Get Out Of Gold Stocks -- Right Now

Few investments are driven by psychology and fear as much as gold. Concerns about ruinous inflation, global tensions or economic instability can send investors out of stocks and right into the seemingly safe harbor of gold.

Is the fear trade back on? A double-digit rebound in gold prices since the year began has led some investors to wonder if gold is poised for a great 2014 after a dismal slump in 2013 when gold prices fell more than $400 an ounce. Junior gold miners have fared even better: The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miner ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) is up roughly 35% in the past three months.

Much of the impetus for an upward move in gold prices was the building tensions in Ukraine, which led to concerns about potential military escalation. It's now apparent that financial sanctions, and not a deepening of a war posture, will characterize the hardening Russia/European Union relationship, and the risk factor is slowly receding. Continue reading "Get Out Of Gold Stocks -- Right Now"

Natural Gas Bulls Love This Strange Weather Event

By: David Sterman of Street Authority

It started snowing early in Siberia.

According to Rutgers University's Global Snow Lab, there is already more than 10 inches of snow on the ground in the massive tundra north of Moscow. That's the first time 10 inches had already fallen by the end of October since 2002. Roughly 900,000 square miles are covered in snow right now, much higher than the 50-year average of 573,000 square miles. Continue reading "Natural Gas Bulls Love This Strange Weather Event"

This Little-Known Fed Index May Be Signaling Recession

By: David Sterman Street Authority

Over the past year, economists have noticed an unusual pattern as they digested the series of monthly reports on housing, consumer confidence, purchasing managers, trade flows and other key economic inputs.

These reports showed consistently mixed signals, though it was clear that the U.S. economy was faring OK. And that has led to hopes of more consistently positive reports in the second half of 2013 and into 2014. By next year, many economists have come to expect a firmer backdrop, with GDP perhaps growing in the 2.5% to 3% range.

Yet it may be time to start questioning that brightening outlook. Perhaps the greatest measure of economic activity -- one ignored by most investors, unfortunately -- is flashing yellow and may soon be flashing redContinue reading "This Little-Known Fed Index May Be Signaling Recession"

The Fed's Magic Number May Signal The End Of The Dividend Boom

This article originally appeared on StreetAuthority

With investors clamoring for dividend stocks, companies have responded by instituting large hikes in their payouts, which has led to the doubly good fortune of rising income streams and rising share prices.

Of course, every major change in the investing landscape must come to an end. Tech stocks were all the rage in the 1990s during the dot-com boom -- until they crashed spectacularly. Housing-related stocks surged in the past decade, culminating in the Great Recession of 2008. And the mania for dividend growth will surely cool eventually (though without the dramatic bang that tech and housing did).

The question for many: When will the dividend era wind down? Continue reading "The Fed's Magic Number May Signal The End Of The Dividend Boom"

4 Trends You Need to Know About This Bull Market

As the markets reach new highs, investors have begun to express caution instead of celebration.

Since Nov. 15, 2012, the SP 500 has risen an impressive 15%. That works out to be a 45% annualized gain. And the whole time, a significant number of investors have remained dubious, citing ample reasons why the market should be moving lower -- not higher. And as the market has climbed this "wall of worry," even the most ardently pessimistic bears have thrown up their hands in dismay. Continue reading "4 Trends You Need to Know About This Bull Market"