Square Inc Stock In Bullish Flag On Citigroup Price Hike

Square Inc stock is trading inside a Bull Flag pattern as analysts at Citigroup raised Square’s price target to $38 from $30 on October 18, 2017. The $38 price target represents 16.9% upside from its current price. Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating on the stock.
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US Manufacturing Grows At Faster Pace In June

The US manufacturing sector picked up in June according to the Institute for Supply Management report. In fact, it is the fastest growth in manufacturing in 3 years.

The ISM said its purchasing managers index climbed to 57.8 in June from 54.9 in May, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had forecast a 55.2 print.

The positive surprise in US manufacturing came as the production index jumped to 62.4 in June from 57.1 in May and the new orders index surged up to 63.5 from 59.5.

The positive surprise in manufacturing shifts sentiment towards the Bulls. Remember, much of the bearish commentary over the last few months was supported by the fact that US manufacturing was contracting for all of 2017. June’s surprise number breaks that bearish trend.

MACOM Technology Solutions Momentum Squeeze On Institutional Buying

The stock of Macom Technology Solutions has set up into a momentum squeeze on institutional traders increasing their long positions. Institutional trader positions have increased by a big 11.75% over the last 3 months.

A few of the more noteworthy Q1 institutional transactions were:

KBC Group NV bought a new position in the company during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm bought 9,211 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock, valued at approximately $445,000. FMR LLC increased its position by 182.8% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 818,493 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $37,880,000. Pinnacle Associates Ltd. acquired a new stake in MACOM Technology Solutions during the first quarter valued at approximately $16,539,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in the company by 565.9% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 318,562 shares of the semiconductor company’s stock valued at $15,387,000.

MACOM Technology Solutions Stock Chart

The Twiggs Money Flow went bearish on June 14,2017, but now looks like it’s ready to round up as traders accumulate off the 50 SMA line.

MACOM Technology Solutions presents a decent setup pattern. Prices have been consolidating lately and the volatility has been reduced forming a momentum squeeze.

There is a resistance zone just above the current price starting at 60.09. Right above this resistance zone may be a good entry point. There is a support zone below the current price at 54.84, a stop order could be placed below this zone.

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Making Use of Labor Market Information, Don’t Worry About Weaker May

Making use of labor market informationMaking use of labor market information is always a challenge for traders and this month’s May jobs report is no exception. Colin Twiggs says traders shouldn’t read too much into the weaker 138,000 print for May 2017 (link above).

Making Use of Labor Market Information

Colin Twiggs is an expert at making use of labor market information to forecast future market direction. Colin Twiggs is author of the weekly Trading Diary newsletter, with more than 140,000 subscribers. His specialty is blending fundamental analysis of the economy with technical analysis of stocks, markets, commodities and currencies. Colin Twiggs is also know for his Twiggs Money Flow indicator.

Colin thinks that the drop in job gains is more indicative of a tight labor market than it is in a slowing US economy and notes that respondents in the ISM report from the sectors machinery, fabricated metal products, food and beverage, and tobacco products all made statements about how business is booming but that it’s hard to find employees.

TTM Technologies Beats on Earnings and Revenue

May 03, 2017: TTM Technologies reports Q1 EPS of $0.37 versus the $0.29 estimate. Revenue also beat coming in at $625.2 million versus the $615 million estimate.

The CEO Thomas T. Edman said, “TTM delivered strong organic year on year growth in the first quarter of 7 percent, near the high end of our guidance, and profitability which exceeded our forecast. On a year over year basis, most end markets grew, with the fastest growth coming from the cellular, computing and aerospace and defense end markets. This growth, along with strong operational execution, resulted in non-GAAP EPS above the high end of our guidance. These results represent the highest revenue and EBITDA for a first quarter in the history of the company.”

February 8, 2017: TTM Technologies reports Q4 EPS of $0.58 versus the $0.45 estimate. Revenue also beat coming in at $706.5 million versus the $672 million estimate.

The CEO said, “On a year over year basis, most end markets grew, with the fastest growth coming from the cellular and automotive end markets. This drove substantial operating income leverage in the business resulting in the highest non-GAAP EPS in the history of the company.”

December 12, 2016: Detecting heavy call activity in TTM Technologies, 5000 June $17.5 calls trade at $0.65.

November 30, 2016: Stifel raises price target of TTM Technologies to $15, from $13, and reiterates a Buy rating.

October 30, 2016: JPMorgan raised the price target of TTM Technologies to $16 from $14, and reiterates an Overweight rating.

TTM Technologies, Inc. is a major global PCB manufacturer, focusing on quick-turn and technologically advanced PCBs and the backplane and sub-system assembly business.

EPAM Systems Lands Giant UBS Multi-year Agreement Valued At Over $300 Million

January 17, 2017: UBS signs multi-year agreement valued at over $300 million with EPAM. UBS AG, the world’s largest wealth manager, has signed a multi-year strategic framework agreement. For the past nine years, UBS and EPAM have collaborated to stay at the forefront of technology, positioning UBS as a global leader in innovative financial products and services. The agreement, which is valued at over $300 million, supports the bank’s strategic cost reduction program. This commitment to efficiency allows EPAM to continue to focus on innovative, end-to-end solutions, reducing time-to-market and improving ROI on technology investments.

