Yassine Maaroufi
Finance Manager & Writer





Litecoin breaks its bullish trend
The cryptocurrency market has been in an uproar for the past couple of months as the global economic paradigm seems to be on the brink of a major change. Some consider cryptocurrencies as the new refuge assets replacing gold and other metals in the hearts of many investors and traders.
Rare offshoots outperform the stock market
The stock market as a whole recorded a sluggish performance this month as some large institutional investors shifted money towards the bonds market in search of safety and higher yields offered on the debt market. This shift has stopped the market in its current uptrend and pushed it downward, temporarily pausing a year-long climb.
$1 Billion Boost For E*Trade’s Stock Price
Fellow stock traders do not forget your brokers for they can be good investments too. For that matter, E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) announced a $1 billion share repurchase program and it flashed like a huge buy signal in my eyes. The program represents 8.94% of its current market cap and should strongly impact its stock price on the upside until its completion by 2018.
Comerica Hits The Gym And Lifts
Banks are preparing to grab a share of the growing economy and Comerica (NYSE:CMA) has good reason to restructure. Making operations more efficient should help raise its revenue levels. To this end, it has launched a suitably called GEAR UP initiative. In the process pre-tax income should grow by an additional $140 million by 2017 and $230 million by the end of 2018.
Major Indices Entering a Correction Phase
The Standard & Poor’s 500, covering US large caps has been heading down since the beginning of August, branching out of its current bullish trend, a seven-month long rally. It has bounced back however two weeks ago. It has reached a high of 2480 points above the previous support line but without reaching the previous peak of 2490 points.
Resilient Euro Despite the Deceiving Economic News
The EURUSD fell 1.42% from last week’s high of 1.2070 after weak economic data relative to the major European economies. However, the pair stayed on the same course and did not break the previous uptrend. The EURUSD has been gaining steam since the beginning of the year, switching gears in mid-April and mid-June to rise even higher.
Oil Prices Fail To Rebound Despite Favorable Conditions
West Texas Crude Oil (WTI) prices broke out to the downside. It closed at $47.35 on Friday, down 5.62% during August. WTI failed to rebound into its previous uptrend. The American produced crude futures have priced in the effects of hurricane Harvey that touched ground on the Gulf Coast.
Time Warner Trends Up Towards Acquisition Price
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) closed at $101.60 in the middle of a correction. The stock price has been rising range-bound since the beginning of the year, 7.23% from $94.75. It is trending towards the $107.50 per share acquisition price announced with AT&T.
The Euro Gains Traction Following The Jackson Hole Symposium
The EURUSD has extended on the upside 2.09% to 1.2026 after bursting out of a small correction. The EUR has been rallying since the beginning of 2017 with additional strength in April and August. The first part of the rally sent the Euro up 1.47% from 1.0449 to 1.0602 and the second part 5.33% from 1.0602 to 1.1168. The third and probably last wave has started from 1.1168 and should send it even higher.
Major Stock Market Correcting Coursing After Year Long Uptrend
The Standard & Poor’s 500 is in the middle of a correction after a 9-month upward trend directed by a solid support line. It closed at 2443.05 points last week, down 1.29% in 20 days from a high of 2490.87. The stock market has been trending up thanks to the positive economic growth in the US and the temporary pause in interest rates hikes by the Federal Reserve.
OPEC Strategy Pushes Oil Prices Higher
Crude oil broke a two-month long correction to jump to $52.57. The move comes in the fold of a larger but timid recovery. Brent oil almost doubled in price since hitting a 10-year low of $27 in the first quarter of 2016. Prices have rallied following the concerted effort of oil cartel OPEC to prop up the depressed market.
ETFs Gain As World Economy Recovers
The US stock market is thriving in response to solid economic growth prospects. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) rose 32% since the beginning of 2016 and 9% since January 2017. SPY continues its good performance going to higher highs for a year and a half without any significant correction. However, it has been jittery during this month showing higher volatility than usual with wider intraday price ranges and seesawing movement.
What to look for when investing in a startup
Small businesses are the flesh and blood of the economy . They provide the bulk of job creation and contribute to around 46% in economic growth . Startups share the same characteristics and bring extraordinary growth prospects to the table. Startups have proven to be a tremendous investment as shown by the recent successes of Snapchat , Facebook and the like which went from a dorm room idea to a publicly listed multi-billion dollar company.
Delta Airlines Records Higher Revenue And Traffic In The Second Quarter
Delta Airlines closed at $50.13 just outside the downward correction that spanned the last few weeks. The stock has been on an upward trend since the middle of 2016. The recent good results of the company could push the price outside the correction and back into a bullish course. It fell 10% from last month’s high of $55.75 while retaining a 36% performance for the 52-week period.
USD Gains Strength On Positive Economic Data
Broadly, the US Dollar continues to slide against the Euro. It reached a low of 1.16 against the Euro while it was almost at parity in the beginning of the year. Against the Canadian Dollar it fell from 1.38 in the middle of May to 1.24 in the end of July before rebounding towards 1.28. Bolstered by strong economic data, the USD corrected its course against the Euro this week, moving towards a four-month old support line.
