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Growth Investor
Helping Investors Build Wealth Since 1970
Issues
Most of the evidence remains bullish, so we continue to hold our winners and selectively put money to work — but the fact is that most growth stocks have been chopping sideways overall for a month or two, so we’re OK holding some cash and waiting patiently for the market and leaders to show their near-term hand. Tonight, we’re booking a little more partial profits in one of our winners, but are standing pat otherwise and will follow the lead of the market—and of leaders—going ahead.
Most growth leaders and even the Nasdaq itself has been churning since early February, with a lot of ups and downs but not much price progress—but this week has been more encouraging, as the selling pressures have been unable to persist and the major uptrend may be reasserting itself (basically the opposite situation that was seen repeatedly in 2022-2023). That doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth sailing from here, so we’re still being discerning on the buy side, but we’re holding our winners and remaining in an overall optimistic stance.

In the Model Portfolio, we cut bait on one half position earlier this week that was heading in the wrong direction, but we’re holding our strong performers and tonight are putting a chunk of money to work.
The market remains in a solid uptrend, though there’s no question some sellers are beginning to step up, with more volatility in the Nasdaq seen in the past month and, outside of chip stocks, some churning in the leading stocks. That’s not bearish, per se, as we’re still riding our winners, but for new buying we’re being more selective and looking for fresher leaders that have recently emerged with some power. In the Model Portfolio, we sold one stock in the past two weeks while starting a half-sized stake in one of those fresher leaders, and tonight, we’re averaging up in that name and starting another new position, too.
The market had an excellent snap back today, which was good to see, but we’re still playing things a bit near-term cautiously for now—many leaders have suffered some distribution after good runs (and after some yellow flags near the turn of the month). Tonight, we’re holding some strong names, but also about one-third in cash, waiting a couple more days to see if today really does put in a low for most leaders.

Big picture, though, we remain quite optimistic—we’re certainly not looking to raise more cash if we can help it (we do have three names reporting next week), and we could put some cash back to work very soon if things hold up. Stay tuned.
The market’s primary evidence remains in good shape, and that’s especially true for leading growth stocks continue to act very well, and after two-plus years in the wilderness, we’re optimistic that the best names can continue to do well. That said, near-term, risks are rising for some sort of change in character (pullback, rotation, etc.) as there’s a growing divergence and some of the action out there is frothy. Because of that, we’re mostly riding our winners, but we sold a couple of laggards earlier this week and--for now--are holding about 30% in cash.

All that said, stay tuned: We could put some money back to work in the days ahead as earnings season continues to roll on, but for now, we’ll stay a bit closer to shore than we have been and see how things play out.
Big picture, it’s hard to find much wrong with the market, as the primary evidence (trends of the indexes, action of leading stocks) remains clearly positive. Thus, we’re generally holding our winners and think there’s a good chance last November marked a major turning point after nearly three years of growth stock sluggishness.

That said, near-term, we’re keeping our feet on the ground and going slow on the buy side, as there’s no question stocks have had a good run and many leaders are extended. Recently, we’ve trimmed a couple of positions but, tonight, we’re averaging up on one name to fill out our stake.
It’s turning out to be a typical volatile January, with last week’s harsh selling among leading stocks leading to this week’s strong snapback that’s seen many leaders (including a few names we own) roar back to new high ground. That’s not to say the wobbles are over--in fact, we’d half-expect some more wiggles given earnings season is just getting started. But overall, things are volatile, but still bullish, so while we’re not flooring the accelerator, we are staying positive.


Last week, we sold half of one stock and placed another on Hold, but tonight, we’re going to start a new half-sized position in an old (from last year) favorite that we think got derailed mostly by the market environment last summer and fall--and now looks poised to do well if the market holds together.
Happy New Year! The market remains in great shape, with the vast majority of evidence positive—and, given that we are coming off of two years in the muck, with big declines in 2022 and (for the most part) lots of bottoming-out action in growth stocks and the broad market in 2023, we see great potential going ahead for a real bull phase. That doesn’t mean we’re complacent or leaving our brain at the door, but we’re leaning bullish and putting money to work. Tonight we’ll add one half-sized position in a leveraged long index fund, leaving us with around 20% in cash.
The Fed’s actions (holding rates steady) and words (seeing three rate cuts next year) has supercharged the broad market this week, keeping our market timing indicators positive while most leaders are in fine shape. We will say that, with the good news out, sentiment has picked up, so we’re still content to move gradually and pick our spots with new buying. Tonight, we’re filling out our position in one name while starting a half-sized stake in a new leader, leaving us with around one-quarter in cash.
From an intermediate-term perspective, the pieces continue to fall into place for the bulls--recently, our Two-Second Indicator has joined our trend-following indicator on the bullish side of the fence, while things like our Aggression Index and the trend in interest rates remain encouraging. Short-term, we are finally seeing some signs of churning in extended leaders, so we’re continuing to move gradually, picking our stocks and spots carefully. Last week, we did a little more buying in DUOL and started a position in ANET, and today we’re starting one more half-sized stake that will diversify the portfolio a bit.
The market continues to improve, with our Cabot Tides turning positive earlier this week. Now, not everything is rowing in the same direction, and among growth stocks, the pickings are relatively concentrated, so for now we’re stepping slowly into stocks and building positions rather than cannonballing into the pool—we added a chunk of money earlier this week, and tonight we’re adding one new half-sized stake in a volatile name we’ve been following for a while but has now changed character on the upside.

