PowerTrend Brief: Ignore the Mainstream Media and Focus on What is Really Happening

Chris Versace

Chris Versace is a financial columnist and equity analyst with more than 20 years of experience in the investment industry.

Last week featured a plethora of information as nearly 500 companies reported not only their December quarter results but issued their near-term outlook. As tends to be the case, it was a smorgasbord of data with some positive views, some negative ones, as well as some conflicting ones.

What tends to exacerbate the moves in stock prices during periods such as these is the tone of the talking heads and other pundits. Whether it’s the much discussed but never actually seen whisper about forecast numbers or simply praising one stock and panning another to attract viewers, it does little to help the investor. Reflecting on that situation, I am reminded of an old adage that seems rather appropriate — you get what you pay for.

That’s why each and every week, I aim to bring insight and clarity to subscribers of my PowerTrend Profits investment newsletter by not only sharing the latest data but also breaking it down and putting into context. It is those steps, housed inside the PowerTrend framework, that have delivered strong performance, including the 33% move in M/I Homes (MHO) and a 24% rise in Applied Materials (AMAT) before including dividends. More on those companies and other PowerTrend holdings can be found here.

As I have often said, if you want to generate better returns than the market, you have to look for data and insights someplace other than where the herd is looking. That’s why I scour a number of industry publications and dig deep into surveys and other data that’s often overlooked by CNBC, Fox Business and even the Wall Street Journal.

A great example of this comes from the combination of Travel & Leisure and FastCompany which both described The Walt Disney Company’s (DIS) $1 billion project to overhaul The Walt Disney World experience using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. As one of the articles goes on to note, once you don your RFID enabled MagicBand and register it with Disney’s cloud-based service, a person can use his or her wrist to enter the park, buy lunch, and even unlock the hotel room. By an end-of-year rollout, these MagicBands will touch every facet of a Disney vacation — from trip planning and check-in to the rides themselves as the bracelets store those reservations. Complementing MagicBands will be a new Disney website — dubbed “My Disney Experience” — that allows users to make hotel, dinner, and even show reservations. If you need to make a change as your day progresses, there is no problem when using Disney’s mobile app.

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Now one could consider investing in Disney, but PowerTrend investors would see the above and view it as another confirming data point for my Always On, Always Connected PowerTrend. Not only would they be right in thinking so, but they also would be the beneficiaries of knowing which companies are poised to benefit from Disney’s RFID deployment. That’s the kind of perspective PowerTrend Profits subscribers get each and every week. It has led to a portfolio with 10 out of 12 stocks in the green and double-digit percentage returns for seven of those 12 positions. Click here to join us.

PowerTalk on Social Media, Brand Building and More

Joining me on PowerTalk this week is Patrick Sweeney, a serial entrepreneur, the president and CEO of dwinQ — a social media product placement company. Patrick is also the author of RFID for Dummies and a frequent speaker on technology’s impact on both business and life, as well as how it creates value. Patrick is an extremely busy person, so it was great to talk with him for as long as I did about as much as we did.

We touched on a number of topics including the impact of social media and technology in brand building and how technology is helping companies like VAIL Resorts (MTN) and Disney (DIS), as well as brands like Heineken NV (HINKY) and Mondelez International’s (MDLZ) Cadbury interact in new ways with their customers. Patrick also shares his perspective on a number of companies being impacted by social media. Those companies include Costco (COST) and Amazon.com (AMZN), as well as Facebook (FB). He also addresses the multiplier benefit associated with sponsored events and social media marketing. As with my other PowerTalk conversations, this one brings you behind the scenes and in the know. Listen to it by clicking here.

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To read my e-letter from last week, please click here. I also invite you to comment about my column in the space provided below.

Despite close to 500 companies sharing their quarterly results this past week, the fun of earnings season is far from over. Here’s a detailed view on which companies are reporting their quarterly results this week, as well as what economic indicators are on tap for the trading days ahead. In aggregate, there will be a number of data points to be had for my Always On, Always Connected PowerTrend, as well as The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class and Scarce Resource PowerTrends.

Monday, Jan. 28
Durable Orders (December)
Pending Home Sales (December)
BMC Software (BMC)
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)
Delta Apparel (DLA)
VMware, Inc. (WMW)
Werner Enterprises (WERN)
Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Tuesday, Jan. 29
Case-Shiller 20-cit Index (November)
Consumer Confidence (January)
AK Steel Holding (AKS)
Amazon.com (AMZN)
Broadcom Corp. (BRCM)
Crane Co. (CR)
DR Horton (DHI)
Dolby Laboratories (DLB)
Ford Motor Company (F)
Corning Inc. (GLW)
Peabody Energy (BTU)
Harley-Davidson (HOG)
International Paper (IP)
Illinois Tool Works (ITW)
Pfizer Inc. (PFE)
Pentair (PNR)

Wednesday, Jan. 30
MBA Mortgage Index (Weekly)
ADP Employment Report (January)
GDP – Advanced Reading(4Q 2012)
FOMC Rate Decision (January)
ADT Corp. (ADT)
Boeing (BA)
CEVA Inc. (CEVA)
Citrix Systems (CTXS)
Callaway Golf (ELY)
Facebook (FB)
Piper Jaffray (PJC)
Qualcomm (QCOM)
Northrop Grumman (NOC)
Ryland Group (RYL)
Skyworks Solutions (SWKS)
Tractor Supply Co. (TSCO)

Thursday, Jan. 31
Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims (Weekly)
Challenger Job Cuts Report (January)
Personal Income & Spending (December)
Employment Cost Index (4Q 2012)
Chicago PMI (January)
Ameriprise Financial (AMP)
AutoNation (AN)
Ball Corp. (BLL)
Brooks Automation (BRKS)
Cavium Networks (CAVM)
Colgate-Palmolive (CL)
Dunkin’ Brands (DNKN)
Dow Chemical Corp. (DOW)
Fortune Brands Home & Security (FBHS)
hhgress, Inc. (HGG)
The Hershey Company (HSY)
MDC Holdings (MDC)
M/I Homes (MHO)
Meritage Homes Corp. (MTH)
Altria Group (MO)
NXP Semiconductors (NXPI)
Paccar Inc (PCAR)
Pulte Homes (PHM)
Potash Corp. (POT)
Regis Corp. (RGS)
Sherwin-Williams Co. (SHW)
Under Armour (UA)

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Friday, Feb. 1
HSBC Brazil Manufacturing PMI (January)
HSBC China Manufacturing PMI (January)
Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI (January)
Markit US Manufacturing PMI (January)
Nonfarm Payrolls & Employment Report (January)
Michigan Sentiment Index – Final (January)
ISM Manufacturing Index (January)
Construction Spending (December)
Auto & Truck Sales (January)
Brink’s Company (BCO)
Eastman Chemical (EMN)
Ingersoll-Rand Co. (IR)
Lear Corp. (LEA)
Mattel Inc. (MAT)
Newell Rubbermaid (NWL)
Tyson Foods (TSN)
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)

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It was another solid week in the markets during the holiday-shortened week. The Dow Jones rose 1.80% and the S&P 500 advanced 1.14%. Global markets, however, pulled back with MCSI Emerging Markets Index dropping 1.37%. Big gainers in your Bull Market Alert portfolio were HollyFrontier Corp. (HFC), which soared 6.80%, and moved back to a BUY. Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. (KORS) jumped 6.61%. National Bank of Greece (NBG) recovered 4.4

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