Bonds Market Under Pressure Amid Interest Rates Hikes
In the US, inflation figures are expected to be higher than in the previous month at 0.2%. Higher inflation will support the Federal Reserve in their decision to continue hiking interest rates. A more hawkish monetary policy will negatively impact bonds prices in the United States.
Oil Prices To Get A Boost From New OPEC Accord
Oil prices have recovered from last year’s low of $25 and went as high as $55 in the first half of 2017. It broke an upward trend that lasted almost a year and fell to current levels around $49.20. It has entered a downward correction in March 2017. Oil price direction is highly sensitive to the OPEC talks outcome.
UPS Resumes Bullish Course
UPS closed yesterday at $112.05 rising 3.95% during the last two weeks after gaping down -1.10% overnight by the end of July. Before that, the stock price has remained within a rough range of $104 and $109 during the first half of 2017 during which it seesawed multiple times. It is currently climbing away from the 52 weeks low of $102, stopping just shy of breaking above the gap it registered in February.
USD Falling Across The Board
The Australian Dollar is breaking out of its previous bearish trend even if interest rates were kept on hold during last week’s central bank meeting. The cash rate stayed at 1.50% as a precautionary measure in the face of an uncertain economic outlook.
USD Stumbles Under The Weight Of Political Events
The USD index measuring the average value of the USD against a basket of currencies is on the downside since the beginning of the year. It clearly broke with the uptrend in the end of April after bursting through a year strong support line. The index is heading towards the 200 moving average where it could possibly bounce. Globally its evolution gives a hint over the bearish perspective of the USD.
Transportation ETFs Gain From Low Oil Prices
Oil prices have closed just shy of $48 last week. Markets expect prices to stay low due to the oversupply of crude. Producers have talked and agreed many times about setting limits to the volumes they pump out but to no avail. The glut is still here and here to stay with smaller exporters using the reduction in quantity as an opportunity to expand market share.
Benefits of a Structured Non-banking System
The financial industry is the backbone of the economy. It acts as the glue between the different parts of the economy by posing as an intermediary between buyers and sellers or investors and entrepreneurs and businesses.
Interest Rates Under Pressure From Lackluster Economic Data
The US has auctioned 30-year bonds on Monday at a median yield of 2.87% for a nominal rate of 3%. The auction was subscribed 2.3 to 1 resulting in more favorable rates for the US treasury. Interest rates, in general, rose overall along the yield curve following the target rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
ETF Market Review
The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) rebounded out of its downward tunnel thanks to positive Chinese data that boosted the US stock market. SPY is up 2.5% to $247. The iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX) has been down consistently following lower volatility in the US market, it suggests more stability and stronger involvement from investors.
Vale Surfing the Iron Ore Wave
Vale is the world’s largest mining company and one of the largest companies in Brazil. It is listed on the NYSE as well as the Bovespa and others. The company has been privatized in 1997 but has remained under government control which retained the largest voting powers.
USD Exposed to Further Losses as the CAD Gains in Strength
This week’s soft talk delivered by Yellen triggered a stronger stock market but opened the US dollar to additional losses. The prospects of a looser monetary policy have sent international investors seeking higher returns towards other currencies.
The Euro Takes a Hit After Negative Economic Data
The Manufacturing PMI is at or below expectations in the Eurozone for Spain, Italy, France and Germany this week. Spain in particular released figures below expectations and previous numbers showing a fall in confidence from local manufacturers.
Tesla Facing Investor Scrutiny in Critical Phase
After a few years of stunning success and growth, Tesla (TSLA) is struggling with its first hurdles. The company has grown accustomed to positive media attention and booming figures. It has thrived as a niche manufacturer until now, selling predominantly to wealthy individuals who can afford to buy its expensive cars.
Oil Prices Decline Pauses Over the Weekend
Oil prices outlook remains bearish despite the dire situation in the Middle East. The long war in Syria, the recent diplomatic conflict between Qatar and its neighbors and the civil unrest in Venezuela did not have any significant effects on prices. Turmoil and political instability in the Middle East have traditionally been the main drivers in oil prices.
Bonds Market Enters Bearish Era
A strong US economy and hawkish Federal Reserve suggest a bearish market in the future thanks to the continuous hikes in target rates. Interest rates in the US are at their lowest in decades and can hardly stay at these levels for long. Pre-crisis rates were around 4% to 5%.
The US Stock Market Records Multi Year High
The S&P 500 is on a multiyear bullish trend interrupted by a double dip, one in the second half of 2015 and another in the first half of 2016. The US economy is one of the few that has wonderfully recovered from the financial crisis.
US Stock Market To Resume Rally After Slight Correction
The strength of the US economy has lifted the stock market to new highs after a significant correction in the second half of 2015. The bullish trend is expected to continue as illustrated in the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) chart. The numbers point in that direction with the release of a positive and above expectations quarterly GDP change.