Elsewhere in tonight’s issue we review all our stocks, dive into many encouraging pieces of secondary evidence and one group that has a history of trending and is showing outsized institutional accumulation right now.
Nothing has officially changed with our market timing indicators, so we remain in a very cautious stance, but the wear-you-out bear phase of the past couple of years (and the sharp declines of the past three months) has had many secondary indicators (breadth, sentiment, etc.) in high-reward positions, and this week’s strength is certainly intriguing. We’re not jumping the gun in any major way, but we are adding one half-sized position in a strong actor and have our antennae up to see if this rally can finally be the real deal.

In tonight’s issue, we review our remaining positions (most of which have popped nicely), our overall market thoughts (including some rays of light from our Two-Second Indicator) and go over many high-potential stocks should the bulls continue to press forward.
Updates
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but continue taking things on a stock-by-stock basis. We’re seeing another round of sharp selling in many leading growth stocks today, though few (if any) have cracked meaningful support. To us, it’s another shot across the bow, not prompting any major moves but putting us on alert with certain names. In the Model Portfolio, we’re making one small move—selling 20% of our stake in CrowdStrike (CRWD)— while doing a quick flip on Celsius (CELH), placing it on Hold after last week’s half-position buy after today’s drop on news. Our cash position will now be 25%, and we’re keeping our eyes on a few names should the selling continue.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but keep some dry powder on the sideline. Most of the evidence remains positive, but the choppy, churning action among some leading stocks (as well as the Nasdaq itself) is still in place. To be fair, many fresher names are acting well, but we’re content to hold some cash and our strong performers and see how things play out. After putting some money to work last week, we’ll stand pat tonight with a cash position of around 27%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but continue to be selective on the buy side. The market continues to act well, and we’re encouraged by the snapback seen in many leading stocks of late, as well as a fresh barrage of positive earnings reactions in recent days. In the Model Portfolio, we’re happy to own some very strong actors, and tonight we’re going add one new half-sized stake (5% of the portfolio) in Applovin (APP), while also restoring our Buy rating on Nutanix (NTNX), which reacted well to earnings today. Our cash position will be around 28%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Hold your strong stocks, but near-term, it’s OK to sit on your hands a bit and see how things shake out. The overall evidence remains bullish, but there have been some yellow flags of late and yesterday’s broad, sharp decline is likely to have some near-term reverberations. We took partial profits in Arista (ANET) yesterday, selling one-third of our shares, and placed Pulte (PHM) on Hold, leaving us with around 33% in cash—and some great performers. We’ll stand pat tonight, though if things settle down for a couple of days, we could put some of our cash back to work.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, though we are seeing more crosscurrents pop up. The big-picture evidence remains positive, so we’re holding most of our winners, but we’re also comfortable holding some cash as earnings season progresses. We’re watching a few of our names closely (as well as many names on our watch list), but tonight we’ll hold our 23% cash position and have no changes.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to lean bullish, but let’s see how this growth stock selling wave progresses. The top-down evidence remains in fine shape when it comes to the overall market, and most growth stocks have fallen off this week, but done so normally (while a few others may be trying to emerge). Thus, we’re giving names some rope, but we’re not tolerating any intermediate-term breaks. In yesterday’s special bulletin, we sold half of DraftKings (DKNG) and placed Duolingo (DUOL) on Hold, leaving us with 27% in cash. We’ll stand pat tonight, though are watching things closely and will be in touch if we have any more changes in the days ahead.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but don’t be surprised to see some uneasy trading. Yesterday’s market selloff was overdue, but it did nothing to change any intermediate-term evidence with the market or leading stocks. Near term, it’s probably more of a coin flip as to what happens, so we are picking our spots. In the Model Portfolio, we could have some more new buys soon but tonight we’ll hold off. We will, however, switch DraftKings (DKNG) to a Hold rating. Our cash position will remain around 26%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to lean bullish, though keep an eye on things in the short term. Overall, our indicators look very good, so we’re aiming to put more money to work—but near-term, we are seeing a few warning signs, so we’re picking our spots and