Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Susan Boyle Provides a Lesson for Stock Investing

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Tonight is the final show in this season's 'Britain's Got Talent', the rough equivalent of 'American Idol'. The odds on favorite to win is Susan Boyle. Ms. Boyle is one of the most unlikely of superstars. She doesn't look the part. Instead of being young, glamorous, and sophisticated, she is middle aged, frumpy, and quirky. When she appeared for the audition, the public jeered and the 'expert' judges rolled their eyes. But when she opened her mouth to sing, it became immediately evident that Susan Boyle was one of the biggest talents of our era. Her audition performance so far has 220,000,000 online views on You Tube and elsewhere - the most ever, beating out second place by 100,000,000.

If Susan Boyle had been a stock trading on the market, she would have been valued in the low single digits barely hoovering above a bankruptcy price. She would have been generally ignored by the public. Any stock advice service would have rated her at their lowest level, pointing out all the superficial flaws and ignoring the rich value underneath. She would get no media coverage, most of which is reserved for the exciting glam stocks of the moment and the slow moving big caps. While the glam stocks can burn your portfolio badly, it's the Susan Boyle stocks that make you the big money.

The thing I find most amazing about Susan Boyle, is that there were a number of points throughout her life when should could have been discovered, but wasn't. People saw her, but they didn't look; they heard her, but they didn't listen. They simply ignored a major talent staring them right in the face. The analogy for the stock market is apt. The real money making stocks are ignored over and over again. They are staring you and the 'experts' in the face the entire time though. If you can train yourself to look at the data points that everyone else ignores, you can become quite rich. If you have any doubts, just look at Warren Buffett. He basically pays attention to aspects of a company that Wall Street ignores.

The most obvious example of the Susan Boyle phenomenon currently is what has happened to natural resource stocks in the last year. Some of the smaller caps lost 90% of their value or more. Did their value really change though? All the gold, silver, oil, diamonds, etc were still under the surface available for use in the future. The price of these are likely to go up substantially as time goes on as well. Yet traders and investors got caught up in the events of the moment. The real worth of these stocks were ignored (except by the New York Investing meetup and other non-mainstream sources) and that is one reason they have started roaring back.

Investing would be so much easier if stocks could just sing for you.

NEXT: GM Bankruptcy End of Era; Oil Rally Continues

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Friday, May 29, 2009

Silver, Oil, Gold - Market Screams Inflation is Coming

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Silver is having its best month in 22 years. It was up to 15.49 in overnight trading, getting close to important resistance around 16.00. Gold traded as high as 974 before the U.S. markets opened, inching closer and closer to that key 1000 level. Light sweet crude was trading at 66.18 at 8:00 AM New York time. It's next resistance is in the 67 area and then 70 after that. Resource stocks were up significantly in Asian trading last night. Expect gaps up in SLV, GLD, DXO, and ERX when the U.S. market opens. Keep in mind that at some point those gaps will have to be filled.

Markets tend to be bullish at the beginning of a month, so early next week is a favorable period. While it may not happen today, silver, oil and gold will become too extended from their 10-day moving averages and will have to come back down to that line. Traders with a shorter term horizon need to take this into account. If you have a longer term perspective, you can wait until key resistance is reached. Oil is heading toward the 75-78 price level. While it may not finally peak this summer until it gets to around 100, profits should be taken in the mid-70s and oil should be swing traded shorter term at that point. You don't have to worry about gold until 1200 and silver until it reaches 21. They haven't even begun their rallies yet.

Marc Faber, a very well-known market investing advisor and market commentator that appears in Barron's annual roundtable has come out with a report stating hyperinflation in the U.S. is inevitable. While, I would certainly agree that lots of inflation here is inevitable, I don't yet think the 50% a month inflation rate needed for hyperinflation is a done deal. It is certainly a possibility though. To get to that point will take incredibly inept government policy and oblivious monetary authorities. You would practically have to have a central banker throw money out of a helicopter! By the way, the Fed is still currently worried about deflation, while printing money Zimbabwe style.

The market for all commodities is bullish going forward, but that doesn't mean there aren't going to be tradeable pull backs. Which ones you pay attention to depends on how short term your trading perspective is. Other than too much extension above the 10-day moving average, you need to be aware of the 200-day moving average - HWD (Harry Winston) is caught there at the moment, but it has a textbook perfect bullish chart - and the 38% Fibonacci retracements. If you sell with a short term perspective, you must be willing to buy back with a short term perspective as well. If you can not do this, and most people can't, wait until major resistance is hit before pulling the trigger.

NEXT: How Susan Boyle Provides a Lesson for Stock Investing

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21


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.






Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oil Takes Gas, Silver's Shining Moment, GM Watch

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The oil inventory report was delayed this week and it was bullish big time for the third week in a row. The natural gas report was just better than expectations, but even this minimal accomplishment proved a combustible mix that caused UNG (the natural gas ETF) to shoot upward. SLV (the silver ETF) traded over 15.00 this morning, removing all doubt that a breakout has taken place from strong resistance around 14.50. News reports are indicating that some progress is being made with GM bondholders in a last minute effort to avert the largest industrial bankruptcy in the history of the United States.

Analysts expected that U.S. oil inventories would rise 1.8 million barrels last week. Boy did they get a surprise! Inventories fell by 5.4 million barrels. Gasoline, the major use for oil during the summer months, had 600,000 less barrels in storage. Year over year U.S. gasoline demand is down only 1.2% despite the troubled economy, yet oil is still 47% off of last year's high. Despite dropping supply and the barely lower demand for gasoline compared to the much lower price of oil, you can still find bearish comments on oil in media coverage. Our favorite oil ETF, DXO, has continually told an opposite tale however - and when in doubt, the market is always right. DXO broke above 4.00 today and should be heading higher until light sweet crude reaches at least $75 a barrel. Triple leveraged energy company ETF, ERX, is having an even better day after consolidation around support between 29 and 30 level.

While oil may have only a month or so left of its rally (frequently when the most money is made), natural gas is still putting in its bottom and I have been accumulating UNG since it fell back to the low 14's. Unlike oil, the fundamentals of natural gas are indeed negative and have been for a long time. Moreover, the favorable seasonal for natural gas can begin as late as July as opposed to February for oil. The peak is most likely in late October, early November, while oil statistically peaks in early August. This week, analysts expected U.S. storage of natural gas to increase 111 bcfs (billion cubic feet), but the increase came in at only 106 bcfs. In a heavily shorted market, that was enough to generate a big move up.

In the precious metals, SLV trading above 15.00 today was quite impressive. At the moment silver is doing better than gold, but it has a lot of catch up to do. Gold is only 4% off its recent highs of 1000, while silver is about 30% lower than it previous high around 21. SLV has another point of resistance at 16. After that, SLV testing 21 is almost certain.

