Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Our Next President...

After seeing the brilliant orator Barack Obama speak in front of 20,000 of my fellow intelligent, rational students, I can proudly say I will vote for him in November.

His hour-long speech touched criticized the current government for 20 minutes, talked about raising my taxes for 5, and then spent 15 minutes defining hope, 10 minutes asking the crowd to believe in it, and finished up discussing change.

April Fools (yes, the above joke was terrible). But for a couple good April Fools pranks, go to gmail's homepage today (gmail.com) or read an article about Sun Microsystem's past pranks (published recently in a business publication, or just google it).

I am still in the thick of exams, but some brief thoughts:

  • BWLD is rallying 10% today along with the broad market on no news. Now way off of its 52-week low of $18, the stock appears to have some strength. Trading at 16x next year's earnings with a .8 estimated 5-year PEG ratio, it's still a value-growth play at these levels. I have been recommending it forever, and I'm finally just about back to break-even.
  • I think (and hope) that this market will run for a while, so I'm not trying to short CMG... but hopefully once things settle down, there will be shares available to short.
  • For the fiftieth time, the CFC/BAC arbitrage is still available for any takers. Intra-day prices value CFC shares at $7.32, still about a 20% premium over their intra-day price of $6 (after a $.50 gain today).
And a broader, less specific thought...

The market is now up 5% since March 10th, when I speculated that we had reached a bottom. If this stock market uptrend continues, bolstered by a better economic environment and less fear (the VIX is now down to 23 after topping 35 two weeks ago), expect a sell-off in commodities. As I've written about before, the broad-based commodities rally extended beyond the domains of gold bugs and Texas oilmen; wheat, corn, soybeans, and pretty much every other tradable commodity reached an all-time or recent high. As the hot money raced into the DBA (ag ETF) and other vehicles to trade that boom, it may be withdrawn just as quickly. The speculation and retail-investor interest that propped up those commodities may indeed be their undoing, too. If you've got faith in the dollar, buy UUP - a strong-dollar ETF weighted against a basket of multiple currencies.

As both the stimulus package and rate cuts effectively hit the economy starting this summer, there's a possibility for a quick and strong (albeit, articulated and arguably-artificial) recovery. I'm not trying to hype-monger, but the policies that have been enacted over the past six months will come to fruition soon, and if they work as intended, then Goldilocks will be back.

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JP said...

How can anyone as interested in finance vote for Obama? Enjoy paying higher capital gains taxes.

JP said...

...I just read the headline.

...you got me!

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