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Hap Sneddon is chief portfolio manager and founder, CastleMoore Inc. His focus is on technical analysis and macro portfolio strategy.

Top Picks:

Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH.TO)

An investment in Fairfax is a clear investment in Prem Watsa's ability to navigate markets, especially ones such as today, or that of 2008. Like Watsa, we believe that deflation is still a factor down in the deep. While the insurance business ticks slightly below average, his experience in derivatives allows CastleMoore to leverage our own asset allocation in separately managed accounts and stand on the shoulders of those that have better global vision.

Costco Wholesale (COST.O)

Retail has been a tough game during last year, but Costco continues to increase store traffic, resulting in a rising market share. The model is allowing them to expand internationally and also protect margins. The stock ranks well within the S&P.

Emera (EMA.TO)

The company recently reported an adjusted Q2 earnings-per-share of $0.33, slightly below consensus, largely from lower gas trading margins as a result of short-term transportation and storage costs and decreased lower merchant power inputs. The acquisition of TECO Energy, a Tampa Bay utility, on July 1 is now being integrated, and it bolsters Emera's stable of regulated income, a positive attribute when investors see a wide-range top to bottom in the corporate earnings spectrum.

Past Picks: July 21, 2015


Then: $53.51 Now: $61.68 +15.27% Total return: +20.87%

Emera (EMA.TO)

Then: $42.30 Now: $48.33 +14.26% Total return: +20.31%

Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP)

Then: $50.04 Now: $55.05 +10.01% Total return: +12.81%

Total Return Average: +18.00%;

Market outlook:

Today, markets are still being driven by post-Brexit momentum, an event that had been initially touted in the investment and political community as negative . Low volume and lack of sellers are sustaining tailwinds. However, at this time of year, upside catalysts are few, especially with the earnings season wrapping up and many investors on vacation. In fact, for the reasons mentioned often, any even slightly negative news can push around markets from low-staffed trading desks.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes released yesterday confirmed that there was no urgency in raising the U.S. interest rate band. Statements earlier in the day from a hawkish Dudley and a milder Lockhart painted an incoherent Fed message of a potential rate increase in the fall . We may get some more clarity or confusion in Jackson Hole next week from Fed chair Janet Yellen, but overall it appears central bankers are gradually being toned down by markets.

Fundamentally, economic data confirms no near-term positive catalysts, with most prints soft or weakening. The same with corporate earnings, though credit concerns are growing. Technically, the move since late June finds markets in a state of suspended elevation with VIX at an eight-year low, the volume of stocks trading above the 200dma high, the TED spread rising, and a high number of bullish advisers and writers.

All in all, investors are rightfully directed to the reliability of individual securities (with risk management in place) vs. handicapping the big picture. Near term support on the S&P is 2166.