file your taxes.

Well, this weekend is the perfect time to sit down and get your income tax return out of the way. Who knows, maybe the government owes you money so you're losing out. I personally like to fill out my taxes the old fashion way on paper first, and read up on all the various deductions and credits available so just maybe I can do something differently this year. Once I think I've got it all done, I like to double-check my return with one of the online tax software packages like QuickTax

The online version of QuickTax allows you to fill out your return for free; you only pay if you actually want to file your return with them.

So if you just want to get your taxes done as quickly as possible or want to double check your calculations, you might want to give QuickTax a try.

QuickTax, Find Deductions!

Agrium Breaks Down Trend

I've been keeping an eye on Agrium (AGU-T, AGU-N) for quite some time but never actually pulled the trigger. That is, until this past Thursday afternoon. As you can see in the 6-month chart below, AGU broke out of its down trend on Thursday and signaled a buying opportunity for me.

Typically, I would wait until the next day to buy a stock exhibiting such a pattern to confirm that its closing price actually broke the downtrend but my gut instinct told me to get in there (plus work commitments would prevent me from following the market opening on Friday morning). Well, luckily for me, AGU gapped up on Friday thanks to a competitor (and partner) reporting quarterly numbers that exceeded analysts' expectations.

Agrium is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in North and South America, a leading global wholesale producer and marketer of all three major agricultural nutrients and the premier supplier of specialty fertilizers in North America through their Advanced Technologies business unit. Agrium’s strategy is to grow across the value chain through acquisition, incremental expansion of its existing operations and through the development, commercialization and marketing of new products and international opportunities.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Agrium also has a 19.6 percent equity position in Chinese specialty fertilizer company, Hanfeng Evergreen.

Interestingly, Recognia's Technical Events Report gave a target price range
of $87.00
to $91.00 for AGU-T after Thursday's close.

StockCharts noted on Friday that AGU-T had a double top breakout
based on their Point and Figure chart pattern (below) giving a
preliminary bullish price objective of $87.

It might be tempting for me to grab some profits before that 'target' is reached so we'll see what the markets do and how I react.

AGU-T Price Range on Thursday, April 3rd: $63.50 to $67.50 (Close: $66.75).
It closed yesterday at $70.01.