Making The Most Of A Messy Market

This week’s Market Update is posted and includes the following; Commodities fell into line in light of rising equities. West Texas Intermediate Crude rose 1.64% and gold fell 50 basis points. As the energy sector has rotated into the spotlight in terms of influencing markets we pass along a nugget from Bespoke Investment Group who notes that short interest as a percentage of float in the energy sector now stands at 12.5% which is the highest reading for the sector in more than ten years. Some view this sort of data as being contrarian. The new week started with a couple of significant items that could influence markets. Inflation in Europe posted a negative print for February, China lowered its required reserve ratio (a stimulative move) after having just raised it ten days ago and not much came from the G-20 meeting over the weekend about how to stimulate global growth. Please click through to read the entire update. The first picture is obviously Fenway Park. Long time readers may recall that I love baseball and the season is coming up soon. The Red Sox are playing at Dodger Stadium in August and may try to work out going to see them play there.   A few years ago we visited Yankee Stadium, it’s OK to hate the Yankees but think the stadium is pretty...

Avoiding Unnecessary Risks In Firefighting & Investing

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at the behavior that goes with getting greedy near market tops and why this should be avoided. From the post; There were a couple of different scenes where the crew went into burning buildings where there were no people believed to be, including some sort of chemical facility. There is a phrase in firefighting; risk a lot to save a lot, risk a little to save a little, risk nothing to save nothing. There is no empty building that is worth more than a firefighter’s life, going into a burning chemical factory (with no breathing apparatus mind you) is a totally unnecessary risk. Please click through to read the entire post. The first picture is a 1929 Ford Hot Rod parked at Costco the other day. I could get a full shot due to the close parking situation.   The second picture is a Type 3 Engine (a wildland fire apparatus) from the North Rim of the Grand...

Markets Up For A Change

This week’s Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; There wasn’t necessarily an easily defined cause for the rally. Fed Governor Bullard used the word “unwise” in discussing further rate hikes this year. There was economic data that was positive like core CPI, a drop in jobless claims and West Texas Intermediate Crude tacked on 5% to $31.96 but more likely is that selling in the short term exhausted. Much of the weekend market coverage pointed to a short covering rally. While this might just be a large dip (or not), that volatility still persist likely means that it (dip or something else) is not over yet. Please click through to read the entire update. The first picture is the Dean Smith Center taken last Sunday before the Tar Heels pounded the Pitt Panthers. Before the game you can pretty much go anywhere to take pictures.   Including right on the...

Nothing New About Gold

Despite the title focusing on gold the post really is about patience and remember why you have diversifiers in your portfolio in the first place if you are one to ever use them. The market got impatient with gold but as I have been saying all along it has been doing exactly what it is supposed to do. From the post; It is playing out as true now as equities have rolled over for the last six months while gold and mining stocks too for that matter have gone up. Play around with some ticker symbols on Google Finance and you’ll see that the S&P 500 is down high single digits for the last six months while ETFs tracking gold are up about 10% and ETFs tracking miners are up in the neighborhood of 30%. While I don’t think too many investors will want to take on the volatility that goes with the miners, the point is still the same. Please click through to read the entire post. Long time readers may know that I am a huge fan of college basketball, especially the smaller conferences for the simple reason that they have more to play for; there aren’t eight teams from the Patriot League going to the NCAA tournament and the games seem like they are always competitive. And the Patriot League is one of my favorites in this regard and last night I saw American University hosting Lafayette College while I am here in DC. The game was close, went to overtime and was won by American on a (almost) last second play when one of the AU player drove to...

Abundant Volatility

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; West Texas Intermediate Crude fell 6.52% on the week to $29.08 despite an 11% rally on Friday. Such large moves are signs of instability as the market tries to figure out what a “lower for longer” scenario might mean for for the economy and companies in the space. I would also add to the above about the energy markets that there was news Tuesday about commitments to freeze production in hopes of steadying the price. Arguably this is a market trying to find its way. The innovation of fracking has contributed to what appears to be a change in the supply and demand dynamic and in time it will interesting to see if historically low interest rated contributed to making more capital available creating a mania that is now ending or at least running into a lot of trouble. Please click through to read the entire update. Over the weekend I had a chance to go to the Chapel Hill area to go to a Tar Heels basketball game (they blew out Pitt) as well as check out Cameron Indoor Stadium where Duke plays its games and visit the Chapel Hill Fire Department whose apparatus is Tar Heel blue. I am still sorting out pictures from the trip but for now this first one is Kenan Stadium.   The second picture is of course Cameron Indoor. I drove over there in hopes that I’d be able to get in and takes some snapshots and fortunately there was a CPR class underway. The building has some neat...