What an awful week. All the stock market indexes have fallen, partly in response to the resurgence of Covid-19 and the consequential lockdowns we are now seeing. Much of Europe has already headed back under lock and key and it looks as though we are next.
I take my hat off to Woodford dog, revolutionary washing machine maker (geddit?) Xeros (XSG). It closed Friday with a market capitalisation of about £6 million, according to ADVFN, and has just raised another £6 million without totally crashing the share price. In the current environment, that is quite an achievement – especially since the company has been a cash-burning dog all through its life. What might we learn?
NMC Health (NMC) announced late yesterday that it was “not in a position” to oppose successfully the court application by Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank to have the company placed into administration at today’s hearing. In other words it is game over...
Lots of large companies are currently reducing or even completely scrapping their dividend payments, and whilst some of them will still be seen as attractive investments for capital growth, it leaves income funds in a bit of a quandary.
NMC Health has updated once again over the shareholdings fiasco surrounding former chairman and founder, the good Dr Shetty, Mr Khaleefa Butti Omair Al Muhairi ("Khaleefa Bin Butti") and His Excellency Mr Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi ("H.E. Saeed Bin Butti"). Today’s disclosures are again shocking and continue to show that TR-1s are for little people.
Shamed Dr Shetty outfit NMC Holdings (NMC), whose days in the FTSE100 are surely numbered, has updated on the latest apparent news from the good doctor, who waked the plank over the weekend. This is in relation to his holdings in NMC and those ofKhalifa Bin Butti and H.E. Saeed Bin Butti held via BRS International Holding Limited.
Muddy Waters must be laughing all the way to the bank right now – or it would be if Carson Block and his team were not in bed. Fully-listed NMC Health (NMC) – and a member of our elite FTSE100 (at least for now) – has announced the departure of its co-chairman and founder, the good Dr Shetty, along with two placemen appointed by principal shareholders Dr Shetty, His Excellency Mr Saeed Mohamed Butti Mohamed Khalfan Al Qebaisi and Mr Khaleefa Butti Omair Yousif Ahmed Al Muhairi. This is in addition to the departure last Friday (again with immediate effect) of the abovementioned Mr Khalifa Butti Omeir Bin Yousef as the scandal of undisclosed share pledges, sales and transfers has become marginally (but only marginally) less murky.
And so Neil Woodford lives to fight another day with his Income Focus fund (WIFF) – well, at least one! This morning’s figures from Morningstar will offer him no comfort at all, however, as the NAV per unit shrank again and the outflows from redemptions continued. A double whammy.
Neil Woodford’s Income Focus fund (WIFF) has taken a real beating since his Equity Income fund (WEIF) was gated. This morning’s figures from Morningstar show that the units dropped 0.5% yesterday – but redemptions saw yet more funds withdrawn.
This week saw a bit of a landmark as Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund (EIF) crashed below £4 billion in value. It was £4.7 billion at the of February, and £4.4 billion at the end of March – but it peaked at over £10 billion. It is an astonishing collapse of confidence in Woodford. But the end-April numbers revealed a few surprises.
The past couple of years haven’t been great for FTSE100 stock Centrica (CNA), including the share price having halved during that time, but it could have recovery prospects from the current share price...
It is a while since I updated on my small portfolio of high-yielders from the FTSE100. The idea of the portfolio – perhaps somewhat contrary to expectations – is that I am bearish, but am struggling to find somewhere to park my cash. Bond yields are low and prices high, but interest rates are rising so my simple mind sees capital losses there. You still can’t get any meaningful interest at the bank and property prices look set to (at best) stall. And to cap it all, I am nervous that the market might sell off. So I am investing here as a bear.
I’ve been wandering through my list of tasty-looking dividend plays identified HEREfor further additions to my dividend muncher’s list. The first was BT (BT.A) which I bought at 225p and has since risen nicely to 241.5p. We’ll see how this plays out when its results are released early next month, but so far, so good. My second choice was Centrica (CAN), but I haven’t taken the plunge there yet. Working down my list of high yields, it has been too easy to rule out most of them but I alighted on ITV (ITV) and I wonder if now may prove a good time to climb on board.
