MACRO UPDATE: Buy, Sell or Hold?

Well. I am finally back to the blog after a very long and pleasurable hiatus.

I am going to begin publishing a weekly survey of the current macro environment with my various trading positions and predictions.

1. S&P 500 Position: Neutral/with downside bias (e.g.would wait for a correction before buying stock).

If somebody put a gun to my head and forced me to by a stock I would chose a consumer staple stock over cyclical. The best stocks on earth are the tobacco stocks like Altria (MO) and Lorillard (LO). They pay 5% dividends which increase over time. They have a captive customer who is physically and mentally compelled to purchase their product. Buy. Hold. Reinvest Dividends. Retire Rich.

Furthermore, sentiment is too high as indicated by the NAAIM Manager Survey sentiment which currently stands at 85%. Anything over 80 indicates a top for the market.

2. Gold & Silver Position: Buy/Accumulate

Gold has corrected over the last few months and represents a good entry point. With the Fed promising to print money forever, why not own gold? I am happy that I get to buy gold on sale around $1580-1600. Furthermore, the large commercials have dramatically cut their short positions, indicating that they expect higher prices. HSBC noted that gold fundamentals remain positive because of "rising global liquidity as the likes of the Bank of Japan ramp up quantitative easing, rising inflation expectations, currency depreciation and geopolitical tensions."

Furthermore, the Cyprus crisis is likely to keep a bid under gold writes UBS:

"For now, the risk of immediate contagion to otherperipheral countries remains limited, but the Cyprus precedent certainly cannotbe shrugged off particularly if things deteriorate elsewhere...As people start to worry about the safety of their deposits, gold would become an attractive alternative and an escalation of these worries would prompt a return of fear-related physical buying."

3. Oil Position: Sell/Short

Too much oil and not enough places to put it sums up the oil market. The chart below shows the surplus amount of oil slushing around the US. US oil consumption is declining and production is growing. Not a good combination for Crude oil. Furthermore, speculators are long crude, which means it is likely to go down. Always fade the crowd my friends. It is not a guaranteed win, but puts the odds in your favor.

And this trend of massive over-supply is expected to worsen: "According to early estimates from four analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 1.1 million barrels in the week ended Friday"

4. Treasuries Position: Neutral

No reason to buy treasuries. The Fed is manipulating the market with its "QE till we all die" policy. Rates will remain low despite the improvement in the economy and higher inflation expectations. There is no bond bubble and it will not burst. The Fed will not allow this. If you are dumb enough to own Treasuries beware. The government is printing money to debase the dollar. You will always get your principal back with interest, but will likely lose substantial purchasing power due to inflation in the future.

5. Residential Real Estate Position: BULLISH BULLISH BULLISH.

If you can qualify for a 4% or less mortgage, this is the best time to buy a home. The Federal Reserve led by kamikaze Ben Bernanke has lowered mortgage rates to near all-time lows. If you buy a house, you are in essence betting on inflation which is exactly what the Fed is trying to engineer. This bet is going to pay off for you in a huge way in the future. You would have locked in a super low interest rate of 4% when historical inflation is 3%. This means that in real inflation adjusted terms, you are borrowing money for 1%. Great deal for consumers. Furthermore, with the illegally printing money, homes prices should increase over the next 1-5 years substantially (10-20%). If you put 10% down, a 10% increase doubles your investment.

6. Trade for the Week Position:

 Buy Imperial Tobacco ( This is the ADR for Imperial Tobacco company which is a large multinational tobacco company with steady profits and addicted customers. Not a bad combination. The stock has strong support at $70.40. I expect a bounce to $73.50.

Happy Trading Everyone!

Black Swan Insights