Donald Trump

  • 05 Dec
    Timing + Value = Opportunity with HUN

    Timing + Value = Opportunity with HUN

    Once the stock market bottomed at the end of October, the major market indices all rallied. Some of that rally lost steam yesterday and pushed all three major indices into negative territory for the last 30 days; but one of the sectors that really seems to have benefitted is the Materials sector. At the beginning of the week, the Trump administration announced it had come to an agreement with China to pause the imposition of any new tariffs on either side of the ocean to open the door, hopefully to more constructive discussions that lead to a useful compromise. More →

  • 08 Nov
    Why government gridlock could be a good thing for these 2 sectors

    Why government gridlock could be a good thing for these 2 sectors

    October was a rough month for the stock market, proven by the decline of the NASDAQ and Dow Jones Industrial Average into clear correction territory, while the S&P 500 halted its own slide just shy of that mark. It was enough to put a lot of investors and analysts on edge and start to wonder if the good times were finally coming to an end.

    What a difference a week makes! After closing out the worst October, and one-month period in a decade, the market has rebounded strongly over the last week. The Dow is up a little over 6.6%, the NASDAQ 8.3%, and the S&P 500 6.7% in that time. This week may have provided an unexpected catalyst for the market to push back and retest the all-time highs set in late September. Mid-term elections on Tuesday left Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans kept their spot in the driver’s seat in the Senate.



    Depending on your political view, a divided government may not be a good thing; major reforms or initiatives from either side of aisle become more difficult without one party in control of both houses of government. It isn’t unreasonable to suggest that one of the reasons President Trump could afford to be as confrontational as he has, with a consistent, “my way or the highway” attitude about everything from tax reform, trade and most certainly his major staff advisors and political appointees is because Republicans controlled Congress and the Senate. That usually meant that even if a lot of Republicans and conservatives criticized his approach, the party at large generally fell into line behind him.

    As an investor, it’s not always easy to separate investing discipline and objectivity from political opinion and preference. That becomes harder when politics have a clear and direct impact on economic progress and market behavior. The Tax Reform Act at the end of last year is a good example; the tax savings that became available almost immediately to corporate America were certainly a catalyst for the market’s recovery from its first correction at the beginning of the year. In that light, the impact that midterm elections has on the market now could come from the government’s likely inability for the next couple of years to push any major changes.

    I’ve always believed that if there is anything the market really doesn’t like, and is most likely to react negatively to, it’s change. Investors like predictability, and we rely on measurements that offer a certain level of reliability to guide investment decisions. The status quo means that the things we use to drive our decisions remain relatively constant, and we don’t have to worry as much about changing our method or our approach. When something threatens to change the investing landscape, investors naturally get nervous.



    After eight years of a long, sustained bullish run that made a lot of investors think the easiest and best way to make money way in the stock market was to buy a passive index fund and just let it ride – “invest it and forget it,” if you will – the market rediscovered volatility this year. A big part of that was influenced by openly aggressive and confrontational politics from the Trump administration. Tariffs imposed every one of America’s largest and most important trading partners may indeed prove to have been the right move in the long run, but the tensions that came from seeing those long-standing trade relationships continue to keep the market on edge. A split government may not be able to put the cat back int the bag of things the Trump administration has already put back in place, the lack of consensus is also likely to make continued progress and changes that much harder to come by. The hope that the market seems to be keying on right now is that a natural check from a split House against the Oval Office could help restore the status quo and give investors a return at least some kind of  predictability that can help keep the stock market’s bullish trend in place.

    Assuming this happens, it’s entirely possible that the market could stage yet another broad-based rally to a new set of all-time highs. Which are the sectors that might be the biggest beneficiaries? I think there are two; here they are.



    Industrials

    While a divided House may blunt many of the reforms and initiatives the Trump administration still has plans for, one of the things that both sides seem to agree on is the need for improved infrastructure. A major spending bill may be hard to come by, but any progress on this front should act as a positive for this sector. Consider also that tariff and trade concerns have put major pressure on the sector throughout the year; even with the sector’s rebound since the end of October, which is about 10% from October 30th to now as measured by the SPDR Industrial Sector ETF (XLI), it remains down by a little over 10% from its 52-week highs. That gives the industry lots of room to rally even more, with increased chances that the absence of political complications could contribute even more.

    Semiconductors

    This sector has been one of the biggest underperformers throughout the year, as pricing and supply pressures among chipmakers have pushed stocks lower. A major argument for the President’s aggressive trade stance towards China has centered around the semiconductor industry and concerns about intellectual property protections and even theft. Many of the pricing pressures that have pushed semi stocks lower may not abate quickly. I also think, however that a changed political reality could force the Trump administration to try to make a trade deal with China more quickly than it might do otherwise; and I would expect that to provide at least an emotional reason for investors to start making new bets on a sector that has been beaten down by almost 15%, based on the Ishares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) from its 52-week highs.


