Granted, that came off a low base. Nat gas just sank to its lowest since 1999, after all. But for investors in this beaten-down commodity, they’ll take what they can get. Industry execs and workers could also use a break, considering the nat-gas-drilling rig count just sank to the lowest level ever in 28 years of record-keeping.
The chillier temperatures we’re seeing could also give retailers a break. They’ve been lugging tons of cold weather inventory and have been forced to discount like mad during the holiday shopping season. Anything that allows them to reduce post-Christmas clearance discounts will be welcomed.
Airlines weren’t loving the latest bout of rain, sleet, snow and high winds, though. Major airport hubs like Dallas and Chicago got socked, forcing 2,750 flight cancellations and 4,500 delays yesterday, according to FlightAware. I guess I should consider myself lucky as I won’t be on my way to Chi-Town until Thursday!
|Stormy weather has meant good times for some business sectors. Can it continue?|
The question going forward is whether the weather will continue to cooperate with these kinds of investments. Some forecast models suggest January will provide a bit of relief to those hungering for a real winter. But with the strong climatologic influence known as El Nino still raging, above-normal temperatures are generally expected to persist for the northern part of the country through the spring.
So enjoy the cold if you’re making snowmen. But don’t go out and load up on energy stocks, retailers or companies that own ski resorts expecting a banner winter from here on out. Instead, pick and choose your spots and make sure you’re investing in companies that have more going for them than a few days of freezing temps.
What do you think of the latest weather? Welcome relief or a major headache? Are there companies you’re considering investing in given the latest pattern shifts? Have you ever done so in the past when we’ve seen significant weather events? Or do you stay focused on other factors when it comes to buying and selling stocks? Hit up the comment section below and have at it!
The end of an old year and the beginning of a new one always brings forecasters out of the woodwork. I’ve done my best here in Money and Markets to give you some general guidance, and readers of my Safe Money Report are about to get much more specific, actionable ideas and recommendations when my 2016 forecast issue is released. In the meantime, several of you weighed in on the outlook for the coming year overnight.
Reader Doug C. said: “Hopefully as 2016 begins, we will find a way to get an economy churning on the last embers of a burnt-out Middle Class. We need new, creative approaches which will allow us to increase consumer spending in the economy, which will hit almost every industry with its exhilarating effects.
“We need to work with new ideas and maybe we can get the whole ecosystem firing on all cylinders. New awareness for the new year.”
Reader Howard added: “We need a catalyst to give direction to this aging bull market. What will it be, when will it come, and who will be prepared? Who will be surprised?
“Many Middle Class retirees with modest investments have been forced into seeking higher yields because of controls on interest rates and rigged capital markets. Many of these battlers don’t have a seat at the decision-making table, and my fear is they will be caught again with a capital loss.”
Reader Art A. sounded an optimistic note, saying: “I stand by the old saying ‘Don’t fight the Fed.’ The first increase in the fed funds rate (25 basis points) is nothing. If we get a few more, the message will be different.
“I’ve been watching the markets for a long time. Show me where the market topped out on the first rise in interest rates. It doesn’t happen. Also, the Fed continues to roll maturing Treasuries into new Treasury purchases.”
But Reader R.Y. expressed an opposing view, saying: “The junk bond market is now the tail wagging the dog. As positions are ‘attempted’ to be unwound, and more bonds are downgraded, the flight to cash will first pressure these bonds, and then stocks in a massive way. The Fed will be powerless to stop it.”
Thanks for sharing in these turbulent and uncertain times and keep the discussion going by adding any additional comments below.
Belgian officials arrested or detained six potential terrorists in the past 48 hours, saying they were planning holiday attacks in the city of Brussels. The attacks were reportedly aimed at police and military personnel, and were not linked to the deadly attacks in Paris several weeks ago.
Home prices rose 5.5% year-over-year in October in the top 20 U.S. metropolitan areas, according to S&P/Case-Shiller. That was roughly in line with economist forecasts. Western cities like San Francisco, Denver, and Portland, Oregon led the pack with gains of almost 11%, while Chicago brought up the rear at just +1.3%.
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn must really need some auto parts, because he just raised his bid for Pep Boys (PBY) to $18.50 per share. That was $2 higher than his original offer, and $1.50 above a competing bid from Japanese tire company Bridgestone.
Is your house rising in value, and are you taking advantage of that by selling? Or are you holding out for more? What do you think of Icahn’s latest takeover bid, and the surge in M&A we’ve seen in the past year overall? Will Europe see more terrorist attacks, or are officials there getting a handle on things? Share your thoughts on these or other topics at this website.
Until next time,
P.S. Gold, silver and oil are bottoming right on schedule just as Larry Edelson predicted they would — all in preparation for a powerful bull market in 2016.
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