Whenever we get a one day sell-off of 379 points in the market, we get all of the usual boys and girls crying wolf once again. In fact, they have been crying wolf off and on ever since this current Bull Market began back in March of 2009.

During that time the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen from 6,469 to over 21,000. That is obviously more than a triple. In fact, it computes out to a 225% gain. It seems to me that the fat lady continues to get fatter and fatter.

At some point in the future, the fat lady will sing however. Once again, this past week, I saw the following headline on a Seeking Alpha article: The Fat Lady Is Singing…What To Do About It.

It was the number one trending article on the site for the better part of two days-should we listen?

We now live in a tabloid news world. National Enquirer learned a long time ago that headlines sell. Forget about whether or not the underlying article is truthful, all that matters is that headlines sell. The more sensational the headline, the more inclined the observer is to either click on it or put it into their recyclable grocery bag.

I hate to admit it, but my dear, sweet grandmother tended to be a bit gullible-God rest her soul. I remember seeing more than a few National Enquirers on her living room table. I had to talk to her more than a few times in order to calm her down. No Grandma, Bill Clinton was not abducted by aliens, and Barbara Streisand is not John Kennedy’s illegitimate daughter.

From a guy like me who is up to his eyeballs observing the news feed on a daily basis, I am shocked to see the “National Enquirerization” of almost the entire media complex. In fact, in many cases it is downright propaganda!

How can an author, editor, or giant media outlet sell his or her soul in order to get clicks or sell subscriptions? That is the world that we live in today. In a world of tabloid headlines and articles, the truth is getting harder and harder to find.

Here is another huge, huge problem in today’s world-almost all media now has an agenda, and the agenda is usually not an honest one. The story is most times spun to help sell the agenda. The truth, on the other hand, has no agenda. It does not need one. It is based on facts, and it lets the reader decide for themselves whether or not to believe it.

I am nowhere near the most read author on Seeking Alpha. I guess my article and headlines are just not sensational enough. I will let you be the judge of my articles each week as to whether or not I am after “clicks” or in giving Seeking Alpha readers my honest observations of what I am observing during my daily walks though the market.

I now have over two decades of experience managing money professionally through many cycles of the market. I would not trade that experience for anything. I feel sorry for those that have not yet had that experience, because it is indeed a school of hard knocks. The market can be brutal at times.

You may accuse me of having an agenda. You might say that my agenda is to get more downloads of my app, more subscribers to my newsletter, or my clients for my money management business. Of course I would love that, but that will be a result of the product and results that I produce, and not how sensational that I can make my headlines.

Having said that, I am a guy that answers the bell very early each and every day in the market. I put on my waders, my mask and snorkel and dive deep into the market on a daily basis.

My day begins with delivering a national, live radio show on the market. I better know what is going on in the market and in the world or I am just wasting everybody’s time.  When I finish the show, I dive deep into my database of well over 4,000 stocks, mutual funds, and etfs. By the end of the trading day I have looked at every one of my holdings, and at hundreds and hundreds of other stocks charts.

I would not trade that time in the market for anything. As a money manager and analyst of the market, there is nothing more important that spending lots and lots of time in the market each and every day. Sometimes I wonder about these guys that are on TV every day. How much time are they really spending immersed in the market each day? I can usually tell very quickly when they open their mouths and begin to bloviate on the market and individual stocks.

I especially like the perma-bears. I already know what they are going to say before they even open their mouths. They will be negative on the market no matter what is going on. Words like “bubble,” “cautious,” “dangerous,” or “pullback,” are almost certain to come out their mouths. The problem is that they have been repeating those same words for months if not years by now. They have not served investors well, but many of them love to hear this negativity, nonetheless.

You might accuse me of being too optimistic, or of being a “perma-bull.” After all, I have been a bull ever since my weekly newsletter put out a buy signal on the market back on March 27th, 2009. That buy signal has been in place ever since. I have based that buy signal on facts, and not on my agenda, however.

If there is one fact that I have learned in my twenty plus years in the business, it is this: STOCKS AND INDEXES FOLLOW EARNINGS. It is almost as simple as that. Stocks and indexes do not trade on opinions, theories, or sentiment for very long. They always come back to earnings.

We once again witnessed that phenomenon this past week. On Wednesday the sky was seemingly falling. The more sensational the headline was, the more clicks the underlying article received.

The agenda driven media finally got investors to listen to them on Wednesday. Nothing gets their attention more than a big drop in their 401-k or IRA.

The doomsday story went something like this:

  1. President Trump colluded with the Russians in order to get elected.
  2. Trump now knows that he has been caught colluding with the Russians, and has since been busy engaging in a full-on cover up. It is Watergate all over again.
  3. The story will lead to the impeachment and removal of one, Donald Trump as president of the United States.
  4. The Trump pro-growth agenda is now over and he will spend his remaining days in office fighting for his political life.

The market bought into this scenario hook, line, and sinker on Wednesday. By the end of the day the market was down a whopping 372 points and headlines like “The Fat Lady is Singing” were showing up all over the place. Click, click, click!

During the day on Wednesday, I calmly went through each and every one of my holdings. I reviewed their valuations and one year charts. I sold a few underperformers that I was going to sell any way. I also sent out several notifications to my live trading subscribers.

