Exchange Trade Switch (CBOE)

We’ve been monitoring at the chart of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) for a while now and it appears there’s a nice short situation developing. At one time, we loved CBOE stock. But that was well over a year ago when she was trading in the mid-$20s and we believed she’d make a great takeover candidate. She still may. But since then, others have also hopped on board, perhaps for the same reason, and drove the shares northward to nearly $60 before taking a breather. CBOE has since drifted sideways to lower and is exhibiting signs of a nine-month head and shoulders top formation. Have a look here – The daily chart shows a stock that ran up strongly through mid-March and has been struggling ever since. Even the latest highs on the major market indexes did nothing for the options powerhouse, whose shares have been steadily losing ground for four-months. The question is whether we are, indeed, seeing a head and shoulders top here (in red, at top), whose downside count would bring the exchange’s shares to either $39 or $35, depending on where you draw the neckline. Or whether support at the long term moving average (in…

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Playing the Game-Changing FDA News with NeuroMetrix, Inc. (NURO)

Occasionally there comes a time when a singular business development can change the trajectory of a company’s fortunes — for better or worse. On Tuesday, before the market open, NeuroMetrix, Inc. (NURO) released the kind of news that very well could prove to be a positive game-changer for the company, making NURO shares worth monitoring going forward in 2014. Founded in 1996, NeuroMetrix, Inc., develops and markets products for the detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of peripheral nerve and spinal cord disorders, such as those associated with carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbosacral disc disease, spinal stenosis, and diabetes — with a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of neurological complications of diabetes. Its current product lines include the SENSUS pain therapy device, a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator used for chronic and intractable pain, such as painful diabetic neuropathy; NC-stat DPNCheck, a device used to evaluate systemic neuropathies, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN); and ADVANCE NCS/EMG system, a platform for the performance of traditional nerve conduction studies and invasive electromyography procedures for the assessment of carpal tunnel syndrome, low back and leg pain, and DPN, as well as consumables and accessories. On Tuesday NURO shares ripped higher on news that the FDA…

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June Fed minutes due out, Alcoa (AA) on the rise and Citigroup (C) may have to pay $7 billion to resolve probe.

Markets were heading higher on Wednesday morning ahead of the Federal Reserve minutes due out later today. The data will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET and give an insight as to what was discussed during the June 17th and 18th Fed meeting. Some analysts are anticipating insight for a possible start on short-term interest rate hikes. Interest rates have remained relatively low since early 2009 and have been a driving force in stock prices. Federal Chairwoman, Janet Yellen, will hold a news conference directly following. She said that there has not been a unanimous decision as to what to do about interest rates. “We’ve made quite a lot of progress in our discussion, but we’ve not yet reached conclusions about that or other aspects of our package,” she said. Shares of Alcoa Inc. (AA) were rising over 4% after the company kicked off earnings season on a positive note. The company announced that second-quarter earnings rang in at $216 million, or 18 cents per share.  This was up substantially from the loss of $119 million, or loss of 11 cents per share, a year ago. Sales came in flat at $5.8 billion. This data surpassed analyst’s expectations of $5.66…

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Expedia (EXPE) to buy Wotif, Bed Bath & Beyond announce new buyback program and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to buy Wild Flavors.

Markets were heading lower on Monday morning after news was released that Expedia (EXPE) agreed to buy Wotif in a deal that will total $658 million. Expedia is widely known for being a big name in the online vacation booking industry. Wotif.com Holdings Ltd. is an online booking company that specializes in the Asia-Pacific regions of the world. The deal was for $3.09 per share, which was a 30% premium over the Wotif’s shares last week. The company posted revenue during the second half of last year that totaled $71.1 million. The deal will not be finalized until the shareholders of Wotif have agreed. The deal is expected to close during the fourth-quarter of this year. Wotif chairman, Dick Mcllwain, said, “As a board we have carefully assessed the changing dynamics of the markets in which we operate and the uncertainties and risks that we would face if we were to continue as an independent company. With that in mind we believe that shareholder value will be maximized and that Wotif Group will be best positioned for the future, through the proposed transaction.” Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) were falling slightly after news was released that the company…

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Trade the Weak Against the Strong (XHB,QQQ)

We’re going to continue today with a theme that we’ve been pressing for some time now, but that still deserves some additional elaboration. Believe it: It’s Different this Time Wall Street is nothing if not skeptical. The best of the street’s traders and analysts are doubters nonpareil. Main Street also has its doubters. And it’s precisely that quality that’s traditionally made for a safer investment approach and higher returns over the long haul.   This Missouri ‘show me’ attitude has saved many a market player a lot of money, because on Wall Street perhaps more than anywhere else, the need to kick the tires and look under the hood – or better yet, to get a forensic specialist to diagnose a potential purchase – is investment wisdom at its best. Yet even then, unforeseen problems can arise. So when we say that we’re dealing today with an unprecedented situation in market history – when we claim that ‘this time it’s different’ and markets will actually grow to the sky – we appreciate that many a seasoned investor will look at us askance, and perhaps not a few will tell us to go jump in the Ganges. And we understand that….

