On to Stage #2 in my Special Report: “Profit and Protect–What you need to know about stock market stages for 2021. And to my rules for the sells and hedges in Stage #2 for 2021: When you win, you lose. (I just posted sells for ILMN, CTVA, WST and VMW)
2021 is shaping up as an especially challenging year for investors. Much, much more challenging than 2020. I don’t think we can count on this rally running uninterrupted through the year. That would be simple, wouldn’t it? We’d all know how to profit from that scenario. And I don’t think the market is about to drop off a cliff from its current record highs. That would be traumatic. But, still, we do know how to protect a portfolio in that scenario. And even how to profit from a prolonged plunge–if we can bring ourselves to place those short and Put Options bets. Instead 2021 is likely to be one of those years with a Rally Stage and then a correction (or “something”) to be followed by a last quarter of 2021 that is, at this moment, close to completely unpredictable. That would make 2021 one of those years that gives investors a chance to be wrong several times over, to botch timing on the upside and the downside, and to let emotions power some really bad investment moves. I don’t pretend that I’ve got this year’s market stages down perfectly–although I think the outlines for the first two stages for 2021 are pretty clear. I don’t imagine that I’ve got the timing for navigating these stages clocked perfectly–although I do think I understand “generally” when the market is likely to switch gears. And that lets me lay out for you a likely pattern for 2021 and to suggest stocks and ETFs to use to navigate this year. Part of the point in getting as specific as I can at this point isn’t that I expect that I’ve got everything right, but to lay out concrete markers that will let you and me adjust portfolios as the year progresses. I’m dividing this Special Report into three parts.
Disney shares drop 1.7% today as traders take profits after yesterday’s beat on fourth quarter earnings and revenue
Before the House and Senate can move the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus package ahead using a process called reconciliation, individual committees need to approve their pieces of the budget. Today, February 12, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to approve $593.5 billion in $1400 stimulus checks and a $3,600 annual child tax credit as part of that Biden budget. The full House is on a schedule to vote on the complete package during the week of February 22.
Stocks climbed for a sixth straight day–the longest string of gains for the Standard & Poor’s 500 since August and with the Dow Jones Industrial Average turning in its best start for a February since 1931. The S&P 500 finished the day ahead 0.34% and the Dow gained 0.76% on the session. The NASDAQ Composite was up 0.95% and the NASDAQ 100 added 0.67%. The biggest winner for the day was the small cap Russell 2000, which gained 2.53% on strength in bank stocks and hope for more growth in the general economy. Oh, and the hope for $1,400 checks to individual Americans, hundreds of billions of dollars in state and local aid and enhanced federal unemployment benefits. And continued progress on the Covid-19 vaccination program. All this means, in my opinion, that the currently stretched valuations in this stock market are likely to get even more stretched in the coming days and weeks.
I looked at my Jubak Picks Portfolio with more than a tinge of seller’s remorse this morning. I sold shares of First Majestic Silver (AG) out of that portfolio on Friday, January 29, after the stock rose 21.38% on Thursday. That gave me a gain of 45.52% since I began this position on July 6, 2019.I argued in justification for this sell that the attempt by individual investors on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum to force a short squeeze in silver, as they had in GameStop (GME), were likely to fail because there was such a big stockpile of physical silver ready to enter the market. So I took my profit. Only to have the stock climb an other 21.3% today, February 1, as of 2:30 p.m. New York time as individual investors did indeed drive up the price of silver futures. The Shares Silver Trust (SLV) was up 6.40% as of 2:30 New York time today as the intraday price of silver limbed to the highest level since 2013. And then I thought about that seller’s remorse.
On Tuesday President Donald Trump tweeted a video heavily criticizing the recently passed coronavirus stimulus/relief bill–and a huge funding bill to keep the government running–and implying that he could veto the bill. Today, Wednesday, December 23, stocks barely budged. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up 0.07%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.38%. The NASDAQ Composite was down 0.29% and the NASDAQ 100 fell 0.51%. The small cap Russell 2000 picked up 0.87%. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF rose 1.02%. Why the lack of reaction?
CNBC is reporting that a coalition of 40 U.S. states, led by New York, that have been investigating Facebook (FB) for potential antitrust violations plan to file a lawsuit against the company next week.
Is this as good as it gets? That’s an important question today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes up 1.54% to 30,045.84, the first close above 30,000 ever. Other indexes were just as strong. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 1.62% by the close. The NASDAQ Composite was up 1.31% and the NASDAQ 100 was ahead 1.46% at the end of the session. The Russell 2000 small cap index ended the day ahead 1.78%. It’s not hard to see why stocks and investors are so ebullient: There’s just so much good news.
According to a report from the Century Foundation, 12 million Americans are set to lose unemployment insurance by the end of 2020 with the bulk of those 7.3 million set to lose their benefits on December 26.