Major institutions are responding as they always do – by cautiously exiting stocks

Overall market direction was decidedly down.  Institutions don’t like uncertainty and right now there is plenty of it in the form of disappointing economic reports that contradict recent good earnings reports and a growing list of geopolitical concerns (North Korea, Syria among them).  Major institutions are responding as they always do – by cautiously exiting stocks, with the more aggressive among them also shorting those same stocks, driving prices down.

This widespread institutional selling is affecting many of our stocks – positively for our short positions by depressing prices for additional gains, but also eroding our long gains.  As always, some stocks bucking the trend and still rising, but those are few.  Most money being made currently is on the short side.

Those of you with a mix of longs and shorts are likely neutral on the week – still a much more favorable situation than that of many thousands of passive investors for whom the past two weeks have meant large losses.

Most trades this week are more stocks reversing to the downside.  Highlights remain few until a consensus sentiment takes hold – and remains in place long enough – to move most stocks in one direction significantly. 

Highlights:  1 new weekly high in long positions.  Only 4 stocks with double-digit long gains:

       EVH +10%       ABX +19%                                                                              NEFF +77%

       FIVN +11%

4 new weekly lows among short positions.  Only 4 stocks with double-digit short gains:

      ERF +10%        NPTN +27%       URBN +32%                          

      EVTC +10%                    

Stock list changes:  Adding the following stock with recent compound trading return listed and trade indicated: 

     Luxembourg-based Orion Engineered Carbons SA (OEC) [chemical manuf], +75.4% in past 22 mos

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