  • 06 Mar
    Tariffs & Interest Rate Hikes – Does This Mean Doom & Gloom For Stocks?

    Tariffs & Interest Rate Hikes – Does This Mean Doom & Gloom For Stocks?

    • Last week was an eventful week for stocks. Today, we’ll discuss the long term impact of what has been going on.



    Introduction

    So last week was another down week for the S&P 500 and from what’s going on, it looks like it’s something we should get accustomed to. More →

  • 06 Feb
    Sven Sees Recession On The Horizon

    Sven Sees Recession On The Horizon

    • An analysis of employment, interest rates, currency, and inflation suggests a recession is inevitable in the next few years.
    • The FED can’t change economic laws nor protect us from ourselves. On the contrary, the FED will lead us into a recession in order to prevent a future depression.

    Introduction

    The FED didn’t raise rates last Wednesday but they are still on track to raise rates two to three times in 2017. The FED’s goal is to “foster maximum employment and price stability” through economic activity expanding at a moderate pace and inflation rising to, and stabilizing at 2%.

    What we know is that inflation has been slowly rising and will reach 2% relatively soon. The labor market is strong and yields have been increasing in the expectation of higher interest rates.

    A concept that always eludes economists, consequently also members of the FED, is stability. By looking at a model, an economist is trained to think that the economy can be controlled. But history shows that a stable scenario is never the case. In today’s article, I’ll forecast what lies ahead of us by looking at how the last two economic cycles developed. More →

  • 24 Jan
    Will Your Portfolio Explode Or Implode? A Look At Uranium

    Will Your Portfolio Explode Or Implode? A Look At Uranium

    • The short and medium term don’t look that great for uranium as military inventories, idled reactors, and negative sentiment push prices down.
    • In the long term, increased demand from new nuclear reactors should eventually push prices higher and may create tremendous returns given the current low investment environment – think 3 to 10 years.
    • In the long-long term, there is plenty of uranium for the next thousand years.

    Introduction

    Uranium has been in a five-year long price slump with several factors having impacted the decline.

    The 2011 Fukushima disaster forced Japan to idle its reactors. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, only three reactors of the 42 commercially operable are currently in use in Japan. As Japan represents one third of global nuclear capacity, this blow was tremendous for uranium. More →

  • 15 Dec
    This Could Push The S&P Even Higher

    This Could Push The S&P Even Higher

    • The market looks overvalued but there are three main factors that could push it even higher.
    • A repatriation tax holiday could make $2.1 trillion available for dividends, buybacks, and M&As.
    • Economic growth and inflation could push earnings higher, further inflating stock prices.

    Introduction

    It seems that everyone agrees on the fact that this market is overvalued and borderline irrational. However, there is no correction in sight and the only question to be asked is “how high can this market go?”

    The S&P 500 has jumped 5.4% since Trump won the elections, and is 12.1% higher year-to-date. By adding in the 2% dividend yield, we arrive at an excellent 14% return for 2016. This year’s positive return will make it number eight in a row for the S&P 500 as it has been rewarding investors since 2009. More →

  • 29 Nov
    Consider This Before Jumping Into Education Stocks

    Consider This Before Jumping Into Education Stocks

    • Investing in education stocks falls under the umbrella of political investing which is more like betting.
    • However, the trends in for-profit education aren’t great as a result of a bad, and long-lasting, reputation.
    • Don’t invest in the sector as a whole. Instead, find the healthiest individual companies with positive brands.

    Introduction

    If you’d have run a value screen of the stock market this June, education stocks would have sprung up like mushrooms after a rain. Since then, much has changed with many education names up more than 50%. More →

  • 16 Nov
    The Metal Conundrum After Trump’s Victory

    The Metal Conundrum After Trump’s Victory

    • The current copper spike may not last, but it shows copper’s long-term potential, especially if part of the announced infrastructure program materializes.
    • Unlike copper, other metals aren’t in a sweet spot due to unlimited supply, and recent and large price increases.
    • Gold is the riskiest of all metals, especially now with no more election uncertainty, a stronger dollar, and the expected FED action in December that will have us seeing higher interest rates.

    Introduction

    In the last couple of weeks, metal prices have moved.

    Copper has made an historic surge of 21.5% in the last two weeks, while gold fell 7.5% from its peak.

    As Trump won the election, the expectation of intensified construction and increased investments in infrastructure have pushed copper prices higher while gold suffered as the world didn’t come to an end. The short term moves in metal prices aren’t that significant as they are influenced mostly by speculators, but an analysis can show us where the long-term risks and opportunities lie. More →