After Friday’s big drop in the unemployment rate, the S&P 500 shot up 1.46%, ending the week 2.06% higher. Nasdaq surpassed its May high and reached its highest level since December 2000. So far in 2012, the Nasdaq is up an impressive 11.5% The S&P 500 is up 6.9%. The Dow Jones industrial average, last year’s leader among major indexes, trails with a 5.3% gain.
But your Bull Market Alert portfolio is leaving these staid returns in the dust. Last week’s Bull Market Alert pick Stratasys (SSYS) got off to a flying start, with the stock soaring 11.18% its first week in the portfolio, with the options up 82.35% in just five days. Bank of Ireland (IRE) soared 27.51%, and even staid blue chip MasterCard (MA) rocketed 11.91%.
That said, with the market overdue for a pullback, I’m going to hold off on making a new recommendation this week. But there is plenty to do in your Bull Market Alert portfolio, between taking more profits and adjusting your stops upward, as I highlight in the “Portfolio Update” section below.
Today, I am also recommending that you sell half of your options in Companhia de Bebidas das America (ABV) to lock in a 73.95% gain.
Finally, when I originally recommended ProShares Ultra S&P500 (SSO), I had a target price of 1,345 for the S&P 500. As the market hit that target on Friday, I’m recommending that you sell your position here to lock in 16.10% profits in this leveraged bet on the S&P 500.
Meanwhile, let’s review how your Bull Market Alert portfolio has performed in 2012. As of Friday’s close, you’ve had a 74.2% gain in National Bank of Greece (NBG) and an 85.8% gain in Bank of Ireland (IRE) so far this year. As I have always said, when these stocks take off, they will perform like options. Between the two, I am more bullish on Bank of Ireland (IRE) as I believe both the bank and the country have now turned the corner.
In addition to these big gains, you’ve taken 61% gains in Ford (F) options this year and 93.94% gains in Life Technologies (LIFE) in just four days. In Friday’s Special Alert, I recommended that you take a “triple play” of profits of 55.17%, 53.57% and 47.06% in Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN) and Stratasys, Inc. (SSYS). After Friday’s close, all of your remaining options in each of these positions are trading even higher.
So, we’re off to our best start ever in Bull Market Alert. And I’m happy that you are along for the ride.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN) rose 4.62% and hit another 52-week high on Friday. ALXN captured second place on the 50-day best stocks list in Investor’s Business Daily. Analysts expect Alexion to report $0.34/share this Friday, Feb. 9, a 31% gain year-over-year. ALXN is a BUY.
Bank of Ireland (IRE) gained for the fourth week in a row, posting another huge 27.51% jump. The Fitch rating agency removed its Rating Watch Negative (RWN) rating from Bank of Ireland’s mortgage covered bonds last Thursday. IRE is a BUY.
National Bank of Greece SA (NBG) added another 6.48%. NBG pulled back slightly late last week after hitting a new $3.82 high. Concerns over the Greek bailout timeline and funding amount caused the slight news-driven pullback. However, as of Sunday, the Greek prime minister and his three major political party leaders have agreed to additional budgetary cuts totaling 1.5% of gross domestic product. NBG is a BUY.
Companhia de Bebidas Das Americas (ABV) rose 3.05% last week. ABV broke through its previously tested $37.25 resistance level to post a new 52-week high at nearly $38.50. ABV’s estimated annual earnings-per-share forward growth rate is 10.3%, based upon three analysts covering the stock. ABV is scheduled to report earnings March 8. ABV is a BUY. Move your stop to $34.40.
MasterCard Inc. (MA) popped 11.91% over the past five trading days. MA launched from its 100-day moving average last week to make a new 52-week high. Standard & Poor’s also raised its outlook on MA last Friday from “stable” to “positive." MA is now a BUY.
Ford Motor Co. (F) captured 4.75% in gains last week. Ford has been gaining ground after its weaker-than-expected earnings report last week and is holding its 200-day moving average. With used car prices creeping up for the third year in a row and jumping 3% in 2011 year-over-year, Ford announced plans on Sunday to enhance the company’s certified, pre-owned car sales program in an effort to catch some of this promising market segment. F is a BUY.
Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG) jumped 7.19%. ISRG gained 10% the past two weeks, surging off of the 50-day moving average. Gains spiked on heavy volume late last week as investors piled in to the position. ISRG enjoys a huge cash reserve and low debt — very attractive assets in most shareholders’ eyes. ISRG is a BUY. Raise your stop to $430.
Melco Crown (MPEL) continued its run, adding another 2.99%. MPEL shares jumped once again in a second test of the 200-day moving average, showing investor confidence for this stock. MPEL ranks second in a listing of brokerage ratings, and 23 out of 27 analysts covering the stock rate it positively. MPEL will report earnings on Feb 9. MPEL is a BUY. Raise your stop to $9.50.
Life Technologies (LIFE) gained 2.10%. Life Technologies’ new President of Medical Sciences Ronnie Andrews stated LIFE’s new Ion Torrent technology was a new and disruptive technology in the DNA-sequencing marketplace, offering speed and simplicity well ahead of other competing products and technologies. LIFE reports earnings on Feb 7. LIFE is a BUY. Raise your stop to $43.00.
Stratasys Inc. (SSYS) continued your new-position winning streak and rocketed 11.18% during its first week in your portfolio. SSYS will report earnings on Feb 7. Stratasys Inc. has beaten earnings expectations for five quarters in a row. Analysts predict $42 million in revenue, which is a 24.3% rise year-over-year, and $0.26/share in earnings. SSYS is a BUY. Raise your stop to $32.00.