Global Market Comments
July 17, 2020
(JULY 15 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(EEM), (GLD), (GDX), (NEM), (GOLD), (UUP), (FXA), (FXE), (FXY), (AMZN), (AAPL), (GOOGL), (FB), (BIDU), (TLT), (TBT), (IBB), (ROM)
Global Market Comments
July 17, 2020
(JULY 15 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(EEM), (GLD), (GDX), (NEM), (GOLD), (UUP), (FXA), (FXE), (FXY), (AMZN), (AAPL), (GOOGL), (FB), (BIDU), (TLT), (TBT), (IBB), (ROM)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the July 15 Mad Hedge Fund Trader Global Strategy Webinar broadcast from Lake Tahoe, NV with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Do you expect foreign equities to begin to outperform US equities sometime soon?
A: I expect them to outperform imminently simply because Europe did their shutdown properly, a total shutdown, and got rid of the virus, so their economy and schools are opening. We did a partial shutdown, some states did not shut down at all, and as a result, the epidemic is on fire here, and our shutdown will have to last an extra six months to a year. So that means you’ll probably want to be rotating out of US stocks and into emerging stocks, and the (EEM) is the ETF to go with there.
Q: Would you buy gold LEAPS at this point?
A: Normally, I say only buy LEAPS on capitulation selloffs like we had in March. We actually put out 25 LEAP recommendations on the long side in tech and biotech in March and they all proved spectacular winners. However, at this point, gold is just short of an all-time high; if you break the high you could get a $500 or $1,000 move very quickly to the upside. If you want to do LEAPS, I would go out one year, I would go fairly close to the money, something like a $200-$210 LEAP in the (GLD) ETF. Your much bigger bang, by the way, would be to do LEAPS on the individual stocks; go 10% or 20% out of the money, you might make 100%-200% on those and the stocks to do there would be Newmont Mining (NEM) and Barrick Gold (GOLD).
Q: Would the US or any other country consider backing their currency with gold?
A: Absolutely not. We went off the gold standard in 1972 for a reason. That’s because they’re not making it anymore; there isn’t enough gold to support growth in a global economy. On the other hand, a supply of paper is unlimited, and that’s why we’ve had such terrific economic growth since we’ve gone off the gold standard.
Q: I’m seeing some really great deals in energy. Should I get involved?
A: Absolutely not. Don’t confuse “gone down a lot” with “cheap.” We think the oil business is long term going out of business. It can’t compete with alternatives and electric cars; the economics for investing in a non-scalable energy form just are not there. It’s like asking an analog adding machine to compete with a computer.
Q: Is it too late to sell the US dollar or the Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund ETF (UUP)?
A: No, we’re only in the very early stages of the collapse of the US dollar, so you want to be buying all of the nondollar ETFs like the Australian dollar (FXA), the euro (FXE), and the Japanese yen (FXY). Massive over issuance of currency will destroy its value, that’s one of the seminal lessons of currency markets. The US is not immune to that.
Q: Biotech is getting overheated here—should I buy the rumor, sell the news?
A: We’re also just in the opening stages of the biotech golden age. Even if they cure corona tomorrow, there are another 100 diseases they will cure over the next 10 years using all of the new advanced technology that has just been developed, like gene editing, monoclonal antibodies, and quantum computers. It’s another reason to subscribe to the Mad Hedge Biotech and Healthcare Letter for $1,500 a year (click here).
Q: I see Bill Gross is bullish on value stocks—would you go with that view?
A: No, leave the value stocks for Bill Gross. He’s semi-retired and hasn’t been as good on the stock market lately as he used to be, as much as he is a dear friend. This is a chasing-a-winner type market. I would wait for value stocks. You could die a long horrible death by the time value stocks turn around so I would avoid them. Go for earnings growth, that’s the only thing that counts in the future.
Q: What would you recommend as a portfolio starter?
A: I would recommend 100% cash. I know you don’t want to hear that you should keep cash if you just bought an expensive trade alert service, but the fact is the risk now is the highest it’s been in years. I only add new trade at market sweet spots, and you don’t get those every day of the year. I will send you an alert if I see a low-risk high-return trade. Wait for the summer correction—that will set up another bet-the-ranch opportunity. Don’t worry about trade alerts, we’ll be doing about 400 of them this year, but they do tend to come in bunches at market bottoms and market tops.
