By: David Sterman of Street Authority
Just a few months ago, all was quiet on the investing front, as most market indices continually broke new all-time highs. But in early August, the quiet was broken by a sudden surge by the dollar against the euro, the yen, Australian dollar and other currencies. At the time, the rallying dollar was merely seen as the beneficiary of a relatively robust U.S. economic growth rate in 2015, at least compared to Europe and Japan.
In hindsight, the currency shifts now appear to be the result of something more concerning: European economic activity has slowed to a crawl, the Chinese government is leaning towards a policy of reform over stimulus -- compounded by brewing political troubles in Hong Kong -- and U.S. investors are finally waking up to the reality that global economic growth will likely be subpar in 2015.
That dim view may also explain why West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil has now slipped below $90 a barrel for the first time in 17 months. Then again, oil prices may be slumping because the dollar is rallying, which always hurts the price of commodities such as oil. Or perhaps it's the fact that too much oil is being produced at a time when global demand is slackening.
In other words, there are now a number of moving parts in play, and the factors behind these recent shifts are likely to persist. How you position your portfolio for the changing market can spell the difference between capital preservation and capital erosion. Continue reading "The Bottom May Be Falling Out -- Here's What To Do"