Some progress seems to have been made with GM bondholders this morning. It is still too early to tell if this will come to fruition. Whether or not GM declares bankruptcy (allowing this to happen will be one of the biggest economic mistakes that the U.S. government has ever made) is obviously going to go down to the wire. The stock has not fallen below a $1.00 today however and is actually up 10% at the moment. When the market thinks a company is going bankrupt, it pushes its price into the penny level. Watch to see if this happens. While a GM bankruptcy will weigh on the market, the avoidance of bankruptcy would cause a big rally next week.

NEXT: Silver, Oil , Gold - Market Screams Inflation

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.






Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GM Saga Continues; Gold Becomes the New Oil

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

This is the last week for GM to arrange a deal with its bondholders in order to avoid bankruptcy - and things don't look good at the moment. While this has been weighing on the market for some time, it didn't prevent a huge rally yesterday that saw the Nasdaq zoom and close well above its 200-day moving average. This picture would be extremely bullish, if volume had been heavy instead of just average. Gold and silver were down slightly in the stock rally and this was odd behavior to say the least considering the Korean nuclear test. News coverage on the precious metals is beginning to resemble the negative coverage that oil experienced from February to just recently. Oil wound up basically flat on the day Tuesday, but was as high as $63.45 in European trading this morning. Look for $67.00 as the next resistance.

What has been going on with GM in the last few months highlights the extent of recent government incompetence in handling the U.S. economy. Federal policy from the last several presidential administrations has undermined our industrial base and built up the FIRE (Fire Insurance Real Estate) economy to replace lost manufacturing. Obama claims he wants to restore the balance. Unfortunately, none of his actions support his rhetoric. GM, which is the first major opportunity to help revive U.S production, has been handled disastrously. The Obama administration has interfered with the operations of the company as if somehow they know more about how to run a large industrial enterprise than people in the industry. They don't. While GM has been poorly managed for decades, it is still run better than the U.S. government.

Furthermore Obama's people have made demands that are improper and unlikely to be met in order for GM to get more bailout funds. No such demands were made on any financial institution that received TARP funds. While the unions have been more than cooperative, the unsecured bondholders have balked about accepting equity in exchange for their holdings. This was inevitable since they would be entitled to more in a bankruptcy, either through distribution of assets or by cashing in their credit default swaps - an action that would cost the financial companies receiving TARP funds a lot of money. Trying to force bond holders to accept equity is also an attempt to violate their rights under law. Who would want to lend capital in a country that does this? If the Obama people sat down in a room and tried to figure out an economic policy that would lose in the short term, lose in the intermediate term, and lose in the long term, they couldn't have done any better.

Lack of confidence, along with the massive money-printing operations of the major central banks, will continue to drive up the price of gold and silver. Don't expect to hear this from the mainstream media however. Some tidbits from today: 'Gold off for second day amid broad metals selling' (gold was down $2.20, a minor intra-day blip); 'The strong dollar has sapped some of the resilience that gold has been showing' (a quote from someone who has a $600 price target on gold and has been wrong about the price direction of gold for months, but that's not mentioned in the article and doesn't keep the media from quoting him); and 'silver skidded 4.5 cents' (but was still above the key breakout level of $14.50). I also particularly liked the coverage in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that said 'gold could go to a $1000 by the end of the year'. Now that's an earth shattering prediction. And to think investors who get their information from the media have trouble making money in the markets. I can't imagine why.

NEXT: Oil Takes Gas, Silver's Shining Moment, GM Watch

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.






Tuesday, May 26, 2009

North Korea, OPEC and Precious Metals

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The news putting the markets on edge this morning is that a nuclear test and missile firings took place in North Korea. A country that barely has electricity (check out a nighttime map of the world to see what I mean), is supposedly threatening the world's security. The only thing missing from the story was an allegation that North Korea loaded the missiles with mutated swine flu virus and aimed them toward Dick Cheney. Safe haven trading raised the value of the U.S. dollar, which was about to break below major support. Counter intuitively gold and silver had a sharp sell off on the news when they should have gone up. Light sweet crude fell below $60, but quickly jumped back above that level. OPEC is meeting on Thursday and this will dominate oil news for the next few days. Its membership is worried about reducing the supply of oil in storage.

While OPEC's stance should be bullish for the oil market going forward, you would never know it if you just read the mainstream media headlines. These are emphasizing 'OPEC unlikely to cut production quotas at May 28th meeting'. Since OPEC is more likely to increase production during the heavy oil use northern hemisphere driving season, this is not exactly either surprising or negative news. The Saudis, as well as other OPEC members, have furthermore stated quite clearly that their goal is to get global stockpiles of oil down from the current 61/62 days of forward cover to the average 52-54 days. Their current price target for oil is $75-$80 a barrel, the same as the New York Investing meetup's. Don't expect production increases or the possibility of further production cuts to be off the table before both goals are met.

In the near term, oil prices should also be supported by rebel action in Nigeria - a major source of oil for the U.S. News reports today are stating that rebels have sabotaged a major pipeline run by Chevron in the Niger delta and this has cut off 100,000 barrels a day of supply. The most amazing thing about this news, is that I first read about it on a wire service report nine days ago. I have been looking for it to appear in general news coverage ever since. You should ask yourself why major news that would raise the price of oil was buried by the U.S. media? If this was an isolated incident it could be written off as mere coincidence. However, as has been pointed out numerous times in this blog, oil coverage has been incredibly slanted toward the bearish viewpoint for months now with the use of misleading statistics and one-sided quotes from analysts who only hold negative views. The tenor of coverage looks like it has been changing in the last few days though.

Other than oil, you need to continue to pay attention to gold and silver. Spot silver, traded above its key resistance level of $14.50 at the end of last week getting to around the $14.80 level. While the spot price fell to $14.30 on the North Korean news, it was back up above $14.50 by 9:00 AM. A tug of war between the bulls and bears seems to be taken place currently at that price. Spot gold fell almost to $940, but shot back to $950 pretty quickly. Once gold breaks above about $965 level, it will be able to test $1000 and go on to new all time highs. The bears are really coming out of the woodwork in the last few days though to try to talk gold down -
a number of them have target prices for gold of $600 and major short positions on the metal. Soon they should be screaming as if they were hit by a North Korean missile.

NEXT: GM Sage Continues; Gold Becomes the New Oil

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Friday, May 22, 2009

A Golden Opportunity with a Silver Lining

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

In the current uncertain environment there are only three things that we know will take place - death, taxes, and that the U.S. Treasury will continue to flood the financial system with newly 'printed' money. While the first two are unabashedly negative, the third can be a golden opportunity with a silver lining. The ability to borrow the money needed to pay for the all the bailouts the government is engaging in never existed. The U.S. reliance on foreign sources to fund its operations was already stretched to the limit when the budget deficit was $400 billion, so printing money is the only way to fund the current year's budget deficit which is approaching $1750 billion. Even worse, news out of China indicates that the foreign money that the U.S. has previously tapped can no longer be relied on. In the last few days the markets seem to finally be grasping this situation with traders dumping U.S. government debt and the dollar and buying up gold and silver.

