2012 December

Portfolio Changes

We made several changes to our portfolios today. This was not in response to the fiscal cliff situation. We believe that fiscal policy will continue to be a contentious issue throughout at least the first quarter. Any deal reached today or this week will only be a band aid that allows the two parties to .. read more

Colombia GDP

Colombia reported GDP growth today less than expected. Colombia (GXG) is part of our Select Countries portfolio. BOGOTA, Dec 20 (Reuters) – Colombia posted surprisingly weak third-quarter growth on Thursday as the global slowdown bit into expansion and boosted the likelihood policymakers would cut the benchmark interest rate to spur the sluggish economy. The Andean .. read more

On December 20th, 2012, posted in: Investing, Model Portfolios by Tags: ,

Global Opportunities New Highs

12 of the 27 stocks held in our Global Opportunities portfolio are trading at or near their 52 week highs: ABC, AFL, AMGN, BAM, BIIB, BK, CELG, DASTY, KMB, LXP, V and BHP I think that is pretty remarkable. Most of these stocks we’ve owned for some time (some of them for years) and we .. read more

A Closer Look: Commodities

The GSCI Commodity Index ((GSG)) consists primarily of Energy (71%), but also contains Agriculture (14%), Industrial Metals (7%), Livestock (4%), and Precious Metals (4%). The index currently sits atop support but below both moving averages, and the situation is precarious at best. GSG is essentially flat for the year, down 0.06% for all of 2012. .. read more

On December 16th, 2012, posted in: Commodities, Weekly Update by

The Economy Is Not The Market

The financial press this year has been filled with stories about the economic slowdown in China and the debt crisis in Europe.  Opinions on Chinese growth this year have ranged from dire (a hard landing involving a growth rate most countries would still envy) to bad but not as dire (a soft landing). All the .. read more

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions

In the context of the now-permanent establishment of QE, there was little note of the downward revisions to the Fed’s economic “forecast” for both 2012 and 2013. The revisions were minor in the, of course, downward direction, but we just need to give them time to be fully downgraded. Last December, the FOMC said the .. read more

Wholesale Trouble

While last Friday’s jobs report had a decent headline number (if little else), the wholesale report is nothing but trouble. Start with wholesale sales, down 1.2% from September on an adjusted basis, while inventories rose 0.5%. Automobile sales fell 3.1%, dragging durable goods sales 0.9% lower on the month. Even nondurable goods had a difficult .. read more

A Closer Look: World Markets

The S&P 500 ((IVV)) has had a nice run since its June lows, but with the impending fiscal cliff and the corresponding turmoil in Washington, and subsequently in the markets, all that is in danger of coming to an end. The index finds itself at a critical stage, having broken the 50-day and 200-day moving .. read more

On December 9th, 2012, posted in: Weekly Update by