Friday, February 29, 2008

US Market Summary 28 Feb 08

Dow 12,582.18 -112.10 -0.88%
Nasdaq 2,331.57 -22.21 -0.94%
S&P 500 1,367.68 0.00 0.00%

Oil prices surpassed $103 a barrel for the first time Friday as persistent weakness in the U.S. dollar and the prospect of lower interest rates attracted fresh money to the oil market.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

US Market Summary 27 Feb 08

Dow 12,694.28 +9.36 +0.07%
Nasdaq 2,353.78 +8.79 +0.37%
S&P 500 1,380.02 -1.27 -0.09%

Wall Street finished mixed in another seesaw session Wednesday after regulators allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy more mortgages and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will remain vigilant about the weakened economy.

Look out for Asia markets as US close mixed, Nikkei opened red and thus STI and HSI should follow suit.
Wait for sure signs before going into market again.
Profit taking should take place when market open and second half of trading should be a crucial point in determining market sentiments.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

US Market Summary 26 Feb 08

Dow 12,684.92 +114.70 +0.91%
Nasdaq 2,344.99 +17.51 +0.75%
S&P 500 1,381.29 +9.49 +0.69%

It's a toxic economic mix the nation hasn't seen in three decades: Prices are speeding upward at the fastest pace in a quarter century, even as the economy loses steam.

Asia markets will rally, expect to see blue chips run today.
Look out for index stocks like Singtel, Wilmar and maybe even China stocks.
Synear may bounce off its lows yesterday.

Sell off before the end of the day and load some puts as Fed Chairman Ben is speaking tonight. Expect some pullback in the US market tonight.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

US Market Summary 25 Feb 08

Dow 12,570.22 +189.20 +1.53%
Nasdaq 2,327.48 +24.13 +1.05%
S&P 500 1,371.80 +18.69 +1.38%

Wall Street bolted higher Monday after Standard & Poor's affirmed its ratings for Ambac Financial Group Inc. and MBIA Inc., raising hopes that troubled bond insurers will emerge from the credit market crisis on solid footing.

We will see Asia markets rally today, take note of HSI as it is still quite bearish. Unless it is still strong in the second half of the trading, if not stick to intra day trading.

Take note of commodities counters like Golden Agri and Indoagri.

Monday, February 25, 2008

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

US Market Summary 22 Feb 08

Dow 12,381.02 +96.72 +0.79%
Nasdaq 2,303.35 +3.57 +0.16%
S&P 500 1,353.11 +10.58 +0.79%

Wall Street staged a dramatic turnaround Friday, shooting higher in the last half-hour of trading after word that a bailout plan for troubled bond insurer Ambac Financial could be announced next week.

This is really a dramatic turnaround as the last 30 min saw a steep rise from the charts. I'm betting on the actual rally of the STI market next week as the news of Singapore hosting 2010 Youth Olympics will take effect.
Property and Hotel stocks will be in play, so look out for stocks like Yongnam, Wee Hur and Koh Bros.
I will post some stock picks soon.

Friday, February 22, 2008

US Market Summary 21 Feb 08

Dow 12,284.30 -142.96 -1.15%
Nasdaq 2,299.78 -27.32 -1.17%
S&P 500 1,342.53 -17.50 -1.29%

The stock market finished with a sharp loss Thursday after bleak readings on the economy heightened investors' fears of recession. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 140 points.

It would be interesting to see how Asia market would react to the US market as it fell even though US market is up the day before.
Furthermore, the news of Singapore winning the host for the Youth Olympic yesterday should be a catalyst for a property and hotel play today.
We shall see how Asia defend against the red.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

US Market Summary 20 Feb 08

Dow 12,427.26 +90.04 +0.73%
Nasdaq 2,327.10 +20.90 +0.91%
S&P 500 1,360.03 +11.25 +0.83%

Stocks came off early losses to finish higher Wednesday as investors set aside some concerns about the economy after finding reassurance that the Federal Reserve remains committed to stoking growth before worrying about inflation.

