On Monday the Chinese government reported that the country’s economy slowed more than expected in July. Retail sales were crimped by tough new virus restrictions introduced toward the end of the month to contain fresh outbreaks. Retail sales rose by 8.5% near over year. Analysts had expected growth of 10.9%. Industrial production to a 6.4% year over year increase instead of the 7.9% in economist forecasts. Investment in fixed assets rose 10.3% year to year in the first seven months of 2021 against expectations for an 11.3% increase. No big secret about the effects. China’s economy is the driver for global demand for commodities such as copper. And for demand for some key manufactured goods such as chips.
Copper stocks have been moving steadily higher recently in anticipation of a turn in the eight week downward trend in the price of copper itself. Today, the price of copper is showing some of the upward movement that the rally in copper stocks anticipated.
After Wednesday’s news from the Federal Reserve, we all know that an interest rate increase is coming–even if we don’t know when. Could be 2022. Could be 2023. And even if we don’t know how many increases we’re looking for in that time period. Could be one. Could be two. The need to revise your portfolio to take that change in monetary policy is obvious. But figuring out how and when isn’t by any means straightforward. What gives? And how should be navigate a period that is almost certainly going to end with a reversal of the lower for longer interest rates that have dominated asset prices for decades? Today, for the last installment in my Special Report: “5 Picks and 5 Hedges for a Falling Market” I’m going to take one last run at how to hedge this market and how to position your portfolio for the developing trends. (I don’t have much hope that this will be the last time I’m visiting this topic, of course.)
Like many oil-related stocks Kinder Morgan (KMI), the operator of 70,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, has moved up strongly during the recent rally in the price of oil. The stock, a member of my Dividend Portfolio since February 24, 2016, has gained 38.13% in 2021 to date as of the May 26 close. The stock has gained 26.67% in the last three months and 10.11% in the last month. The dividend, which produces a yield of 5.89% isn’t in danger. And I’m not selling because I’m worried about that potential. But growth at Kinder Morgan depends on the company’s ability to buy or build new pipeline capacity and earn a high rate of return on that investment.
Copper has rallied–again–to a new 10-year high and that has taken Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold to $39.53 today, April 28, as of 3:50 p.m.. That’s above my target price in my Jubak Picks Portfolio of $34. So today I’m selling this position. The stock is up 39.34% as of 3:50 p.m. New York time since I added it to the portfolio on January 6, 2021. I still have substantial exposure to copper through my positions in Southern Copper (SCCO) in my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio and in my Dividend Portfolio.
NextEra Energy Partners (NEP), a subsidiary of utility NextEra Energy (NEE), will buy wind farms in California and New Hampshire from Brookfield Renewable Partners. The wind turbines have a combined capacity of 400 megawatts and have long-term contracts for their electricity. I added shares of NextEra Energy to my Dividend Portfolio on November 25, 2020. The stock is up 6.38% since then through the close on April 19.
Blow-out first quarter earnings results from the big banks didn’t produce huge gains this week–and that’s actually reassuring to me because it says a significant number of investors are still paying attention to fundamentals
U.S. banks that pass their next stress tests will be allowed to raise their dividends after June 30, the Federal Reserve said today, March 25. The Fed will also lift any remaining restrictions on stock buybacks.
In commodities world there are bounces. There are rallies. And then there are super cycles of higher prices that can go on for years on an imbalance between supply and demand. We’re had our bounce in copper. And our rally. Now are we seeing the emergence of a copper super cycle? I think the answer is yes.
Hedges that can pay off on the downside and the upside are the most useful and most valuable. They also tend to be relatively rare. There aren’t a lot of these bets floating around in most markets just waiting for you to snap them up. However, I have found two hedges of just this sort in today’s market that I’m going to recommend to you today. (In this post I’m going to give you some of the nitty gritty numbers that support my recommendation for these two hedges. If you want to see some charts for copper and gold, banks and bonds check out the video I posted today.) I’m going to add these new recommendations to my standing Special Reports post tomorrow.
Yesterday tech tumbled but utilities, commodities like copper and even gold, and many “vaccine recovery” plays gained. Today almost everything is down.
Which to me is a sign that this now 6-day downturn is getting closer to an end. Right now, as of 1:30 a.m. in New York the NASDAQ is off another 2.32%. The brings the drop from the mid-february high to 6%. A little more than half way to a 10% correction. I don’t think we’re at the bottom yet. But I am looking for growth stories–which is not the same as “momentum growth stocks”–where the selling has created an opportunity.
A year ago, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note stood at 1.59%. From that point yields fell, leading to big gains for Treasuries and other bonds. Yields were down to 0.73% as of the week of April 15, 2020. And then hit their low for 2020 during the week of August 2 at 0.55%. Since then the story for long Treasuries has been just the reverse. By October 4, the yields on 10-year Treasuries were back ump to 0.78%. 0.83% by November 1. 0.93% on December 6. And then 1.16% today February 9. The forecast right now is that yields for long Treasuries aren’t done climbing either.