As long predicted in this blog, China has been selling its U.S. debt. It is not yet dumping it wholesale however (just wait, that day will come), but is rotating out of more risky to less risky paper. China sold a large amount of agency debt (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and it looks like the U.S. Fed bought it. Certainly no one else in their right mind would have done so.If you go back and look at the Fed's first announcement on quantitative easing, you will see that one of the major purchases for the newly printed money was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds. China has also finally admitted it is worried about inflation in the U.S. and has been buying shorter term paper and avoiding longer term bonds.

The China news was of course negative for the U.S. dollar, but it is by no means the only thing pressuring the currency. A return to normal operating conditions for the global financial system (see comments on the TED Spread in yesterday's blog) is highly dollar negative The dollar has been kept up for the last many months because of its safe haven appeal and as conditions improve outside the U.S., particularly in developing economies, that appeal is waning rapidly. Foreign traders dump U.S. treasuries and repatriate their money under such circumstances. Indeed, long term treasuries broke above the key 3.25% resistance this week (when traders sell bonds the interest rate goes up) as the dollar has sold off against almost every currency. Overnight even the British pound had a major rally against the dollar. Talk about embarrassing!

The inevitable corollary of a falling dollar is rising gold and silver prices. Gold hit a two-month high yesterday, closing above 951. It is on the verge of a major breakout. Silver traded above major resistance at 14.50 during the day and it is only a matter of time before it closes above this key level. Figures released today show the demand for gold bars and coins was up 396% in the fourth quarter of 2008. The spectacular rise of 223% for gold purchases from ETFs seems small in comparison. None of this activity is taking place because Wall Street analysts and other mainstream 'experts' have been telling people to buy precious metals. And don't expect to be hearing about the opportunity from them either while there is still a lot of money to be made. They are usually the last to know about such things.

NEXT: North Korea, OPEC and Precious Metals

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dollar Weakens; S&P's British Outlook, TED Back From Dead

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Minutes for the Federal Reserves April 28-29th meeting were released yesterday and they revealed that the Fed thought that more purchases of long-term debt might be necessary to spur the economy into recovery (and uncontrolled inflation... but they left that part out). More quantitative easing would require the 'printing' of additional currency and debase the dollar even further. Not surprisingly the dollar fell on the news and hit a 7-month low of 80.002 (if it breaks key support of 79, watch out below). While the condition of the U.S. government's finances are in worse shape than Britain's, S&P revised Britain's credit rating outlook to negative this morning. While the pound fell for a short time, it is way above its lows against the dollar. Even though the central banks are flooding the world with more fiat money, the TED spread, a measure of stability in the global financial system, has returned to normal levels - this is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for recovery.

The need for the U.S. to print more money well into the future could easily be determined by anyone with knowledge of elementary arithmetic. Nevertheless, the market is constantly surprised such a thing will be necessary. Bonds and the dollar should sell off on this news, but stocks and oil are getting hit today as well. Oil, which has to be purchased in U.S. dollars, should automatically go up if the dollar falls or if there is news about increasing inflation. NYMEX crude closed at $62.04 yesterday and is still above its breakout point of 60. Gold was flat this morning and silver down slightly. They should be zooming.

Although S&P changed Britain's credit outlook to negative, this is not as bad as being on credit watch. S&P reaffirmed Britain's triple A credit (they also rated a large number of subprime mortgage bonds triple A, so take that into account when considering the accuracy of this rating). S&P is worried that Britain's government debt will rise to 100% of GDP by 2013. If the U.S. doesn't beat Britain to this milestone, we will indeed be lucky. If there was an accurate measure of both out national debt (it's understated) and our GDP (it's overstated), we might indeed already be there. Perhaps S&P will be making an announcement on this matter soon?

The TED spread was mentioned frequently in this blog last fall. When the financial system is in stress it zooms upwards. Its long term average is around 50 basis points. It went over 450 last October, substantially exceeding its peak during the 1987 market meltdown. It was 48 this morning. This indicates that the global banking system has returned to normal interbank operations. This was an important goal of central bank policy that they have been successful in accomplishing it. Now that stabilizing the banking system has been achieved, the possibility of economic recovery exists.

NEXT: A Golden Opportunity with a Silver Lining

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Oil Disappears; Gold Investment Demand Skyrockets

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The U.S. government's weekly EIA storage report came out this morning and for a second week in a row there was a big drop in crude supplies. Gasoline in storage dropped even more. The less reliable industry report from the API, released Tuesday evening, showed an even bigger drop of oil on hand. The ever bearish (and wrong) oil industry 'experts' were quick to point out that demand wasn't rising, it's just supply that is falling, as if somehow this doesn't cause prices to rise. One area where demand is unquestionably rising is in gold purchases for investing. According to today's report from the World Gold Council, these more than tripled year over year. As was pointed out in the New York Investing meetup's 'Inflation Investing' class last night, investment demand is the key to future price rises in the precious metals.

While the mainstream media has continually (and inaccurately) trumpeted that there is a glut in oil supply in the last several months and twisted and even misreported recent EIA statistics to show that this was the case, the price of oil has been steadily going up since February 18th. Obviously the smart money and the insiders haven't believed a word of the bearish story on oil that the press has been telling the general public - nor should you. Oil in storage dropped by 2.1 million barrels last week, after a more than 4 million barrel drop the week before. At least this time analysts predicted a drop (of 1.5 million barrels), unlike last week when they predicted a big gain. Gasoline supplies dropped an eye popping 4.3 million barrels this time around. NYMEX oil closed at 60.10 yesterday and almost reached 62 early the morning, which represents a breakout to a new trading range.

A more significant report released this morning was the World Gold Council's supply and demand figures for gold in the first quarter. Investment demand more than tripled from Q1 2008. The current figure of 596 tons is up from 171 tons last year. Investment demand represented almost 60% of all demand for gold in the January to March period - and that percentage is likely to rise substantially in the next few years until it totally overwhelms all other demand categories for gold (jewelry, industrial, and medical). ETF demand by iteself exceeded jewelry demand, historically the biggest source for gold usage, for the first time. Industrial and jewelry demand both had sharp drops, so the overall demand increase for gold went up 'only' 38%. What supposedly prevented a major price rise in gold last quarter was a huge increase in gold supply from scrap (gold holders cashing in their gold). The scrap figures should be taken with a grain of salt however. Analysis of previous big rises in supply from scrap indicate that almost the entire increase came from just one country -India - and nowhere else in the world. This is suspicious to say the least since the rules of economics tend to work the same everywhere.

