Stock Portfolio & NASDAQ’s MACD Updates: Adding Defense & Still on Hold
By: Christopher Mistal
July 18, 2019
As of the market’s close today, the slower moving MACD indicator applied to NASDAQ remained positive by the slimmest of margins. Even with NASDAQ’s gain today, a one-day gain of 0.59% (48.29 points) would be needed to keep NASDAQ’s MACD Sell indicator positive. NASDAQ could make this move higher tomorrow and still not eclipse its previous all-time closing high, but NASDAQ would need to continue higher into record territory to further stave off its MACD indicator from turning negative. Because NASDAQ’s MACD indicator remains positive, we will continue to hold NASDAQ and small-cap related positions.
[NASDAQ Daily Bar Chart with MACD Sell Signal]
When NASDAQ’s MACD Sell indicator becomes negative, we will issue our NASDAQ Seasonal MACD Sell signal and begin clearing out remaining technology and small-cap positions held in the Almanac Investor ETF Portfolios. We will also review current holdings in the Stock Portfolio and act accordingly. Until that time, all technology and small-cap related positions in the portfolios are on Hold.
Stock Portfolio Updates
In the time since last update through yesterday’s close the Almanac Investor Stock Portfolio advanced 0.2% compared to a 2.0% gain by S&P 500 and a 0.3% loss from the Russell 2000. Compared to the S&P 500, overall performance was also held in check by a sizable cash position that currently represents 49.9% of the entire portfolio. Large-cap holdings contributed the bulk of the advance across the entire portfolio, advancing 0.9%. Small-caps also performed adding 0.2%. Mid-caps were the drag on the entire portfolio, slipping 0.2%. 
Last month’s Defensive Basket of dividend paying stocks have been added to the portfolio table below. Eleven of the basket’s nineteen stocks have traded below their respective buy limits. Nine of these eleven are still active positions in the portfolio. Medifast (MED) and Energizer Holdings (ENR) were added on June 21 but were stopped out soon thereafter. ENR has subsequently bounced back while MED has continued to slip lower. 
Of the nine active positions, five are higher and four are modestly lower. UnitedHealth (UNH), previously a holding is the portfolio, is the top performing new position, up 8.5%. With a gain of 7.7%, Bayer AG (BAYRY) is second best so far as of yesterday’s close. On the flip side, of the four new additions currently showing a modest lost, Vistra Energy (VST) is down the most, off 8.7%. That leaves eight positions from the basket that have yet to trade below their buy limits. All eight of these stock ideas can still be considered on dips.
As we await the arrival of NASDAQ’s Seasonal MACD Sell signal we will continue to maintain a neutral bias in the portfolios. Continue to Hold existing positions and limit new buying to positions with “Current Advice” of “Buy Dips” or “Buy.” Also consider taking some profits and take note of updated stop loss suggestions in the portfolio table below.
[Almanac Investor Stock Portfolio Table – July 17, 2019 Closes]