Global Market Comments for February 19, 2009
Featured Trades: ($GOLD), (DGP), (GLD), (WFC), (EPD)
1) GOLD! GOLD! GOLD! This is the cry being heard worldwide by investors in the Great Gold rush of 2009, looking for a generic ‘short America’ trade. Where in the past gold seekers used sluices, shovels, and jackhammers to extract the glittery stuff in California’s Sierras, Alaska’s Klondike, and South Africa’s Rand, today the instrument of choice is the mouse. Online traders are unleashing clicks by the millions to buy ETF’s, American Eagles, mining shares, and futures contracts. With stock traders sitting on their haunches, wondering if the Dow will hold 7,000, this is the only thing that is working right now. Gold is no longer just catastrophe insurance. Traders are buying gold more for what it isn’t, than what it is. It isn’t made of paper, made in the US, or held in custody by Bernie Madoff or Stanford Financial. The yellow metal hit a new high for the year of $887 overnight, and the risk of a ‘melt up’ is increasing. The Street Tracks Gold Trust ETF (GLD) is now the seventh largest holder of the barbaric relic in the world. For the newly aggressive, look at the DB Gold Double Long ETF (DGP), which gives you a 200% long exposure to gold, and is up 54% in a month. Who says there is nothing to buy out there?
2) We learn today that Stanford Financial invested with Bernie Madoff. A Ponzi scheme investing in a Ponzi scheme. Is this what we have come to? What ironic justice! It also appears that many of the world’s top professional golfers invested with Stanford and have been wiped out.
3) Wells Fargo Bank (WFC) has been in a free fall for the last two weeks, as investors bail out of the stock in fear of nationalization, or an Alt-A loan loss driven bankruptcy. The stock has vaporized 47% in three weeks, down to a new 12 year low. Veloceraptor like hedge funds have been major short sellers of the stock because it is one of the last banks with any meat still on the bone. Demand for out of the money puts is soaring. The stock is being dragged down further by big selling of bank and financial ETF’s, like the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), which has WFC as its second largest holding at 8.74%.
4) The longer crude stays below $40, the more production is being taken off the market. At this stage all 35 million barrels of storage at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for west Texas intermediate are brimming with crude. The 709 million barrel Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is nearly full. And there is another 50 million barrels stored in supertankers at sea which is building by the day. Demand has collapsed so fast, that oil companies can’t shut down production fast enough. The scary thing about this is that when the next crude spike upward in crude comes, it will be worse than the last one. Take advantage of the current distress prices to accumulate oil infrastructure stocks. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) has a PE multiple of 25 and a dividend yield of 8.3%. Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) has a $10 billion portfolio of fractionation facilities, storage, offshore drilling platforms, and 32,478 miles of product, natural gas, and crude pipelines, and carries a modest PE multiple of 12 X and a dividend yield of 9.2%. More expensive Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) with a PE multiple of 25 X and a dividend yield of 8.3% is also worth a look see.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
‘He that lives upon hope will die fasting,’ said Benjamin Franklin.