Gold and its companion silver have yet to start a new rally phase, but should be doing so soon. It's never possible to say exactly when. The new demand figures for the precious metal can only be described as extremely bullish. Oil's current rebound off its lows is well underway and should last minimally at least 5 to 6 more weeks (this is the most conservative estimate). In the best case, it could continue well into the summer. Seasonal factors will eventually cause selling in the fall/winter, but don't expect oil to return to the lows from last winter. It is much more likely oil will be returning to its highs from last summer. You will probably have to wait until 2010 for that though.

NEXT: Dollar Weakens; S&P British Outlook; TED Back From Dead

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Market Puts on Inflation Trade Because of Mumbai Mamba

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

If you were watching the U.S. market this morning, you saw sudden moves up in natural resource stocks, materials, and commodities. Emerging markets are the key to global demand for materials and the meltup in the Indian stock market is bullish for this sector as well as the usual inflation hedges gold and silver. While one mainstream stock market 'expert' after another has continually warned about the punk U.S. economy and encouraged bearishness on the part of investors, the New York Investing meetup has been telling the public that commodities bottomed this winter and to get in on the action. The place to watch isn't the U.S or Europe, it's the developing economies and unless you keep your eye on the right ball, you'll never make any money in the markets (and the mainstream press will be there to insure you don't).

The Sensex in Mumbai opened up another 3% last night and after a volatile session managed to close up with a slight gain after more than a 17% rise the day before. Along with China and Brazil, India is one of the major growth stories of the world. Currently, it's use of natural resources is minuscule compared to the U.S., per capital oil consumption was only one twenty-fifth of the U.S. as recently as 2005. Like China, oil use in India is growing rapidly and has plenty of room for expansion for many, many years. India is the world leader in the use of one commodity however - gold. It is estimated that Indian consumers hold 20% of all the world's gold, putting the world's central banks to shame. Gold is the traditional form of savings there as it is in a number of developing countries. Will a richer India buy even more gold? If so, how much will this effect gold's price?

The one exception to bullishness from India showing up in hard asset stocks today is oil. Oil is struggling to get above its $60 a barrel resistance (it was as high as $60.99 in London before U.S. trading began, but fell back to the 59 level after our markets opened). I have no doubts it will break 60 soon, on its way to 70. The Memorial Day holiday in late May to Independence Day in early July is a particularly bullish one for oil. The manipulation of oil news (mentioned many times in this blog) also seems to know no bounds. What is happening in Nigeria is much worse than most mainstream media reports indicate. Why is the bad news being under reported? News reports last week were filled with bearish prognostications for oil as well, even though the weekly storage report indicated a major drop in oil on hand.

Gold and silver were weak on the open this morning, but turned around shortly thereafter. It is only a matter of time before they have significant breakouts. I was quite amused when I read a report this morning from an 'expert' who was warning that prices in the U.S. could double in the next decade. We will be lucky if they don't double in some 10 month periods in the next decade, let alone in 10 years.

NEXT: More Oil Disappears; Gold Investment Demand Skyrockets

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Monday, May 18, 2009

Market Meltup in Mumbai

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Last night, half way around the world in Mumbai, the hyperinflation early warning system sounded the alarm. The major Indian stock index, the Sensex, exploded up over 17% in a short period of the time. The market had to be closed because circuit breakers were triggered by the stock buying panic that sent the market into a meltup. What set off the bull frenzy? The ruling Congress party retained power in the recent elections - a relatively ordinary event. The stockplosion on the subcontinent should make every investor realize that India is a market awash with massive liquidity, otherwise a big market move like this would not be possible. India moreover is by no means unique, it's just early. The excess liquidity there is part of a global phenomenon that could create an inflation tsunami that raises or wipes out asset values throughout the world.

Despite what the mainstream media tells you, liquidity is what moves markets. The economy can be in the tank and staying there, but if there is a lot of liquidity in the system, stock prices can and do go up. The New York Investing meetup has constantly demonstrated at our meetings that the Fed is pumping liquidity into the U.S. banking system that is 10 to 50 times greater than anything during the last half century. Many economic 'experts' (mostly the same people who didn't see the credit crisis coming) are optimistic that somehow all of this huge money creation is magically not going to result in a massive inflation surge that is like nothing the world has ever seen. The events in Mumbai last night are telling us otherwise.

Hard assets are the investments of choice during inflationary times. Gold, silver, oil, and food are the four pillars of investing during these periods. The price of stocks go up as well because the price of everything goes up, although they are rarely the best performing asset class. You want to get into inflation sensitive investments early and you want to wait once you do. Based on last nights events, it is quite possible that the wait won't be that long.

The New York Investing meetup is having a class on Inflation Investing Tuesday May 19th. For more information, please see the website: http://investing.meetup.com/21.

NEXT: Market Puts on Inflation Trade Becuase of Mumbai Mamba

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Friday, May 15, 2009

The Scamdemic in Insurers, Autos and Swine Flu

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

While I have often criticized the U.S. government for sloppy and corrupt economic policy, it is really outdoing itself lately to reach news highs on the stupidity meter. Essentially, federal government policy can be described as reward the incompetent. If a choice must be made between rewarding the extremely incompetent versus the very incompetent, reward the extremely incompetent. Better yet still if maximum unemployment and long-term economic damage can result from a policy choice, which should also costs ten times more in the long run. Unfortunately, as the latest news on swine flu reveals, this problem isn't limited to economic policy, but effects life or death health issues for the American public. If there was a movie analogy for the last two U.S. presidential administrations, it would have to be "Dumb and Dumber".

Today's news included bailouts for the life insurance companies and the simultaneous winding down of the American auto industry. The Treasury department has agreed to provide at least $22 billion in TARP funds to six life insurers, including Hartford Financial, Lincoln National, Allstate Corp., Ameriprise Financial, Principal Financial Group and Prudential. Like all bailouts that have taken place so far, expect more to be paid out in the future. While the insurance companies were being saved from their financial profligacy, the auto companies are being allowed to flounder.

Chrysler announced it was closing a quarter of all of its dealerships and GM is eliminating 1100. GM faces a June 1 deadline for bankruptcy. The Obama administration has done everything possible to push GM over the edge. While the costs of a bailout would be minimal compared to the financial companies, the costs of not bailing out the auto companies will be staggering. These will include paying off CDSs (credit default swaps) for GM bonds, unemployment insurance, health care costs, state and local government bailouts, etc, etc, etc. The administrations attempt to get the bondholders to accept worthless equity in the company sets another bad precedent as well. This will damage the ability of all U.S. manufacturing companies to raise capital in the future (especially from foreign sources). It was long term government policy initiatives to build up the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy at the expense of manufacturing that led to our current difficulties. Is the government trying to fix this mistake? Not at all, they are trying to compound it.

