It was another flat week for U.S. markets, with the Dow and S&P 500 each gaining only 0.3%. Although the overall market was uninspiring, your Bull Market Alert portfolio continues to power ahead — chalking up double-digit and triple-digit percentage gains on a weekly basis.
Last week’s option recommendation in biotech Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) is already up 45.95% in just five days, and the stock is up 25.77% since you bought it.
Your position in Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas (ABV) added another 2.86%, and your remaining options are now up 100%. Sell your remaining options here to lock in your second triple-digit percentage gain of 2012.
MasterCard Inc. (MA) also had a big week, gaining 5.71%. With your options now up 92.75%, sell half of your options here to lock in your gains. Hold on to the rest for another potential triple-digit percentage gainer within the next few days.
The U.S. markets are at a critical juncture. On the one hand, the S&P 500 is at its highest level since 2008 and it has now advanced in seven out of the past eight weeks. If the S&P 500 can hold its gains and press through the 1,370 level, I’ll be looking to increase your exposure to new ideas in Bull Market Alert.
On the other, I find the lack of any real correction in the market this year is worrisome. Markets are as overbought as they have been in many years, and this kind of technical picture often portends a sharp pullback. Then again, that’s been the case since mid-January. As always, it’s a question of balancing the risks against the rewards.
So, I am going to hold off on a new Bull Market Alert recommendation today. But keep your eye out for “Special Alerts” during the week, as I’ll be looking to take advantage of any new opportunities as they arise.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) gained 1.96% over the past five trading days, hitting another 52-week high. Alexion’s cash cow, the drug Soliris, has gained approval for use in over 35 countries. However, the true “secret sauce” behind its success is the virtual lack of competition and its ability to set the pricing for their unique life-saving product. ALXN is a BUY.
Bank of Ireland (IRE) rose 3.70% last week. Although Bank of Ireland still has a long road to recovery, it is now in the strongest financial position it has been in several years. IRE’s losses were nearly 50% less in 2011, compared to 2010. With the continued and undying backing of the Irish government, “nowhere to go but up” may just be the direction for your bet on Ireland’s recovery. IRE is a BUY.
National Bank of Greece SA (NBG) fell 9.09%. Last Friday, the head of the European Union’s (EU) group of finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said if all agreed-upon reform measures are implemented, Greece would be able to restore its competitiveness. Meeting targets would also enable the EU to support Greece in future bailout efforts. NBG is a BUY.
Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas (ABV) added another 2.86%, rising last week like a runaway train. If emerging markets continue on their current trajectory, ABV could see gains straight through to its earnings report date. ABV is a BUY.
MasterCard Inc. (MA) had a stellar week, gaining 5.71%. After spending a few weeks attempting to push above the considerable $400 barrier, MA finally managed to break through, and on strong volume. Deutsche Bank also raised its price target on MA to $465. Your options are up 92.5%. Sell half of your options to lock in your gains. MA is a BUY.
Ford Motor Co. (F) gave back 4% last week. Ford has drifted slightly lower as some of the news-driven shine has faded from its recent huge run. However, Ford’s 50-day and 200-day moving averages met last Friday, laying down an extremely important support level from a technical perspective. This line-in-the-sand likely represents a strong buying opportunity. F is a BUY.
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG) added 1.03% over the past five trading days. ISRG has been moving higher since reporting earnings nearly one month ago (at its 50-day moving average). Each time, ISRG trades sideways for five days (i.e., consolidates), it makes a determined move higher. ISRG is in its third iteration of this healthy bullish pattern. ISRG is a BUY.
Melco Crown (MPEL) rose 1.47% for the week. MPEL continued its slow, steady climb last week as investors continued their buying spree. Out of the ten analysts currently covering MPEL, five rate MPEL as a “Strong Buy” and none rank the stock below “Hold.” MPEL is a BUY.
Life Technologies (LIFE) dropped 4.26%. As expected, investors viewed the recent news-driven beating LIFE recently suffered as a good buying opportunity, and the stock resumed its upward climb in the second half of the week. Bloomberg recently identified LIFE as a possible takeover target. Although pure speculation at this point, takeover bids generally produce significant pops in target stock prices. This possibility is merely something interesting to watch for now. LIFE is a BUY.
Stratasys Inc. (SSYS) rose 1.63% last week. SSYS has been building tremendous support at the $35 level. Evidence of this occurred last week and has repeated three times since this level initially breached near the beginning of 2012. Use the $35 price as your share accumulation target level. SSYS is a BUY.
SPDR S&P BRIC 40 ETF (BIK) added an even 1.0%. Over the past 10 years, BIK’s big brother, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, has returned an annualized 15%, compared to the S&P 500’s meager 3%. This year, emerging markets are already up 16.49%. BIK is a BUY.
Altisource Portfolio Solutions (ASPS), which I recommended on Thursday, rose 1.08% on Friday. ASPS continued its strong rally, stoked by its Feb 16 earnings report. Investors seemed unfazed by the recent departure of CFO Robert Stiles as the company announced the well-qualified Michelle Esterman for his replacement. ASPS is a BUY.