I also sold my Shopify (SHOP) for a 44% gain. That gain occurred in a just a little over two months. The valuation no longer made any sense to me. The sell had nothing to do with the big drop in the market.

How can one pay 632X forward earnings for a company that is only expected to grow its earnings by a paltry 12.4% per year over the next five years?


Data from www.BestStocksNowApp.com

Momentum or no momentum, this now has to be one of the MOST EXPENSIVE stocks in the entire market. The one-year chart also looks a little vulnerable to me.


Why should I pay 632X forward earnings for a 12.4% grower when I can buy a company like Broadcom (AVGO) that is currently trading at just 13.9X forward earnings with an expected average growth rate of 15% per year over the next five years?


Data from www.BestStocksNowApp.com

I have written about Broadcom (AVGO) here on Seeking Alpha many time in the past. I disclosed my top three growth holdings last September. All three, including Broadcom, continue to do very well.

I followed up in January with an updated article on Broadcom. I even went so far as to call it “my favorite stock now.” It continues to do well and it is still one of my favorite stocks. In fact, it is currently ranked at #5 overall amongst the 4,287 stocks, mutual funds, and etfs in my database.


Data from www.BestStocksNowApp.com

This ranking is based on valuation, momentum, performance, safety, and technical pattern. You can also see from the screen shot above how Broadcom has been one of my top ranked stocks for a long, long time.


Why should I pay such an exorbitant price for Shopify when Applied Materials (AMAT) is still trading at a huge discount to its growth rate? In fact at just 0.66X, it still sports one of the best PEG ratios in the entire market.


Data from www.BestStocksNowApp.com

Applied Material is currently ranked number 13 overall in the Best Stocks Now App.


Data from www.BestStocksNowApp.com

I will mention one other stock I observed during Wednesday’s big sell-off, then I will close with my current observations and outlook for the market.

Somehow on Wednesday, I stumbled upon a stock that has an intriguing business model and stock chart.


The name of the company is Teladoc inc. (TDOC). They provide on-demand healthcare services with over 3,000 board-certified physicians and behavioral health professionals.

I think of all of the times that I just wanted to talk to a doctor about an issue that I was having. I did not want to drive to a clinic are wait in a line. Just a quick phone call would do. I wanted to make sure that I was not dying of some rare disease. This telephone model sounds very intriguing to me.

In today’s challenging healthcare environment, we can certainly use innovative, new models to serve our healthcare needs. The company is not profitable yet, but their sales are growing quite rapidly. Revenue growth over the last four quarters has been 45%, 62%, 65%, and 60% respectively.

Could this be another way to play the crumbling of the bricks and mortars in so many industries? This is still a micro-cap stock ($1.6 billion) that is expected to lose $0.44 per share this year, but it bears watching going forward.

I bought a few shares in my speculative portfolio. This is one of the five portfolios that I run. The chart of the stock is very interesting and on a scale of 1-99, the stock currently has a relative strength ranking of 98 in the Investor’s Business Daily Model. I added the stock to may app on Saturday and it will be interesting to see where it ranks after the app updates next on Monday evening.

Now back to the market. I did not hear the fat lady sing on Wednesday. I sent out a special free update to all of my followers in the late afternoon after the market closed. In it I reminded them that what occurred on Wednesday had no impact on those all-important S&P 500 earnings.

The most important thing to remember about stocks and indexes is that stocks follow earnings. One more time, here is that all important chart of S&P 500 earnings:


As you can see from the chart above, the 2008-2009, 53% drop in the market was preceded by earnings peaking in 2006 and then starting to recede in 2007. Both earnings and the market then plunged in 2008-2009.

Earnings then bottomed in 2009 and have been growing ever since, so has the market. Why would the scenario leading up to the next bear market be any different? Earnings for the S&P 500 will eventually peak (peak earnings) and expectations for future years will begin to recede.

As of now, there is still no sign of that on the horizon. After earnings of $118 per share in 2016, S&P 500 earnings expectations now sit at $132 per share for this year and $147 per share in 2018. I update my forecasts and the consensus forecast every week in my newsletter. These are critical numbers to keep your eye on going forward.

It is also vital to remember that these estimates were in place before Donald Trump was elected president. If his pro-growth agenda continues to move forward this will only add icing to the S&P 500 earnings cake.

Now, a few more thoughts before I bring this article to a close. I was at small, very select conference of about 10 owners of advisory companies like myself on Thursday. I sit on the advisory council of advisors with my custodian, Scottrade. For the most part we professional money managers were all still bullish, but…

There is a bit more geopolitical risk in the world right now than usual. The Middle-East and North Korea come to mind, but geopolitical risk has been and will be ever present in the market. We cannot build our portfolios around it, but we can be prepared should something ignite out there.

For this reason I do not believe in being a passive investor in indexes or asset allocations. I am an active investor, especially when conditions at home or abroad change. I also personally fear that the economy has been living on monetary policy only. Now that monetary is going the other way, we are badly in need of a dose of fiscal policy.

Whether Democrat or Republican, do you really want the economy to go into a recession and another bear market to hit us?

I fear that this is the agenda behind a good part of our media. They would love to see Trump, the economy, and the market fail.

But for now, the earnings picture for the market still looks quite good. Not even the most sensational headlines are agenda driven media can change that.