Q: Do American companies have much of a chance against Chinese tech?
A: The US has an overwhelming lead, which will probably increase at an exponential rate. I think the threat of Chinese tech is vastly overstated by the administration. They needed an enemy to protect us from to stick around. The reality is that the US is so far ahead it’s unbelievable; that’s the reason they steal our technology. And they only have leads in very specific areas, such as surveillance of large populations. I wouldn’t worry too much about tech—if the Chinese really had a lead on tech, would Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Facebook (FB) all be going to new highs every day, while Baidu (BIDU) lagged?
Q: Should we close out the Regeneron call spread?
A: At this point, we’re so far in the money I would just wait two more days and it will expire at its maximum $10 value, and you can avoid all the fees. You’ll end up making $1,600 or 16.28% 15 trading days.
Q: Presidential candidate Joe Biden has just had a huge surge in the polls in battleground states. Will he be damaging to the market?
A: No, ever since he started his rise in the polls, the stock market has been rising almost every day, and that’s even after announcing in advance that he’s going to raise corporate taxes from 21% to 28%. He’s also going to eliminate the carried interest, which should have been eliminated a long time ago. I imagine there will be some super punitive Roosevelt style 90% tax on net taxable income over a billion dollars—a real billionaire’s punishment tax, as they’ve basically made all the money for the last 30 years. The stock market is voting with confidence for the future Biden government, who am I to disagree? The market is always right.
Q: Will gold hit a new high?
A: Yes, I think we will have a new high in a couple of weeks. That’s why I said it’s a rare case when you actually buy LEAPS in a rising market, especially if you go one or two years out. Guess where gold will be in two years? My bet is $3,000, so a $200/$210 LEAP in the (GLD) could bring in a 1,000% return, The overwhelming fundamentals are in favor of gold. I’ll keep hammering away at that in the newsletter.
Q: I only trade stocks; how can I take advantage of your recommendations?
A: First of all, buy the stocks. Second, you can buy stocks on margin, which gives you double exposure. Third, there are many 2X ETFs on the stocks or sectors we recommend, like the (TBT), which you can also trade in a stock account. For example, for biotech, you can get your exposure there through the (IBB), and through tech, you can buy the 2X (ROM); but I wouldn’t buy it today because it is too high. In fact, only about 25% of our followers do options, the rest trade stocks or use it to manage their own long-term portfolios.
Q: Will we hit 0% yielding US Treasuries (TLT)?
A: Probably not, that move is behind us. We got down to a 31 basis points yield at the lows. Now, massive oversupply from the US government will be the primary factor dictating Treasury prices, and that means going down a lot.
Good Luck and Stay Healthy
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Global Market Comments
October 1, 2019
(LAUNCHING THE NEW MAD HEDGE BIOTECH AND HEALTHCARE LETTER)
(THE NEW AI BOOK THAT INVESTORS ARE SCRAMBLING FOR),
(GOOG), (FB), (AMZN), MSFT), (BABA), (BIDU),
(TENCENT), (TSLA), (NVDA), (AMD), (MU), (LRCX)
A better headline for this piece would be “The Future of You,” as artificial intelligence is about to become so integral to your work, your investment portfolio, and even your very existence that you won’t be able to live without it quite literally.
Well, do I have some great news for you. A blockbuster book about the state of play on all things AI was released in September last year, and I managed to obtain and read a copy before it was released. The title is AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.
The bottom line: The future is even more unbelievable than you remotely imagined. We are in the very early days of this giant megatrend, and the investment opportunities will be nothing less than spectacular.
And here is a barn burner. The price of AI is dropping fast as hundreds of thousands of new programmers pour into the field. Those $10 million signing bonuses are about to become a thing of the past.
Dr. Lee is certainly someone to take seriously. He obtained one of the first PhDs in AI from Carnegie Mellon University. He was the president of Google (GOOG) China and put in stints at Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL). Today, he is the CEO of Sinovation Ventures, the largest AI venture capital firm in China, and is a board director of Alibaba (BABA).
