The major indexes closed the first quarter

Past week recap:  The major indexes closed the first quarter of the year with a small recovery in the holiday-shortened week.  However, the stock market in general, as measured by the major indexes, in the first quarter of 2018 gave back all gains accrued since Thanksgiving. It was a decidedly unprofitable quarter for passive buy-and-hold investors, and a generally neutral one for subscribers well-diversified with long and short positions.

 

Most of our positions are very recent, so many of the stocks on our list have yet to budge from their starting point, stalled within +/-5%.  New weekly highs/lows remain very low as the market continues to whip-saw and gains among our stocks are fewer and smaller than usual.  The past two “choppy market” months have been one of those occasional periods where gains are hard to come by as institutional investors display significant uncertainty over frequently breaking news from Washington.  With all other such periods in the past, they will give way to tremendously gainful periods as markets regain some calm and stocks trend smoothly up and down.  Until then we remain patient and bid Q1 a much-deserved goodbye.

 

Level 1 also saw a rare unproductive implosion last week – biotech PTGX abruptly fell hugely on news that a promising drug in its development pipeline was deemed useless in a FDA Phase 2 trial.   We will hold this stock at least one more week to see if any price recovery occurs.  This is the first such incident among our stock lists in quite some time.

 

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

  • EVTC +19%
  • FTK +29%
  • URBN +71%
  • BXC +246%

 

Locking in long gain of +10% in LQDT (26 weeks).

 

2 new weekly lows among short positions.  1 stock with double-digit short gains:

  • BZH +12%

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