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The Day of Judgment (CP)

There’s no excuse for a lack of courage. Most everything else can be forgiven. Not that. We bring this to you because we believe that in the years ahead, all of us – and we in the West, in particular – are going to be tried and tested in ways we never imagined. The upbringing we had and the experiences we cherish will be vastly different from those our children endure, and we’ve little doubt that our grandchildren’s lot will be of a substantially different order altogether. What will bring about that change is the very financial system about which we write every week, a system that’s been in place with tweaks and modifications ever since the British perfected the mercantilist model some 400 years ago and used it to conquer the world. The truth, however, is that after several centuries of continued stretching and contorting, excising and emending, the capitalist regime in which we now toil has grown old and tired and is no longer robust enough, we believe, to contain the very guts within it. It’s with a tone of lament that we say it’s a system now on life support. Breaking News: World Bursts Appendix! And when…

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Inching to a Breakout with MIND C.T.I. (MNDO)

One of my first teachers in the stock trading business introduced me to a concept he called “inching to a break.” He was referring to stocks that spend weeks or even months slowly grinding their way higher — then suddenly “pop” up in much bigger price increments. Penny stocks that are under promotion have a tendency to do it, and so too do stocks that are incrementally establishing new 52-week highs. Today I want to bring your attention to a company that fits the latter description: MIND C.T.I. Ltd., trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol MNDO. The company develops, manufactures and markets real-time and off-line billing and customer care software for various types of communication providers, including traditional wireline and wireless, voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP), and broadband Internet protocol (IP) network operators. MIND C.T.I.’s convergent billing and customer care solution supports multiple services, including voice, data and content services, as well as both prepaid and postpaid payment models in a single platform. MIND’s prepaid solution authorizes each service and controls each session in real time, assuring that the balance is not exceeded. Postpaid subscribers, including credit-limited and non-limited, retail or business customers, represent the higher average revenue per user…

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Private job gains impress, Shares of GoPro (GPRO) tank after IPO and Boeing (BA) wins NASA contract.

Markets wavered as news was released that June’s private job gains hit a one and a half-year high. The payroll processing company, ADP, announced that their reading showed that private employers added 281,000 new jobs in June. This was up from last month’s reading of 179,000. June’s data also surpassed economist’s expectations of 200,000 jobs. This goes on record as the highest private job gains since November 2012. The government’s in-depth report is set to be released Thursday and with the large gains in private sector jobs, economists are expecting impressive numbers tomorrow. Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, said, “This is further proof that recent weaker growth numbers are not a true reflection of the U.S. economy.” Shares of GoPro, Inc. (GPRO) were falling over 12% after the company’s IPO less than a week ago. The company went on a four-day streak of gains only to hit a wall today. And if the declines continue through the close of the day, would mark the first day since the IPO that they closed lower. On Thursday, GoPro shares made their IPO debut at $24. They hit their highest level on Tuesday, when they reached $48 per share. Karl…

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The S&P Indy 500 (CTB, SPX)

We’re going to attempt two separate operations today. First, to address (briefly) the current state of the equity market and second, to offer you a unique trade on a single company we’ve come to like over the last few weeks. We’ll start with the equity market. 1. KEY REVERSAL DAY We’re not going to belabor the point – just let you know that we saw it. Last Tuesday, June 27th, the S&P 500 notched a new intraday high before turning over and closing below the previous day’s close. This is how it charted – That’s the definition of a key reversal day, whose meaning is understood by chartists to be a harbinger of (in this case) lower markets ahead. Does every key reversal day formation result in a change in trend? No. But a lot of them do. So we’re monitoring things closely, with the expectation that we’ll see a bout of near term weakness, at worst, before the bull resumes in force. 2. RUBBER BURNING! It’s a corner of the market that doesn’t get a lot of attention, save for the odd company earnings report that shows some zip, but that shouldn’t dissuade us from lifting the hood and…

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U.S. to hand out record fine to BNP Paribas, Facebook (FB) hits 1 billion interactions and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) to buy Comex

Markets were relatively flat on Monday morning after news was released that the U.S. government would likely be handing out a fine of nearly $9 billion to BNP Paribas. France’s largest bank will be fined over an alleged U.S. sanctions violation. There will likely be other penalties assessed, which could also include a temporary ban on certain dollar-clearing business, this could possibly affect BNP’s dividend payout and could hit BNP’s investment banking targets, some analyst predict. Those close to the case say that BNP is expected to plead guilty on criminal charges in Federal Court. A conference is expected later today from the U.S. Justice Department in Washington to announce the outcome. The bank will likely retain their banking license from the New York state banking regulator. When the details surface, it is expected to show that BNP Paribas processed $30 billion in bank transactions through the U.S. while hiding clients names that are from blacklisted countries. The majority of the transactions occurred between 2002 and 2009 with Sudanese clients. However, some say that there has been potentially illegal activity occurring as recent as 2012, while the U.S. investigation was happening. If the fine reaches $9 billion, it will go…

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