The partnership between UBS and EPAM spans almost nine years, ten countries and three continents. In addition to the many business solutions that EPAM has provided during this relationship, innovation will be a large focus throughout this multi-year deal.

Established in 1993, EPAM Systems, Inc. is recognized as a leader in software product development by independent research agencies. Headquartered in the United States, EPAM serves clients worldwide utilizing its award-winning global delivery platform and its locations in 19 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. EPAM was ranked #6 in 2013 America’s 25 Fastest-Growing Tech Companies, and #3 in 2014 America’s Best Small Companies lists by Forbes Magazine.

3D Printing Stocks For Playing Trump Trade War With China

A trade war between the US and China is likely going to start next year with a key promise of Trump to declare China a “currency manipulator” on day one of his Presidency and to enact a 45% tariff on certain Chinese produced products sold in US markets.

China has threatened to retaliate by dumping Boeing and instead ordering from Airbus. China has said it will block sales of US automobiles and iPhones in China and that US soybeans and maize imports will be halted.

To better understand why I think 3D printing stocks are a good play on a trade war with China, we have to go back in history and use macroeconomic analysis to see how we got to where we are today.

China Joins the WTO

In 2001 China joined the World Trade Organization and began flooding America with illegally subsidized exports. Over the next ten years, the US would shut down over 60,000 factories, lose more than 5 million manufacturing jobs and see it’s historical annual rate of GDP growth cut by two-thirds.

Trade Deficits and Offshoring Subtract From GDP Growth

As a result of China joining the WTO, structural problems hit the US, Europe, and other major economies like Japan and South Korea.

If a country like the US runs a trade deficit, this directly subtract’s from its GDP growth. From that observation, you can see what the two most important structure drags on growth for many developed nations like the US have been.

The first has been the drag of the large trade deficits. The second has been the drag on lower domestic investment growth, as multinational corporations like Caterpillar, General Electric, and General Motors, have built more plants in other countries and fewer plants in the US.

Where have most of the offshoring of productions gone? The answer is China.

It’s no accident that the start of America’s era of slow growth in 2001 coincided with China joining the World Trade Organization or WTO, which gave China full access to American markets.

Contrary to the rules of the WTO, China began to flood the US with cheap, often illegally subsidized exports, and over the next decade and a half; the US would see the loss of over 60,000 factories and more than 5,000,000 manufacturing jobs.

The Emergence of Structural Trade Imbalances

During this time the economies of Europe, India, Brazil, among others, would likewise begin to have significant growth-sapping trade deficits with China and this would reduce global growth below what it would otherwise be.

The result would be the structural emergence of a growth-sapping global trade imbalance, as illustrated in the following set of figures.

Here, we see chronic annual trade deficits on the order of 200 to 400 billion dollars annually, with the heavily exported China.

By the year 2012, these deficits would help slow growth dramatically in both Europe and the US, and as a result, China’s two biggest customers would thereby be too weak to sustain China’s export-dependent growth.

In a ripple effect, slow growth in China, in turn, would lead to slower growth in so-called commodity countries like Australia, Brazil, and Canada, whose economies depend heavily on the sale of natural resources like coal, iron ore, and soybeans to China. More broadly, these structural trade relationships would lead to a new type of butterfly effect the world had not yet seen.

Here, we see that weak demand for Chinese exports from Europe and the US leads to weak import demand from China for commodities and other natural resources. In this way, chronic trade imbalances between China and other countries around the world would make it very difficult for a robust, global economic recovery.

Why Keynesian Stimulus Failed

From this butterfly effect, you can see why expansionary, Keynesian fiscal and monetary stimulus in the US and Europe, did not have the full effects anticipated. Indeed, this short-run Keynesian approach did nothing to address the underlying, chronic, long-term structural trade imbalances, acting as a drag on both the U.S. and European economies and by extension, much of the rest of the world.

3D Printing and China Manufacturing

China is rapidly losing ground to 3D printing technology. The business model of it being cheaper to manufacture goods in China could come to an end over the next ten years.

US companies will soon be able to make most things in small 3D printer factories right in your neighborhood or town. Factories, as we know them today, will get broken up and made smaller and local. Newsweek writes

In the distributed manufacturing scenario, the carbon footprint, so to speak, of each shoe drops precipitously. Asian manufacturing is toast, probably upsetting the global balance of power. And factory jobs—well, they’re likely never coming “back.” 3-D printing automates a lot of what factory workers would’ve done. The hope is that distributed manufacturing creates a whole new set of opportunities for middle-class workers and keeps money local instead of funneling it overseas.

Coming Trade War With China

A Trump Administration will be placing tariffs on Chinese-produced goods effectively penalizing US corporations that manufacture products in China. China will retaliate by blocking the sale of US goods inside of China.

This trade war with China will only speed up the adoption of cheaper and faster 3D printing facilities inside the US IMO.

Many US businesses could increase their purchases of 3D printing machines as a result of the worsening trade relationship with China as well as the public outcry over the loss of millions of US jobs to China.