Asia markets will rally strongly today due to gains from the US market.
I predict HSI especially will be particularly strong today, thus load on china stocks today for the rally and sell off before the end of the day as the market is still very unstable at the time being.
Short term: uptrend

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

US Market Summary 19 Feb 08

Dow 12,337.22 -10.99 -0.09%
Nasdaq 2,306.20 -15.60 -0.67%
S&P 500 1,348.78 -1.21 -0.09%

Wall Street gave up a big early advance and closed mixed Tuesday after oil prices closed above $100 for the first time and stoked fears that inflation will stymie an already troubled economy.

Asia markets should dip in the morning following weakness in the US market.
But penny stocks will continue to run today in STI as blue chips especially financial sector should suffer today.
Go into breakouts and exit before the end of the day for quick profits.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Stock Picks: Lottvis, Oculus, Mediaring

As mentioned in the previous post, I have been monitoring the small caps recently and seen a spike in the volume for most small caps.
Normally this signals a start of the pennies rally as we should be able to see the top 10 active stocks to be dominated by them in the coming week ahead.
Below are the recommendations:

1. Lottvis

As you can see from the chart, accumulation can be seen distinctly as the volume spiked up on last Friday. We shall expect it to breakout if it crosses 0.17, support at 0.14.

2. Oculus

This stock has been the talk for quite a while as it plans to diversify its business by acquiring Aretae which is doing the carbon credit business. Recently on Feb 6, it announced that it was acquiring ophthalmic solutions patents and licensing contracts from Advanced Ocular Systems (AOS) for $29.9 million in cash and shares.

The accumulation portion is the same with Lottvis, except we may hear some news regarding their results of the RTO. This stock can go either way, thus before the news is out, I advise all to go in fast and sell off fast for a quick profit.

3. Mediaring

This stock has similar accumulation pattern to the previous 2 stocks, but the volume of accumulation is in much larger quantities.
It is always one of the targets for pennies breakout and the pattern is clear again.
Go in fast and sell off fast for a quick profit as you would not expect it to go up in value in times to come.

Every time we go into penny stocks rally, it is always clear that we are encountering a downturn soon. This is due to the fact that the blue chips prices are not attractive anymore and investors would like to cash in to load something which is much profitable in intra day situations.
Therefore, do take note of signals whereby the market is coming down again.
I'm on the bearish side for the time being.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

US Market Summary 15 Feb 08

Dow 12,348.21 -28.77 -0.23%
Nasdaq 2,321.80 -10.74 -0.46%
S&P 500 1,349.99 +1.13 +0.08%

US market ended flat as all are unsure on whether this week is a dead cats' rebound or whether market is bottoming. Asia markets should open green on Monday but all will be uncertain as profit taking will be in place in the second half of the trading.

Take note of the small caps as pennies started to rally since last week. We should be able to see more of it this coming week as well.
I will post some pennies recommendation later.
So stay tuned to the blog.

Friday, February 15, 2008

US Market Summary 14 Feb 08

Dow 12,376.98 -175.26 -1.40%
Nasdaq 2,332.54 -41.39 -1.74%
S&P 500 1,348.86 -18.35 -1.34%

Wall Street retreated Thursday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted a "sluggish" economy until later in the year and more mortgage-related losses at banks. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 175 points.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke did it again as his comments send the market to end on a negative note yesterday.
We will see Asia markets opening red and the afternoon trading session might be a test on how STI will close on Budget Day

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Asia Markets Rally

Asia Markets rallied as we see Nikkei and TWI went up 4% to mark a green day.
Europe markets also opened green as hopes are high for US market to end on a positive note tonight.

I'm inching towards the green as charts show that when Dow closed above 12500 yesterday.
But Ben is speaking tonight about the jobless claims and this might affect the market sentiments tonight.

US Market Summary 13 Feb 08

Dow 12,552.24 +178.83 +1.45%
Nasdaq 2,373.93 +53.89 +2.32%
S&P 500 1,367.21 +18.35 +1.36%

Wall Street moved sharply higher Wednesday after the Commerce Department reported an unexpected increase in retail sales last month and eased some concerns about consumers' willingness to spend despite economic uncertainty.

