Powell says Fed committed to raising interest rates, and keeping them high, until inflation is under control

Powell says Fed committed to raising interest rates, and keeping them high, until inflation is under control

Well, that was short and direct. Especially for the Federal Reserve. In a speech of less than 10 minutes Fed chair Jerome Powell warned financial markets to expect that the central bank will keep raising interest rates and will then leave them at higher levels for some time in order to control inflation. Stocks dropped on Powell’s remarks with the S&P 500 down 2.80% at 3 p.m. New York time.

My stock pick lithium producer Albemarle hits all time high before pulling back to close with 2.71% gain on the day

My stock pick lithium producer Albemarle hits all time high before pulling back to close with 2.71% gain on the day

Lithium producer Albemarle (ALB) closed up 2.71% today after hitting an all-time high of $298.17 in intraday trading. The shares closed at $295.68. The gains for Albemarle, and across the lithium sector, came as Goldman Sachs upgraded lithium battery maker Freyr Battery (FREY) on projected higher demand for lithium batteries after the Inflation Reduction Act. Albemarle is a member of my Jubak Picks Portfolio where it is up 200.18% since my August 10, 2018 stock pick. The stock is also a member of my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio where it is up 221.67% since February 17, 2017.

Natural gas prices recover–at least partially–from yesterday’s bad news on Freeport LNG delay

Natural gas prices recover–at least partially–from yesterday’s bad news on Freeport LNG delay

On Tuesday U.S. natural gas prices tumbled after the operators of the Freeport liquefied natural gas terminal said production will resume in early to mid-November instead of October as earlier announced. The terminal, which handles almost 20% of U.S. LNG exports, was knocked out of operation by an explosion in June. The trouble at Freeport has been an especially big deal for European LNG shipments since the United States sends almost 75% of its LNG to Europe and that market has been scrambling to replace natural gas from Russia after that country’s invasion of Ukraine. Natural gas futures dropped 6.5% on Tuesday after hitting $10 per million BTUs for the first time since 2008. Today, Wednesday, August 24, natural gas futures for September delivery are up 2.09% as of 1:30 p.m. New York time.

It doesn’t look good in America’s corn fields

It doesn’t look good in America’s corn fields

Acres that U.S. farmers were unable to plant have more than tripled from the same period last year as extreme weather wreaks havoc on fields, according to the August report from the Farm Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prevented planting acres–or the acres of insured crops that can’t be planted because of disasters including flooding and drought–stood at 6.4 million. That’s up from 2.1 million in 2021. Prevented planting acres of corn jumped to more than 3 million acres, from 639,000 acres in 2021, according to the USDA. Wheat shot up to more than 1 million acres from nearly 300,000 acres last year. Not surprisingly grain prices have climbed–and so have the prices of commodity funds. The Teucrium Corn Fund ETF (CORN) is up 4.01% today, August 23, as of noon New York time. The ETF is a member of my Volatility Portfolio where it’s down 8.45% since I added it on June 17, 2022. The Teucrium Wheat Fund ETF (WEAT) is up 2.58% as of noon today. That ETF is a member of my Jubak Picks Portfolio. It’s down 27.26% since I added the position on May 25, 2022.

I got these two key China trends wrong: Selling  BABA and TCEHY

I got these two key China trends wrong: Selling BABA and TCEHY

When I added Alibaba (BABA) to my Jubak’s Picks Portfolio on April 29, 2022, and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY) to my Volatility Portfolio on January 3, 2022, I thought two things were about to happen in China. First, I thought that the People’s Bank would unleash enough stimulus to more than compensate for the slowdown in China’s economy. And, second, I thought that we’d seen the end of the regulatory crackdown on China’s big entrepreneurial technology companies. I got both trends wrong.

Walmart  beats lowered revenue and earnings forecasts and reaffirms guidance for the second half of 2022

Walmart beats lowered revenue and earnings forecasts and reaffirms guidance for the second half of 2022

Walmart shares were up 5.11% today, August 16, at the close. I think it’s fair to call that a relief rally as the company beat lowered earnings and sales forecasts for fiscal second-quarter earnings today. And then confirmed its guidance for the second half of 2022. Remember that the company had slashed guidance twice in the last three months on May 17 and then again on July 26.

3 sells for today’s CPI bounce–my goal is still to sell into this Bear Market rally

3 sells for today’s CPI bounce–my goal is still to sell into this Bear Market rally

Despite today’s CPI inflation bounce and the continuation (flagging but still in business) of July’s Bear Market rally, my goal is still to sell into rallies. I don’t think this Bear Market is over and done with. I see another down leg when investors and traders admit that the Federal Reserve isn’t going to be able to get inflation under control with just another 100 basis points of interest rate increases (and, the other part of this hopeful scenario, to begin cutting interest rates by the middle of 2023.) So I’ll be making three sells today out of my Jubak Picks Portfolio to take advantage of the CPI bounce.

Another chip maker–this time is Micron–warns and chip stock take a hit

Another chip maker–this time is Micron–warns and chip stock take a hit

First, it was Nvidia (NVDA) cutting its guidance for revenue and earnings due on August 24. Today, August 9, it was Micron Technology (MU) warning that its revenue for the fourth-quarter revenue may come in at or below the bottom end of a forecast range provided in the company’s earnings call on June 30. Micron is scheduled to report on September 27. All this comes as the market is on edge anyway ahead of tomorrow’s report on CPI inflation. As of the close on Tuesday, August 9, shares of Micro Technology were down 3.74%. Shares of Nvidia were down another 3.97% after closing down 6.30% yesterday.

What to do about your oil stocks?

What to do about your oil stocks?

I’ve seen several comments on the site asking this question. I assume we’re talking about oil stocks in the short- and medium-term. In the long term, I think it’s clear that you should be thinking about selling these out of your portfolio at a profit (of course) whenever you can. Demand for oil will fall in the long-term–defining long-term as 5 years or more–or we can all count on figuring out how to survive 120-degree (Fahrenheit) heat. Today, August 5, is a good synopsis of what’s going on with oil and oil stocks in the short- and medium-term.

I’m selling Chipotle Mexican Grill out of my Jubak Picks Portfolio

I’m selling Chipotle Mexican Grill out of my Jubak Picks Portfolio

In yesterday’s YouTube video I explained that a recession works by peeling the sock market onion. With each step down in the economy, more stocks report negative surprises or issue negative guidance. Investors and traders sell those stocks–Snap (SNAP) for example fell 39% in the day–and buy the shares of companies that have, for the moment, shown the ability to dodge the economic bullet. (So Alphabet (GOOG) climbs 6.47% when it reports that advertising revenue hasn’t dipped as much as the Snap results threatened. But I pointed out, each time the recession peels away a layer of the stock market onion, it leaves fewer and fewer stocks on the “safe buy” side. And if the recession gets deep enough, many of these safe buys will wind up showing the same problems as earlier hit their sector peers. So tomorrow, Friday, July 29, I’ll be selling shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) out of my Jubak Picks Portfolio.