Showing posts with label NASDAQ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NASDAQ. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 January 2016

A(nother) market turmoil

Recently, another market turmoil has emerged. Major overseas market are having big drops. Well, except KLSE.

This time, apparently sparked by a plunge in crude oil price and fears about Chinese economy growth, has the overseas stock market to drop 2-3%, literally every second day. Chinese economy growth problem? Really?

Brent crude oil: Looking back only to realise that oil really start to drop since 2H 2014. And it drop really quickly. I thought it would stop at around USD 40/barrel, but the market always surprises you. I has now come down to below USD 30/barrel. The financial market is interesting: the crude oil price has rarely gained any considerable attention in the past, and it is now ubiquitous on the media.

(Print-screened from Bloomberg)

NASDAQ: I have a dream of NASDAQ to shot up to 10000 points in coming years for another round of technology bubble. But it now looks like an impossible task?

(Print-screened from

DAX is literally dropping 2-3%+ every second day for the past week!

NIKKEI is literally dropping every second day too.

On the other hand, KLSE is like a heaven, completely oblivious to what is happening globally. Magic always happens in Malaysia, going along with the phrase "Malaysia Boleh".


The last "noticeable" adjustment occurred in Aug 2015, coming with no signal (at all). In less than six months, another round is coming. Frankly, no one can stand seeing stocks dropping to such an extent every second day, let alone that the bearish market has yet to be confirmed.

I am wondering, the market hasn't even drop for 20% and the market sentiment is already so negative, what if something worse is yet to come?

I would like to see if this would turn out to be another adjustment.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

US: The possibility of a rate hike

At this moment, the financial world couldn't have paid more attention to the next FOMC meeting on 15-16 Dec than any other thing.

Having kept the interest rate at 0.25% since Dec 2008, you always read news reporting the possibility of a rate hike in the US interest rate. This type of news is even more frequent this year, but there was no rate hike then.

In theory, a rate hike would be detrimental to the stock market. Therefore, whenever the stock market drops "considerably" in one day, the possibility of a rate hike will be the culprit. This is the case for last Friday when the US market once again bore the brunt and dropped sharply. Dow Jones and NASDAQ plunged 1.76% and 2.21% respectively while the Brent and WTI crude oil prices have slumped 4.53% and 3.10% respectively to a new low.

This causes a great pessimism in the market sentiment. People say that the market is going to crash after the rate hike. Yes, it does sound scary. But really? I mean, since when does a stock market crash become predictable? Let alone that the possibility of a rate hike has been rumouring in the market for months if not years such that the news would have been absorbed by investors and the effect would have been reflected in the current market.

Thinking from a different direction: would it be that there is no rate hike in the coming meeting, or that the rate hike is smaller than expected, such that the market is going the opposite direction as to what the public expects? Isn't this the way how the stock market works?

Thursday, 9 July 2015

News by media, view by myself (end)

Writing this, I couldn't help but to recall about past experience of "big drop", i.e. Oct 2014. Last October, there was no sign prior to dropping, and the US stock market touched a bottom on 15-16 Oct 2014.

DJI Oct 2014

Then, in the mid of dropping, came the news:

16 Oct 2014:
Dow suffers largest mid-day drop in THREE YEARS as Ebola fears

16 Oct 2014:
Anxiety about Ebola

When the stock market started to plummet, there was no sign and no news. Then, the news came out. The "timing" of the news couldn't have been more "accurate". I still remember vividly how every media was reporting the fear of widespread of Ebola, including a future projection of Ebola cases of how it will become an epidemic. Interestingly, do you still see coverage of Ebola now? It is miraculously disappear from the media. I was scared at that time and learnt a big lesson, I am not buying any story since then.

The current Greece drama is amusing. In my own view, there will be no "Grexit" (how interesting can English evolve!), not now. Time will unfold this soon.

The crux of this series of blog is no more than this: the media has been highly manipulated, and trading by news will bring you nowhere but losses (Holland). While it is not easy to do the opposite when everybody is selling fearfully, it certainly pays off, sooner or later, if you can think and act independently at those critical moments.

PS: A question to ponder -- now almost everyone is talking about the potential of US to raise the interest rate. While raising interest rate will be detrimental to the stock market, will this happen when everyone is expecting the same?

Friday, 19 June 2015

News by media, view by myself (part 1)

It is interesting to see how media influences the market sentiment, by "releasing" a particular news "just at the right time". The original purpose of media is to disseminate news to the public. While this may still be true at some time, financial news are highly manipulated. Here are some examples:

Example 1: Stock -- IFCAMSC
(this stock is too hot to ignore, and yea... everything written here and now is in hindsight..again)

This stock was crowned "The world's top software stock"(Bloomberg!) by having a 1321% return in just 12 months. The date of the news was 13 April 2015, trading at RM 1.35. The stock topped at RM 1.87 on 21 May 2015, just over 1 month after the news was released. Now it was trading at RM 1.13.