AI is nothing more than deep learning, or super pattern recognition. Dr. Lee dates the onset of artificial intelligence to 1952 when an IBM mainframe computer learned to play checkers and beat human opponents. By 1955, it learned to develop strategies on its own.
Dr. Lee sees the AI field ultimately divided into two spheres of dominance, the U.S. and China. No one else is devoting a fraction of the resources needed to become a serious player. The good news is that Russia and Iran are nowhere in the game.
While the U.S. dominates in the original theory and algorithms that founded AI, China is about to take the lead in applications. It can do this because it has access to mountains of data that dwarf those available in America. China processes three times more mobile phones, five times more Internet customers, 10 times more eat-out orders, and 50 times more mobile transactions. In a future where data is the currency, this is huge.
The wake-up call for China in applications took place two years ago when U.S. and Korean AI programs beat grandmasters in the traditional Chinese game of Go. Long a goal of AI programmers, this great leap forward took place 20 years earlier than had been anticipated. This created an AI stampede in the Middle Kingdom that led to the current bubble.
The result has been applications that are still in the realm of science fiction in the U.S. The Chinese equivalent of eBay (EBAY), Taobao, doesn’t charge fees because its customer base is so big it can remain profitable on ad revenues only. Want to be more beautiful in your selfies sent to friends? A Chinese app will do that for you, Beauty Plus.
The Chinese equivalent of Yelp, Dianping, has 600,000 deliverymen on mopeds. The number of takeout meals is so vast that it has been able to drop delivery costs from $6 a meal to 60 cents. As a result, traditional restaurants are dying out in China.
Teachers in Chinese schools no longer take attendance. Students are checked off when they enter the classroom by facial recognition software. And heaven help you if you jaywalk in a Chinese city. Similar software will automatically issue you a citation with a fine and send it to your home.
Credit card fraud is actually on the decline in China as dubious transactions are blocked by facial matching software. The bank simply calls you, asks you to look into your phone, takes your picture, and then matches it with the image they have on file.
Dr. Lee sees AI unfolding in four waves, and there are currently companies operating in every one of these (see graph below):
1) Internet AI
The creation of black boxes and specialized algorithms that opened the door to monetizing code. This was the path for today’s giants that dominate online commerce, Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN), JD.com (JD), and Facebook (FB). Alibaba (BABA), Baidu (BIDU), and Tencent followed.
2) Business AI
Think big data. This is the era we just entered where massive data from online customers, financial transactions, and healthcare led to the writing of new algorithms that maximize profitability. Suddenly, companies can turn magic knobs to achieve desired goals, such as stepping up penetration or monetization.
3) Perception AI
Using trillions of sensors worldwide, analog data on any movement, facial expression, sound, and image are converted into digital data and then mined for conclusions by more advanced algorithms. Cameras are suddenly everywhere. Amazon’s Alexa is the first step in this process, where your conversations are recorded and then mined for keywords about your every want and desire.
Think of autonomous fast food where you walk in your local joint and it immediately recognizes you, offers you your preferred dishes, and then auto bills your online account for your purchase. Amazon has already done this with a Whole Foods store in Seattle.
4) Autonomous AI
Think every kind of motion. AI will get applied to autonomous driving, local shuttles, factory forklifts, assembly lines, and inspections of every kind. Again, data and processing demand take an enormous leap upward. Tesla (TSLA), Waymo (GOOG), and Uber are already very active in this field.
The book focuses a lot on the future of work. Dr. Lee creates a four-part scatter chart predicting the viability of several types of skills based on optimization, compassion, creativity, and strategy (see below).
If you are a truck driver, in customer support, or a dishwasher, or engage in any other repetitive and redundant profession, your outlook is grim. If you can supplement AI, such as a CEO, economist, or marketing head, you’ll do fine. People who can do what AI can’t, such as teachers and artists, will prosper.
The Investment Angle
There have been only two ways to invest in AI until now. You can buy shares in any of the seven giants above whose shares have already risen for 100- or 1,000-fold.
