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Greetings Fools!

It seems CAPS is always a busy place, and this past week has been no exception. I've spent much of the morning looking through what some of the 'best of the best' CAPS participants have been up to over the past week (specifically those sitting in the Top Ten) to see if I can find any recurring themes, new insights, or actionable ideas. I'm also thinking of making this a regular feature here on the CAPS Corner board, so if you like it, let me know.

The following is based on CAPS calls made by those in the Top Ten (as of this writing) made since last Monday (1/26) through today (2/2).

Total underperform calls = 71
Total outperform calls = 30

While I think the above statistics are interesting, I try not to read too much into them. For example, some of the underperform calls are on 'bullish' ETFs and some of the outperform calls are on 'bearish' ETFs (meaning that the CAPS participant is expressing the exact opposite sentiment than it might first appear). That said, there are only a few of these - underperform calls certainly had the upper hand among the Top Ten this week. Additionally, one must keep in mind that each call is made relative to the S&P, so most of them don't necessarily indicate which way the participant thinks the S&P itself is going, only that certain investments will either outperform it or underperform it. That said, one still comes away thinking that the Top Ten seem to think this market may still have a way to go before recovering.

Out of the 71 underperform calls, a total of 9 tickers were picked by multiple participants in the Top Ten. These are (along with a company name or brief description):

ALD (provider of debt & investment captial)
BGZ (Large Cap Bear 3X)
EDZ (Emerging Markets Bear)
FAS (Financial Bull 3X)
FAZ (Financial Bear 3X)
MWN (Mid-Cap Bear)
PALG.OB (Petro-Algae Inc.)
SKYT.OB (Mobile Satellite Comminications)
TWZS.OB (TenantWiz Software)

Generally, though they're picked by multiple participants in the Top Ten, I don't read too much into the bulletin board (.OB) picks. These are often fly-by-night, undercapitalized companies and while choosing them to underperorm the market may make for some great CAPS scoring opportunities (something I've done at least a few times myself), I don't think we can read too much general market sentiment into these calls.

One think I found very interesting, however, is that the Top Ten seem decidedly mixed on where financials are headed - two going thumbs-down on the Bull ETF (meaning they're bearish on financials), and two going thumbs-down on the Bear ETF (meaning they're bullish on financials).

Perhaps most interesting, however, are the multiple thumbs-down calls on bearish ETFs, namely BGZ, EDZ, and MWN. While I couldn't find any pitches to rely on, it looks like at least two of the Top Ten were looking for a large-cap rally (by going thumbs-down on BGZ). Additionally, two of the Top Ten were also looking for bounces in emerging markets and mid-cap stocks.

While the above sentiment is generally bullish for the market overall, I wouldn't read too much into this either -- especially given the underperform to outperform call ratio of more than 2 to 1. Again, we don't have pitches to rely on, but I'm guessing that these Top Ten participants were looking for short-term bounces - perhaps related to the Obama inauguration or the pending economic stimulus bill.

Time will tell us for sure.

As for the thumbs-up (outperform) calls, while we didn't have any duplicates among new calls by the Top Ten this week, I do see what appears might be a bit of a theme. Consider the following thumbs-up calls:

DXO (Crude oil - long) by TDRH
TCK (Zinc, minerals) by StatsGeek
UNG (Natural Gas) by GoldminingXpert
USU (Uranium) by GoldminingXpert

It appears as though three of the Top Ten seemed to think that hard assets, and more specifically, natural resources, made good thumbs-up calls in the past week.

Hope you all have a great week, in life, in investing, and in CAPS!

Until next week....


Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)
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