Yesterday I listed 30 of the FTSE100 with high enough yields to interest me, noting that the yield on the FTSE100 as a whole was substantially higher than 30-year US treasuries and a country mile ahead of 30-year gilts. Of course, having a big yield doesn’t make them a buy automatically – just for starters, is the yield sustainable? But now I want to compare the performance of the FTSE100 with other indices around the world. It makes for a striking comparison.
Warren Buffett always tells us that his intended investment holding period is forever, that he buys stocks he would be happy to hold if the market closed down for five years. I guess, then, if you’re Warren Buffett then the market travails of the last few days won’t bother you. If you’re not Mr Buffett I offer a few thoughts.
No doubt raging bull Malcolm Stacey will be crowing and snarling bear Tom Winnifrith will be growling as he changes the nappies: the FTSE100 has, again, popped up through the 7,000 mark. We can expect round 4,953 of the ding-dong between those two in the coming days. But what to make of it – are we on the cusp of a cracking selling opportunity or should we be filling our boots? And if we treat the latest gyrations as a chance to offload, what to do with the proceeds?
With turmoil on markets across the world, gold has seen a resurgence in popularity since the start of the year. It was as recently as late autumn of 2015 when many seemed to be predicting that gold would drop below the $1,000 area, and could possibly even go as low as the $800-850 range.
It's not often that a FTSE100 company makes the hallowed turf of ShareProphets - let alone the Red Flags at Night series, but Travis Perkins (TPK) managed exactly that by slipping out a big director share sale at 2.05pm on New Year's Eve. That truly is no-one-is-watching o'clock as it was even after the RNS system had closed down for the day. Worse still, the company looks to have screwed up the announcement and so having appeared to have gone to the trouble of hiding the sale as best it could, it will have now to restate the RNS when everyone is back at their desks next week. Bad luck, chaps - nice try.
Hello Share Spicers. There is no more important consideration in the grand old art of wheeling and dealing shares than the concept of correct timing. But it’s nigh impossible to pull it off perfectly. I cannot remember one occasion, among the many deals I do per week, that I have ever managed to buy at the very bottom or sell at the pinnacle of share value.
The FTSE 100 opened higher this morning boosted by a strong rally on Wall Street. As I said recently, the S&P 500 is a wild index, it can rally for days or weeks to the point where investors will feel safe then it will sell off. The rally was driven by technology, energy and healthcare stocks. Better than expected manufacturing PMIs in Europe, UK and US also helped stocks rally.
Once again the BTI, a sentiment indicator, changed direction as the stock market is unable to close up or down for two consecutive days. Sentiment is bearish but the timing indicators are oversold and the wave count is nearly complete. Overall it’s bullish.
The recent big drops in many leading stock market indices, including the FTSE100, is giving an opportunity to pick some stocks up at a bargain price. I think that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) definitely falls into that category and its current share price of around 1285p – the lowest levels since mid-2011 – offers a great long term buying opportunity for this FTSE100 listed pharmaceutical company.
The market is rallying as investors bet US interest rates won’t go up tonight. They could be disappointed in the event of a hike, the market would decline sharply. People have bought the rumour which is "no hike", this is why the stock market is rallying. It could also be due to short covering as some people don’t want to be short ahead of the announcement.
The FTSE 100 closed up yesterday without any help from Wall Street as the US markets were closed for a holiday. When the S&P 500 is closed the FTSE struggles to find direction. So today the action should resume. Surprisingly the index is up after some disappointing economic news.
The FTSE made a new low yesterday, in the process Top 20 Differential dropped below -2.5%, this means there is an increased probability that the FTSE will rally in the short term. When the top 20 Differential is below -2.5% the blue chips are oversold and in this situation they will bounce back. Blue chips seldom stay too low for too long, bargain hunters will move in. But the bounce won’t last because it’s the final leg of the triangle.