Brexit Adversely Affecting the GBP
The Brexit referendum has changed the course of the British people and the economy. The British people voted to leave the EU 51.9% to 48.1% on Thursday 23rd June 2016. The participation rate was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people turning up. To say the least it was an important matter. But the result was not the same everywhere. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted Remain by 62% to 38% and 55.8% to 44.2% respectively.
Euro's 6-month Bullish Trend Nearing a Reversal
The Euro has been on a 6-month bullish trend towering at 1.1415 late in Friday after hitting a low in January 2017 below 1.0400. The trend seems however out of steam and is expected to revert to parity over the long term with at least a correction in the short to mid term.
Tesla Announces Higher Sales For The Second Quarter
Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, has announced mixed results for the second quarter of this year with higher sales and higher losses. Revenue for this quarter was $1.3 billion, higher than the same period a year ago.
Mattel Scores Coup
Mattel has secured a license to produce toys and merchandise inspired by the last Jurassic Park movie beginning July 2017. The licensing deal is planned to come into full force in 2018 with the release of a new movie. The franchise became one of the most sought after following the immediate success of Jurassic World, which was released in 2015 and grossed more than $1.67 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.
Is Devon Energy Dividend Sustainable?
Devon Energy has been offering constant rises in its dividend payouts throughout its history. In recent years it has sustained this trend at a rate of $0.02 in dividends paid per share every year. It has maintained a clear dividend policy and has thus never cut back the amounts distributed to its shareholders and in the worst cases just froze the increases until subsequent years.
Recent Oil Trends Create Investment Opportunities
The combined effects of the financial crisis, the slow economic recovery, the slowdown of the Chinese growth rate and the recent fall in oil prices have strained the finances of many companies. Since the start of the crisis over Ukraine, oil prices have tumbled for over $100 to less than $50 in a matter of months. During that period, Saudi Arabia has refused to heed calls from other OPEC nations to cut production and prop up prices.
Small Caps Outperform Big Caps
Not as often covered by the press, small-caps are often overlooked by investors. They are not as well-known as their large-caps neighbors and are often deemed as risky. Large-caps are listed in the famous S&P 500 index which is the most famous stock index in the world and the standard performance benchmark for portfolio managers.
Maroc Telecom Releases Strong Earnings
Maroc Telecom (IAM), a Moroccan telecom provider and the largest company listed on the Casablanca stock exchange has released a strong earnings report for the first half of this year. Earnings are carried by growth in the western African markets with averages around 17%. Maroc Telecom has subsidiaries in a total of eleven countries in northern and western Africa.
Market Summary: April 2016
Oil prices settled above $45 pulling up other commodities prices in their wake. Higher energy prices helped reduce pressure on energy companies and on country reliant on such exports like Saudi Arabia, Russia and the like. OPEC countries are still failing to agree on a cut in oil production to stabilize energy markets. In the face of volatile and uncertain oil price levels Saudi Arabia has announced a series of reforms to help turnaround the economy of the middle eastern kingdom which is heavily oil dependent.
Market Summary: March 2016
After hitting a low of $30 oil prices are rising ending March at $36.63. This new trend follows hopes that the main oil producing countries will agree to cut production levels. Although the cuts are uncertain since Iran is bolstering its export since economic sanctions were lifted. In the US, stock markets are on the rise due to positive economic growth and business climate.
Book Review: The Financier
The financier is a novel written by Theodore Dreiser, it was published in 1912 as the first volume of the trilogy of desire. The main character is modeled after the American financier Charles Yerkes who was born in Philadelphia in 1837. It is an exciting novel about the financial markets in pre-civil war America from the eyes of a would be financier who comes to be involved in the financial strata of Philadelphia. He tells the story of how he moved from being the son of a banker to one of the main financier of his city.
What is a Bond?
A bond is a debt issued by a company or government to raise funds from the public. Upon issuing this bond, the issuer is obliged to pay interest following certain defined guidelines such as interest rates and the frequency of payment among other things. A bond is effectively a loan but contrary to a bank loan it is subscribed by many lenders instead of one. Along other means such as bank loans and shares, bonds are a medium through which an organization can raise capital to finance its expansion and/or operations.
Listing On An American Exchange
So you're thinking about listing your company on a stock exchange in the United States. Are you after more visibility, a more liquid market or are you planning on raising capital? The US stock market is effectively the biggest, deepest and most liquid stock market in the world. With a thriving ecosystem of investors and institutions surrounding it the united states are an appealing port for capital and companies.
The Raider And The Behemoth
Mergers and acquisitions are all over the news. Companies buy each others using every imaginable method in a plethora of deals. Some go through and some fail for reasons as diverse as price, lack of synergy, appearance of an outbidder, antitrust regulation etc. Corporations are thirsty for this kind of deals because they have so much to offer.
How To Reduce Costs
Companies sometimes face tough times and have to take action to save themselves from nosediving into losses or worse bankruptcy. History has shown cases of firms enduring difficult economic conditions that make ends meet thanks to well-thought reforms and cost cuts. There are many ways to cut costs, at different levels and at different sizes.





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