Eagle Financial Publications – Chris Versace

PowerTrend Brief

An Early Take on 2015 and the S&P 500

Earlier this week, I was part of a panel discussion on Money with Melissa Francis that aired on the Fox Business Network and addressed the direction of the S&P 500 and where it will end up by year-end. For extra fun, we also were asked where we thought the market would be during the coming 12 months. Driving the conversation was a recent note published by Goldman Sachs (GS) that called for the S&P 500 to rally to 2,050 by year-end — a 2.8% move higher from last night’s close. Goldman Sachs’ chief U.S. strategist, David Kostin, went on to more»

Fed Jawboning Rides to Rescue the Market… Again

During the past month, the S&P 500 fell more than 198 points from its peak, and it appears to have hit a potential bottom around 1,820. The index bounced 66 points late last week to close at 1,886.76. While some observers may split hairs and say that 9.8% drop from the Sept. 19 high to the low on Oct. 15 falls just short of a correction, I’m inclined to round up and say, “Yes, we had a correction.” Trust me, I double majored in mathematics and economics, so I may have an idea of what we’re talking about when it more»

Pondering the Ebola Virus’ Ripple Effects

As the stock market skids lower this week after several speed bumps have emerged in the global economy, there is one that could be more than a bump. Not to be a fearmonger, but the Ebola virus, a severe, often-fatal illness in humans, has spread like wildfire in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ebola virus is killing 70% of the people who contract the disease.

So far there have only been a few reported cases inside the United States, but there is great concern – read that as fear – the disease could spread further, more»

Early Holiday Sales Projections Vary Widely

It is that time of the year again! No, it’s not Halloween and not even Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorite holidays of the year.

Instead, it is the time for the official 2014 Holiday Shopping forecast by the National Retail Federation (NRF). That report kicks off the excitement, anticipation and mental fatigue felt by those who try to predict sales for the upcoming holiday shopping season. I know we are only 10 days into October and weeks away from Halloween, but the forecasting already has begun in earnest.

Depending on the firm doing the forecasting, the time horizon for the more»

Exploring the Soda Pain Point

Earlier this week, following the Clinton Global Initiative, Coca-Cola (KO), PepsiCo (PEP) and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group collectively announced a move to reduce the “number of beverage calories per person” nationally by 20% by 2025. Now, that doesn’t mean the companies are altering their beverages, even though they are doing that as well, but rather that they will be selling smaller soda portions – think 10-ounce cans instead of ones containing 12 ounces — and bringing more alternative beverage products (water, juices and so on) to market.

At a time when headlines are filled with the toll of rising obesity rates and more»

Souring Chinese Consumers Weigh on Alibaba Shares

There’s been no shortage of commentary on the recent initial public offering (IPO) of Alibaba (BABA) shares. During the last week or so, I’ve fielded questions from a number of people, including students that attend the graduate finance classes I am teaching this semester at the New Jersey City University (NJCU) School of Business, as to my thoughts on the pricing of that offering.

There is no doubt the Alibaba IPO was a hot transaction – not only was it the largest-ever IPO, but the shares quickly catapulted up to close their first day of trading at $93.89, a 38% gain from the more»

The Growth of Regulation Means Pain for You and American Business

There has been a lot of talk about regulations, more specifically about how the number of regulations have grown during the last several years. Sad to say, if you take a longer-term view and look again at the regulatory environment, you’ll find it has been what an investor would call a growth industry, with the number of restrictions in the Code of Federal Regulations growing 28% since 1997 – that’s nearly 2% per year. If page count is an indicator, then hang on to your collective hats — in 1975, the Code of Federal Regulations had 71,224 pages. By 2013, the number more»

Are You Profiting from Living Longer?

Subscribers to my investment newsletter, PowerTrend Profits, know I look at the intersection of economics, demographics, psychographics and more to zero in on profitable, long-term investments. As a part of my filtering process, I look for companies with strong earnings growth prospects, solid cash flow, pristine balance sheets and, if they have it, a rising dividend yield policy. That’s the financial side of the equation, but there is another aspect that I look for in PowerTrend candidates for my subscribers – pain points.

Pain points are those problems or vexing issues that a company or even a person may have to contend more»