The FTSE was strong yesterday, the index was boosted by mining stocks. As we know the index is influenced by the three major sectors, oil, banks and mining stocks. When one of these sectors is strong in general the FTSE is strong too. The rally in mining stocks could extend further as bargain hunters will be attracted by low valuations after the recent slide.
The index was unable to rally yesterday, despite the deep retracement. This time it was China’s stock market mini crash that sent shockwaves around the globe. I have warned many times that if the sell off in China continues, global stock markets will go down. The FTSE is ready to rally but we need to see an end to the Chinese stock market slide, at least temporarily. This would give a boost to the FTSE.
Hello Share Jugglers. Hard though it is, chums, to keep up with the flood of sensational stories on this glorious website, one must still try to convince you that buying shares is still a pretty good way of making money for doing very little.
Hello Share Swogglers. When the markets are racked by uncertainty, the big shares fall. This is nothing to do with their performance. It is everything to do with a nervousness, which pervades all. We all know that the markets hate uncertainty.
The stock market is struggling to move up, global stocks are pressurised by the decline in the Chinese stock market. Chinese stocks bounced today after the local regulator banned shareholders with large stakes from selling. There were further attempts by the PBOC to stimulate the market but over 1330 Chinese companies had to halt trading. I am not sure this is the solution, if you know you may be next to be banned from selling you probably want to sell now to get out before it’s too late. This could accelerate the sell off instead of stopping it.
The trend appears to have turned up for the FTSE100 but the BTI (sentiment indicator) is still declining (bearish divergence). This suggest that the move up is counter trend. If the trend has turned up the BTI should rise, perhaps this indicator will turn up in the next few days.
A bunting of red warning flags is now billowing gently over the share price of Just Eat (JE.). I first identified this as a candidate to watch for an opportunity to short at the start of last December. Unfortunately I then chose shorting Just Eat as one of my tips for 2015. That decision is going to come back and bite me, but now that Just Eat is trading at 435p (last seen), and after the flurry of recent insider selling, it is time to revisit what could be a cracking trade.
I would hope that most of you have had the opportunity to watch Groundhog Day one of the greatest films, in my view, of the last generation. Fortunately I am not about to go into a reverie about twenty plus year old films but talk about a couple of stock market related Groundhog Days. Bring up a chart of the FTSE-100 over the last couple of years…
My recent call on buying the rising FTSE100 at 6,644 has been a very good one. Although the German and American markets didn’t fall far enough to trigger my entry targets for the DAX or Dow, within the space of a fortnight, Britain’s main index rose through its target and jumped over 100 points. Once again the MIDAS Method has proved itself to be a superb indicator. However, with the FTSE100 now trading at 6,759, the question is can it make a push on that obstinate all time record? Better yet, can it finally break through 7,000?
Over the last few days, I’ve written a series of pieces identifying potential points to go long the Dow, FTSE100 and German DAX. Further selling yesterday afternoon and evening has pulled the three indices closer to my targets. However, it is another index which is flashing a warning sign that all is not well with the story of global growth; the Baltic Dry Index.
After last week’s sell-off across the main global equity markets, this week has got off to a relatively benign start. The FTSE trades at 6,686 (last seen), but the index is within touching distance of key MIDAS support. If the selling continues and this level is breached, this could, once more, provide an excellent opportunity to go long Britain’s primary index.
Hello Share Tweakers: According to the latest figures, growth in Britain is up by another 0.8%. It doesn't sound much, does it? But growth is so tiny usually, that the latest improvement is not minor at all. The happy fact is that Blighty's GDP is rising faster than anyone expected. It is now higher than before that infamous Credit Crunch in 2007-8. That is going some.