You can invest in the nets and bolts parts providers, such as NVIDIA (NVDA), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Micron Technology (MU), and Lam Research (LRCX), which provide the basic building blocks for the Internet infrastructure.
Fortunately for our paid subscribers, the Mad Hedge Trade Alert Service caught all of these very early.
What’s missing is the “in-between companies,” which are out of your reach because they are locked up in university labs or venture capital funds. Many of these never see the light of day as public companies because they get taken over by the tech giants above. It’s effectively a closed club that won’t let outsiders in. It’s a dilemma that vexes any serious technology investor.
When quantum computing arrives in a decade, you can take all the functionality above and multiply it by a trillion-fold, while costs drop a similar amount. That’s when things really get interesting. But then, I’ve seen trillion-fold increases in technology before.
I hope I live to see another.
Millennials usually stick with the stocks that they know.
That’s all fine until it takes a bite out of their wallet.
Some of these decisions based on the products that represent this generation have been stock market disasters of late.
Sadly, many Millennials were too young to catch the ride up for Tesla.
Many older generations got into the stock at $20, $40 and $100 and rode the elevator up with an ultra low-cost basis.
I can’t say the same for Millennials as many came of age and finally had the money to splurge for shares after the stock had plateaued.
This was a cringe-worthy lesson that just because a company has a great product doesn’t always mean the stock is just as great.
Electric Vehicles (EV) are front and center of the Millennial consciousness and that also meant that many scooped up NIO which is the Chinese version of Tesla.
After peaking at $10 in March, the stock is now trading at $3.
Many Chinese IPOs that go public in New York are of a pump-and-dump mentality as they shower the public with losses.
In fact, many Chinese IPOs only have the goal of going public without the goal of doing much more after that.
NIO has yet to be found out completely, but the Chinese economy is hurting and the Chinese consumer has reigned back the purse strings as times become lean.
As we head into a global slow down, electric car companies that lose boatloads of money will be in the firing line for value revaluations.
In fact, I would urge any reader to steer clear of any Chinese company traded on the public markets because of opaque financials that are intentionally obfuscated.
Baidu is another favorite of the Millennial generation pigeonholed as the “Google search of China.”
That moniker is an impressive catchphrase but it doesn’t do much to rejuvenate the large loss in market share that Baidu has ceded to Alibaba and WeChat platforms.
Baidu has lost its mojo and is bleeding usership and it will be hard to reverse it as Baidu never evolved with the changing trends of Chinese consumers.
Baidu peaked in April 2018, at $250 and is now trading at less than $108 and the slide isn’t over yet as Baidu has no adequate response to the domination of the other Chinese tech behemoths.
Yes, many tech trends have legs and are secular shifts that have major ramifications to the global economy.
But the devil is in the details and peels back the layers to be aware of developments such as CEO of Tesla Elon Musk building an American Gigafactory in Shanghai at the worse time in economic history as a legitimate canary in the coal mine.
As robust as the Chinese consumer has been, the latest contagion of African swine flu that culled a major amount of Chinese pigs has raised the price of pork by over 45%.
Chinese consumers are hyper-aware of these economic developments in the year of the pig.
After a massive ride up in Chinese tech shares and electric car story that took many investors breath away, we are at the beginning of a meaningful revaluation that will change the narrative moving forward.
Timing is everything in this game.
Global Market Comments
August 23, 2019
(AUGUST 21 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(FXB), (NVDA), (MU), (LRCX), (AMD),
(WFC), (JPM), (BIDU), (GE), (TLT), (BA)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader August 21 Global Strategy Webinar broadcast with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Hey Bill, how often have you heard the word “recession” in the last 24 hours?
A: Seems like every time I turn around. But then we’re also getting a pop in the market; we thought it bottomed a few days ago. The question was: how far were we going to get to bounce? This is going to be very telling as to what happens on this next rally.
Q: Can interest rates go lower?