stocks carefully. On yesterday’s special bulletin we sold Noble (NE) and added another half position in PulteGroup (PHM), but tonight, we’ll stand pat and see how things go in the coming days. Our cash position is now 36%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to put money to work, albeit in a step-by-step fashion. From a top-down perspective, our market timing indicators continue to improve, with all three of our key measures (Trend Lines, Tides, Two-Second) now positive. Individual growth stocks are acting well, though many are still repairing the damage of the past few months. Thus, we’re optimistic, but want to see continued improvement to pull us into a heavily invested position. In the Model Portfolio today, we’re going to buy a half-sized position in Arista Networks (ANET) and add another 3% stake to Duolingo (DUOL), leaving us with around 44% in cash.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain cautious overall, but if you have a ton of cash, it’s OK to put a little to work. Our market timing indicators have improved, but by our eye, haven’t yet turned up, and while last week was a great first step for the market, there hasn’t been much follow through or expansion of new highs. To be clear, we’re optimistic and a few good days could make all the difference, but right here we’re still going slow and seeing if the market and leadership can truly emerge. In the Model Portfolio, we’ll buy another half of DraftKings (DKNG), leaving us with around 65% in cash. We’re also restoring our Buy rating on Uber (UBER) for those that don’t own any given the stock’s very powerful snapback. If things kick into gear, we’ll likely put money to work quickly, but right now we’re going slow and letting the rally prove itself. Details below.
Alerts
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to play things a bit carefully as the market’s position deteriorates. Our Two-Second Indicator and Cabot Tides are weakening, and leading stocks, which had been churning for weeks, are continuing to give up ground. It’s possible this morphs into some sort of news-driven shakeout (especially given the hourly Middle East headlines), but we’re simply taking it as it comes. We already have 28% cash in the Model Portfolio, but we’re going to pare back further, cutting our loss in our half position in Celsius (CELH) and selling one-third of our position in Pulte (PHM). Our cash position will now be around 36%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: The market and especially leading stocks are still very choppy, with news-driven moves becoming the norm of late, and today we’re seeing another wave of selling in the names. Big picture, we’re still optimistic, but we’re taking things on a stock-by-stock basis at this point. Today we’re going to sell Shift4 (FOUR), which was hit hard yesterday after saying it received no worthwhile buyout bids and, without any bounce, we’re going to cut bait here, leaving us with 32% in cash. Details below.
WHAT TO DO NOW: The story remains the same, with the primary evidence in good shape, though many leaders are extended and more are starting to wobble. Last Friday, we sold half of Elastic (ESTC), which got walloped on earnings, and today we’ll sell the rest, as the stock has continued to show weakness. That will leave us with 37% in cash, which is more than we’d prefer—we’ll hold on to it for the moment but could re-deploy some in the very near future.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Not much has changed today vs. our update last night when it comes to the market, but after a couple of positive earnings reactions this week, today brought a downer—Elastic (ESTC) is getting hit after a good-not-great report. It’s not a complete meltdown given the recent move, but we’re going to sell half our position and see how the stock acts from here. Our cash position will now be around 33%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to hold some cash as leadership stocks correct. For the here and now, things are getting trickier, but most leaders aren’t flashing big-picture abnormal action, and our market timing indicators are still positive; thus, we’re still taking things on a stock-by-stock basis while keeping a chunk of cash on the sideline. In the Model Portfolio, because we’ve already built up a 34% cash position, we’re being a bit patient to see how this week’s dip plays out—that said, we are switching CrowdStrike (CRWD), Elastic (ESTC) and Shift4 (FOUR) to Hold ratings and will take it day-to-day from here. Details below.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Hold some cash and take things on a stock-by-stock basis. The market is getting whacked today as inflation remains higher than expected, which has interest rates rallying sharply and expectations of Fed rate cuts sliding. That said, the trends of most indexes and stocks are still fine, and with 30% in cash coming into today, we’re not overreacting—but we will sell one-third of our Arista Networks (ANET) position, which is one of many tech names getting whacked after a good-not-great quarterly report, while placing PulteGroup (PHM) on Hold. That will leave us with around 33% in cash, which we’ll hang on to as we see how this pullback plays out.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but weed your garden if you have some laggards. The primary evidence is still bullish and most leading stocks look fine, but there are some yellow flags emerging under the market’s hood. We’re still following the main trend, but today we’re going to sell two small positions that are struggling—Duolingo (DUOL) and ProShares Russell 2000 Fund (UWM), leaving us with around 31% in cash. We could put some of that cash to work if things settle down, but right now we’ll hold onto it and see how things shake out. Details below