Sentiment is no longer bearish but we can't say that sentiment is bullish because the 34-day BTI is still declining. Sentiment will turn bullish when both indicators, BTI and 34-day BTI are up. Yesterday we saw some good economic numbers from China and Europe and (manufacturing PMIs), mixed numbers in the US and weak retail sales in the UK. In the US better jobless claims was offset by weaker than expected new home sales. Overall the news was positive, the S&P 500 set another record closing high. Earnings reports have been well received, they have provided the fuel to the recent rally. The question is what will happen when the earnings season draws to a close? I guess investors will turn to valuations and geopolitical risks and the stock market will decline. This could happen in early August.
Aviva (AV.) is 8.6% or so down from its high point of 536p last May. Some in the market have been slightly underwhelmed by the recovery plan thinking that more cost cutting needs to be done; that is to say, doing the right things but not to a great enough extent.
In the last year to 29 March 2014 we were told that the first fruits of restructuring and reforming Marks and Spencer (MKS) were starting to appear. The company had just started up its own new digital buying web site rather than relying on sales through Amazon and the important women’s’ ware had been revamped by someone with the credentials to do a good job. The first quarter’s results were thus looked forward to with the anticipation that horticulturalists have each spring. Were the green shoots appearing?
Hello Share Tweakers: My shares seem to be softening fast. So what? Who cares? I certainly don't lose any sleep over a toppling Footsie. We have to recognise that all shares drop from time to time. There's a reason. It's that the big short- term traders cannot turn proper profits unless shares shed value on quite a regular basis.
Gary Carp returns with a superb analysis of Tesco's future.
It wasn’t meant to be like this. When Philip Clarke took over as Tesco boss, no one anticipated the pace of structural shift in shopper behaviours that is destabilising retail. Tesco was the most convenient and ambitious UK retailer; it was and still is number one. So why does it feel so dire? The harsh reality is almost every reason underpinning Tesco's last twenty years of success has been turned upside down and inside out. It is hard to see any light at the end of Tesco's tunnel.
In May, I judged Dixons to be a rational speculation on a year’s view, pointing to the weak balance sheet with balance sheet equity assets were geared 2.47 times by debt and the lack of dividend. The shares were 44p and have since moved up 12.5% to 49.5p last seen. Clearly it has to pay down costs to increase profits. That is still my view and the question is can the company achieve this?
Persimmon (PSN) reported a surge in revenues boosted by rising house prices. The UK house builder sold 30 per cent more houses this year as it continues to benefit from the UK housing market recovery. With the introduction of government incentives like Help to Buy the housing market is showing no sign of losing momentum.
IMI (IMI) is that rare and wonderful thing a British Engineering company. In modern parlance it provides “solution” for control of fluids. The country used to have hundreds of such companies. I note that its down 7% ; not a lot but enough to be of interest; particularly since it appears to have bounced of what looks like an upward sloping trend support line.
Hello Share Bunnies: Have you ever wondered why a big Footsie share falls so fast and so far on a piece of bad news, like a profit warning? They certainly drop faster than we private armchair tycoons can sell out and avoid heavy damage.
The FTSE 100 rallied strongly on Thursday morning but later in the afternoon, the trend turned down as profit takers moved in. The high on Thursday was 6837, well below the previous high at 6879. In the meantime the S&P is hitting new highs, once again the FTSE is reluctant to follow the S&P higher and in the context of a record low in the put/call ratio (see below), chances are the FTSE will decline in the short term.
Despite the inevitable national torpor following events in Brazil yesterday it is time to pull yourself out of the depths of misery and think about shares. Well today one share in particular: the Royal Mail (RMG). Now you probably remember trading this one late last year (or early this year) and selling your IPO allocation somewhere either side of the 6 quid level if you were clever, lucky or both. Have you checked the share price recently? No longer a ‘6’ in front of it. Not even a ‘5’…but a ‘4’. The low 480s to be precise at the time of writing.
Hello Share Shunters; Getting old is not very nice. I remember my youth with affection – I had such a good time in the fab fifties and swinging sixties. Now, I'm only a share trader with a battered lap top, miles from anywhere in the Wild West (Wales).
