If you know me, you'll know I like to stick to a routine - from my breakfast to my workout to my dinner, I like to keep a regular schedule.
But you still have to be flexible. The way the market's been, I've had to make some on-the-fly tweaks to the trades I research for my paid-up subscribers, but it's all good: S.C.A.N., my proprietary algorithm, can hang tough with it.
For instance, although the market’s mostly been headed up, some sectors are top-ish. We’ve had to take profits earlier than planned, in a couple of cases. We've been avoiding certain sectors, and I've tightened up the S.C.A.N. criteria.
And, most important of all, we've been staying far away from these companies I'm about to name. It's really important you get clear of these stocks, because a few of them have actually been really popular this week.
But the truth is, under no circumstances should investors be touching these right now...
Why You Should Avoid These Shares Like the Plague
Macy's Inc. (NYSE: M) is like a proxy for the whole brick-and-mortar retail industry. It's been struggling in recent years to compete with online retailers like Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), but it's been dragged even lower by the diminished foot traffic caused by COVID-19. Right now, with coronavirus cases rising in many states, we shouldn't expect droves of shoppers to come to the rescue of Macy's and retailers like it anytime soon. On top of this, the company has yet to prove that it can increase online revenue. If that weren’t enough, a radically different Black Friday has dinged profits, too, making it tough to even trade this stock. As far as I'm concerned, this one is an absolute no-go.
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MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) shot up more than 5% on Monday when news of an effective coronavirus vaccine broke. But of course, the pandemic's not over, so investors got ahead of themselves when they bought big in the travel and leisure sector. It's too soon. Even with a vaccine on the horizon, it shouldn't a be a massive surprise to see this name here. Casinos' entire business model is based around people coming into their establishment and spending money - something that hasn't been possible over the last few months. And even with some restrictions lifting here and there, they're still not seeing the foot traffic they need. A shift to online gambling will also hurt casinos in the long run. Throughout the pandemic, we've seen a massive shift to online gambling platforms, and consumers seem to be enjoying their experience.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) used to be one of the biggest, most powerful companies on Earth. Every quarter its growth seemed unstoppable; it dominated the oil patch. That was then. Now, with the "green" revolution in full swing, renewable and clean energy companies are gobbling up market share. It's simple economics: Green is going to dethrone fossil fuels and make a killing in the process. No mystery why this company was dropped from the Dow this past summer. In fact, avoid the oil sector, as tracked by the United States Oil Fund LP (NYSEArca: USO), altogether.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is one of the banks we're seeing that offers historically low loan prices, and that hasn't done anything to help WFC shares. Wells Fargo has reported a streak of mediocre earnings. I haven't sworn it off entirely; 2021 could be better. But it's going to be an uphill battle for this bank to be worth my trading dollars again. Wells Fargo recently hit a 52-week low, which could bring bargain-hunters out of the woodwork, but hey - sometimes stocks are cheap for a good reason.
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American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) is another stock that surged on news of a vaccine around the corner. It went up nearly 20% in a session. Again, too soon. Way too soon. If you bought, I only hope you locked in your profits and got out fast. Give this and any other airline a wide berth, no matter how tempting the prices might be. The hard truth is we've got a rough winter, maybe even an entire year, before the travel and leisure sector can even think about coming back. American runs the biggest risk of not making it. That said, I might be singing a different tune in 2021, 2022 - but for now, I'm not going anywhere near it, even if it brings back its iconic silvery planes.
Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA)... What can I say? A revolutionary electric truck company that doesn't make revolutionary electric trucks - or much of anything, for that matter. This pandemic year, that saw millions of new investors and traders hit the market thanks to mobile investing, has been a whirlwind for Nikola. At one point over the summer, it was on every cable news channel, and one of the most popular, talked-about stocks in the world. It was in the mid-$80 range for a while, and now it's struggling to stay above $15. The stock’s six-month chart looks like a postcard of a butte, like Devil’s Tower – flat, then a jump to a gigantic, high plateau, then a big drop, then flat. The gigantic, crushing fraud scandal that took down the CEO while revealing the company hasn't actually manufactured anything had a lot to do with it. The only reason I'd go near NKLA shares is to short them, but even then, there are better, safer candidates. Avoid.
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About the Author
Andrew Keene, editor of the 1450 Club, Super Options, and Project 303 at Money Map Press, is a globally known trader and a renowned expert on all things options.