WHAT TO DO NOW: Most of the evidence is still bullish, both for the overall market and for leading stocks, but as the January wobbles have continued, some air pockets are emerging, with today being a tough day for growth stocks. Today we’re going to sell half of Duolingo (DUOL), which is breaking support and has given back its post-earnings gains, while placing our half-sized stake of ProShares Russell 2000 Fund (UWM) on Hold. Our cash position will be around 26%.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Remain bullish, but take action where needed. The market (and especially growth stocks) have taken a beating in the first two days of the year—there are reasons to believe this is partly due to seasonal shenanigans, so we’re not overreacting, but we’re also not holding and hoping. In the Model Portfolio, we’ll sell half of DraftKings (DKNG), which is our weakest stock, and place Duolingo (DUOL) on Hold, leaving us with around 25% in cash. We do see some potential buys setting up, but we’ll hold the cash for now and see if growth stocks (and the market) can find support.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Continue to piece your way into leading stocks showing power—while also pulling any weeds out of your portfolio. In the Model Portfolio, we’re going to make two moves today: First, selling our stake in Noble (NE), which remains weak; on the flip side, we’ll fill out our position in Pulte Homes (PHM) by adding another half-sized position (5% of the account). The combination will still be in the mid-30% range. We may do a little more buying soon, but near-term, the market and some leaders are hitting a little turbulence, so we’ll just make these two changes today and go from there.
WHAT TO DO NOW: Do a little more buying. Today’s action is very broad and bullish, with our Cabot Tides flipping to positive and with more stocks acting well and hitting new highs. Short term, it’s possible (even likely) we see some retrenchment after a straight-up move in some stocks, we’re going to beef up a couple of our positions today and look to put more cash to work soon (possibly in the next couple of days)—we’ll fill out our stake in Nutanix (NTNX) and add a 3% position back to Uber (UBER), which looks very powerful. Our cash position will now be around 57%. Details below.
WHAT TO DO NOW: In yesterday’s update we wrote that the market still had a lot to prove, and indeed, the market is down further today despite a dip in interest rates—and more important to us is that some of the resilient names are getting hit with the market. One of those is Uber (UBER), which is cracking support on no news. We’re not craving more cash, but we’ll respect the action and sell one-third of our stake in Uber (UBER) this afternoon and see how it goes from here. Our cash position will now be in the upper 60% range.
Strategy
Here are 10 of the soundest rules, tools and principles for selling winning stocks.
For growth stocks, buying low usually doesn’t mean you’re getting a bargain. It usually means you’re buying a laggard! That’s right—believe it or not, in the market, strength tends to lead to strength, while weakness tends to lead to weakness.
So how can you pick stocks that have a good chance to become winners? Interestingly, the best way is by looking backwards!
Here’s how Cabot Trend Lines, Cabot Tides and the 7.5% Rule can keep you on the right side of every market.
Our entire selling philosophy, especially when it comes to growth stocks, revolves around a concept we call “Tight to Loose.” We’re also big fans of a few key chart-based sell signals that tell you a stock is coming under distribution by deep-pocketed investors.
Some stocks in the Model Portfolio and others we’ve recommended have had great runs during 2017 but have come under pressure recently. And that’s naturally led to a lot of questions about how exactly to handle big winners, so that’s what we’ll dive into today.
This is a collection of tips on stock chart reading, something that’s key to Mike Cintolo’s growth stock methodology, but something few individual investors (and even professional investors) understand too well.
These are some investing questions most frequently asked by Cabot Growth Investor subscribers.
If you’re a typical Cabot growth investor, you like to own stocks of fast-growing companies ... the kind that go up fast and come down fast. The ride up with these stocks is wonderful. But the ride down can be shocking. Stocks like these can easily fall 40%, 50% or more in a prolonged market decline, destroying the value of your portfolio.
A unique market timing tool, we use the Cabot Two-Second Indicator to determine the health of the stock market every day.