Some more interesting news on the swine flu debacle #2 (the first debacle was in the mid 1970s) came out in the last 24 hours. A report from Bloomberg News stated the World Health Organization is investigating a claim by an top flu researcher and one of the developers of Tamiflu, Adrian Gibbs, that the swine flu virus currently circling the globe may have been created in a medical lab as a result of human error. Presumably, it was accidentally released. In reaction to the report, a spokesperson for the CDC in Atlanta vehemently denied the possibility of swine flu being man made even though the CDC has yet to review Dr. Gibbs data (hmmm, I wonder who could have operated a lab where this could have taken place). Regardless of what may have happened in the past, there is no need to have doubts about whether or not the CDC's operations will be in competent hands in the future. The Obama administration has just announced that it is appointing New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden to head the CDC. In case you have forgotten, Frieden was the one who stated there were hundreds of undiagnosed cases of swine flu in the city (there weren't) when the flu first appeared. While doing everything possible to unnecessarily spread panic, the NYC health department was busy botching the early testing of potential swine flu cases. The extremely incompetent Frieden will be replacing the merely incompetent Richard Besser.

NEXT: Market Meltup in Mumbai

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Thursday, May 14, 2009

Market Pull Back or Top?

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Stocks had a sharp drop yesterday. Some people have already stated that the market has topped out. While certainly this is possible, the argument is weak. The market doesn't go up every day, although this may not have seemed to be the case lately. Even the best rallies have sharp drops. As was mentioned in this blog several days ago, there were a lot of stocks in the market that were overextended and floating way beyond their 10-day moving averages. A decline for them was inevitable and is now taking place. If they drop enough, they offer a major trading opportunity. In general, small oil producers and drillers offer the best deals in this scenario. While some areas of the market may already be in decline, others will perk up. The PPI report today indicated a whiff of inflation and you can expect much worse in the future.

The Nasdaq was down 3% yesterday. It is the only major stock index that has hit its 200-day moving average - classic resistance in a bear market rally. It hoovered at that level for 9 days. The Dow and S&P 500 have yet to get to this key level. It is not unreasonable to assume they will before the rally ends. Oil managed to go down slightly despite a massive drop in oil and gasoline in U.S. storage. I have noticed this lack of reaction on the storage news several times during the rally that began in February. The market has only reacted to the good or bad news two or three days later. So much for the Efficient Market Hypothesis.

While oil itself dropped a small amount, small cap oil stocks were down as much as 15%. The ones that were floating well above their 10-day moving average need to come down to at least their 20-day (the 30-day or 40-day would be even better) moving average to restore some balance. They become good trading buys at that point, especially if gaps are filled by the drop and the RSI has fallen to around 50. HTE, which had about a 50% rally in only four trading days is a good example of this type of stock. PDS less so. In many cases, coal stocks were even more extended than oil and they need even more selling to get to a bargain price. Take a look as MEE for example (don't buy it, at least not yet, just take a look at it). The incipient rally in natural gas has another type of profile (a rally at the beginning and one that has been going on for awhile have different trading rules). UNG needs to come back down to its 50-day moving average before it becomes interesting.

While inflation effects oil and other commodity prices, it is even more important to gold and silver. The PPI report this morning was up 0.3% after dropping 1.2% in March. Year over year, PPI is down 3.7%, although core prices are UP 3.4% (yes up, they have never been negative). Food prices rose 1.5% in April with a record jump in eggs and large price increases in vegetables and meats. Energy prices supposedly fell last month (yeah, that's realistic). The deflation that the government claims took place in its highly manipulated reports is dependent on falling oil prices. Once they go back up - and this has been happening since February - the deflation that never really existed is going to turn into very ugly inflation. Unlike the deflation, the inflation will be real.

NEXT: The Scamdemic in Insurance, Autos and Swine Flu

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oil Inventory Report Super Bullish; Watch Silver and Gold

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Nymex oil was as high as $60.08 a barrel yesterday, another six month high. The oft quoted 'experts' are still bearish as they have been all the way up from $33 a barrel. While it has received little attention, silver has been rallying nicely and is approaching resistance around $14.40. It is likely to get sticky around that level before a breakout can take place. Gold has been trading above, but close to its 50-day moving average for the last four days and the moving average pattern is trying to become bullish. Nova gold (NG) mentioned in this blog yesterday was up 15%. It has strong resistance only 20 cents higher, so it's not likely to be at a great entry point at the moment.

Oil is a very seasonal commodity and on average the price peaks the first week of August. The peak can actually take place anywhere between June and September. If you wish to be as conservative as possible, there is at least another month left to the oil rally. There could be two or three. Points of strong resistance include $70, the high during hurricane Katrina; the $76-$78 range, which includes the 38% Fibonacci retracement of the sell off and oil's last major breakout point before it went to $147 a barrel (this combo makes this resistance area particularly formidable); and $90, which is the 50% Fibonacci retracement of the sell off. You might need a hurricane heading toward the Gulf of Mexico to get to that level on this go around.

The EIA storage report just came out and blew the bears out of the water. Oil analysts had predicted oil in U.S. storage would increase by 1.4 million barrels. Instead, oil in storage decreased by 4.7 million barrels. Gasoline supplies were supposed to be up 400,000 barrels, but dropped 4.1 million barrels. While there was an immediate market response on the upside for oil and oil companies, I suspect a bigger rally will not show up for a couple of more days (this has happened before).

It is my belief that as the stock market fades, and this should be happening within a month or so, that gold and silver will start to shine. While there are people who are predicting gold will fall to $600, there have been a number of supposed oil 'experts' that have remained bearish during the entire oil rally. You can expect the gold bears to remain vocal all the way up as well. Watch the charts if you want to know what is really going on. Moves to higher levels and breaking above resistance are bullish signs that will tell you that gold and silver want to continue to rally. For gold, 1000 is the key level and when that is broken, a significant move up should follow shortly thereafter.

NEXT: Market Pull Back or Top?

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hards Assets - the Good, the Bad and the Sleazy

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Like all other market information, you could find valuable investing advice at the New York Hard Assets Conference as long as you sifted through the material carefully. The Aden Sisters, who have a 30-year history of accurate gold forecasts, were cautiously bullish on gold in the short term and have now raised their long term price target to $6000 an ounce. Elliot Wave guru, Robert Prechter, considered by many to be part of the lunatic fringe (with the emphasis on the first word) because of his early 2000's prediction that the Dow would fall to 400, thinks gold will go to $600 and ounce. Peter Schiff, essentially a one-note Johnny, is bullish in the long term and thinks the short term is irrelevant. He got a lot of his clients in at the top of the commodities market and they are now sitting with massive losses, but he still has the hefty fees he collected, so in typical Wall Street fashion he makes money no matter what happens. Why indeed should he care what happens in the short term?

