The Silent Winner: A ‘Safe Haven’ That Outperformed in Secret!

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January 2, 2024


The year ended with a muted applause, but beneath the surface, a "Safe Haven" roared, hidden from the spotlight. While tech stole headlines with its AI revolution, this haven quietly sashayed to record gains, leaving the markets scrambling to catch up. Today, we pull back the curtain, revealing the secrets of this unassuming champion and equipping you with the tools to discover your own hidden gems.


Forget ticker tape parades; this is a story for astute observers, for those who listen beyond the market's unpredictability. We'll unravel the mysteries behind this silent success, from its fundamental strengths to its technical whispers.


Join us as we dissect the market's anatomy in our "Chart of the Day" – can Apple crack the $200 resistance? We'll blitz the maze of "Market Moving News," equipping you with actionable insights to steer your portfolio through 2024. And along the way, we'll pepper in some Random Musin gs – jabs of financial wisdom to keep your mind sharp.


Ditch the year-end resolutions and join us on this quest for hidden fortunes. With Traders on Trend as your guide, you'll learn to hear the whispers amidst the roar, making 2024 your year to shine. Ready to unmask the market's secrets? Let's begin!


Today's Market Mood: EXTREMELY BULLISH!

The Bear-Bull Meter


Daily Market Roundup: Wall Street Says Farewell to 2023 


The clock struck midnight on December 31st, marking the end of a rollercoaster year for markets. Major indexes dipped on the final trading day, but the S&P 500 still managed to waltz away with a respectable 24% annual gain – proving, as always, that Wall Street loves a comeback.


Tech Titans took center stage in 2023, propelled by the seductive whispers of artificial intelligence. AI wasn't just a buzzword, it was a rocket ship, blasting tech stocks into the stratosphere and leaving smaller caps and financials yearning for liftoff. The Fed, hinting at potential interest rate cuts in 2024, sent a wave of relief to those sectors, allowing them to join the late-year victory rally.


Of course, optimism always dances with a hint of apprehension. Investors are eagerly awaiting the December jobs report, hoping it paints a rosy picture of a "soft landing" for the economy. A gentle descent, avoiding the dreaded recession, would be the perfect New Year's gift.


Market Movers and Shakers:


S&P 500: Dipped 0.28% on Friday, but closed the year 24% higher. Just a hair's breadth shy of its all-time record, it seems the index is saving its fireworks for 2024.


Tech & Communication Services: These sectors moonwalked, each gaining over 50% thanks to the AI gold rush. Think of them as the cool kids at the party, sipping AI-infused cocktails and boasting about their self-driving Teslas.


Consumer Discretionary: Resilient consumers and a buoyant job market fueled a 40% surge in this sector. Retail therapy, it seems, is the ultimate recession-proof armor.


Utilities & Staples: These sectors wallowed in the shadows, feeling the heat from rising Treasury yields and slowing inflation. Think of them as the introverts at the party, sipping herbal tea and lamenting the demise of dividend dominance.


Energy: Oil prices took a tumble, dragging this sector down with them. Crude finished the year below $72 per barrel, leaving energy companies with less swagger than a deflated beach ball.


Global Glimpses:


Japan: Led the pack with a 28% gain, proving that even inflation ghosts can be lucrative party guests.


China: U.S. sanctions and a wobbly property market cast a shadow, sending stocks down 4%. Think of it as a tango gone wrong, with investors tripping over economic anxieties.


India: Cheap oil and a "Make in India" mantra fueled a strong year, turning the subcontinent into an attractive alternative to its northern neighbor.


Europe: Lagged behind the U.S., partly due to a more hawkish central bank. Think of them as the party planners, insisting on dimmed lights and a slower tempo while the U.S. cranks up the disco ball.


Bond Beat:


10-Year Treasury Yield: Played hopscotch all year, ending flat at 3.86%. It started with a bang, hit a 16-year high in October, then did a belly flop, leaving investors with whiplash.


2-Year Treasury Yield: Followed a similar rollercoaster, but ended the year lower than it started. This "inversion" could be a fortune cookie prediction of recession, but don't panic just yet.


