Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Barron’s Buries the Bears

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If you are a "cover contrarian" and a bear, you will love the cover of Barron's this week:


That's right; Barron's is declaring bears doomed, based on input from big money managers.

The same big money managers who said………


This is simple, folks: Big Money Managers have no vested interest in saying anything except that the market will go higher.

Every year.


So this Barron's story is just a joke that the world never quite seems to get.

Weekly Sector Report | 10/29/10 (by Leisa)

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We closed October without any of the oft-anticipated fireworks that define this transition month into 4th quarter. The total stock market index was up .13%–we can call that flat.  Below are the 24 major Sectors and their relative performance.



As is usual, I have prepared a chart book in PDF form for your use with the weekly, daily, and monthly (since it is month end charts) for each of the sectors listed above.  You can downoad it here. It's a large file, so be patient.

Below is a weekly chart of the total stock market index.  I like to view this chart because it eliminates the bias of small, large, mid-cap, tech, industrials weighting that is evident in the other indices. I also like to look at the weekly to eliminate some of the daily noise. 



We've a string of positive bars–9 weeks now.  With elections this week, perhaps the market will give us its own version of the move  9 1/2 Weeks?  As we've repeatedly seen, when the market gets to critical junctures, the news flow is the major impetus for the direction up or down–and last week was an example of much activity but very little direction although the sectors had quite a bit of push and pull (which is why I look at them).

A Sloper asked a very good question about "What is Intermarket Analysis".  John Murphy, at, has an intermarket chart that you can access (free to all)  to see the interplay between the USD, 30 Year bond price (price is inverse to rates), CRB index, and the S&P index:


To quote John Murphy:

Intermarket Technical Analysis is the study of the relationships between the four major financial markets: Stocks, Bonds, Commodities and Currencies. There are three key relationships that bind these four markets together. These relationships are:

  • The INVERSE relationship between commodities and bonds
  • The POSITIVE relationship between bonds and stocks
  • The INVERSE relationship between the US Dollar and commodities

POSITIVE: When one goes up, the other goes up also.
INVERSE: When one goes up, the other goes down.

When these relationships occur, the markets are said to be acting "normally" and there is a good probability the current trends will continue. When one or more of these relationships break down, the markets should be watched carefully for signs of general trend reversals


I believe it is worth cutlivating a general understanding of these relationships–they truly are market drivers.  Trading/investing is often like juggling:  there are several balls that one has to keep in the air.  As with most endeavors, with practice and discipline, it becomes easier.

Courtesy of Wiki

(courtesy of Wikipedia)



Here's a clip from the Rocky Horror Picture Show…seems appropriate for this market to date and for the 'anticipation' for the coming week.  I wish you good trading this week.



Gas Up with MLP’s (by BKudla)

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By nature, I am a trend guy.  I spent most of my corporate career looking at the future and divining trends.  I invest/trade the same way.  In the energy field, this country has only two good, domestic options in its energy future; natural gas and nuclear.  Nuclear has reached recognition stage and is now catching a bid, and I wrote on its bright future in prior posts.


Natural gas is still trying to balance supply and demand, and prices continue to fall on average. I view this as a cyclical problem and have already positioned myself accordingly with SJT and LINE.  Why? Contrary to popular media opinion, the Northern Hemisphere is in a cooling trend, this pressures stockpiles, Natural gas can be converted to Ag Chemicals which is going to start a major buying move as farmers have underapplied fertilizers to save money, now yields are suffering, a weak dollar will make oil less attractive against domestic Natural Gas, and the clean energy movement will force companies and utilities to move to natural gas.


Linn energy has already Tripled from my itial purchase price because they are astute hedgers and have more oil in their mix.  San Juan Basin is an American pure play, mostly Natural gas producer and is slowly rising every month.  A third player I am watching and now will start buying is PVX, Provident Energy out of Canada.  They produce and ship liquid natural gas. I like the chart, and it is looking at breaking out again. 


These MLP's pay between 6.5%-9.4% monthly distributed dividends, so I get paid on these while I await gas prices to catch a bid.


I buy a little each month (LINE have a full position) as the RSI7 comes off the bottom.