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All You Need to Know About Tree Pruning

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You have undoubtedly seen a lot of trees, perhaps you have even grown some on your own property. But how much do you know about trees and their pruning needs? There are some aspects of this you need to consider.

First, you have to understand how a tree works, to find out the importance of tree pruning. In essence, the tree is a complex living organism with a self-supporting system. Trees convert carbon from our atmosphere into sugars, which are used to create blocks of cellulose and lignin to sustain themselves. Trees absorb water, along with other essential nutrients through the roots. These nutrients are transported to the leaves via a tubular system of vessels, known as the xylem. Minerals and sugars are then used by the tree to flower and produce fruit.

You may wonder why you need to prune trees. The main purpose of pruning is to improve the structure of the tree. In essence, pruning consists of controlled removal of branches, so there is also the benefit of clearing broken branches. If the tree is planted close to a structure, you may need to prune it just to provide some clearance. You should only prune trees that need it because removing a big branch creates an opportunity for disease entering via the wound or simply weaken the tree through the removal of a large part of leaf material. Removing branches is not a safe process, as it requires special gear and training. In many cases, you need to leave this job to expert arborists, who can easily handle the task.

To prune a tree correctly, you need to understand how branches work. They grow from buds, which in time become twigs. During the process of incremental growth, in which the tree produces a ring of growth, the branches grow as well. The point where the branch attaches itself to the tree is known as the branch bark ridge. To keep the wound of pruning as small as possible, you need the final cut to be no larger than a third of the stem/branch. If you are removing a branch, you must do the final cut from the bark ridge to the collar in such a way as to minimise the final wound. If you remove a large branch, you up the risk of disease. Fungi and bacteria can enter the tree via the wound and cause all sort of trouble.

Pruning should not take place at random periods. Generally, you should do it after the leaves have had a chance to harden, i.e. late spring and early summer. However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as with Walnut, Maples and Birch, all of which bleed sap if pruned in spring. For these trees, you should wait for mid-summer or mid-winter pruning.

In any case, you better seek arboricultural consultants for any tree pruning tasks. They know best how to handle the task.

Treework Environmental Practice provides trained professionals, who know all about trees. Learn more at 0117 244 0012.



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Profitable Ideas for Belly Dance Studio

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Expert Author Tricia Deed

After taking classes from other instructors, it is decided that the next step in your personal advancement is to become an instructor and start a belly dancing business.

The operation of a belly dance studio requires daily attention to students needs and desires.

In the beginning are the owner’s ideas of making money learned from previous experiences from other dance studios. There is nothing wrong with this, however; it will be temporary.

Immediate income is from students taking classes. A basic beginners course and different levels of classes to advance skills will keep students continuing the course to its completion. After the basic course students may leave.

What can you do to keep students attending and continuing an income?


  1. Specialty classes – these classes may be taught by self or hire other instructors.

  2. Props of sword, cane, tambourine, candelabra, candles, and veil. These classes may range from a couple of hours or taught as a weekend event.

  3. Zills and drumming – these are the basic percussion instruments which belly dancers use. Learning about different zill patterns and drum rhythms will help students understand the various rhythms of Middle Eastern music.

  4. Teach in-home private instruction and offer demonstrations at schools and other types of women’s organizations.

  5. Hire self out for national and international seminars as an instructor and build your brand name.

  6. Design a website page and keep it active with information. Include an application for attending classes or hiring a performer.

  7. Teach basics, techniques, and psychology of entertaining at private parties, restaurant dancing, and stage performances to students who want to become professional performers.

  8. Sell services of dancers for parties, conventions, and organizations for local, national, and international markets.

  9. Teach costume and accessories construction. These classes not only help students to have custom-made outfits for their selves, but it serves to satisfy their creative and imaginative interest for arts and crafts.

  10. Designing and assembling jewelry. Making jewelry which the dancer uses are beautiful and many dancers like their jewelry to compliment their costumes correctly.

  11. There are many other styles of this art form. In the past there were two categories of dances. Today there are nine different styles of belly dancing. It is not possible for one person to teach the nine different styles; hire other instructors. It is critical to offer variety in the dance studio; do not depend on one style.

  12. Teach or conduct workshops and seminars. Workshop classes are taught in one day. Seminars are conducted over a three-day weekend. Hire national or international instructors.

  13. Mount a display wall or a mini-shop in the studio and sell all essential costumes, accessories, jewelry, props, and musical items which dancers need or wish to own. Include consignment opportunities.