A: Yes, they can go a lot lower. The general consensus in the US is that we bottom them out somewhere between zero and 1.0%. We’re already way below that in Europe, so we will see lower here in the US. It’s all happening because QE (quantitative easing) is ramping up on a global basis. Europe is about to announce a major QE program in the beginning of September, and the US ended their quantitative tightening way back in March. So, the global flooding of money from central banks, now at $17 trillion, is about to increase even more. That’s what’s causing these huge dislocations in the bond market.
Q: If we’re having trouble getting into trades, should we chase or not?
A: Never chase. Leave your limit in there at a price you’re happy with. Often times, you’ll get done at the end of the day when the high frequency traders cash out all their positions. They will artificially push up our trade alert prices during the day and take them right back down at the end of the day because they have to go 100% cash by the close of each day—they never carry overnight positions. That’s becoming a common way that people get filled on our Trade Alerts.
Q: Will Boris Johnson get kicked out before the hard Brexit occurs?
A: Probably, yes. I’m hoping for it, anyway. What may happen is Parliament forcing a vote on any hard Brexit. If that happens, it will lose, the prime minister will have to resign, and they’ll get a new prime minister. Labor is now campaigning on putting Brexit up to a vote one more time, and just demographic change alone over the last four years means that Brexit will lose in a landslide. That would pull England out of the last 4 years of indecision, torture, and economic funk. If that happens, expect British stock markets to soar and the pound (FXB) to go up, from $1.17 all the way back up to $1.65, where it was before the whole Brexit disaster took place.
Q: Is the US central bank turning into Japan?
A: Yes. If we go to zero rates and zero growth and recession happens, there’s no way to get out of it; and that is the exact situation Japan has been in. For 30 years they have had zero rates, and it’s done absolutely nothing to stimulate their economy or corporate profits. The question then—and one someone might ask Washington—is: why pursue a policy that’s already been proven unsuccessful in every country it’s been tried in?
Q: Will US household debt become a problem if there is a sharp recession?
A: Yes, that’s always a problem in recessions. It’s a major reason why financials have been in a freefall because default rates are about to rise substantially.
Q: Given the big spike in earnings in NVIDIA (NVDA), what now for the stock?
A: Wait for a 10% dip and buy it. This stock has triple in it over the next 3 years. You want to get into all the chip stocks like this, such as Micron Technology (MU), Lam Research (LRCX), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Q: Baidu (BIDU) has risen in earnings, with management saying the worst is over. Is this reality or is this a red herring?
A: I vote for A red herring. There’s no way the worst is over, unless the management of Baidu knows something we don’t about Chinese intentions.
Q: When will Wells Fargo (WFC) be out of the woods?
A: I hate the sector so I’m really not desperate to reach for marginal financials that I have to get into. If I do want to get into financials, it will be in JP Morgan (JPM), one of my favorites. The whole sector is getting slaughtered by low interest rates.
Q: Any idea when the trade war will end?
A: Yes, after the next presidential election. It’s not as if the Chinese are negotiating in bad faith here, they just have no idea how to deal with a United States that changes its position every day. It’s like negotiating with a piece of Jell-O, you can’t nail it down. At this point the Chinese have thrown their hands up and think they can get a better deal out of the next president.
Q: Would you short General Electric (GE) or wait for another bump up to short it?
A: I would wait for a bump. Obviously—with the latest accounting scandal, which compares (GE) with Enron and WorldCom—I don’t want to get involved with the stock. And we could get new lows once the facts of the case come out. There are too many better fish to fry, like in technology, so I would stay away from (GE).
Q: How do you put stop losses on your trade?
A: It’s a confluence of fundamentals and technicals. Obviously, we’re looking at key support levels on the charts; if those fail then we stop out of there. That doesn’t happen very often, maybe on 10% of our trades (and more recently even less than that). Our latest stop loss was on the (TLT) short. That was our biggest loss of the year but thank goodness we got out of that, because after we stopped out at $138 it went all the way to $146, so that’s why you do stop losses.
Q: How about putting on a (TLT) short now?
A: No, I think we’re going to new highs on (TLT) and new lows on interest rates. We’re just going through a temporary digestion period now. We’ll challenge the lows in rates and highs in prices once again, and you don’t want to be short when that happens. The liquidity is getting so bad in the bond market, you’re getting these gigantic gaps as a global buy panic in bonds continues.
