21 Stocks to Watch This Week

Below is a list of several stocks to watch this week. Each week I publish stocks to watch for the upcoming week as potential momentum trades or longer-term investments. The stocks below all have a 50k minimum average daily share volume and traded at a 52-week high on strong volume, with a minimum of two times relative volume on Friday, July 22nd. In addition, stocks were required to close Friday higher than the open price.

The full list with weekly performance is tracked on a spreadsheet on the right-hand side of Scott’s Investments.  This week should be interesting as the debt ceiling debate continues.  I typically try to ignore the news and macro events.  However, as with last week, it will be important to follow the debt ceiling debate this week as it will impact the markets and any of the stocks mentioned in this list. 

Also, check my feed on Stocktwits and Twitter for the most current developments as I monitor these stocks throughout the week.

Metropolitan  Health Networks (MDF)

Metropolitan Health Networks operates provider services network (PSN) in the United States. Its PSN provides and arranges for medical care primarily to medicare advantage beneficiaries who participate in a medicare advantage program, as well as offers primary care physician services to non-Humana participating customers.  The company has been featured several times on Scott’s Investments, most recently in June as a low PEG, high momentum stock.

The company has a $232 million market cap and currently trades at a forward P/E of 7.86 and a Price to Earnings Growth ratio of .90 and has no long-term debt.  It has a return on equity, assets, and investments all above 35%, which is rare for a company in any industry, and a 5 year average for the three ratios all above 20%.

In June the company announced it was acquiring Continucare for cash and stock, and MDF plans to issue 2.7 million shares in connection with the transaction. The market initially reacted lukewarm to the deal but since then the stock is up 17.92% for the month.  The company announces earnings August 1st, so as it reaches a 52 week high it will be interesting to hear managements comments on the CNU acquisition and see the market’s reaction to earnings:

Dailly Chart courtesy of Finviz

Triumph Group (TGI


Triumph Group engages in the design, engineering, manufacture, repair, overhaul, and distribution of aircraft components. The company operates in two segments, Aerospace Systems and Aftermarket Services.  It announced earnings on July 29th, soundly beating estimates.  It reported quarterly revenue of $845.1 million (vs. expectations of $805.4 million) and quarterly earnings of $.99/share (vs. expectations of $.85/share).

It projects 2012 earnings per share at $4.35 per diluted share.  With earnings having been reported and no near-term catalyst, the stock could still be one to continue to watch in coming weeks and months depending on the overall equity market sentiment.

Ticker Company Market Update Performance (Month) Performance (Year)
BMRN BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. Here 16.49% 42.93%
BND Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF Here 1.42% 4.34%
CERN Cerner Corporation Here 10.08% 71.54%
CFX Colfax Corporation Here 9.33% 109.03%
CPSI Computer Programs & Systems Inc. Here 18.48% 68.03%
DECK Deckers Outdoor Corp. Here 13.51% 95.03%
EVEP EV Energy Partners LP Here 32.95% 103.67%
EXPE Expedia Inc. Here 10.84% 41.35%
FXF CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust Here 6.14% 31.88%
FXY CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust Here 5.01% 11.82%
GIFI Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. Here 9.60% 93.62%
JAZZ Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Here 23.72% 365.17%
MDF Metropolitan Health Networks Inc. Here 17.92% 49.34%
NBL Noble Energy, Inc. Here 11.56% 49.96%
OMCL Omnicell Inc. Here 15.06% 38.88%
STMP Stamps.com Inc. Here 27.09% 76.50%
TGI Triumph Group, Inc. Here 9.59% 38.69%
THD iShares MSCI Thailand Invest Mkt Index Here 14.55% 46.30%
TRLG True Religion Apparel Inc. Here 17.59% 37.06%
WIW Western Asset/Claymore Inflation- Linked Opportunities & Income Fund Here 2.08% 5.99%
ZOLL ZOLL Medical Corp. Here 24.55% 163.27%

No Current Positions

Looking for Ideas on a New International Portfolio

The international ETF portfolio performance to date has been poor, so I am looking for ideas from readers on what you would like to see in an international portfolio. I’m hoping to revamp the hypothetical portfolio with some fresh ideas for August.

