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John Thomas graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors and a minor in mathematics from the University of California at Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) in 1974. He moved to Tokyo, Japan where he was employed by a medium-sized Japanese securities house. Thomas became fluent in Japanese... More
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  • Quote of the Day
    “Daddy always wanted to be the bride at every wedding, and the corpse at every funeral,” said Alice Roosevelt Longworth about her father, Teddy Roosevelt, in an interview granted me during the seventies. The once beautiful and ever vivacious Alice mesmerized me with stories of her visit to China in the aftermath of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion and her audience with Japan’s Meiji emperor.
    Jul 29 5:11 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Freeport McMoRan is Firing on All Cylinders
    One of my favorite stocks, and one of the great “tells” on the state of the global economy is Freeport McMoRan (NYSE:FCX), the world’s largest copper and gold producer. CEO, Richard Adkerson, says it’s all about “China, China, China”, which has been frenetically stimulating its economy with a $586 billion reflationary package, and rebuilding stockpiles of the red metal at a furious pace. The ongoing lifestyle upgrade in other emerging markets is adding to demand, as is the switch to hybrid cars in industrialized countries, which use two to three times more copper than conventional cars. Last year FCX mined 102 billion pounds of copper, 40 million ounces of gold, and 266 million ounces of silver. A doubling of copper prices since January enabled FCX to announce blowout earnings yesterday. The stock has tripled since my New Year recommendation . Did I mention that this is the number two performing stock in the S&P 500 this year? If you want a core holding that is in many right places at the right time, use dips to back up the truck for FCX.
    Tags: FCX
    Jul 29 5:10 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Caterpillar is a Great "Tell"
    Another great “tell” stock for me is Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT). I have never owned CAT in my life, but have always followed the company closely because it speaks volumes about the state of the world economy, and because they used to hand out those neat yellow hats at the analyst meetings.  CEO, Jim Owens, says that only painful job cuts held the decline in earnings to 66% on a 41% fall in revenues, with the emphasis on the word “earnings” in the most severe conditions since the thirties. The news was good enough to take the stock up a whopping 40% in a week. CAT gets 61% of its revenues from abroad. Business in Western Europe and Japan is worse than in the US, and what strength they are seeing is in Asia, with China up 8%. Large customers are seeing a resumption of credit lines, while smaller and medium sized ones are not. Owens sees a turnaround beginning in Q4, and a full scale recovery beginning next year, as the cyclicality of its major customers in construction, mining, and energy kicks in to the upside. Longer term, Owens sees CAT’s future in the ongoing infrastructure build out in the emerging markets. Hey, didn’t FCX just tell us that? Is there a trend going on here?
    Tags: CAT, FCX
    Jul 29 5:09 PM | Link | Comment!
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