Who woulda thunk it. The market is steam rolling forward against all odds climbing that wall of worry. Few thought it was possible, which of course is why it's happening.
Investors have created this expectation that all of the world's ills simply must bring the market down. The powder keg of Europe, the high unemployment in the US and the seemingly inevitable hard landing for China to name just a few, would be just too much to bare. However the market likes to surprise the most investors possible at any given time living up to the axiom, "if it's obvious, it's obviously wrong"!
Now let's be clear. The major headwinds of the enormous debt crises in the developed world will certainly bring the market to its knees eventually. After all, the immensely over-indebtedness of euroland and America along with the major demographic obstacle of a rapidly aging population well past their peak spending years, will without a doubt create a massive deleveraging and slowing economy. This is well chronicled in the book, "Facing Goliath: How to Triumph in the Dangerous Market Ahead," a must read for any and all who hopes to retire in the next 5-10 years or is already in their golden years and wants to protect and grow their families nest egg. Yet, the facts are the facts: stocks are rising and "the trend is your friend".
The main reason is simple: Bernanke and the Federal Reserve essentially initiated QE3 last week with its announcement that they were going to leave rates low into eternity, basically continuing QE Mini-Me. In addition, The Fed also set a core inflation target of 2% which gives them the right to start buying bonds again if inflation goes below that, which is likely in the months ahead. Intuitional investors smell a QE3 like great white sharks smell blood. Of all the supposed indicators, the one that seems to hold true the most is "you don't fight the Fed".
Although many investors may wonder whether this primary uptrend is part of a new bull market, evidence suggests it is simply an extension of the bull market that began in '09. The difference is significant as a new bull market would have years to run while the bull market from the Mar. '09 low is almost 3 years old and clearly aged. This being the case, investors must avoid complacency and remain alert for signs of a top, as a rally in an old bull market would more likely be measured in weeks or months and not years. Certainly the administration is hoping that it will outlast the election ... but I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
The market is definitely due for a pullback, but so many people have been waiting for one that it might not come until the market is much higher. Nimble traders can take advantage of this rally, but the key is to be "Tactical" and avoid buy-and-hold (buy-and-hope) at all costs.
Moderate growth investors may want to focus on ETF's to participate in the market's rally, such as SPDR S & P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY), SPDR Select Sector Fund - Finan (NYSEARCA:XLF), iShares MSCI Emerging Index Fun (NYSEARCA:EEM), PowerShares QQQ Trust, Series 1 (NASDAQ:QQQ), iShares Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) and iShares FTSE China 25 Index Fun (NYSEARCA:FXI). More aggressive investors will still want to stick with the big daddy's like Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), Intel Corporation (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dell (DELL), Caterpillar (CAT), General Electric (GE) and Yahoo (YHOO).
A QE3 will certainly be a boom for commodity stocks, especially gold and silver and investors should have at least some position in SPDR Gold Shares (GLD), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM), Goldcorp. (GG), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), Silver Wheaton Corp. (SLW) and ProShares Ultra Silver (AGQ).
Moderate and low risk investors should continue to focus on the market's "sweet spot" which holds the most value such as income investments. If you can get 8-10% yields on corporate bonds, preferreds and MLP's, why in the world would you take all the risk of the stock market? Invest for need, not for greed! Look for:
- Edison International (NYSE:EIX) 7.5% of 6/13 (cusip 281023AN). This is yielding almost 10% for less than 2 years
- Broadview Networks Holdings (BDVU) - 11 3/8% 9/1/12 yielding 16% (cusip 111384AC7)
- Ally Financial Inc. (ALLYPRA) - 11.5% There are three very attractive Ally Bank Preferreds yielding around 10+%. Ally is 91% government owned, so they're not going anywhere. (cusip 361860208)
- Ally Financial Inc. (ALLYPRB) - 10+% (cusip 02005N308)
- Compass Diversified Holdings (NYSE:CODI) - 10+% yield (cusip 2045Q104)
- Terra Nitrogen (NYSE:TNH) -10 1/4%. Makes and markets farm products. One of the few hot sectors in our economy. It is yielding 8+%. (cusip 881005201)
- CVR Partners, LP (NYSE:UAN) - yielding 10+% (cusip 126633106)
- Breitburn Energy Partners (NASDAQ:BBEP) - yielding 9+% (cusip 106776107)
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.