Should it be only ETFs or is there interest in individual stocks?

How many active positions would you like to see in the portfolio?

How often would you like to see it updated?

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Basic Tactical ETF Portfolio for August

In July 2009 I profiled a momentum based ETF portfolio. I track this portfolio (and others) monthly on Scott’s Investments using Google Docs. The portfolio consists of the ETFs with the best momentum among 5 ETFs: BND (Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF), DBC (Powershares Commodity Index), VEU (Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF), VNQ (Vanguard REIT Index ETF), VTI (Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF). 

The Basic Portfolio strategy is tracked as a hypothetical portfolio on Scott’s Investments with a $10,000 starting balance. Year to date the portfolio is up 7.66% including dividends.  The strategy for the portfolio is simple: purchase the top 3 ETFs with the highest average 3, 6, and 12 month returns (“3-6-12”).  Only purchase the top 3 ETFs if they are also above their 200 day simple moving average at month end.
Despite only being 5 ETFs, one could take multiple approaches to the portfolio, from buying and holding to actively managing it; or an investor could use a combination of different approaches or trading strategies.


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Listed below are the month end results for June of the 5 ETFs listed above. This month the holdings are VNQ, VTI and DBC.  This combination of ETFs is the same as last months portfolio  July’s returns were .21% for the three ETF portfolio and were bolstered by a position in DBC, which was up 4.41% for the month. REITs, as represented by VNQ, held their ground for the month, closing down .15%.  

Many of the strategies listed here were inspired in part by Mebane Faber, author of The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets. For an even better explanation of some of the strategies, I recommend the book. 

The data source for the information below is Finviz,  and Google Finance.  No positions

Ticker Company Market Update Performance (Quarter) Performance (Half Year) Performance (Year) 200-Day SMA
BND Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF Here 2.44% 3.96% 4.34% 2.95%
DBC PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Here -5.08% 7.80% 32.28% 6.11%
VEU Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF Here -6.50% 2.04% 16.87% 0.69%
VNQ Vanguard REIT Index ETF Here -0.44% 9.90% 24.14% 7.23%
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF Here -4.80% 0.57% 21.24% 1.40%

15 High Yield, Dividend Growth Stocks

I have published a new article on Seeking Alpha, 15 High Yield Dividend Growth Stocks.  In the article I feature RBCAA (Republic Bancorp) and DRI (Darden Restaurants)

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Gold to Gold Mining Stock Ratio Jumped Today


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The equity market sold off hard today, and with it the gold and precious mining stocks. After consolidating in recent weeks, the ratio of the spot price of gold to the XAU index (mining stocks) is again near 8, closing today at 7.61. For those seeking exposure to gold, I would watch this ratio closely when determining whether to purchase the metal or the companies that mine the metal. The easiest way for individual investors to gain exposure is via ETFs such as GLD (gold) and GDX (miners).

I have detailed this ratio in-depth in the past, most recently here

To chart the ratio, simply go to stockcharts.com and enter $gold:$xau.

Mid Week Investment Articles

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Below are a few investment articles I’m reading this week:

Is the Market Topping? Barry Ritholtz

Stress in the Eurozone and its Banks – Bill Witherell


Converging on the Horizon (pdf) – Ed Easterling via John Mauldin


Where Did the 9 Month Cycle Go? Tom McClellan

Kicking the Can Down the Road One More Time (pdf) – John Mauldin

Simple Arithmetic – John Hussman

18 Fundamentally Strong Stocks With Positive Technicals

Each month I update a fundamental/technical screen at Scott’s Investments and track the results real-time. June’s list of 14 stocks is here and the top 10 rated stocks returned an average of  6.20% versus 5.08% for SPY. The entire list of 14 stocks last month returned an average of 5.87%.

