It was a mixed week for U.S. markets, with the Dow Jones down 0.32%, S&P 500 falling 0.13%, but the NASDAQ up 0.46%. Global markets also pulled back, with the MCSI Emerging Markets Index correcting 0.58%.
The big gainer in your Bull Market Alert portfolio was Bank of Ireland (IRE), which jumped 10.16% last week. It is now up 40.74% just in 2014. You booked 64.29% gains in your April $20 call options (IRE140419C00020000) on Friday. With your remaining options now up an even 100%, sell your options here to book these triple-digit percentage gains. As you know, it is always good to book option gains after such sudden big gains, as the spike in volatility makes the options overvalued. IRE is scheduled to report earnings on March 3, before markets open, so you’ll see plenty of movement in the stock over the coming weeks.
The news was less positive about Yandex (YNDX), which tumbled after missing analysts’ estimates. The company reported $0.31 earnings-per-share (EPS) vs. a $0.35 EPS estimate. The top line, however, was much better than expected, with revenue of $369.3 million beating estimates of $356 million. Overall, revenue rose 37% for the quarter, and adjusted net income was up 19% year over year. Yandex expects 2014 full-year revenue growth to rise between 25% and 30%. I continue to be bullish on Yandex, as long as it stays above its stop price of $34.50.
In other news, AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) raised its quarterly dividend from $0.40 to $0.42 per share, as Bank of America maintained its ‘Buy’ rating and raised its price target to $58.00 — 13.6% above Friday’s close. Goldman Sachs upgraded Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (TMO) from ‘Neutral’ to ‘Buy’ and raised its price target to $153.00 — a substantial 24% above Friday’s close.
With the U.S. market technically overbought, I am holding off on making a new recommendation this week. From a technical standpoint, the broad U.S. market is at crossroads. If the S&P 500 manages to break out to new highs, then I believe there is solid upside in the broader market, before the summer lull. That said, I still expect to continue to focus on certain sectors of the market like technology and healthcare, both of which are well represented in your Bull Market Alert portfolio.
On a personal note, I had breakfast here in London last week with Congressman Robert Pittenger, a Republican from North Carolina who is making an effort to reach out to American voters overseas. There are, after all, 7.6 million Americans living overseas — close to the population of the State of Virginia — who essentially have no representation in the U.S. electoral system. I was also interested to hear that Pittenger feels as much pressure from the Tea Party as he does from the Democrats in his own district for the upcoming mid-term elections.
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