Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Break Out the Snacks! J & J Snack Foods (JJSF)

I was taking a cruise through the snack food universe (through the charts, not the grocery store aisles), and I found this pretty chart that I wanted to share with you of J&J Snack Foods Corp (JJSF) (click all images to make larger).

There is much to like about this name both fundamentally and technically (but see longer term chart below).

  • Beautiful inverse head and shoulders pattern 
  • clean breakout at neckline on good 2.33 x relative volume
  • clearing of volume@price overhang bars
  • caution warranted to wait for a pull back on the overextended price
Fundamentally (check them out on FINVIZ):
  • They have a quarterly cash dividend of .1175 up from .1075 (though I don't screen for that)
  • Recently beat on earnings
  • Great balance sheet (cash, good current ratio, no l-t debt)
I also like to take a step back and look at longer term charts.  Let's look at a monthly chart:

Lots of happy holders in this name!  However, the chart is approaching all time highs; accordingly it would be wise to look at valuations in addition to earnings growth as part of your due diligence to see if it fits with your investment theme. 

Position:  Watch list!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Sector Report | 11/26/10

An interrupted trading week:  interrupted by our American Thanksgiving tradition, some spit spat between N/S Korea as well as continued concerns about sovereign debt.  The broad market index was down .61% with quite a bit of push and tug in the underlying sectors.  Here's the sector summary (click all images to make larger):

 Banks, Financial Services and Financials were hardest hit.  With the USD strengthening in the wake of these concerns, Basic Materials and Resources also suffered.  Retail stood tall, and the results of Black Friday will certainly impact this sector.

Let's take a look at the weekly chart of the total stock market index:

It was a light volume week due to the holiday, and the market continues to consolidate at this level. It is going to go one way or the other.  Would that I had a crystal ball!  Mine's in shards; perhaps yours is in better shape. 

I want to point out the the lower part of the chart  where I've consolidated two indicators (that show up on the detail charts).  The purple dashed line shows the performance of this index for the time period shown (Jan 07- current).  The broad market is still 20% below those highs.  It is a cogent reminder that "not-losing" is the key to winning.

The market is gathering energy through this consolidation for a move.  I don't mind being marginally committed (a/k/a standing aside) to see which way that might be. If the N/S Korean conflict and the sovereign debt issues get cleared, the move is likely to be up.  If not, a pullback will be in store.

I've prepared a chart book for you which you can access here.  It is a large file, so please be patient with the download.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Of all of the holidays, none is more special to me than Thanksgiving.  Sharing the bounty of the land with loved ones is a act of great love.  I believe that cooks are the ultimate alchemists--transforming one thing into quite another.  While we rely on stocks and broths to enrich our foods, those key elements were really nothing more than eking out the last bit of goodness from vegetables and bones.

Certainly any reading this is far divorced from a marginal existence; however, life on the edge is about getting enough air, nutrition and water to support life systems. Too many in this world live life at the margin.  I often read in the blogosphere about how unfair the markets are and 'if only this, that, the other.'   I find such lamentations surprising.  As much as we would like to wish for life to be fair, it most certainly is not.  Nevertheless, as individuals, we can be agents of equal opportunity 'fairness' on a unit to unit basis.  A unit can be a person, place or thing:  children, rainforests, animals, elderly or any of the other 'units' lacking needful things.

Thanksgiving is the holiday of gratitude.  I believe that a grateful heart is a great, full heart.  A grateful heart does not need things.  Rather, a great, full heart has natural abundance, and within that bounty is generally a singular passion: to share that bounty with others.   So much of the media, particularly the financial media, sputters with 'news' about how wrong things are.  If our bodies are made of what we eat, then surely our minds are made of what we read, see and hear.  The duty of 'fair and balanced' is not so much on what an outlet reports to you (after all they are still just trying to fill and sell advertising space), but rather YOUR acquisition and processing of it.  I'm seeing a surprising amount of stuff so slanted and so oft-quoted (think of your favorite fear mongering site) that it seems to be taken at face value without so much of a whiff of discernment.

I still remember well my conversation with David, the frail, elderly, sharp-as-a-tack man that I met on my way to Las Vegas.  Though physically fragile, he was passionate about staying engaged in things that interested him--investing being one of those things.  (He was on the way to the Money Show!).  I asked about the health of his wife.  He said this to me, and it still resonates today:  "I focus on the things that I still can do; my wife focuses on the things that she cannot do."

