My one-hundred-and-sixty-first YouTube video “Quick Pick First Majestic Silver” went up today. This hasn’t been a great year for precious metals hedges. However, allow me to make the case for First Majestic Silver (AG), given the coming recession and my expectations for the Fed’s schedule of rate increases. A hedge for 2023? At the current price, it’s an attractive bit of insurance against a big surge in risk.
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.
Shares of First Majestic Silver (AG) climbed 21.38% yesterday, January 28, as silver futures climbed on a post on Reddit suggesting profit from a short squeeze on silver. “Any short squeeze in silver paper shorts would be EPIC,” a post on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum said. “Why not squeeze SLV to real physical price,” the poster said referring to the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV). That ETF closed up 5.55% on Thursday. Now I understand the attraction of anything that can be touted as a potential for a short squeeze like that which has driven the shares of GameStop (GME) up 928% for 2021 as of the close on January 28, and 1538% in the last three months. But silver the commodity is actually very different from a stock and a short-squeeze looks very difficult to execute in silver.
U.S. GDP growth slowed in the fourth quarter, gaining just 1% from the third quarter. For the full year the U.S. economy contracted by 3.5%. That makes 2020 the first time that the economy has contracted for a full year since 2009 and the Great Recession. At the bottom of that recession that economy contracted by 2.5%. 2020 is also the worst year for economic growth since 1946 when the economy shrank by 11.6% as the country demobilized after World War II. Consumer spending slowed in all 15 categories tracked by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The sectors that had powered the recovery in the third quarter–restaurants and hotels, for instance–reversed. The growth in spending on cars and health car also slowed from the acceleration in the third quarter. So why is this good news as far as the stock market is concerned?