  14. Produce online videos and offer online classes.

These money-making ideas may be done one at a time or several may be incorporated

Read more about increasing revenue for your belly dancing business at. https://hubpages.com/entertainment/Belly-Dance-Studio-How-to-Increase-Revenue. Would you like to learn more about other hobbies? Visit https://www.triciadeed.com.

Article Source:
https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Tricia_Deed/441960



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The Worst Appears to Be Over for CVS Stock

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CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) can’t catch a break. Neither can its shareholders. CVS stock is at roughly half the value it was at its mid-2015 peak. And it only recently came off its May multi-year lows. Good news about cancelled drug-rebate plans that would have cost it a fortune shoved shares higher earlier this month. Now, that move has largely come undone. The bears appear to remain in charge.

Here's why the fallout in CVS stock may be coming to an end

Source: Shutterstock

Nothing lasts forever though. While CVS Health stock may look and feel stuck in a downtrend, don’t despair: what the company is building is very much the future of healthcare.

The organization gave stakeholders of CVS stock another glimpse of that future this week.

Desperate Measures

The short version of a story most everyone knows: the state of the healthcare system in the U.S. is laughable. Its sheer size and complexity, coupled with misguided regulation, has made it unaffordable for all.

That’s a key part of the reason strange-bedfellows Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) made this announcement last year: they’re forming their own healthcare company of sorts for their employees. Though not insurance per se, it was a means of offering low-cost clinical care in-house. Further, this move would also cull at least some of their healthcare and insurance expenses.

However, it’s hardly the only instance where such lines have crossed.

Case in point: CVS rival Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) has partnered with clinics to offer in-store (or near-store) primary care, as has CVS.

Arguably, CVS took the boldest even if not the biggest step towards an industry shakeup last year. That was when the pharmacy giant announced its intent to merge with health insurer Aetna. The deal closed in late 2018.

Responses were mixed. Concerned observers noted it was an opportunity for self-serving steering that crimps competition even if it doesn’t kill it. Others lauded the idea, pointing out that with one less middleman, the industry could lower costs.

Regardless, this is the new norm for the very same healthcare industry that collectively priced itself into the trouble it’s now looking to escape.

CVS Health carried the ball a bit further downfield this week, unveiling a home dialysis system that just began its required clinical trials.

Disruption Underway

It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a milestone nonetheless.

CVS Health was and is a pharmacy, and now facilitates clinical/frontline care. Aetna is an insurer and can keep hospital and drug prices in check. However, neither arm has pushed its way onto biotech equipment turf until now.

Last year’s news of the planned project already put dialysis rivals into action. Davita (NYSE:DVA) as well as Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS) have both ramped up efforts to facilitate more at-home dialysis. Such moves saves patients from visits to their specialty clinics.

That paradigm shift should also lower total costs for dialysis patients.

Meanwhile, the Aetna/CVS deal has put the nation’s traditional frontline players on notice. Ken Kaufman, managing director and chair of consulting firm Kaufman Hall, commented earlier that year that the once-unlikely pairing was “a shot across the bow of hospitals in America.”

In the same vein, the creation of Haven — the name given to the entity co-created by JP Morgan, Amazon and Berkshire — was a shot across the bow of pharmacies like CVS and insurers like Aetna.

It’s CVS, however, that’s leading the charge of disruption, even if that means disrupting itself.

CVS Stock Is Undervalued and Oversold

CVS Health may be the face of a new era of integrated healthcare, but investors are clearly not buying it. Extending a pullback that began in 2015, 2017’s initial efforts to team-up with Aetna along with uncertainty as to how the business might change under President Trump have ultimately worked against CVS Health stock.

That concern largely has no merit though. Indeed, with Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) on its heels and Walgreens not taking the same bold step CVS did to shape its own future rather than be shaped by it, investors have seemingly overlooked CVS Health’s impressive past and compelling future.


Click to Enlarge

Revenue was growing and will continue to do so. The introduction of Aetna’s business a couple of quarters ago had no bearing on the revenue trajectory. Analysts expect earnings per share of CVS stock to slide once this year. And then, it will likely move on to record-breaking levels for the newly combined companies. That’s a victory in and of itself. Consider that the new-share issuance of CVS Health stock partly funded the acquisition.

Notice the addition of Aetna will also stabilize CVS’s otherwise wide seasonal swings in income.

Perhaps the most bullish argument of all is the stock’s forward-looking price-earnings ratio of 7.9. With or without challenges ahead, that’s dirt cheap given the profit CVS Health could drive simply by coasting ahead.

Looking Ahead for CVS Health Stock

That being said, two key clues suggest the sentiment tide may have finally taken a turn for the better.

One of them is the way CVS shares have repeatedly found a technical floor near $51.70. This is plotted with a yellow, dashed line on the chart. Bears have tested that floor three times since March, but it held up every time. It’s a foundation the bulls can build on now that it’s been established.


Click to Enlarge

The other noteworthy nuance here is the amount of bullish volume that’s kept CVS stock propped up. While February’s pullback volume was significant, the same number of buyers (and perhaps more) have wanted to step back in.

It’s the first time we’ve seen this much technical support aided by this much buying interest.

There’s still work to be done, and there’s still plenty of risk ahead. This week has been less than thrilling, with the buyers unwilling to follow through on last week’s jolt. The bearish case is starting to crumble under the weight of the bullish case though. Its vertical and horizontal integrations appear to be working.

As of this writing, James Brumley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. You can learn more about him at his website jamesbrumley.com, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley.





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Thursday’s Vital Data: Baidu, Netflix and Bank of America

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U.S. stock futures are hovering near unchanged, continuing their streak of sleepy summer opens. The talk of the town is Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) earnings, which missed revenue estimates and has the stock down 11% premarket.

Thursday's Vital Data: Baidu, Netflix and Bank of America

Source: Shutterstock

Ahead of the bell, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are down 0.18%, and S&P 500 futures are lower by 0.05%. Nasdaq-100 futures have shed 0.07%.

In the options pits, calls outpaced puts by a modest margin, while overall volume ticked slightly above average levels. Specifically, about 18.5 million calls and 15.6 million puts changed hands on the session.

Meanwhile, over at the CBOE, the single-session equity put/call volume ratio rose to 0.67 — a one-month high. The 10-day moving average continued its sideways drift at 0.60.

There were three marquee stocks heavily favored by options traders on Wednesday: Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), Netflix and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).

Let’s take a closer look:

options trading chart

Baidu (BIDU)

Ever since May’s earnings-induced plunge, Baidu shares have been unable to get off the mat. The two months of churn have allowed the descending 50-day moving average to catch-up and the time could be nearing for a resolution out of the tight range established since May.

The next quarterly report is due out July 30 and could provide the kick needed to spark BIDU stock’s next move. If options traders possess any prescience, then the eventual break will be lower. Yesterday’s options trading saw massive put volume relative to calls. Total activity ramped to 361% of the average daily volume, with 174,074 contracts traded; 92% of the trading came from put options alone.

Despite the dash for puts, implied volatility fell on the session to 40% or the 47th percentile of its one-year range. Premiums are now pricing in daily moves of $2.85 or 2.5%.

Netflix (NFLX)

Netflix shares plunged last night on disappointing earnings results, and the pain is continuing premarket. The primary culprit for investors’ ire is the lackluster number of new subscribers for the quarter. The company had previously forecasted 5 million new customers, but was only able to welcome 2.7 million paid subscribers into the fold.

NFLX posted second-quarter earnings-per-share of 60 cents on revenue of $4.92 billion.

With NFLX stock poised to open near $323 or down 11%, the long-awaited break of its tight, seven-month trading range is finally upon us. Whether we see a close below it remains to be seen. We have seen buyers emerge to save potential breakdowns before, but today’s plunge has weakening fundamentals driving it so it could stick.

On the options trading front, traders favored calls ahead of the report. Total activity swelled to 242% of the average daily volume, with 320,247 contracts traded. Calls claimed 58% of the day’s take.

This morning’s 11% puke was well above expectations. Option premiums were forecasting a gap of $22 or 6%, so we’re looking at a sizeable move that will deliver big profits to traders swinging long volatility positions like straddles and strangles into the number.

Bank of America (BAC)

Bank earnings rolled on yesterday, this time with Bank of America stepping up to the plate. Its early morning rally melted into the close leaving the stock up a scant 0.6%. If you’ve never paid attention to bank earnings in the past, one thing should become crystal clear after this week’s showing. They’re boring and rarely generate jaw-dropping moves seen from high-flying tech stocks.

For the quarter, Bank of America earned 74 cents a share on $23.2 billion in revenue. Compared to the year-ago quarter, both measures marked growth of 8% and 2.1%, respectively.

The price chart for BAC stock leaves little interesting to chat about. It remains stuck in a seven-month range complete with crisscrossing moving averages that reveal a tie between bulls and bears on every time frame. Shareholders continue to collect a 2.06% dividend, while waiting for resolution.

A jump over $29.70 resistance could get something going on the upside, but until then, it’s hard to get excited about a bullish play.

On the options trading front, calls were favored over puts. Activity climbed to 215% of the average daily volume, with 442,160 total contracts traded. Calls accounted for 65% of the tally.

With such a snoozer of a reaction, traders whacked implied volatility down to 23%. That lands it at the 21st percentile of its one-year range and means the expected daily moves are now 42 cents or 1.4%.

As of this writing, Tyler Craig didn’t hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility.



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Dilution Is Hurting the Owners of Aurora Cannabis (ACB) Stock

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Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) stock has steadily declined since late March. At a time when the S&P 500 continues to make new record highs, ACB stock and marijuana stocks in general have moved in the other direction. The industry has suffered after Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) fired its co-CEO and regulators caught CannTrust (NYSE:CTST) growing weed in unlicensed facilities.

Dilution Is Hurting the Owners of Aurora Cannabis (ACB) Stock

Source: Shutterstock

The slow process of legalization in the U.S. has likely weighed on all marijuana stocks. However, triple-digit revenue growth by cannabis companies could foster a recovery. Also, despite a recent pullback, ACB stock and other cannabis equities trade at high valuations. While the cannabis industry should prosper, the actions of Aurora Cannabis could make it difficult for investors to benefit from this growth.

Aurora Cannabis Versus ACB stock

Investors should not view Aurora Cannabis and ACB as identical entities. From a business standpoint, I think Aurora has made some wise acquisitions. These deals have made it the world’s largest cannabis producer. Given the bubble-like valuations of marijuana stocks, I cannot blame Aurora for issuing massive amounts of ACB stock. I agree with my colleague ,James Brumley, that this dilution of Aurora stock will ultimately benefit the company.

But the key question for investors is if it helps the owners of ACB stock. I have trouble seeing the benefits of the share dilution for these investors. As I pointed out in a previous article, the number of shares outstanding of Aurora stock rose from about 129 million in 2016 to 1.003 billion as of the end of the first quarter of 2019.

ACB Remains an Expensive, High-Growth Equity

The dilution has helped to take the price of Aurora Cannabis stock down by almost 28% over the last four months, and by nearly 43% from its highs of last October. Despite that drop, ACB stock currently trades at about 56 times its sales. This lags Canopy Growth and other large Canadian peers such as Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY).

In fairness, the anticipation of legalization has driven cannabis stocks higher in the past. The United States and several other countries continue to move toward legalization. That trend alone could reinflate marijuana stocks. Moreover, analysts, on average, expect revenue growth for Aurora of almost 385% this year and over 156% in 2020., Consequently, traders should not assume that the multiples of ACB stock will necessarily compress anytime soon.

Aurora Is Financing Its Operations With ACB Stock

Even if Aurora stock price remains the same, it will still have an elevated price-sales (PS) ratio. Considering the recent behavior of the company, one has to assume acquisitions and dilution will continue. Those deals could make Aurora Cannabis’ business bigger and better. Still, investors buy equities because they want returns on their investments. But instead of reaping profits from Aurora stock, they may finance the cost of the company’s expansion.

This growth could make ACB stock a buy some time in the future. However, by that time, marijuana stocks like ACB will probably resemble the equities of the large companies that are investing in them now. Emulating Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) and Altria (NYSE:MO), marijuana stocks will likely eventually trade at price-earnings (PE) ratios at or below the S&P 500 average. They may also pay significant dividends. Under these conditions, Aurora Cannabis stock may become a lucrative income play.

Final Thoughts on ACB Stock

But Aurora Cannabis will likely serve as the biggest obstacle to the growth of ACB stock for the foreseeable future. Aurora has solidified its position as the world’s largest cannabis producer. However, the company has financed its growth by significantly diluting ACB stock. The number of shares outstanding has grown by about 800% over the last three years. While ACB  probably invested the funds well, its actions have made it considerably harder for the owners of ACB stock to benefit from their investment.

Someday, the hype that’s lighting a fire under marijuana stocks will fade. At that point, they will probably become profitable, slower-growth, dividend-paying companies. ACB stock should become a solid investment at that time. However, given  the recent dilution of Aurora stock, I would stay away from the shares for now.

As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.

 





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Alibaba (BABA) Stock Price Can Get a Lift From Digital Ads

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When it comes to the digital ad market, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) is doing everything it can to drive Alibaba stock higher. 

Alibaba (BABA) Stock Price Can Get a Lift From Digital Ads

Source: Shutterstock

Remarkably, in the digital-ad sector, Alibaba is beating Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) at its own game. Over the long-term, that will greatly boost the BABA stock price.

But first, here’s the back story. 

Amazon’s Ad Growth

One of the big stories about Amazon in 2019 is how well the e-commerce giant is doing in the digital-ad market. Although the space has long been the exclusive domain of Google and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon has managed to elbow its way into the mix in relatively short order. 

That’s one of the many reasons why Amazon’s stock is up  32% in 2019. 

As the e-commerce company’s core retail business has slowed, Jeff Bezos and company have worked to find new sources of growth. The digital-ad market happens to be one of those growth areas. 

Estimates suggest Amazon’s annual-digital-ad revenue over the next five years will jump to $40 billion, up from $10 billion in 2018.

Alibaba also has a reasonably strong and growing ad business. In fact, its ad business is larger and growing more rapidly than Amazon’s. 

I wouldn’t buy Alibaba stock solely for this reason. However, it certainly should make investors think twice about choosing Amazon over BABA stock.. 

China vs. America

eMarketer estimates that Alibaba’s digital-2019 ad revenues will come in at $29.2 billion, more than double that of Amazon. That puts BABA in third place in global digital-ad revenue, behind Facebook and Google, which are expected to generate digital-ad revenue of $67.4 billion and $103.7 billion, respectively. 

Alibaba’s digital ad revenues are so substantial that the fifth, sixth, and seventh-largest sellers combined are expected to generate $30.4 billion of digital-ad revenue, just 4% more than Alibaba. Yet, all anybody can talk about is how great Amazon is doing in the advertising business. 

I think it’s time to give Alibaba its due. That’s especially true in light of the differences between the Chinese and U.S. digital ad markets. 

China’s digital-ad spending is expected to grow from $65.4 billion in 2018 to $134.3 billion in 2023. In 2019, the country’s digital-ad spending is expected to increase by 22% to $79.8 billion,.

 In the U.S., digital ad spending is projected to grow from $108.6 billion in 2018 to $201.8 billion in 2023. That’s meaningfully  slower growth than in China. 

The Bottom Line on Alibaba Stock

On the one hand, the fact that Alibaba controls over a third of all Chinese digital advertising is an impressive statistic. 

On the other hand, Amazon is a major participant in the U.S. digital ad market, which is expected to grow almost as quickly as China’s over the next five years.  Additionally, AMZN only has 9% of the entire U.S. market at the moment. 

It’s much easier to go from 9% to 18% than it is to go from 35% to 70%. From that perspective, some could surmise that Amazon’s got an easier growth path when it comes to the digital-ad market.

However, that viewpoint assumes that Alibaba won’t make any headway in digital ads outside of China. I believe that’s much too pessimistic, given the company’s international expansion possibilities. 

So, the owners of Alibaba stock should continue to pay attention to BABA’s  advertising business because BABA just might have an even better opportunity in that area than Amazon does at this point. 

At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

 



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3 Stocks to Sell Today That Look Like Death to Portfolios

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The flurry of new highs notched by the S&P 500 is perhaps the clearest evidence of the decade-long golden age stocks we’ve been living in. Since the disastrous days of ’08 and bottom carved in the Spring of ’09, equities have grown 343%. But not all companies have been boosted during the buying binge. Some sad saps remain stocks to sell.

Today we’ll highlight three such losers.

These stocks to sell weren’t hard to find. Indeed, in a day of high flying equities tagging record-setting prices, all you have to do is look for the few stocks that are hitting new lows. There’s a stink about them. Maybe they have deteriorating fundamentals. Or perhaps they find themselves in an out-of-favor sector. In any case, they’re worth steering clear. Or you could deploy bearish trades to profit from their pain.

Let’s take a closer look at three deathly looking stocks to sell.

Baidu (BIDU)

Since peaking last year at $284.22, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) shares are down over 53%. The unwinding accelerated after May’s dismal earnings report sent the shares plunging around 20% amid massive volume. Since then, BIDU stock has proven altogether unable to lift itself from the mat.

And with the specter of another certain earnings announcement looming later this month, I think the selling could begin anew as shareholders who were holding out for a recovery finally jump ship.

To bank on pre-earnings jitters, we could buy put options. The Aug $110 puts can be purchased for around $3.80 and offer a lower cost and limited risk way to speculate on additional weakness.

3 Stocks to Sell: Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY)

Remember the powerful recovery Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) staged over the first four months of the year? We’re talking about the robust 87% ramp that pulled-in bargain hunters and spectators willing to bet on a turnaround.

Well, it’s gone. All of it.

And this week, BBBY stock officially broke below the December low that marked the beginning of its once-promising ascent. That means every single person who got suckered into banking on the resurrection is now cursed with a losing position. And they’re all likely sellers at higher prices, which is otherwise known as overhead supply.

Couple the flawed fundamentals with terrible technicals and you have a toxic brew pointing toward lower prices.

Unfortunately, with BBBY already down sharply after last week’s earnings release, it’s tough to recommend new bear trades here. But I would be a seller into any strength.

The depths beckon.

3 Stocks to Sell: Halliburton (HAL)

Oil stocks have been poison to portfolios in recent years. And perhaps none best illustrates the damage inflicted than Halliburton (NYSE:HAL). Just last year the oil service titan was flirting with $60. Now it’s threatening to break into the teens.

The downtrend has taken a few pit stops along the way, but overall the descent has been relentless. Its latest two-month pause just gave way to renewed selling, and this morning HAL stock is working on its fifth straight down day. The next earnings report is right around the corner on July 22nd and could provide some relief, but I doubt it.

If you’re willing to bet with bears into the event, then buy the Sep $22.50/$20 bear put for around $1.15.

As of this writing, Tyler Craig didn’t hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Check out his recently released Bear Market Survival Guide to learn how to defend your portfolio against market volatility.



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Microsoft Earnings: MSFT Stock Surges on Q4 Sales, EPS Beat Microsoft Earnings: MSFT Stock Surges on Q4 Sales, EPS Beat

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled its latest quarterly earnings figures after hours Thursday, posting sales and a profit that came in stronger than what the Wall Street consensus estimate predicted.

Microsoft Earnings

Source: Shutterstock

The tech giant — based out of Redmond, Wash. — announced that for its fourth quarter of its fiscal 2019, it amassed a profit of $1.37 per share on an adjusted basis. This was stronger than the $1.21 per share than analysts called for, according to data compiled by Refinitiv.

Microsoft added that on the revenue front, the business — which has continuing to further its focus to the software side of things — it brought in sales of $33.72 billion. Wall Street predicted the business would rake in revenue of $32.77 billion, per Refinitiv.

This marks the company’s ninth straight quarter of annualized revenue growth in the double digits, per data compiled by FactSet. Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud business segment — comprising the Azure public cloud, SQL Server and more — tallied in $11.39 billion in sales for the period, topping the $11.02 billion that Wall Street predicted, according to FactSet.

Azure-based revenue popped 64% year-over-year, although the specific revenue numbers for the software are unclear at this moment. Microsoft added that its Commercial Cloud revenue tallied in $11 billion in sales, a 39% gain compared to the year-ago period.

MSFT stock gained about 2.7% after the bell following the company’s quarterly earnings results. Shares had been gaining about 0.1% during regular trading hours on Thursday.



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Skechers Earnings: SKX Stock Skyrockets as Q2 Sales Tally Up 7.4% Y2Y Skechers Earnings: SKX Stock Skyrockets as Q2 Sales Tally Up 7.4% Y2Y

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Skechers (NYSE:SKX) reported its quarterly earnings results late today, bringing in sales that were positive overall, gaining more than 7% and less than 8% during the three-month period, lifting SKX stock nearly 13% after hours.

Skechers EarningsThe Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based footwear said that for the quarter, it brought in sales of $1.22 billion, which totaled a 7.4% gain when compared to the same period a year ago. Wall Street had posted a consensus guidance in the range of $1.20 to $1.23 billion for the three months.

Adjusted earnings were positive too for Skechers, increasing about 17% when compared to the year-ago quarter, amounting to 34 cents per share. In the year-ago period, this figure came in at 29 cents per share, while analysts predicted it would be in the range of 30 cents to 35 cents per share for the current period.

The company added that its international sales for the period were positive, increasing 19.8% when compared to the year-ago quarter. Additionally, Skechers’ domestic segment was up by 1.5% year-over-year.

On the international front, it was all good things for the business as sales surged 10.9% bettering the Wall Street guidance. For its second quarter, the business posted growth of 4.9% in same-store sales, backed by solid performance in all its segments.

SKX stock is soaring about 12.6% late today following the business’ quarterly earnings figures, which were arguably a success overall. Shares had been gaining about 1.2% during regular trading hours.



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CGC Stock: Why I Still Believe in Canopy Growth and the Weed Market

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I’ve always regarded publicly traded marijuana companies like Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) as transformative investments. Prior to the legalization movement, an equity like CGC stock would have been impossible to materialize. Therefore, an entire industry is enjoying revenue streams that simply didn’t exist several years ago.

Here's why I still believe in CGC stock despite the volatility

Source: Shutterstock

But as much as I continue to emphasize the description “transformative,” the CGC stock price is unfortunately not cooperating. After getting off to a great start in January, shares had only extracted brief moments of upside. However, since late April, the trajectory is decidedly negative, with Canopy Growth stock shedding roughly 30%.

So what explains this mismatch between longer-term fundamental potential and the current volatility in Canopy stock? First, the company’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2019 earnings report wasn’t great. Although Canopy beat its revenue target, it widened per-share earnings losses much more than analysts expected.

However, the markets didn’t appreciate certain details. For instance, Canopy’s recreational marijuana sales were down from the year-ago quarter. So too was the volume of cannabis sold. Shortly after the disclosure, the CGC stock price tumbled badly.

And we haven’t recovered from the turmoil. For the month so far, Canopy Growth stock is down 14%.

More bad news comes in the form of revised profitability expectations. According to an interview between Jefferies’ covering analyst Andrew Bennett and Canopy’s CFO Mike Lee, CGC stock won’t be profitable in its fiscal 2020 (April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020).

Of course, the counterargument is that we should give Canopy stock some time. However, since marijuana stocks are inherently emotional investments, the profitability downgrade represents a serious distraction.

Why You Can Still Trust CGC Stock

Before you give up on Canopy Growth stock, though, you should know that its volatility is not isolated. Other major cannabis firms, such as Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), have faltered as well this year.

That’s not to say you should feel good about this or any other portfolio loser. Certainly, other investments’ losses have no bearing on your target asset’s decline. However, the shared fallout demonstrates that the issue is systemic rather than individualized.

And what’s causing cannabis stocks to shed so many percentage points in the markets? Mostly, it’s institutional traffic jams. Specifically, Health Canada, our northern neighbor’s department of national public health, is inundated with cannabis-licensing applications.

Unfortunately for most sector players, Health Canada will need substantial time to process all the paperwork. In the meantime, viable projects just sit, waiting for approval. Obviously, this presents a massive dark cloud on the CGC stock price.

However, I don’t expect this situation to continue without some kind of resolution. At worst, Health Canada will just roll up its sleeves and crank out the application approvals. This would mean that Canopy Growth stock would likely enjoy a delayed bull run.

But at the same time, I can envision emergency support at Health Canada. As long as those licensing applications sit, the Canadian government is needlessly throwing away cannabis-related tax revenues. Essentially, this would void the entire economic case for going green.

Moreover, the health agency’s backlog is a known headwind. While I can’t say this bearish factor has been completely priced into CGC stock, I believe we’re getting close.

If it’s any comfort, I’m putting money where my mouth is, having recently picked up Hexo (NYSE:HEXO) stock.

We’ve Seen This Before …

Another reason why I’m not panicking on names like Canopy Growth is that we’ve seen this narrative before.

Prior to Canada becoming the first G7 nation to legalize recreational marijuana, demand for cannabis stocks spiked dramatically. Again, the markets had that transformative investment idea in their heads.

But as we all know from retrospect, the investment community couldn’t support the wild valuations that cannabis firms received. As a result, marijuana stocks tumbled.

I think we’re seeing the sequel to this movie: speculators love the potential of marijuana stocks, but then they encounter an operational or other fundamental challenge (like Health Canada). Those same speculators panic out of the markets, wreaking havoc on the CGC stock price and similar investments.

However, these outside challenges will eventually fade. The Health Canada backlog is an external pressure that has nothing inherently to do with cannabis demand. If you think cannabis stocks are wild, just wait until they have a clear road ahead.

As of this writing, Josh Enomoto is long HEXO.



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