Asia markets rallied in the first half of the day with Nikkei and TWI breaking new highs. The second half of the trading day would be determining whether we will close with a bullish week ahead as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

US Market Summary 12 Feb 08

Dow 12,373.41 +133.40 +1.09%
Nasdaq 2,320.04 -0.02 -0.00%
S&P 500 1,348.86 +9.73 +0.73%

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's offer to help insure municipal bonds assuaged some of the broader market's credit concerns Tuesday, but the troubled bond insurers may have little interest in extra coverage for their best assets.

A sharp recovery from the US Market would see the same thing for Asia markets as well. We may possibly see the same recovery strength for HSI too, and STI may stretch the rally until 15 Feb which is Budget day.

Pennies will continue to run today, go in and exit fast for a quick punt. Do not take overnight positions as retail sales figures may sink US market tonight.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

US Market Summary 11 Feb 08

Dow 12,240.01 +57.88 +0.48%
Nasdaq 2,320.06 +15.21 +0.66%
S&P 500 1,339.13 +7.84 +0.59%

Yahoo Inc.'s rejection of Microsoft Corp.'s unsolicited takeover bid left investors guessing the next move in a tense mating dance that may hatch a more imposing challenger to Google Inc. or disintegrate into a bruising brawl.

Asia markets suffer another major downfall yesterday as we should see things picking up today. Market trend is still in bearish mood as any negative news will send market tumbling now.

Trade with care and close any positions before end of the day.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Don't lose your head (or your shirt) in market turmoil

IN A few heart-stopping moments on Jan 22, marketing manager Henry Foo, 30, saw the value of his stock portfolio plunge from $100,000 to $82,100.

When he did an online check of his $150,000 unit trust portfolio, there was more bad news - it had dipped by about $10,000 in value.

He and many other Singapore investors have witnessed a large portion of their investment values wiped out in a matter of days.

The culprit, of course, is the United States sub-prime mortgage crisis where thousands of high-risk borrowers have defaulted on loans. This sparked global credit worries that cascaded through to equity markets.

As investors braced themselves for a battering, Asian stock markets took a beating on Jan 21, with Singapore suffering its worst one-day fall since Black Monday in October 1987, plunging by 6 per cent to 2,917.15 points.

Blue chips were not spared, with counters such as bourse operator Singapore Exchange crashing to $8.10 on Jan 22. Its price on Oct 8 was $17.20.

Fearing the worst, investors had to decide if they should hold their positions or cut their losses. Many regretted not cashing out when the market peaked in November.

Why investors panic

MOST people like to imagine they are rational and logical when it comes to serious matters such as investment - but human nature dictates otherwise.

The chief executive of ipac Wealth Management Asia, Mr Gary Harvey, says it is easy to understand how the ups and downs of the stock market create emotional responses.

"We fear that when markets go down, they will fall further and we will lose money. During a market decline, most investors sell their portfolio as they are motivated by a fear that the market will not recover," he says.

IPP Financial Advisers investment director Albert Lam says investors usually panic for one or more of the following reasons:

> A weak level of confidence in their investments as they did not do their research properly before buying them.

> Overexposure to certain investments due to inappropriate asset allocation or not diversifying adequately.

> The influences of market sentiment - such as fear and panic - instead of weighing up facts about the economy and investments.

> Forced selling kicking in when shares hit margin calls. This would be an issue for investors who borrow money to buy these shares but do not have the cash to top up their loans.

> "Shorting" of securities where investors sell shares they do not own as they believe the market will fall and they can later buy the shares at lower prices. However, if they are wrong and the market rises instead, they are forced to buy the shares at higher prices to cover their short positions.

Mr Lam says that investors should firstly ascertain whether there is a valid reason to sell quickly. "If the reason is invalid and he had previously done his research appropriately and engaged the services of a competent financial planner to draw up his asset allocation, chances of him panicking would be reduced greatly."