At last year's 2008 Hard Assets Conference the Aden sisters had a long term price target of $2000 an ounce for gold. I personally spoke to Pamela Aden and mentioned to her that the New York Investing meetup had forecast that gold would be going to $5,000 to $10,000 an ounce at our March meeting. It is my opinion that she was far more bullish than the $2000 figure indicated, but the sisters like to gradually raise their price targets so as to avoid a backlash from the public (something the New York Investing meetup understands quite well, although it has not prevented us from making bold predictions - we always get negative flack when we do). The Aden sisters became famous when they predicted gold would go to $800 an ounce in 1980. Almost everyone scoffed at their prediction until gold peaked out at $850 an ounce that year. According to the Aden sisters long-term price channel for gold prices, gold should hit $2,000 an ounce some time in 2010. They now see the peak of the current bull cycle around $6000. Pamela told me that it was certainly possible that that number could be raised in the future.

In contrast to the reliable and bullish Aden sisters, Robert Prechter was bearish on gold. Unlike the Aden sisters, Prechter has made some spectacularly bad predictions and you easily have lost all of you money more than once if you listened to him. Why he is still given a public forum is beyond me. Peter Schiff on the other hand is bullish in the long term. He has been consistently bullish even as some small cap gold stocks have lost 90% or more of their value. He reminds me of the people who predicted a major stock market and economic crash in 1928. Sure, they were eventually completely correct. However, they unfortunately shorted the market in 1928 and had lost of all their money before it actually crashed in 1929. Long-term predictions without proper timing can be as destructive to your wealth as the ravings of any Elliot Wave practitioner. A lot of Peter Schiff's clients are hurting, but he's living it up with the fat fees he collected from them even if he lost most of their money.

There was more important information that could be gleaned from the conference than what was stated in the talks. There were only about a third as many exhibitors as there had been in 2008 and maybe a third as many attendees as well. Lack of interest in an investment category is a classical contrary buy signal. The opposite is true as well. The huge Real Estate Expo that packed the Javits Center with 10,000s of attendees in the mid 2000's took place at the top of the housing market. As for the exhibitors at this years Hard Assets Conference, only one caught my eye - Nova Gold (NG). I bought some this morning.

NEXT: Oil Inventory Report Super Bullish; Watch Gold and Silver

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.








Monday, May 11, 2009

Stress Test Mess; Hard Assets Conference

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that banks were given major concessions on the Stress Test and their needs for capital were reduced considerably from first estimates. This blog already reported last week that you couldn't believe the stress test numbers. We are glad the mainstream media is trying to keep up with our reporting only days later, instead of the usual weeks or months later as has been the case in the past. Reports were also out this weekend that bankruptcy for GM is inevitable. Surveys show people became more reluctant to buy GM cars once president Obama, in a kick them while their down moment, said the government would force them into bankruptcy unless a number of concessions from bondholders, unions and management were made. Great way to handle the problem of a declining U.S. manufacturing base and make the current deep recession even worse. GM should just convert itself to a bank (its credit arm GM capital already did) and then it would be permitted to lie about its financials and receive unlimited government handouts - it's the American way (unfortunately).

The New York Hard Assets Conference is today and tomorrow and I will be covering it in the blog.

NEXT: Hard Assets - the Good, the Bad and the Sleazy


Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Friday, May 8, 2009

U.S. Unemployment 15.8%; Grade Inflation on Bank Stress Test

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

While the headline number for the Employment Report this morning said that there was an unemployment rate of 8.9%, a more realistic number is 15.8%. The latter number includes discouraged workers and workers who can only find part-time work. Since the recession began in December 2007, the U.S. government admits to losses of 5.7 million jobs or 4.7% of the work force. This is the largest decline since the 1957-58 recession (please note that 1958 was one of the top 10 best years for the U.S. stock market in the 20th century and that the unemployment rate almost always peaks after a recession has ended). Yesterday, the long awaited and heavily leaked government stress test for banks was finally released. As one expert said the "apparent frankness" of the report should be a relief to the markets. 'Apparent' was the operative word in his remark, since this report has little to do with reality and is merely a feel good public relations ploy.

There was nothing good in today's unemployment report. There were 539,000 job losses overall and 611,000 losses in the private sector (the more important number that is never put in the headline). Lot's of part-time hiring of U.S. census workers (for 2010) by the federal government helped make the number look better. Even though there have been many recent announcements of state governments laying off workers because of budget difficulties, the report said state and local governments increased employment by 6,000. Other than government, only the health care sector added jobs (as is has every month since the recession began). There were massive job losses everywhere else. Job losses for February and March were increased by 66,000. Expect today's 539,000 number to be higher in the future as well, but no one will be paying attention when the worse number comes out - and the government is well aware of that.

To no one's surprise the Stress Test for U.S. banks showed they needed more capital, but not too much more capital that anyone should worry about it. The total given was $75 billion, not really that much considering these are the biggest financial institutions in the country. Bank America accounted for the largest chunk of this, with a need to raise $34 billion. Its government forced takeover of Merrill Lynch is what pushed it into a big capital deficit. Wells Fargo and GMAC were next on the list, with a need to raise $13.7 billion and $11.5 billion respectively. Citigroup only needs $5.5 billion. What happens if the banks can't raise the capital in the open markets? The U.S. government will provide it to them through TARP. All in all, you shouldn't pay much attention to this report . It was meant to be reassure the public and investing community that everything was actually fine with the financial system. And as long as the government is willing to continue to keep an unlimited supply of bailout money available, things with the banks will indeed be OK.

The stock market had a rather sharp sell off yesterday because it was too overextended on the upside. Some more selling will be needed to help relieve the pressure. This should be taking place in the near future. There is money to be made by buying into stocks which have had big gains followed by sharp drops and then trading out shortly thereafter. Watch for these opportunities. While a bigger sell off seems to be awaiting us in the summer, 2009 might turn out to be a decent year in the market. The best year for U.S. stocks in the last 100 was 1933, just off the bottom of the Great Depression. Other than a glimmer of hope that things would get better, the economic state of the U.S. was disastrous. Almost everyone avoided the stock market and missed the best money making opportunity of a life time.

NEXT:

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Rally Frothing at the Mouth

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

Volume was relatively high on Nasdaq yesterday, but the price action went nowhere. Churning action like this is not a good sign and indicates lots of people are selling as other people are buying. As soon as the buyers get less enthusiastic, the selling pressure will drive the market down. This is only one of many hints that the current rally is heading for some trouble. The other obvious ones are the put/call ratio, overextended stocks, gaps, and resistance. There is also plenty of bad economic and corporate news waiting to be released and although the market has been ignoring it lately, at some point it will start paying attention to it again.