Q: Do you have thoughts on what Fed Governor Powell may say in Jackson Hole, and any market reaction?
A: I have no idea what he might say, but he seems to be trying to walk a tightrope between presidential attacks and economic reality. With the stock market 3% short of an all-time high, I’m not sure how much of a hurry he will be in to lower interest rates. The Fed is usually behind the curve, lowering rates in response to a weak economy, and I’m not sure the actual data is weak enough yet for them to lower. The Fed never anticipates potential weakness (at least until the last raise) so we shall see. But we may have little volatility for the rest of the week and then a big move on Friday, depending on what he says.
Q: What is your take on the short term 6-18 months in residential real estate? Are Chinese tariffs and recession fears already priced in or will prices continue to drop?
A: Prices will continue to drop but not to the extent that we saw in ‘08 and ‘09 when prices dropped by 50, 60, 70% in the worst markets like Florida, Las Vegas, and Arizona. The reason for that is you have a chronic structural shortage in housing. All the home builders that went bankrupt in the last crash has resulted in a shortage, and you also have an immense generation of Millennials trying to buy homes now who’ve been shut out by higher interest rates and who may be coming back in. So, I’m not expecting anything remotely resembling a crash in real estate, just a slowdown. And new homes are actually not falling at all. That’s because the builders are deliberately restraining supply there.
Q: What is a good LEAP to put on now?
A: There aren’t any. We’re somewhat in the middle of a wider, longer-term range, and I want to wait until we get to the bottom of that; when people are jumping out of windows—that’s when you want to start putting on your long term LEAPS (long term equity anticipation securities), and when you get the biggest returns. We may get a shot at that sometime in the next month or two before a year in rally begins. If you held a gun to my head and told me I had to buy a leap, it would probably be in Boeing (BA), which is down 35% from its high.
Global Market Comments
June 14, 2019
(WEDNESDAY JUNE 26 BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA STRATEGY LUNCHEON)
(MAY 29 BIWEEKLY STRATEGY WEBINAR Q&A),
(TSLA), (BYND), (AMZN), (GOOG), (AAPL), (CRM), (UT), (RTN), (DIS), (TLT), (HAL), (BABA), (BIDU), (SLV), (EEM)
Below please find subscribers’ Q&A for the Mad Hedge Fund Trader June 12 Global Strategy Webinar with my guest and co-host Bill Davis of the Mad Day Trader. Keep those questions coming!
Q: Do you think Tesla (TSLA) will survive?
A: Not only do I think it will survive, but it’ll go up 10 times from the current level. That’s why we urged people to buy the stock at $180. Tesla is so far ahead of the competition, it is incredible. They will sell 400,000 cars this year. The number two electric car competitor will sell only 25,000. They have a ten-year head start in the technology and they are increasing that lead every day. Battery costs will drop another 90% over the next decade eventually making these cars incredibly cheap. Increase sales by ten times and double profit margins and eventually, you get to a $1 trillion company.
Q: Beyond Meat (BYND)—the veggie burger stock—just crashed 25% after JP Morgan downgraded the stock. Are you a buyer here?
A: Absolutely not; veggie burgers are not my area of expertise. Although there will be a large long-term market here potentially worth $140 billion, short term, the profits in no way justify the current stock price which exists only for lack of anything else going on in the market. You don’t get rich buying stocks at 37 times company sales.
Q: Are you worried about antitrust fears destroying the Tech stocks?
A: No, it really comes down to a choice: would you rather American or Chinese companies dominate technology? If we break up all our big tech companies, the only large ones left will be Chinese. It’s in the national interest to keep these companies going. If you did break up any of the FANGS, you’d be creating a ton of value. Amazon (AMZN) is probably worth double if it were broken up into four different pieces. Amazon Web Services alone, their cloud business, will probably be worth $1 trillion as a stand-alone company in five years. The same is true with Apple (AAPL) or Google (GOOG). So, that’s not a big threat overhanging the market.
Q: Is it time to buy Salesforce (CRM)?