If the foundation for the investment decision is still intact, there is no valid reason to sell quickly - regardless of what is happening in the market.

How to stay calm

THIS tricky topic of dealing with market volatility was of vital interest to the 1,800 participants who attended an investment seminar organised by online unit trust distributor Fundsupermart recently.

Fundsupermart general manager and seminar speaker Wong Sui Jau has one important piece of advice: Remember that markets always recover.

"Markets cannot drop 5 to 10 per cent every day. Have faith that markets and economies are self-correcting, they won't go down forever," he says.

In fact, Mr Lam advises that quite often, market selldowns present buying opportunities for the calm investor. This means that if there is an investment which you believe is fundamentally good, then you have an opportunity to buy in at a lower price.

Here are some tips on staying calm regardless of market conditions:

> Diversification

Spreading your investment across many assets helps to eliminate some risk. This is because as we add more securities to a portfolio, the exposure to any particular source of risk becomes smaller.

This is why most financial experts typically recommend unit trusts as an investment tool as each fund comprises large numbers of securities across different asset classes such as bonds, property, resources and equity. Different classes get different weightages, depending on their prospects.

> Keep investing

A speaker at the Fundsupermart seminar, Aberdeen Asset Management Asia's senior investment manager of Asian equities, Ms Flavia Cheong, says she believes in the advantages of investing consistently. In fact, she plans to be "more aggressive" in her investing now that the markets are more volatile, and look for value buys.

Mr Harvey notes that the markets are difficult to predict and can move quickly. Also people generally lack a sensible framework for going into and out of the market - so fear and greed play out.

A case in point was the market selldown in the May to June period last year when the benchmark Straits Times Index (STI) slid by about 14.5 per cent, spooked by fears over interest rate hikes. However, the STI ended at 2,991 at year-end, up 12 per cent from the May to June period.

Says Mr Lam: "There were some clients who liquidated their investments totally during the correction. Very few who did so know when to re-enter the market. For clients who decided to ride out the volatility, the value of their investments would have been higher by the end of the year."

This shows that timing the market is difficult and dealing with market sentiment is tough. Usually, investors reason that prices will fall further when markets look low, which prevents them from taking up buying opportunities. Most investors will re-enter the market only when prices move back up. But by then, they could have missed the best prices.

Says Mr Lam: "Therefore, a more practical strategy is to stay invested if an investor thinks it is only a correction and not a change in trend.

"However, if he ascertains it is a change in trend from a bull to a bear market, he must review and re-strategise his portfolio to go defensive, such as having more fixed income assets."

> Maintain a long-term perspective

Research over many years has shown that equities rise over time and will outperform cash and bonds and give some protection against inflation.

By investing in and remaining invested in equities, investors can benefit from this trend, says Mr Harvey.

"To survive volatility and prosper during the inevitable recovery, a good investor should have a portfolio that has three strong elements - quality, value and diversity. And then, given a period of time, he would be able to reap better than average returns."

> Talk to your financial adviser

Speaking to your adviser during market volatility will help you avoid making potential mistakes resulting from emotions such as fear and greed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

US Market Summary 8 Feb 08

Dow 12,182.13 -64.87 -0.53%
Nasdaq 2,304.85 +11.82 +0.52%
S&P 500 1,331.29 -5.62 -0.42%

Weekly Recap - Week ending 08-Feb-08

What the market giveth, it also taketh away. Fortunately, it has given a lot more than it has taken through the years, but in the past week it wasn't in much of a giving mood at all.

The major indices suffered sharp losses and essentially gave back the prior week's gains, which is saying something considering that the Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Russell 2000 surged 4.4%, 3.7%, 4.9% and 6.1%, respectively, in the prior week.

The past week started out in expected fashion, which is to say Monday's session was governed by profit taking that transpired in an orderly fashion. That deliberate effort, though, soon gave way to heightened selling interest when a remarkably weak ISM Services report on Tuesday reignited recession concerns.