The put/call ratio is a contrary indicator and is only significant at extremes. It has fallen into the 0.5's range, not too far above the low for the last year, which is above 0.4. This level of put/calls indicates an excess of bullish enthusiasm and that traders are taking on too much risk. Still it is not impossible for the put/call level to hit a new low for the year and even if it that occurs, it doesn't indicate that the market rally ends the next day. It does mean the rally is getting long in the tooth however.

The market is also full of overextended stocks and there is extensive gapping going on. Once a stock starts to rally (let's define a rally as beginning with the 10-day moving average crossing the 50-day and staying above it), it is important that the price doesn't get too far above the 10-day moving average, nor the 10-day moving average gets too far above the 20-day (after it too has moved above the 50-day). The statistical phenomenon known as reversion to the mean is likely to kick into action when this occurs. The stock price will want to go back to the 10-day or even 20-day moving average (see a 3-month daily chart of HWD for a good example of this). The situation becomes ever more precarious if the stock gaps up while it is becoming overextended. This has happened not just once, but two or three times for some stocks lately. The market likes filling gaps and this adds another impetus for driving a stock's price down.

You need to keep an eye on major resistance areas. The Nasdaq is having trouble going higher because it is stuck at its 200-day moving average for the moment. The Dow and S&P 500 still have a way to go to get to theirs (currently around 9000 and 950 respectively). When they do, the entire market could start having trouble moving up. At the very least choppy action is likely to follow, if not an outright drop in the market (if it doesn't happen sooner, it will happen later).

If you have been in the market for the last month or more, you should have some nice profits. Don't let them disappear. Put stops below your positions or sell them if they have been going up too far, too fast and you have large profits.

NEXT: U.S. Unemployment 15.8%; Grade Inflation on Bank Stress Test

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21


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.






Wednesday, May 6, 2009

NYIM May 5th Meeting; Oil Report; Swine Flu Update

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

We would like to thank our guest, best selling author William Cohan for a great interview at the New York Investing meetup last night. The discussion of his recent book, "House of Cards" touched on many of the major issues currently facing Wall Street and the financial system. Cohan was mostly critical of Wall Street during his talk as he was in his book. There was also a talk at the meeting about stocks, oil, gold and silver and where the opportunities currently lie. To find out even more about this topic, we urge everyone in the New York Metro area to attend the New York Hard Assets Investment Conference next Monday and Tuesday. Registration is free and can be done by going to: http://www.hardassetsny.com/. Meanwhile, more news about swine flu is coming out, but the medical authorities are finally being somewhat more responsible about informing the public about what is really going on.

While there are many point of agreement between the New York Investing meetup and William Cohan, some divergences of opinion come out during his interview. Cohan stated quite clearly that he believed significant reform was on the way for Wall Street and that he had high hopes for Timothy Geithner's tenure as Treasury Secretary. While there is certainly a strong movement for reform among the American populace, little has been done so far and anyone who reads this blog regularly knows we are not fans of Timid Tim Geithner. We certainly agree with Cohan's criticism of Congress and the large campaign donations that it accepts from Wall Street has corrupted our system. We don't agree with Cohan's favorable views of TARP, something we vehemently opposed and consider to be one of the biggest wastes of government money ever. Cohan did provide some interesting insight into the failure of Lehman Brothers saying there was really no clear answer why the authorities let it fail other than the timing of its demise (if it had been first, he believes a bailout would have taken place) and it wasn't a favored institution of the government as is Goldman Sachs. We hope to have at least excerpts of the interview out on video shortly.

The weekly oil storage report came out from the EIA this morning and it looked pretty bullish. Oil in storage was up only 600,000 barrels, while analysts has expected a rise of 2,000,000 barrels. Gasoline was down 200,000 barrels and the high demand summer driving season is just about to begin. In the meetup last night we showed how oil was well below its 200-day moving average and predicted it needs to get to that level before the current rally will end. Oil jumped up to a new 5-month high after the inventory report with light sweet crude reaching $55.55 a barrel. There is probably at least $20 more upside to the commodity, if not more, before a 2009 high is hit.

In today's media coverage, the first actual American death of someone who tested positive for swine flu was reported. Read the articles carefully however, they do NOT say that the woman who died on the Texas/Mexican border died of swine flu. Indeed the medical authorities refuse to state that she did and said that she had other 'critical underlying medical problems'. The little Mexican boy who died in Houston also had other significant medical issues. In Mexico, the current count is 42 deaths (still nowhere near the originally reported 160). No medical history is available for most of these people, who were poor and had limited access to health care. It is quite possible all of them had other medical issues as well and swine flu was not the primary cause of their deaths. This would explain why there are no swine flu deaths outside Mexico in places where advanced health care systems and accurate record keeping exist. There is no substantial proof that the current outbreak of swine flu is deadly, nor that it is even a serious disease.

NEXT: A Rally Frothing at the Mouth

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Market Getting Frothy; Meeting tonight for New York Investing

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The stock market indices were all up over 2% yesterday. Nasdaq crossed its 200-day moving average and closed 13 points above it. We are now at the point where many stocks have had substantial rallies and are moving up sharply. Watch out when this happens! While the average person wants to buy when this occurs, unless you are a short-term trader, selling is the more appropriate reaction. Stocks that are floating 20% or more above their 10-day moving averages should be considered particularly worrisome if the stock has been in rally mode for some time (if it is moving sideways in a base that's another story).

A good general rule of thumb is to sell at least half of your position when you have 100% profits. That way you can't lose. If the stock is also around an important resistance point and the technicals are at overbought levels, you probably wish to sell all of it. Sometimes for severely oversold stocks, especially low-priced ones, the stock can move up 100% and still be in a base and in this case you should NOT be selling (DXO and HWD would be examples of this). The sell rule is only valid for a stock that has been rallying. A lot of money is lost in the market because profits are not taken. Many sell offs take place gradually, so any given trading day doesn't raise an alarm bell. Taking profits is tricky and there is a tendency to sell much too early or much too late. However, don't aim for perfection - this leads to trouble. Your goal should not be to make the maximum amount of profit possible, but a reasonable amount. What is reasonable depends on your time frame. A couple of percent is good for a day trader, but meaningless for Warren Buffett.

An important part of the art of selling is to have a good idea of overall market conditions. We are still in a rally. Currently, there are reasons to think this rally will continue into June. After that, the probabilities are likely to turn against the market. When the market turns down, most stocks will go with it. Oil might last a little longer because of its seasonal trading pattern. There are a few things, like natural gas (UNG), that are still bottoming and haven't rallied yet at all. Gold (GLD) and silver (SLV) frequently trade counter to the market and should be rallying while most stocks are selling off. There are always opportunities in the market.

