Friday, March 20, 2009

Commodities Rumble, Financials Tumble

The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. In addition to the term helicopter economics, we have also coined the term, helicopternomics, to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government and to update the old-fashioned term wheelbarrow economics.

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Alcoa was one of the biggest movers in the market yesterday. At one point it was up over 20%. It was also the stock that I pounded the table to buy at Tuesday night's class on Technical Analysis. Our February choice, DXO, is up over 50%. Basically every stock I mentioned during the class had a good to huge rally. Even FCX, used to illustrate a number of technical points and well advanced in its rally would have made you good money. It was in the upper 34's on Wednesday morning, but over 42 at its high yesterday (there are better bargains in the market at this point). Even a Canadian Royalty Trust that I only mentioned in passing that I had purchased, went up nicely. A couple of attentive attendees took the hint. Coal stocks across the board had terrific rallies. We spent a lot of time looking at coal in the class. While I wasn't sure steel had bottomed, it rallied sharply nevertheless. No one apparently picked up on the shipping company that I made a gratuitous remark about, probably because I didn't state that I owned it. It was up 28% yesterday.

What wasn't up yesterday were financials. Citigroup was down 26% at its low, but closed down 16%. It is planning a reverse split. Wells Fargo was down 10% and Regions Financial down 12%. Broker, Morgan Stanley was down 13%. Insurance companies were clobbered (watch this space for a future bailout). Prudential was down 25% and Met Life, 12%. While you can make good money day trading financials, their long term picture is down while the long term picture for commodities is up. You can no more walk away while holding these positions than you could leave a big pile of chips unattended at the gambling tables in Vegas or Atlantic City. Of course you would eventually not have that pile of chips anyway since gambling, unlike investing, is ultimately a losing activity.

While the precious metals rallied yesterday, beaten down silver did much better than gold. Both were significantly down on Wednesday morning and shot up like rockets after the Fed announcement. It looks like a lot of traders were stopped out of both during the drop. I've seen this Wall Street racket played repeatedly over the years. Manipulators drive down the stock price driving the small players out and then a sudden reversal takes place and it shoots up to the sky. The inside players get the stock cheap and makes big profits, while the small investor is left holding the bag . Only if you have a accurate big picture of what is going on can you protect yourself from this type of shake down.

Oil continued its rally yesterday, closing at 51.61. This was the highest close since December 1st and represents a very significant breakout. Next resistance for the futures contract around $57. Natural gas finally joined the party and was up 42 cents to $4.10. This is a rally right off the bottom. Probably best to wait for some pull back from the initial rally if you want to buy. Gasoline and even heating oil had significant rallies yesterday as well. Oil has now rallied from the high 33's to over 52 in a month. During this entire time, the mainstream financial media has published one story after another about how oil can't rally until the economy improves and how oil can't rally because demand is declining. Nevertheless, oil has rallied sharply. Apparently the smart money doesn't pay any attention to the media, nor should you if you want to join the big money some day.

NEXT: Making a Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup

This posting is editorial opinion. Like all other postings for this blog, there is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.

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