Something worth noting is that 21 May 2015 is the day just after the release of quarterly report, that the profit jumped 22x YoY. Because of the implementation of GST in April 2015, everybody knows that it is going to be a promising quarter. Yes, it is. And everybody just hoping that it will either gap up, or at least increase a lot after the quarter report. The opposite has happened. In the stock market, things just wouldn't go the way you think it would when everybody else thinks the same. 

Retrospectively, the message given by the media is obvious: the world best performing stock, luring investors to buy the stock. "They" want you to buy the stock, as if there is still a huge return waiting ahead.

My own view: sell on news. Think about this: can the "best performing tech stock" not listed in NASDAQ, London, Hong Kong or Tokyo but listed in KLSE? Why did the news released in April, not any other time? The stock has been climbing for sometime since last year, this is not a coincidence.

[to be continued]

Saturday, 16 May 2015

NYSE & NASDAQ: what are GAAP and non-GAAP profits?

As a newbie in the US stock market, a first sight at a financial report will often baffle at "GAAP profit" and "non-GAAP profit". What are they?

To start with, Yahoo finance offers a very convenient avenue of looking at the earning release of listed companies in the US. The date and time of the release of the fiscal report are clearly stated (as opposed to KLSE in which you really don't know when will it be released but within 2 months from the quarter end).

For example, this is the Q1 earning of TESLA (NASDAQ: TSLA). 8-K form is the name of form that contains financial results.

TESLA 2015 Q1 Earnings

GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. It is the standard norms of how companies should present their earnings in NYSE and NASDAQ. In a simple way, what we see on the balance sheet is based on the GAAP profit, i.e. the common way of reporting profit.

However, a company may write-down an asset or restructure its organisation. These actions usually come with large one-time cost that may not be truly reflected in the GAAP profit. As such, a company will also provide “adjusted” earning figures that excludes these nonrecurring items. These effect, usually is one-off, will be regarded in the non-GAAP profit. And because of this, I personally think that it will more accurately reflects the company's performance.

The balance sheet of TESLA:

We see that a GAAP net loss -$ 154 M or $-1.22/share was incurred according to the conventional way of account reporting. After considering compensation expense, non-cash interest expense and deferred profit, its actual net loss is only -$ 45 M or $ 0.36/share, which is significantly less than the GAAP standard way of reporting.

The above exemplifies the use of non-GAAP reporting to account for a more accurate earning which truly reflects the company's performance. There are good and bad with both measures of reporting in the sense that the report could be manipulated to favour the desired outcome. Which one to look at is then completely up to your discretion.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

NASDAQ: Amazon soars after earning release

I fail to fathom the US stock market. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) was trading at USD 445 (24-4-2015), jumped from USD 390 on the day preceding the earning release. The "dumbfounding" thing is, the net profit of the latest fiscal report is a net loss of USD 57M / EPS of USD -0.12 (compared with a net gain of USD 108M / EPS of USD 0.23).

Yes, of course you cannot look at net profit alone in isolation from other figures. The revenue jumped 49% to USD 1.6B. The operating cash flow also increased significantly. The main reason for this is reported to be due to the outperforming cloud services and strong retail sales.

Having bought something from them once, I am very impressed by Amazon. The item is of great value, even after including the "international shipping" (which is really not much) and the weakening Australian Dollar. 50% discount is very common. For example, PNY Turbo 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive is now selling at USD 40 shipped to Australia. This is equivalent to  AUD 51.2 (based on the current rate of 1 USD: 1.28 AUD). The cheapest you could find on Ebay is AUD 68. The example goes on and on, and applies for all sorts of items.

Amazon has invested a lot to provide all kinds of new services, with a hope that in years to come, they will gain the "market share" and what they have invested in will pay back in avalanche.

According to the earning forecast, even in year 2018 the EPS would only be USD 8.29, i.e. the PE is still sky high. Perhaps this is something you can only find in a "matured" market, that considering really long term growth of a company, Amazon worths to trade at this price. This is something you cannot find in KLSE, and this excites me to involve in NYSE and NASDAQ, a market that really requires a sharp investing insight.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

NASDAQ: Is Apple expensive?

When Iphone 5s/5c was released in 2H 2013, I thought that the sales would go down as there wasn't any  "jaw-dropping" innovative features. The market proves me wrong.

In 2014, 169.22M of Iphone was sold as compared to 150.25M in 2013, a 12.6% increase, according to the global Apple Iphone sales. Note that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has a financial year ends 27 Sep, such that the sales of Iphone from Oct-Dec 2013 will be reflected in Q1 2014. In fact, the sales is breaking record quarter-to-quarter if compared with the preceding year. I was terribly wrong about the trend.

So I observe the way how Apple fans stick to Apple products:  the joy and excitement of having it, the honour of using it, the sense of playing with it and the pride of owning Apple products. Last year, Iphone 6/6+ was released. While the most prominent difference with previous releases is a larger screen, which has no surprise, this time I stand on a view that Iphone 6 will create a record sales as well.

On 27 Jan, AAPL released its latest financial quarter report. 74.5M of Iphone sold in Q1 2015 as compared to 51M in Q1 2014. This is an incredible result. A record EPS of 3.06 with record profit.  2014 full year EPS of $7.36, with a current price of $117.16, this is equivalent to a PE of 15.9.

Now, the question is, is AAPL expensive? Let's look at some technology stocks:

Name    Stock Code    PE
Google    GOOL       28.1
Facebook  FB         69.13
Avago     AVGO       104.13
Amazon    AMZN       Negative EPS, Stock price stood at $354.53!

You can see how "insane" is US market. A stock trading at PE 100 is not unusual. Is AAPL really expensive at a price of $117.16? Of course, I am not suggesting to buy with expectation of AAPL to reach a PE of 100, but if you are confident that AAPL will still grow, then it may look attractive at the current price.

In 2012, my lecturer once said something wise:

20 years ago you can eat apple. But can you eat Apple now?

20 years ago, nobody will ever think that Apple is inedible. Nowadays, when the very same noun is being mentioned, how often it means Apple, and how often will people will think of apple? The answer is obvious, isn't it?

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

NYSE&NASDAQ: What is after hours trading?

When you browse for quotes for stocks in US markets, you will see something like this:

after hours trading
(Picture print-screened from the The Wall Street Journal)

The price above is the usual closed price. The price below is the so-called after hours trading price. So what is after hours trading? While this may seems common in US, it is not the case, at least in KLSE.

US market trading hours are below:
(All times are in Eastern Time (ET). Eastern time refers to the time zone in the eastern part of US, not the time zone for eastern countries in the globe, e.g. Japan.)

1. Pre-Market Trading Hours: 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

2. Trading time: 9:30 - 4:00 p.m. (Unlike KLSE which has a break time of 2 hours in the afternoon, no break in US markets. Break time even in market trading, what a Malaysian pattern? )

3. After hours trading: 4:00 - 8:00 p.m.

We see that apart from the normal trading hours, there is also a pre-market and after hours tradings, which are also known as extended hours trading.

The reason for this is for investors to trade outside normal trading hours (nonsense?).  This is because a lot of companies make announcement, e.g. quarterly report, corporate news before market open or after market closed.

For example, Chicago Board Options Exchange ( CBOE ) plans to  list options for  GoPro, Inc. (GPRO). (NB: This GPRO has nothing to do with the GPRO in KLSE, although they have exactly the same listing name.) This was announced at 17:05, 30 June 2014 (i.e. after market closed). Seeing this as a positive sentiment for the share, the share of GPRO rose during after hours trading:

(Picture taken from

30 June 2014, 4:00 p.m. price: 40.55 (normal trading hours)
30 June 2014, 8:00 p.m. price: 42.15 (after hours trading)
Change: 3.95%

30 June 2014, 4:00 p.m. price: 40.55 (normal trading hours)
1 Junly 2014, 7:30 a.m. price: 43.37 (pre-market trading)
Change: 6.95%

The price movement will continue until the market opens. Therefore, after hours trading and pre-market trading provides a very good indicator on how the market reacts to the news, and a good insight of the price once the market opens as normal. 

Extended hours tradings give investors to trade at a flexible time. It can also serve as the time to "digest" the news just announced by companies. In addition, for pre-market trading, it can reflect the conditions in other markets, especially EU markets since EU markets start earlier than US markets.

Last but not least, some facts about extended hours trading:
  • they are REAL trading, requires both buyer and seller for a transaction to match (in US, filled is used instead of matched).
  • All stocks listed in NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX companies can be traded in extended hours trading. 
  • Only for stock trading, does not include options.
  • A lower extended hours trading activity (lower volume) will result in a wider spread (i.e. a larger difference between bid and ask price. Again, in US they use bid and ask instead of buy and sell.) 
  • Share price change, i.e. % change is still calculated based on closed price during normal trading hours. Chart only shows the price movement during normal trading hours.
  • You can view the most active, most advanced and most decline for after hours trading on
I hope you have an idea what is extended hours trading now after reading this.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

US markets hit record high (consistently?)

I wonder how 1 month can fly in a blink of eye -- I didn't notice this at all until I checked my last post. I was just too obsessed with my stuffs, and I realized I shouldn't.

Now, US markets closed at new high is not new anymore. Let's have some statistics.

Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJIA):
 31 Dec 2013: Record high close of 16576, see related news 
 4   Apr 2014: Hit an intraday historical high of 16631, see here
 30 Apr 2014: Closed at record high, at 16580
 9  May 2014: Close of 16,583.34 narrowly topped the previous record, less than 2 weeks ago
12 May 2014: Continues from last Friday, closed at historical high again, at 16695
13 May 2014: Continued the rally, closed above 16700 for the first time, at 16715
30 May 2014: Another record high, 16717, see related news

S&P 500 is another key index in US markets, have a similar trend too. closed at 1923 last Friday, a fresh record in the history, see Wall Street Journal.

How about NASDAQ? Nasdaq closed at 14-year high of 4357 at 5 Mar 2014. Media cannot use a record high for NASDAQ, because its record high was set in 2000 during the bubble, where NASDAQ soared above 5000 before collapsing. Is NASDAQ actually heading to another rally?

Now, how about Bursa Malaysia? It remains as boring as it can be, as usual. Bursa also closed at a record high of 1887 on 19 May 2014. A 1900 seems to be so close, and so far. Will Bursa breaks the history as well? If it really does, I hope it comes with volume.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

NASDAQ: Symantec stock plunged 12%

Last Friday US stock ends lower, with DJI - 0.17%, NASDAQ -0.98% and S&P 500 -0.29%.

I was wondering how come NASDAQ would have fallen relatively extensive as compared to S&P 500. Having observed the trend of NASDAQ recently, this is rather unusual. A look into Wall Street Journal clear my doubts: SYMC (NASDAQ:SYMC) plunged 12% yesterday due to the news that CEO get sacked in less than 2 years.  Related news can be found in Investor place. Symantec, which develops Norton anti-virus, is a well known company for computer anti-virus software. I am using its product currently.

NASDAQ is an index comprises of 100 companies mainly related to technology / health care operations. A list of its components companies can be found in CNBC Nasdaq component companies. You can easily identify some of the well known international companies by just a glance at the component companies: Microsoft, Intel, Adobe etc.

This is what happens when you get to know US market, a greater insight about the companies of which you use their products daily, and also have a sense of how fluctuating US markets can be.

Friday, 7 February 2014

NASDAQ: Buying put options, what should you know?

I traded put options to see what happens to the contract when it expire either:

1. in the money: A put options is in the money when share price < strike price (opposite to call)
2. out of money: A put options is out of money when share price > strike price

Case 1: Out of money

Buy: MSFT JanWk5 36 Put
 (NASDAQ: MSFT, Microsoft Corp, everybody knows what this company does)
Strike price = $ 36
Expired date = 31 Jan 2014
Cost: 0.13/options = 0.13*1000 = $ 130 + ($ 15.35 brokerage)
MSFT cloased at 31 Jan 2014 = $ 37.84

At the expired date, MSFT stayed at $37.84, which is higher than the strike price, meaning that the options is out of money, i.e. worthless. It was brought to close automatically (zero cost).

As a put options buyer, I anticipate the share price to drop from $ 36.86 (30 Jan 2014) to $ 36, i.e. a fall of 2.3% in 1 day, which is rather a slim chance. The premium is collected free by the seller. Nobody will exercise his right in this case, as it would mean to selling the share @ $ 36 and then buy back @ current market price of $ 37.84, such a stupid action isn't it? 

MSFT options

Case 2: In the money

Buy: MSFT JanWk5 38 Put
Strike price = $ 38
Cost: 0.13/options = 1.59*1000 = $ 1590 + ($ 15.35 brokerage)
MSFT cloased at 31 Jan 2014 = $ 37.84

On 31 Jan 2014, MSFT share price is $ 37.84 < strike price $ 38, i.e the options is in the money, it will be exercised automatically. Hence, I can sell MSFT @ $ 38 to put options seller. But I don't have any MSFT share in my portfolio, this means that I will have to "short sell" MSFT to the seller, causing me to "earn" $ 38*1000 = $ 38.000 by selling the shares.

I need to buy back the share to close my position. At this time, MSFT share is trading at $ 37.84, which means that I earn a difference of $ 160 immediately. But then in purchasing the put options already cost me $ 1590, which means that I actually incur a loss of $ -1590 +  160 + (brokerage) = -$ 1430. As a put options of strike price @ $ 38 is highly possible to be in the money during expiry, which is why the price is so high. Being a put options buyer, I expect the share to go down, but MSFT is going the opposite direction against my prediction. In short, as long as your put options is in the money, you will be required to sell the share at the strike price.

Yesterday, MSFT closed at $ 36.18, due to bad market sentiment few days ago. This means that I will make a profit of $ (38 - 36.18)*1000 = $ 1820 if I close my position yesterday.

Net profit = $ -1590 + 1820 + (brokerage) = $ 230.

This is not surprising, a put options buyer will always benefit from a loss in share price.  Not a bad return in such a short time if the direction anticipated is correct right?