Tonight, May 5th, is the monthly meeting of the New York Investing meetup. I will be interviewing William Cohan about his latest best seller, "House of Cards". Cohan will be signing his book after the interview. There will also be a talk on the state of the market. The meeting starts at 6:45PM and will be held at PS 41, 116 West 11th Street.

NEXT: NYIM May 5th Meeting; Oil Report; Swine Flu Update

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.






Monday, May 4, 2009

Banks Get Swine Flu; William Cohan at New York Investing

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The long awaited bank stress test is scheduled to be out this Thursday. There have already been more leaks in this government PR gambit than in a sinking ship. Meanwhile, the Swine Flu panic is winding down, with an article by TIME magazine this morning questioning whether all the hoopla was justified (see the Sunday and Saturday entries for this blog for a detailed analysis for why it wasn't). And finally, I will be interviewing best-selling author William Cohan at the New York Investing meetup tomorrow. Whether or not you saw him on the Daily Show with John Stuart or elsewhere on TV, this is your chance to see him in person.

In the news out today, Citigroup and Bank of America are stating that they are going to be raising $10 billion more in capital to shore up their reserves. Didn't both of these banks say they were profitable in the first quarter and planning on returning TARP funds? Something seems to be inconsistent with this story. Wells Fargo and PNC Financial also need more capital. The U.S. banking system is by no means stable yet and if the Fed withdraw all the funding it is providing from its half dozen or so programs, almost every major U.S. bank would collapse immediately.

While it is difficult for the average person to understand how poorly the government has handled the Credit Crisis, it is much easier to see how badly they have handled the current outbreak of swine flu (the 1976 outbreak was bungled as well and had tragic consequences for hundreds of people who participated in the government's vaccination program - there was only one supposed swine flu death). A number of the top government medical authorities made dire warnings of impending tragedy and sounded the alarm bells at top volume in the last two weeks. Not only is there no rising death toll as they warned us about, but there are no deaths at all outside of Mexico. Even the supposed deaths that have taken place in Mexico are questionable. Over a week ago, Mexico claimed 160 deaths from swine flu had taken place, the current claim is 20. Mexico's health care statistics seem to be about as reliable as most U.S. banks financial statements (see the previous blog entry for more about this).

If you are in the New York metro area, you should be coming to the May 5th meeting of the New York Investing meetup tomorrow (PS 41, 116 West 11th Street at 6th Avenue, starting at 6:45PM, for more details see: http://investing.meetup.com/21). I will be interviewing William Cohan about his latest book, "House of Cards", which is about the demise of Bear Stearns (New York Investing was the first major group to predict that this would happen in August 2007). Cohan doesn't make a lot of personal appearances, so this is your opportunity to not only hear what he has to say about the Credit Crisis, but get him to sign of copy of his book for you.

NEXT: Market Getting Frothy; Meeting tonight for New York Investing

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.





Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pandemic of Government Stupidity Over Swine Flu Sweeps Globe

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.

Our Video Related to this Blog:

The biggest thing to fear from the current swine flu outbreak is the stupid reactions of government officials. While we would like to think that we live in a world where intelligent scientific thought dominates and ignorance and irrational emotional reactions are not the basis for important decisions, the reaction to swine flu indicates otherwise. The global medical establishment, highly trained scientists, have reacted more like voodoo shamans instead of engaging in rational analysis. The mainstream press, instead of acting as a responsible gatekeeper, has had a field day spreading panic. Government officials have followed up by doing some of dumbest things imaginable (in case you don't understand what is going on with how they are dealing with the Credit Crisis -think about how well that's probably being handled).

One of the most outrageous government acts so far has taken place in Hong Kong where authorities have sealed the downtown Metropark Hotel, where a sickened Mexican tourist had stayed, trapping 350 business travelers, tourists and employees inside. Riots have broken out in Egypt when police have tried to fulfill the government's mandate to kill all of the country's pig population - there is no evidence that any of pigs have swine flu there. In Baghdad, the Boars in the zoo were slaughtered even though there is no swine flu in Iraq. The U.S. has closed down hundreds of schools. In Mexico, the capital is totally closed down and will remain so for a few more days. Officials from the CDC, the federal Health and Human Services Department and the New York City Health Department have made irresponsible statements that have helped engender panic. The first two warned of an increasing death toll from swine flu and the latter that there were already hundreds of cases in New York City last week - none of which has turned out to be true.

The source of all the worry about swine flu is and always has been suspect. There have been two competing strains of information that have led to contradictory conclusions. Authorities throughout the world have chosen to believe the unreliable information source over the reliable one. The first strain of information are reports and statistics on swine flu from Mexico - a country with a chaotic health care system and questionable data gathering ability. The second data source is from the developed world, where health statistics are reliable. Based on initial reports out of Mexico, swine flu was a deadly virus. However, even as of today, there have been no fatalities elsewhere - and that's hard reliable data. When you are exposed to contradictory information from two sources with widely varying credibility, which do you believe? In the case of swine flu, it as if the medical authorities chose to believe Star Magazine over the New York Times.

Moreover, it has since been demonstrated that the initial reports on swine flu from Mexico were pure speculation and are not supported by the facts. Over a week ago, there were already supposed to have been 160 deaths there from swine flu in Mexico. The current count has risen to 19. What? Tests for swine flu were not being done initially and now that they have been only 19 people so far who have tested positive for swine flu have died. Whether or not they died from swine flu is not proven and should be questioned considering that no one outside of Mexico dies of swine flu. These 19 could have died from any number of other illnesses and considering there was an epidemic of virulent pneumonia in Mexico, this would be a strong candidate for the actual cause of death. How are the Mexicans handling this rather embarrassing situation? Just today, in a news release, Mexico's Health Secretary said "11 people were suspected to have died from the virus in the previous 24 hours". Huh? While the glaring headline seems to indicate swine flu deaths are increasing, what was meant was that testing has shown the number of supposed deaths from swine flu jumped from 9 to 20 (including the Mexican toddler that died in Texas). Note to Mexico's Health Secretary, 20 is a much smaller number than 160.

U.S. medical authorities are already backtracking and making the case that their highly irresponsible actions were justified. In appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit, it was stated that a vaccine for swine flu is being prepared and after it was created it would then be decided whether or not to order large amounts of it be produced in the fall. Despite their hemming and hawing, it was quite obvious they realized they had screwed up big time. Don't expect an admission of this and don't expect any one of these bozos to be fired. After all, why should the health of the American people be in the hands of competent people.

NEXT: Banks Get Swine Flu; William Cohan at New York Investing

Daryl Montgomery
Organizer,New York Investing meetup
http://investing.meetup.com/21

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.