With respect to the latter report, the Institute for Supply Management's business activity index showed a stunning drop to 41.9 from 54.4 in December. Under a new computation methodology, the non-manufacturing index, which is the new composite reading for this report, checked in at 44.6. A number below 50 signifies contraction. In the case of the January number, it marked the first contraction in the services sector in nearly five years.

This report, which typically doesn't show such dramatic swings, sparked a broad-based wave of selling activity that was exacerbated by the specter of bond insurer downgrades and the residual impact on the financial sector, which plummeted 8.6% this week. On Tuesday alone, the Dow dropped 370 points, the Nasdaq declined 73 points and the S&P 500 plunged 44 points.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

US Market Summary 6 Feb 08

Dow 12,200.10 -65.03 -0.53%
Nasdaq 2,278.75 -30.82 -1.33%
S&P 500 1,326.45 -10.19 -0.76%

Wall Street pulled back for the third straight day Wednesday as investors still uneasy about the economy sold off after a Federal Reserve official suggested rising inflation could prevent the central bank from making further interest rate cuts.

There seems like some buying interest before the investors cash out on uncertain grounds as they do not want to keep stocks overnight.
To the Asia markets which are closed until reopening on Monday, it is only important how Dow fares on Friday itself.

So wishing all of you a Happy Chinese New Year!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

US Market Summary 5 Feb 08

Dow 12,265.13 -370.03 -2.93%
Nasdaq 2,309.57 -73.28 -3.08%
S&P 500 1,336.64 -44.18 -3.20%

Wall Street plunged Tuesday, driving the Dow Jones industrials down 370 points after investors saw an unexpected contraction in the service sector as evidence the economy is sinking into recession.

There will be panic selling across the Asia market today as there is only half day trading for today. Take up short positions and buy puts to cash in at the end of the day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

US Market Summary 4 Feb 08

Dow 12,635.16 -108.03 -0.85%
Nasdaq 2,382.85 -30.51 -1.26%
S&P 500 1,380.82 -14.60 -1.05%

Wall Street retrenched Monday, closing sharply lower as investors showed their cautious side and cashed in profits from the market's best week in nearly five years. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points.

As expected, US market closed on a negative note but this is just a cautious drop as people are uncertain what lies ahead in this week.
Asia markets might open red today, but there is a high chance of a rebound this afternoon. Buy on the dips and sell on the highs, sell off everything if the trend for the second half of the day is still going down.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

US Market Summary 1 Feb 08

Dow 12,743.19 +92.83 +0.73%
Nasdaq 2,413.36 +23.50 +0.98%
S&P 500 1,395.42 +16.87 +1.22%

After volatile trading on Friday, stocks proved to be resilient by ending on a high note. The stock market's 1.2% gain today capped off a strong 4.9% gain for the week.

Traders were encouraged that the stock market was able to hold up in the face of a worse than expected jobs reading. Word of the largest tech acquisition in history and a better than expected manufacturing reading helped sentiment.

Next Monday is the crux of whether the week ahead is uptrend or downtrend. We can expect a strong buying frenzy on the first half of trading. If the Asia Markets are able to end on a positive note on Monday, we can expect an uptrend for the rest of the week. Dow might end on a flat or negative note on Monday, as I predict profit taking after going up so much. Load up some strong stocks like Singtel etc on down, and hold it for mid term gains. If selling occurs on Monday afternoon, offload it at once.

Friday, February 1, 2008

US Market Summary 31 Jan 08

Dow 12,650.36 +207.53 +1.67%
Nasdaq 2,389.86 +40.86 +1.74%
S&P 500 1,378.55 +22.74 +1.68%

The US major indices were able to rally, despite opening sharply lower in the wake of a disappointing unemployment claim report. Sentiment was lifted due to a bond insurer's positive outlook. This is in contrast to Wednesday, when concerns over bond insurers caused the stock market to give up all of its FOMC induced gains.

Asia markets would rally today but as it is Friday, do not take any overnight positions . Buy on weakness and sell on strength.
We would be able to see whether market is able to recover next week or volatility will continue.

Brain Bliss