The screen looks for the following:

  • earnings growers still reasonably priced as judged by the PEG ratio 
  • low debt 
  • a history of high return on equity and investment, and 
  • price momentum as gauged by the percentage the stock is trading to its 250 day high. 
  • The stocks are then ranked based on fundamental factors as compiled by stockscreen123.

Eighteen  stocks qualified for this month’s list. Some of the picks on the list are high value stocks, growth stocks and even penny stocks. This tells us that limited individual stock momentum exists in the market and the fundamental factors on the list can still be found among the high momentum stocks.  However, the number of qualifying stocks is substantially less than April’s 34 stocks, which is not surprising given that overall equity momentum has waned in May and June, even after rebounding in early July.

Last month I profiled two stocks, EZCORP (EZPW) which performed very well until a slight earnings miss slammed the stock last week.  I also featured Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT), which remains the number one stock on this month’s list, two spots ahead of Apple (AAPL).  After purchasing some EZPW after their earnings miss, I was stopped out today for a small loss.  Until the market is able to find a bottom in the stock, I’ll be waiting on the sidelines. Long-term, I think the stock still has strong fundamentals and potential for more appreciation.


I have no current position in AIT and the stock has an earnings conference call scheduled for August 9th.  It was down over 3% today and is now below its 50 day moving average, while still above its 200 day moving average. The short to intermediate picture for AIT looks weak, especially if it is unable to hold the $33 support level, at which point the stock would begin making lower lows, a bearish sign.  A strong earnings report could bolster the stock, as well as some clarity in the overall equity markets (assuming a debt ceiling resolution is reached before August 9th).  The stock yields 2.24% and has a price-to-earnings growth ratio (PEG) below 1, at .86.  It also has no long-term debt and trades at a price to sales ratio of .67.  It is a stock I am watching but will most likely stay on the sidelines until at least after August 9th. 


Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) is another stock to watch on this month’s list. It reported earnings on June 22nd and has rallied fairly well since that date.  It was on last month’s list and was up 5.55%.  It currently is in a trading range, so technically driven investors should watch support at $58 and resistance at the 52 week high around $60.50 as signals as to the stock’s next big move.  The stock is not overly cheap, but still trades at a modest forward P/E of 14, has no long-term debt, and has shown strong earnings growth in recent quarters.   

(Chart courtesy of Finviz)




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Ticker Name 7/27/11 Update Rank
AIT Applied Industrial Technologi Here 99.02
NSR Neustar, Inc Here 95.93
AAPL Apple Inc. Here 95.87
NSP Insperity Inc Here 94.78
TRLG True Religion Apparel, Inc. Here 94.46
NTES NetEase.com, Inc. (ADR) Here 93.86
BBBY Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Here 93.63
VSEA Varian Semiconductor Here 92.99
MDF Metropolitan Health Networks, Here 91.93
WTSLA The Wet Seal, Inc. Here 89.99
DTV DIRECTV Here 86.41
CTCH Commtouch Software Ltd. Here 84.09
GOOG Google Inc. Here 82.59
TNDM Neutral Tandem Inc. Here 81.66
INTC Intel Corporation Here 77.44
PDLI PDL BioPharma Inc. Here 75.82
DECK Deckers Outdoor Corporation Here 72.67
TSM Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Here 70.28

Stocks to Watch This Week and Potential Trades to Make

Below is a list of several stocks to watch this week. Each week I publish stocks to watch for the upcoming week as potential momentum trades or longer-term investments. The stocks below all have a 50k minimum average daily share volume and traded at a 52-week high on strong volume, with a minimum of two times relative volume on Friday, July 22nd. In addition, stocks were required to close Friday higher than the open price.