Potential Strategies:


Keep an eye on the December jobs report: It'll be the first economic snapshot of 2024 and could set the tone for the year.


Embrace AI, cautiously: While tech might be hot, don't get burned. Diversify your portfolio and remember, even robots need a reality check.


Watch the yield curve: That inversion could be a storm cloud on the horizon, so adjust your sails accordingly.


Don't forget the small caps: With the Fed potentially easing up, these growth engines could roar back to life.


As the confetti settles and the champagne hangovers fade, remember that 2024 is a blank canvas waiting to be painted. If you play your cards right, you can turn this year into your masterpiece.

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Senator Ted Cruz, Bill Haggerty of Tennessee, Congressmen David Price, Patrick Fallon, Brian Babin, August Pfluger, Tom Malinowski, Pete Sessions… Both the GOP and the Dems are loading up on one stock.


Why? That’s the most interesting part.


Market Mischief


Did you hear the one about the nervous investor and the talking parrot?


Investor runs into a pet store, looking frantic. "I need a talking parrot," he shouts. "Why?" asks the clerk. "The market's doing crazy, I need someone to yell 'sell!' or 'buy!' so I know what to do!"


The clerk points to a dusty cage: "This one's been muttering 'Dow Jones, Dow Jones' all day. Perfect, right?"


The investor snaps it up and rushes home. Days pass, no word. Finally, the parrot squawks, "Dow Jones... DOWN!" The investor panics, sells everything. Next day, parrot chirps, "Dow Jones... SOAR!" Investor rips his hair out. This happens for weeks, the parrot's predictions wildly wrong.


Exasperated, the investor takes the cage back. "This parrot is useless!" he yells. The clerk shrugs: "He was a broker before, just trying to keep his old habits."


Chart of the Day

$Apple at the Crossroads: Bite the Big One or Backtrack?


The Big Apple's looking a little bruised on the charts, bumping its head against a juicy barrier at $200. Twice it's tried to munch through, but so far, it's just indigestion. Right now, pre-market, it's chilling at $189.96, pondering its next move.


The good news? Two trusty moving averages, the 20- and 50-day SAs, are still chugging uphill, hinting at long-term optimism. But this resistance level's like a particularly tough Granny Smith – sweet reward, but requires some serious crunching.


So, where to bite next? If Apple takes a dip and finds solace on that slanting support line around $180-$182, it could be a buy signal – like snatching a fallen apple before it gets bruised. Aim for another shot at that $200 prize.


But watch out! If it tumbles past that support line, things could get tart. We might be looking at a slide down to $165-$167, another support zone. Think of it as the compost bin – not ideal, but not rotten either.


Traders, keep your eyes peeled on that support line. A bounce is your cue to go long, aiming for that $200 payday. But a breakdown? Time to go short and head for those lower rungs. Remember, even the juiciest apples can get bruised, so always factor in stop-loss strategies to avoid unwanted worms in your portfolio.


Happy nibbling!



Gold Breaks Out, With No One Else Partying, Except Gold Miners


While everyone else was popping champagne corks, gold staged a stealthy ascent, setting a new record high without a blip on the financial radar. This "quiet boom," fueled by Eastern buyers and central banks while Western investors snoozed, paints a promising picture for 2024.


Let's rewind. 2023 was a rollercoaster for gold, defying logic and central bank tightening to close 14% higher. And the final month was no snoozefest, with that infamous Sunday spike to $2,150 followed by a Monday morning smackdown. Cue the "one last dip" chorus, but gold ignored the noise and steadily climbed even as the party season kicked off.


This stealth rally, fueled by Eastern buyers and central banks (Western investors are still catching up), reached a record close of $2,089 last week – crickets chirped. But don't underestimate the power of this quiet ascent.


The lack of Western participation suggests pent-up demand waiting to unleash, especially when they finally join the gold-rush trend. And central banks? Their printing presses aren't stopping anytime soon, guaranteeing a steady appetite for the shiny stuff.


Technically, it's a simple equation: break $2,100 or bust. This level marks the battleground for true momentum. A failure would be a "quadruple peak" disappointment, but the fundamentals scream otherwise.