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (the “VIX”) is one of the most widely followed barometers of the market’s mood. The VIX is an index which measures the implied volatility of S&P500 index options and gives a projection of expected volatility among US stocks over the next 30 day period. As a rule of thumb, when the VIX is low investors are meant to be confident (complacent?) and when it is high they are meant to be fearful. On Monday the VIX closed at its lowest mark since February 2007 (at 10.73), but what does this suggest about the next direction markets might take?
It looks as if the share price of Drax (DRX) - one of our big electrical energy power suppliers - has reached its three year trend support line. Indeed bounced off it just above 600p. The share price, having had its little bounce, is now 632p last seen. What fundamental grounds exist to support belief in that technical position?
It is probably a good thing that England’s World Cup games are in a completely different time zone; otherwise already poor trading volumes are likely to become worse than negligible. With the FTSE100 putting a little bit more clear air between itself and the 6,800 point resistance level the easy conclusion for the stock market watcher is to catch a few of the intermittent sun rays and a lot of the ‘summer of sport’.
Which two recent managerial appointments for companies in or close to the FTSE-100 have the scope to really surprise? Serco (SRP) and RSA Insurance Group (RSA) look like the most likely candidates to me, as I explain below.
The results from Sainsbury (SBRY) for the year to 15 March were far from being a disaster; which was good news given the cloud the food retail sector has been under from those drat German price discounters, who seem to have learnt how to compete on both price and perceived quality. Sales were up by 2.8% - not bad even if the ‘like for like’ sales from the stores that had been open a year or more, were up by a mere wisp at plus 0.2%. The company retained its market share in the year to March 2014.
Hello Share Swivellers: So even when most of the great British public vote to give Europe a kicking, shares still rise. They should have fallen on the news, given that we do so much trade with our Continental friends.
I didn’t comment on Royal Mail (RMG) on flotation because there was plenty of coverage. Now we have had a moment’s hesitation after the first annual results, I have had a look.The shares are not attractive on the basis of the valuation of these first annual results; with a PER of 21.4 and an annual dividend yield of 2.4%.
Hello Share Movers: We all had a wet winter. Round here, May has not been much better. But I have seen a few long-range weather predictions, which say that nature will make up for the damp spells by giving us a long hot summer.
Banks are subject to an imperishable law of banking existence. That is to say, that just when you think you have seen the last of the bitter fruit of their earlier misdeeds another lot come along. Was it Bertrand Russell who observed that when you are waiting for a number 11 bus for a rather long time, three turn up at once? Or was it a bus inspector? It was certainly William Shakespeare who said that ‘troubles when they come, come not as single spies but in battalions.’ Except, in the case of bank troubles, the battalions keep on coming. Just you think you have seen the last march by, another one appears over the horizon.
Hello Share People: Should we all switch to defensive shares? You know, the usual essential goods and services. The things we can't do without – and live. Like food, electricity, gas, water, yes and alcohol.
It is all about rotation I am told. Telecity(TCY) shares remain above where I talked positively about them in early December and early March, but frustratingly they are only a few percentage points to the good. Even so, as I explain below, this is still a stock I am happy to hold.
Hello Share Shifters: Some people call it profit-taking. Others ask why not call it by its real name 'selling shares'. But profit-taking has more to it than that. There is a more opportunist element to it.
The stock market reacted negatively to some mixed news yesterday. When a market is nearing exhaustion, it is common to see a sharp drop for no reason. Yesterday however, there was a reason for the fall. Bond yields were falling. When bond yields fall, investors are buying bond, they are moving money from the stock market to the bond market. This suggests that investors don't trust the current rally. The general consensus is that stocks are fully valued and the risk is on the downside so they move money into safer assets like bonds.
Hello Share People: I really love dividends. It's why I have half my shares in Footsie companies. They pay the best. Insurance companies, for some reason can be particularly generous. It's all helps my household expenses.
I got two regulatory disclosure news alerts in my inbox this morning from BSkyB. The first was the regular share buyback announcement and the second concerned some of the rumours that appeared in the weekend press. As the statement by the company to the market today notes: