Markets certainly look like they want to fall....


Well it has certainly been busy! It always is around a seminar and that's where I always get some interesting new ideas!

Markets certainly look like they wAnt to fall... but there is some support.

However they kind of hover nervously. Doesn't seem to be a market wide thing.

Shares with cash or obvious value aren't been panic sold.

The Americans don't seem to know if a better economy is good or bad news for markets if it pushes up interest rates. Surely good news to get things back to normal?

If the market was normal, American stocks ought to be pushing up..

Anyhow as we know markets are bonkers, like everybody is. Yes and that includes you, mate. And me. (Just a question of the degree of bonkerishness)

The FTSE 100 short continues to go well and stops are in profit or breakeven.

Profits are somewhere around £25,000 on the shorts all in all. At worst now it is just a question of how much the profit will be.

Before I forget one of things to come out of the last seminars was spreads on spreadbets and shopping around.

Pretty much every time now out of 3-4 firms I use on the day, one seems to easily have the smallest spread, sometimes a lot tighter. I hadn't noticed so much before.

That's spreadco.com/nakedtrader.

And only 0.8 ftse spread too. Normally when someone offers you better prices you worry they take it back somewhere else. I can't find anything and execution is good.

I'm not sure whether to describe the following as luck or not. I guess you make your own luck in the markets maybe.

Fenner is a share I've dealt in a lot over the years and  came up on a screener of climbing shares at the seminar so I made a note to check it.

I noticed on the following very bad market day (Monday) that it was rising very strongly. There were an awful lot of trades coming in too.

Often, it points the way to something good, so I assumed maybe a decent statement was on the way. So I bought some, quite a few actually. Something must be up, I thought.

Literally I was just about to close the computer for the night and I said to myself "I haven't had a bid for a share for a while" and then I saw: "Bid for Fenner".

How weird. But now I know why it was rising. Funny how shares rise just ahead of a bid! Must just be a coincidence... right?

Anyhow still holding just on the offchance of a counter bid. We'll see and memo to self, always check shares rising on a bad day!

I've bought shares in Kape Technology (KAPE). I already held a few of these in my pension - it has just changed its name. A much better name to be fair!

The consumer security outfit holds a massive pile of cash and is going to pay a special dividend.

It is using its cash to buy up others and recently bought CyberGhost whichlooks to be an excellent purchase as it has already pushed up the subscriber base by 30pc.

The business model looks good and it is a "hot" market sector. Well,once the facebook palava is out of the way.... I'd have thought the shares should be rated at around 100p for now, not 80!

The huge cash pile should support the share price and I think holding ontoit for a while should pay dividends (including the special one in May). (The dividend not Mourihno silly).

I'm looking for longer-term gains so a very loose stop and maybe pick some more up on market weakness. The cash balance will give lots of support.

I also bought some NWF Group (LON:NWF) which came up at the seminar.

NWF really likes cold weather and it has certainly got that this winter!!

It delivers feed, fuel and food across the UK. The cold weather really helps as more fuel of course is required.

So it should have had a really brilliant start to the year with the cold extending into what should be spring.

It has debt but inside my parameters and has brought it down nicely recently. Looks cheap and promises "double digit" gains. Looks worthy of an ISA tuckaway!

I bought some of new issue Augmentium Fintech. (AUGM)  Nothing's going to happen here for a while. It's got a pile of cash and it's going to invest in small companies in the fintech area.

It's already invested in a few. As time goes on it will try and cash in on the successful ones. It might only take one or two really good ones to start to push up the value.

Anyhow, I've stuck some in the isa long-term, forget about it and see what happens later in the year.

I've added some Fulcrum Utility (LON:FCRM) .

I do like companies with cash and this has got a decent pile. And I like the fact it is using the cash wisely and buying up others to add to profits.

It recently bought Dunamis Group to make Fulcrum in its own words a leading electrical infrastructure services provider.This isn't glamourous, it isn't high tech, but in the past it is companies like this that have made the money for me. One interesting thing that could drive growth is it cables up areas for electrical cars. With electrical cars being the next big thing the share price could rev up in time...

Fulcrum's price should gradually rise and once past 65p where there is resistance it should head well higher. Happy longer-term holder.

That was some statement from Sopheon (LON:SPE) this morning. A huge leap in profits well above forecasts, net cash has soared and there is going to be the first ever dividend!

Broker has put out a target of 1000p on these and I think that is realistic.

Shares usually go down on results day if a share has gone up (better to travel than arrive etc) so I was expecting the shares to fall and my plan was to pick some more up, maybe next week.

They did fall a bit but then the buyers were coming in so I waded in and bought some more SPE.

Now intend to sit, hold and hopefully relax for more gains in time.

I've shorted Stock Spirits (LON:STCK) - the company looks ok on the surface but... I noticed my highlighter system (see naked trader) picked out some negative words and there were a few words knocking about. 

In particular its Italian business looks to have a lot of problems with revenue and profits well down, high youth unemployment there seems to be blamed.

So a few problems further down the statement are worrying and if they worsen there could be a profits warning down the line. Total supposition on my part but I've taken a view shares may go down further.

We know the high street is in a right state. Whoever gave Carpetright the emergency loan, all the best with getting that back. If only I had held on to the Carpetshite short! Still made more than 30k on it.

Thanks to reader Andy for this brilliant but so correct mistake in an email he got from AJ Bell: I quote directly:

"The carpets retailer is considering a company voluntary agreement to allow it to shit loss-making stores."


Mothercare (LON:MTC) is on its last dummy, New Look needs a new look.

Actually one of the better ones is Next (LON:NXT) - but I have shorted it. (shorting means betting in it to fall).

Its online business is good, but my feeling is recent trading will have been hit badly by the cold weather. Just a hunch and only a small short for now.

And same applies to Superdry which I've shorted. Again expect the cold weather to have caused problems. I put a guaranteed stop on it just in case.

I lost £85 on a quick in out ITV  (LON:ITV)spreadbet. Bought as I thought they had support but soon as I heard about Ant I was out!

With the markets not exactly happy I've carried on some topslicing and taken some cash out. Now sitting on about £300,000 cash plus.

Took profit of £222 on Taptica. It's just there seemed to be little buying or decent price rise ahead of results. it may mean nothing and if results are great will buy back on Monday. Just a touch of caution, maybe too much I guess! I'll get some back if results are decent.

ABC (LON:ABC) seemed to stall at just before 1300 so exited with profit of £463. Last bit of Zyt went for a loss of £293.

Lost patience with SWL (LON:SWL)  and Snd and both went for small profits, (£142 and £303) same with CCC, profit £200.

Elsewhere I'm now up more than £20,000 on Burford Capital (LON: BUR). The market loves recent events! Some directors have sold, fair enough they have to cash in sometime. But looks like more upside to come.

Ten Entertainment produced a very solid report and remains a core holding. NMC keeps going! Decent report from Safecharge. Just a matter of keep holding.

All in all tricky times as I suspected. But for now it is just the poorer shares getting hit. Probably worth evaluating portfolios and dump anything with large debt. Those with cash should be ok.

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