Remember that inevitable Fed pivot I predicted? The market's catching up, pricing in rate cuts. And while gold thrived under rising rates, imagine its glow when the tide turns. If you heeded my advice this year, you're already positioned for this golden opportunity.


With all this, raise a glass to a Happy New Year for gold. We're ready to shine along with it.


Market Movers: Bites, Bytes, and Bucks


FDA Greenlight Fuels Boston Scientific (BSX): The medical device maker surged 2.7% after glimpsing the regulatory holy grail – FDA approval for its heart-zapping technology. Investors are cheering the potential blockbuster, and Wall Street's already humming a victory tune.


Coinbase Crashes on Indian Crypto Crackdown: The crypto exchange plunged 6.7% after a frosty reception in India. The government's website blocklist left Coinbase shivering in the cold, sending investors fleeing for warmer exchanges.


Hershey's Sweetens the Deal (HSY): The chocolate giant inched up 1.3% in a technical tango. While the sweetness might not be purely fundamental, it's a delicious treat for investors with a taste for short-term gains.


JD Wins in Court, Climbs on the Ladder (JD): The Chinese e-commerce giant notched a legal victory, boosting its stock 1.3%. Bloomberg reported a juicy anti-monopoly win, sending investors cheering and JD's stock price soaring.


Walgreens Waits for Earnings Spotlight (WBA): The drugstore chain dipped 1.84% ahead of its earnings report next week. New CEO Tim Wentworth takes center stage, hoping to cure the stock's 30% year-to-date hangover.


Jobs Report: Labor Market Under the Microscope: Investors are eagerly awaiting Friday's employment report, hoping for a healthy pulse in the labor market. A strong showing could fuel optimism for Fed rate cuts in 2024, while a weak beat could send chills down Wall Street's spine.


FOMC Minutes: Dissecting the Rate Cut Timeline: The Fed's latest meeting minutes drop Wednesday, offering a peek behind the curtain of rate hike deliberations. Investors will be searching for clues about the timing and magnitude of those anticipated 2024 cuts.


Earnings Season Simmers: With Walgreens in the spotlight, snack giant Conagra Brands, egg producer Cal-Maine Foods, and beer importer Constellation Brands also serve up their quarterly reports this week. Investors will be hungry for insights into consumer appetite and economic trends.


Random Musings and the Time Machine


Random Musings


If gold is a safe haven, why do pirates always get into trouble?


What if artificial intelligence is not so intelligent after all, but just good at pretending?


How many stocks does it take to make a portfolio? And how many portfolios does it take to make a market?


If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a chart worth?


Why do we call it a bull market and a bear market? Why not a lion market and a turtle market?



On this day in history, January 2, 2024:


On this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the Bahamas, which he mistook for India. He also mistook the natives for Indians, and the gold for spices


On this day in 1810, the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich, Germany, to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. The festival has since become a global phenomenon, attracting millions of beer lovers every year.


On this day in 1962: The first-ever James Bond film, Dr. No, premiered, introducing the world to the suave secret agent (and his penchant for shaken, not stirred martinis). Bond's risk-taking spirit might resonate with some investors, though we recommend leaving the gadgets to Q Branch.


On this day in 1960, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon participated in the first televised presidential debate in U.S. history. The debate was widely seen as a turning point in the campaign, as Kennedy’s charisma and appearance gave him an edge over Nixon’s experience and substance.


On this day in 1984, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher escaped an assassination attempt by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), who planted a bomb at the hotel where she was staying. The blast killed five people and injured 31 others. Thatcher vowed to continue her fight against terrorism.



The Final Ledger


2024's curtain has risen, and the market's already a whirlwind. Gold's scaling record heights like a mountain climber, Apple's grappling with resistance like a sumo wrestler in a doorway, and the Fed's contemplating a delicate tap-dance of rate cuts. Remember, even the most seasoned drivers can trip over unexpected potholes.


So, keep your charts close, your wits sharp, and your portfolio diversified. After all, as the sage Warren Buffett once quipped, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." Now go forth, trade with conviction, and remember, knowledge is the most profitable asset you own.


Bonus: What do you call a jittery investor during earnings season? A "buy, sell, hold, maybe?"


Happy trading, and see you soon!


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