The earnings recession which began in Q1 2015 prevented businesses from buying 3D printers as consumer demand was uncertain. This last quarter we saw an end to the earnings recession, and if corporate earnings continue to rise, we could see more companies buying 3D printers.

Big Players and Big Money Flowing Into 3D Printing Technology

In September of 2016, General Electric acquired Arcam for $1.4 billion as it makes a major move into 3D printing.

In May of 2016, the 2D printing giant HP revealed that it has been spending billions of dollars developing 3D printing technology and announced the release of its Jet Fusion 3D 3200 and 4200 printers. The more powerful 4200 was slated to begin shipping in the fall of 2016, while the 3200 will be available in 2017. HP claims these polymer 3D printers are up to 10 times as fast and twice as cost-efficient as current 3D printers powered by the leading technologies. HP sees the incredible future for 3D printing and aims to become the leading 3D printing company.

3D Printing Stock Chart

Chart Comments: Not a great looking chart. Twiggs Money Flow is rising but still below the 0% line. The 50-day moving average (blue line) at $15.21 is currently being tested, and a breakout above this level would be bullish.

Stratasys Stock Chart

Chart Comments: Stratasys’ chart looks even worse than DDD. The Twiggs Money Flow is rising nicely, but it is still below the 0% line.

HP Inc Stock Chart

Chart Comments: Twiggs Money Flow falls below 0% line after missing on revenue; however, overall, the strongest looking chart of the 3D printing stocks. Fantastic valuation at P/E 9.9 and forward P/E 9.2. Wait for candle over candle bounce before taking a long entry.

Disclosure: I do not hold any stocks mentioned in this article.

Don’t Double Down On Wrong Prediction, Just Move On

Whether we are talking about individual stocks, the stock market, or the economy, when you’re wrong just admit it and then move on. The goal is to make money, not to be right 100% of the time so you can stroke your ego.

AM TV and Peter Schiff predicted that the Federal Reserve could not stop their monthly QE injections into the economy. Even though the Fed kept cutting the monthly injection all the way down to zero, alternative media outlets AM TV and Peter Schiff kept saying the Fed wouldn’t stop the monthly infusions because they couldn’t as the patient (the economy) would die. Peter Schiff then went on to say that the Fed was not going to hike rates in December 2015 but instead actually cut rates. The Fed increased rates a quarter point right on schedule. For all of 2016, Peter Schiff has been saying that the Fed isn’t going to hike rates again but instead reverse course and lower rates. In December of 2016, the Fed will likely increase rates another quarter point.

Most alternative media outfits think they have to be crazed perma-bears to get viewers. Maybe they do. Rather than AM TV and Peter Schiff admitting they were wrong about the Federal Reserve, they double down on their wrong predictions and do another “interview” together, check it out.

There are some really good points in this interview, don’t get me wrong. However, to be a successful traders and investor, you can never be a perma-bear. You can never be a perma-bull. You have to adapt and respond to market conditions. That adaptation means you have to be willing to admit when you’re wrong and then to just move on.

Folks, watch out for fear mongering. Fear drives viewership and video view counts on YouTube but being forever fearful is a great way to lose all your money at trading. Some parts of the economy will no doubt suffer under a Trump Administration and higher interest rates; however, higher rates will be good for other parts of the economy like Banking. A Trump Administration will be bad for multinationals and the Dow and parts of the S&P 500; however, Trump will be great for domestic businesses and the Russell 2000.

Verizon Gets Approval For XO Communications and 5G Deployment

Verizon wants to maintain its lead on coming 5G technology by purchasing XO Communications’ fiber optic network. Fortune writes

The carrier has said it will likely go national with cable TV and Internet service offered via 5G, which can carry signals at speeds of two to five gigabits per second—20 to 50 times faster that common 4G networks.

The problem though is that Verizon will still have to build out 5G towers because 5G wireless cannot travel as far as 4G wireless. A carrier can have the fastest fiber optic network in the country, but until they build 5G towers that connect wireless customers to that fiber optic network, it’s useless for mobile smartphone users.

So why did Verizon just spend $1.8 billion of investors money on XO Communications? Verizon will use XO Communications’ nearly 26,000 miles of fiber optic cables to expand its consumer and business wired internet service offering. Verizon wants to grab market share from companies like Comcast in the home and business ISP market.

Verizon will no doubt have a significant role in the IoT industry as billions of more devices go online over the coming decade.

Verizon Stock Chart

The Twiggs Money Flow is rising nicely, but it is still below the 0 line. Nevertheless, I see the positive divergence on the money flow as a sign the bottom in Verizon stock is near. Verizon stock has sold off over the last five months giving an excellent valuation of P/E 14, and forward P/E of 12. The annual dividend yield on Verizon is a sweet 4.8%.

I see Verizon as a long-term hold on the growing IoT industry.

Disclosure: I do not hold any position in Verizon stock at the time of publishing this article.

Here Comes Supply-Side Economics and the Laffer Curve

Increases in government regulation, taxes, environmental regulations, and ObamaCare on businesses, shifted the aggregate supply (AS) curve inward and thus reduced aggregate demand (AD).
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