The political lines have been drawn, it’s Clinton verses Trump. I written several pieces evaluating the massive sell-offs in the biotech sector. Utilizing the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (NASDAQ:IBB) as a proxy, I proposed a loose correlation between opportunistic political posturing by political front-runners and the chronic price suppression of IBB. I content that political posturing played a significant role in the sell-off of the healthcare cohort and more specifically biotech stocks. Drug pricing was used as a centerpiece as the scapegoat for political gains. Throughout this political process, this rhetoric has negatively impacted the sector. IBB fell from $401 in July of 2015 to $240 in February of 2016 or alternatively a 40% hit. This sell-off coincided with political rhetoric aimed at the collective cohort of healthcare and biotech companies. I strongly felt that these events were seasonal and would eventually subside without any significant impact to the underlying stocks within IBB. I felt this political induced sell-off presented a great buying opportunity after the 40% decline. I put my money where my mouth was by purchasing two tranches of IBB at a strike price of $250 in February and June during the market-wide sell-off and the Brexit, respectively. I feel that this is great entry point for any long-term investor that desires exposure to the biotechnology sector.
The UK economy is sending mixed signals of resilient performance and negative sentiment. The latest PMI readings, both in services and manufacturing, plunged below 50, signaling a contraction. Consumer confidence took a nosedive to -12 in July from a -1 reading just a month before. And in the real estate sector, the latest survey of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors of estate agents showed that only 23% of the participants expected housing prices to rise in the next twelve months.
The Bank of England, at its August meeting, responded with sweeping measures to ease monetary conditions. The BoE cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 bps to 0.25%, eased capital requirements for UK banks which will free up £150 billion of liquidity, and the “crown jewel” – a new round of £60 billion in Quantitative Easing, bringing the QE total to £435 billion.
Nevertheless, Key data released in the UK this week suggests that the overall economy is rather resilient, with unemployment holding at 4.9% and core inflation falling only moderately, from 1.4% to 1.3% year-on-year.
Despite the Federal Open Market Committee voting last week to maintain all of the Federal Reserve’s current rates, some market experts — including this one — are projecting that a rate hike is coming soon, and the Foreign Exchange market could see significant volatility because of it.
Indeed, as we suspected back on July 1, the Federal Reserve, in its release about the policy meeting held July 26-27, signaled that headwinds from Brexit are waning and pointed to diminishing near-term risks. But what does that mean, in practical terms? It means that the Fed is back in business: delivering mildly hawkish rhetoric, while preparing for the next rate hike. Continue reading "FX Volatility To Pick Up With Growth"→
NFTRH 404 deviated from the usual format of widespread, in-depth coverage of US and global markets, precious metals and commodities in order to focus on two main themes. One was a view of building short-term risks in the gold market [possibly pending new rally highs] and the other of a developing bullish phase in the US stock market. We reproduce part of that segment here…
Subscriber ‘LN’ presented a view of the impending ‘breadth thrust’ signal and we both came to the same conclusion; that this is ending action in the stock market. It is at once very bullish and very bearish, depending on time frames. Below is additional information per ‘LN’, who is a financial adviser and thus, not a casual observer. I would also note that both ‘LN’ and I have similar caveats about analogs from the past projecting to the future (they often do not do it well). But for reference (emphasis mine)… Continue reading "More on the 'Breadth Thrust' and Market Internals"→
The Brexit vote adds uncertainty to an already turbulent global environment, says money manager Adrian Day, and has helped gold resume its rally.
The decision of the British people to leave the European Union in the face of extreme fear-mongering shook the markets initially, but they turned up at quarter end. The vote does not end the uncertainty, of course: the negotiations on Britain's exit, increased agitation against membership in other countries, the change of political leadership in Britain, as well as the potential break-up of the United Kingdom, all add uncertainty to an already turbulent global environment, and markets do not like uncertainty. Brexit also provides yet another reason excuse for the Federal Reserve and other central banks to keep interest rates excessively low for longer. Continue reading "Brexit Leads To Uncertainty, But It's Good For Gold"→