You think that I've run off the road and I'm in the weeds again, don't you?  I'm meandering back to the path!  My Thanksgiving wish for you is to embrace the notion of a grateful heart, and the bounty of a great, full heart.  My wish for you is to delight in the sharing of that bounty with others.  While it is is easy to focus on the bad--they do provide good 'stories', there is much to celebrate in this world and in the work of people interested in meaningful change.  Seek out that balance of what is right in the world lest your heart and head become poisoned from the assault of what is wrong with the world.

Though we may feel powerless to change the ills of the world, we most certainly have the power to touch another consciousness in this life.  That touch can alleviate hunger, isolation, fear, or physical discomfort--and it significantly changes the world for that recipient.  Our Thanksgiving table, then, is a way for us to both celebrate and share.  It is a time to reflect, too, on how we can extend the boundaries of that sharing in these times of great need.

My best to you on this important day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Sector Report | 11/19/10

The total market index was basically flat at .15% change. Within the total market, banks, other financials and utilities were the most notable underperformers. Below is a graphic of the 23 sectors and the total market index. (Click all images to make larger).

Let's take a look at a WEEKLY chart of Total Stock Market Index that includes the volume@price bars:

The markets continue to work off overbought conditions.  As we saw last week, the market is still very fragile to news that surprises regarding sovereign debt. It is also worth noting that for the first time, bonds and stocks have diverged.  TLT has fallen with a falling stock market.  So while the flight to safety might be in the USD, it is not going into treasuries.

I have created for you a chart book with the daily, weekly sector charts in addition to the table of 148 industries sorted by performance as well as short interest per sector.  It is a large file, so please be patient with the download.  You may access it here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Sector Report | 11/12/10

The indices which seemed to defy gravity were reminded that Darwin's rule pertains to both apples and markets. In the DJUS industry universe of 148 (table included in report), only 13 of the 148 industries were positive.

To be sure it was a healthy pullback as the market was overextended. Whether it becomes something more than remains to be seen. There seems to be some issues with Blogger uploader, so I'm unable to upload images into this post.  I regret the inconvenience.

You can review the full report here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Weekly Sector Report | W/E 11/05/10

The market showed no signs of fatigue last week. The broad market index was up 3.57% with a sweep of sectors positive across the board.  Below is the Weekly Sector profile compared to the broad market index (in blue). (Click to make larger).

Note that the more defensive sectors, healthcare, food/beverage, utilities, are lagging.

Here's a chart of the broad market index (Click to make larger)

Prices are very extended and caution is warranted for longs.  Prices are approaching a heavy volume@ price bar (which I have extended and placed in a dotted outline).  It will be interesting to see how volume/price action react at these levels over the next few weeks.

To facilitate your personal study of the the sectors, I've created a downloadable PDF which contains detail sector information, summary sector information, and chart books for the summary sectors in both weekly and daily format.  It is a large file, so be patient with the download.

Friday, November 05, 2010

CCM: Big Volume + Blue Sky

I wanted to share a chart of Concord Medical Services (CCM).  It is a Chinese ADR. From the company's website:

Concord Medical Services Holdings Limited ("CMS" or "the Company") operates China's largest network in terms of revenue and total number of centers in operation in 2008. Since its inception CMS has been committed to building an extensive network of radiotherapy and diagnostic imaging centers in China and employing state-of-the art medical technology to sustain lives and reduce sufferings. Today, the Company operates a network of more than 80 centers spanning more than 35 cities and 20 provinces and administrative regions in China.

They report soon, so any entries here could be dangerous. I had a small position in this which I increased earlier today at an advantageous price.  Here's the chart:

Today was a significant volume day--with more than 400K in volume (v. 63K).  For the price to advance, there needs to be sustained volume, otherwise gravity will work its magic. I like the fundamentals of this company (the sector and the technical set up).  The company reports that cancer is the leading cause of death, and they believe that they are well positioned with their product/service offerings to capitalize on the trend to more accessible health care.

Naturally, the duty of due diligence is yours and yours alone.

Position:  Long CCM at the time of this post.