A: Yes, you want to be picking up any cloud company you can on any kind of sizeable selloff, and although this isn’t a sizeable selloff, Salesforce is the dominant player in cloud plays; you just want to keep buying this all day long. We get back into it every chance we can.
Q: Do you think the proposed merger of United Technologies (UT) and Raytheon (RTN) will lower the business quality of United Tech’s aerospace business?
A: No, these are almost perfectly complementary companies. One is strong in aerospace while the other is weak, and vice versa with defense. You mesh the two together, you get big economies of scale. The resulting layoffs from the merger will show an increase in overall profitability.
Q: I had the Disney (DIS) shares put to me at $114 a share; would you buy these?
A: Disney stock is going to go up ahead of the summer blockbuster season, so the puts are going to expire being worthless. Sell the puts you have and then go short even more to make back your money. Go naked short a small non-leveraged amount Disney $114 puts, and that should bring in a nice return in an otherwise dead market. Make sure you wait for another selloff in the market to do that.
Q: What role does global warming play in your bullish hypothesis for the 2020s?
A: If people start to actually address global warming, it will be hugely positive for the global economy. It would demand the creation of a plethora of industries around the world, such as solar and other alternative energy industries. When I originally made my “Golden Age” forecast years ago, it was based on the demographics, not global warming; but now that you mention it, any kind of increase in government spending is positive for the global economy, even if it’s borrowed. Spending to avert global warming could be the turbocharger.
Q: Why not go long in the United States Treasury Bond Fund (TLT) into the Fed interest rate cuts?
A: I would, but only on a larger pullback. The problem is that at a 2.06% ten-year Treasury yield, three of the next five quarter-point cuts are already priced into the market. Ideally, if you can get down to $126 in the (TLT), that would be a sweet spot. I have a feeling we’re not going to pull back that far—if you can pull back five points from the recent high at $133, that would be a good point at which to be long in the (TLT).
Q: Extreme weather is driving energy demand to its highest peak since 2010…is there a play here in some energy companies that I’m missing?
A: No, if we’re going into recession and there’s a global supply glut of oil, you don’t want to be anywhere near the energy space whatsoever; and the charts we just went through—Halliburton (HAL) and so on—amply demonstrate that fact. The only play here in oil is on the short side. When US production is in the process of ramping up from 5 million (2005) to $12.3 million (now), to 17 million barrels a day (by 2024) you don’t want to have any exposure to the price of oil whatsoever.
Q: What about China’s FANGS—Alibaba (BABA) and Baidu (BIDU). What do you think of them?
A: I wanted to start buying these on extreme selloff days in anticipation of a trade deal that happens sometime next year. You actually did get rallies without a deal in these things showing that they have finally bottomed down. So yes, I want to be a player in the Chinese FANGS in expectation of a trade deal in the future sometime, but not soon.
Q: Silver (SLV) seems weaker than gold. What’s your view on this?
A: Silver is always the high beta play. It usually moves 1.5-2.5 times faster than gold, so not only do you get bigger rallies in silver, you get bigger selloffs also. The industrial case for silver basically disappeared when we went to digital cameras twenty years ago.
Q: Does this extended trade war mean the end for emerging markets (EEM)?
A: Yes, for the time being. Emerging markets are one of the biggest victims of trade wars. They are more dependent on trade than any of the major economies, so as long as we have a trade war that’s getting worse, we want to avoid emerging markets like the plague.
Q: We just got a huge rebound in the market out of dovish Fed comments. Is this delivering the way for a more dovish message for the rest of the year?
A: Yes, the market is discounting five interest rate cuts through next year; so far, the Fed has delivered none of them. If they delayed that cutting strategy at all, even for a month, it could lead to a 10% selloff in the stock market very quickly and that in and of itself will bring more Fed interest rate cuts. So, it is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The bottom line is that we’re looking at an ultra-low interest rate world for the foreseeable future.
Good Luck and Good Trading.
CEO & Publisher
The Diary of a Mad Hedge Fund Trader
Mad Hedge Technology Letter
May 14, 2019
(AAPL), (MSFT), (ADBE), (PYPL), (QCOM), (MU), (JD), (BABA), (BIDU)