Rising interest rates is one of the most oft-referred-to topics on Wall Street right now. Some see higher borrowing costs as the straw that could break the market's eight-year bull run while others see it as needed counter-weight to emerging inflationary pressures.
Members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) already expects three rate hikes this year, and we may see more monetary tightening than that if fiscal stimulus jump-starts the economy.
Bond investments and dividend-paying stocks have sold off on a 33% jump in the rate on the 10-year Treasury since the beginning of November. Existing bond prices drop when rates increase and investors fear that higher rates will draw others out of dividend stocks for the relatively safety in fixed-income. Continue reading "3 Hidden Winners On Higher Interest Rates"→
Geopolitical issues have dominated the markets this year, and polls have been useless in lending any kind of certainty to asset prices.
OPEC has successfully managed expectations for a production freeze, even if an eventual deal is still unlikely, which has driven oil prices to nearly double since their February lows. Few would have predicted in January the momentum of the Trump campaign and the potential uncertainty on global trade.
Trading countertrend moves can be profitable but risky, so it pays to line up as many factors as possible in our favor before putting money to work.
When a stock sports a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio that even a technical analyst such as me thinks is low, it's worth a look. When it is oversold at support, I'll get interested. And when the price of its main input commodity starts to fall, I'll consider a quick snapback trade.
This is the case with American Airlines (Nasdaq:AAL).
I will admit that as a chartist, looking at fundamentals gives me the willies, but AAL has a trailing P/E ratio of just 3.1. That's not only insanely low compared to the SP 500, which has a P/E ratio of 19.1, but it's less than half of the industry average of 6.3. Even based on next year's earnings, AAL trades at just 5.7 times estimates.
The stock has fallen more than 20% in the past month and a half, but the recent drop in oil prices following a multimonth rally could result in a short-term pop in AAL.
Oil prices cratered 2.5% Tuesday on expectations that U.S. crude inventories hit a new record high. This was the third straight session of losses, and oil prices are now more than 5% off their 2016 highs made last week. But AAL's action on Tuesday leads me to believe this could be a great spot to enter a quick bullish trade. Continue reading "Oversold Airline Ready For A Quick Rebound"→
The latest rumor around the global water cooler that Russia and OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia have agreed to freeze oil production at January or February levels has been dispelled... for now.
The OPEC leaders meeting in Doha failed to reach an agreement to cap production, with Iran bowing out of the meeting altogether, and refusing to pull back on its oil production. As a result, oil prices took a big tumble. Brent crude fell a harsh 7% on the news. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell almost as much at 6.6%.
But does a "no deal" result from the OPEC Doha meeting mean production caps are off the table? Or that OPEC wouldn't seek an alliance outside its cartel?
In response to the meeting, Qatar's energy minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said, "We of course respect [Iran's] position... The freeze could be more effective definitely if major producers, be it from OPEC members like Iran and others, as well as non-OPEC members, are included in the freeze."
Al-Sada said that OPEC members need more time. Which says to me that this won't be the last we hear of production caps.
Indeed, this wasn't the first time we'd heard about potential cooperation between OPEC and Russia, either.
The rumor of a possible oil production freeze lifted oil markets as much as 4.7% and kept prices for WTI above $41 mid-week last week. That means oil prices have been on a wild ride. Take a look at WTI futures: Continue reading "What To Expect In The Oil Market"→
Once heralded as the bridge to an oil-free energy future, natural gas seems to have been relegated to stepchild status in the hierarchy of carbon fuels. Why?
It's cheap, clean, efficient and plentiful. That's part of the problem. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), estimate that there are 388.8 trillion (yes… trillion) cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves in the United States. That's a lot of product to be pumped along with the 20+ trillion cubic feet of dry natural gas we pump annually.
And we keep discovering more. Take a peek at a 20-year study of the spot price.
After a couple of flirts with ridiculous prices, we're pretty much back to where we started when I still had hair and wore size 32 jeans.
The other challenge is lack of industry consolidation. The top 10 U.S. natural gas producers control 31% of the market. That's a decent number. But compare that to the top 10 petroleum producers who tap 52% of the market. Thin margins due to low prices don't get companies excited about acquisitions.