The full list with weekly performance is tracked on a spreadsheet on the right-hand side of Scott’s Investments.  This week should be interesting as the debt ceiling debate continues.  I typically try to ignore the news and macro events.  However, it will be important to follow the debt ceiling debate this week as it will impact the markets and any of the stocks mentioned in this list. 

Also, check my feed on Stocktwits and Twitter for the most current developments as I monitor these stocks throughout the week.

In addition, I am adding some discretionary picks to the list that are in a positive uptrend but which do not meet the terms of the screen.  Those picks are at the bottom of the spreadsheet. 



LRAD Corporation (LRAD)

LRAD Corporation designs, develops, and commercializes sound reproduction technologies and products primarily in North America, Europe, and Asia.  Its directional sound systems are used in various applications, including government and military, commerce, law enforcement, commercial security, and wildlife preservation and control.

The company has a $97 million market cap and currently trades at a forward price/earnings of 12 and has no long term debt.  Its current margins make the company appealing if it can grow revenue at double digit rates. The company stated on July 11th that it expects record fiscal year profits and first consecutive fiscal year of double digit sales growth.

I expect that if it can close above $3 then we could see $4 in the intermediate term.  You will see the long term support/resistance levels on the monthly chart below (charts courtesy of Finviz):

Anatares Pharma (AIS)

AIS reached another new high this week on strong volume.  The company focuses on self-injection pharmaceutical products and technologies, and topical gel-based products.  The company has been given an outperform rating by Oppenheimer with a target of $3.20 and multiple directors purchased stock this spring in the mid $1 range.  The stock reached a new 52 week high but the most intriguing aspect is that it reached price highs on high volume and no news.

The company’s Anturol drug for overactive bladder is awaiting approval by the FDA.  However, Watson Pharmaceuticals recently signed a licensing deal for the drug in the US and Canada if the FDA approves the drug.  A decisions is expected by December 8th, 2011. 

$2 had been a point of heavy resistance in previous months and years, and with the stock now clear of that level, little technical resistance remains:


Lithia Motors (LAD)

LAD has been featured multiple times on screens performed on Scott’s Investments, most recently on July 16th. The company has again reached a 52 week high, while still trading at a forward price to earnings of less than 13 with a price to earnings growth ratio of 1.17 and price to sales of .25.  It has an earnings conference call scheduled for July 27th, so I expect volatility in the shares this week.

With profit margin of less than 1% and high debt to equity ratio of 1.70, the company does not have much margin for error in the long-term.  However, it has remained in a nice uptrend and its earnings growth could lead to further gains if this week’s earnings report pleases investors (monthly chart):


Disclosures: Long AIS. Also long SCLN and PSMT which are listed on the spreadsheet, and may purchase any stocks mentioned after initial publication of this article

Buying Pricesmart (PSMT)

I re-entered a long position in Pricesmart (PSMT) on Friday due to its price action closing out the week. Breaking above $60.50 Friday afternoon was a bullish move on the heals of its 2 week consolidation after a great earnings report:

The stock is overbought, which gives me some cause for concern. In addition, I expected the post-earnings announcement gap to be filled prior to the next move up. Nevertheless, I think it is still a strong candidate for a momentum trade but will keep my stop loss tight in case it turns against me.

Long PSMT

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Friday Articles & Thursday’s Market Update

Below are a few investment related articles to get you through Friday:

Three Competing Theories – Lacy Hunt, via John Mauldin (free subscription required)

Europe’s Fate? Next Stop, Default! – Satyajit Das

Financial Crisis: Final Essay Exam – Barry Ritholtz

Emerging Market Equities – Potential for Outperformance – Investment Postcards from Cape Town

Adam Hewison, of Marketclub, brings you another edition of his invaluable service of daily technical updates on the ups and downs of various markets. This short analysis is a great tool for keeping one’s finger on the pulse and timing the markets. Click through to hear his latest views on gold, silver, the US Dollar Index, the CRB Index, crude oil, and the S&P 500 Index:

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