The 72 hour long waiting game for markets to re-open starts now.
My subscribers know two stocks (this one and this one) that I dabbled in a bit this past week - and they also know from my part 2 of my 22 Stocks to Watch In 2022 which names I have been using to hedge regularly.
To describe uncertainty in markets at the highest levels I’ve seen them in years would be an understatement, I think.
There’s a lot going on heading into the new weekend that will have a profound effect on equity markets and commodities:
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine appear to be at highs since this “conflict” began, though as of Saturday morning there has still be no “invasion”. However, this has helped moved equity markets de-risk by moving lower and has also put a bid under oil, gold and defensive stocks over the last 2 weeks.
The Fed continues to try and pray to all that is holy that inflation makes a slightly smaller (yet still insanely high) print so that they can justify a quarter point hike in March instead of a 50bps hike. I continue to believe that “bad news” is simply bad news for the Fed (i.e. that the Powell put is dead) and that inflation is going to force the Fed’s hand into a disastrous situation.
The market also clearly sees both of these major uncertainties. As a result, the VIX is starting to make higher highs, and higher lows:
While I think offering up my takes on what I bought and sold is important, I’d also love to hear from my readers - many of whom are far more well informed than I am.
I think it’s important to get differing perspectives when it comes to investing, especially at points of “special situations” like these. The more information, the better the decisions investors can make.
So my questions to my readers in this Fringe Forum are:
What equities did you buy and sell heading into the weekend. For purchases, what are your time horizons? You don’t need to even be specific, if you want, you can just talk sectors.
Did you invest elsewhere - in currencies, crypto or commodities? If so, why?
What is your outlook for the coming week with respect to the Russia/Ukraine conflict? It seemed like last week, war was supposedly “imminent”, but here we are a week later asking the same question heading into a long weekend - and then a new week.
What is your outlook on the Fed’s methods for getting out of the corner they have painted themselves into? There has been growing chatter on both sides of the argument - with some saying a 25bps cut is coming in March (instead of what should clearly be a 50bps cut) and others saying the Fed has full out decided to tank the markets. Where do you stand?
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Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation to buy or sell any stocks or securities. I often lose money on positions I trade/invest in. I or have owned almost all names alluded to or linked to in this piece. I may add any name mentioned in this article and sell any name mentioned in this piece at any time, without further warning. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. These positions can change immediately as soon as I publish this, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.
Given my job I generally don't trade individual stocks and if I do I buy and hold for long periods (years). However, this week I have been doing a great deal of homework on crypto and set up two separate accounts to transact, one with Coinbase and another with FTX. However, I'm doing this more because of the developments in Canada than because I see crypto as a great investment. When governments start declaring what equates to dictatorial power including the ability to seize bank accounts without a court order, having a stash that is secure from such actions becomes critical.
Trudeau did more than any other individual on this planet to convince me of the case for cryptocurrencies stored in a cold wallet in a secure location.
Gold, silver, uranium, oil, coal, and cash.
Income, income, income. When stock prices get cheap I build my income by more of the high yield investments in my portfolio. Time frame: forever. This though is probably clouded by what I think of the guy, but it seems that Biden is trying to goad Putin into invading. A war takes the news cycle completely away from all the crap going on here in the U.S.
MMM has tanked now yielding 4 pct and deeply oversold, bought Friday for the bounce back and maybe more
I got out of everything in my day trading account, in my IRA I have gold silver LMT and BPI. Next week will be all about what Putin does. If he invades I short ARKK and QQQ, if not it's a day to day stock picker on momentum situation.
Market breadth (new highs - new lows) and the ratio of junk to short term treasury bonds is saying to be be out of equities or short for several weeks now. My strategy is to scale in shorting stocks as they break through key technical support levels as price is the only thing that matters vs my opinions. This way I'll be adding to winning positions as the market rolls over. On Friday shorted AAPL breaking under its 50dma, AMZN, XLI, and XLY under their 250dmas. These levels will be my stops in case the market turns around. Sooner or later the shit is going to hit the fan so everyone should have a plan on the shelf to pull out when that starts to happen so you can execute it and not be a deer caught in the headlights.
Medium and long term bullish on crypto but need to see a bounce off support to start scaling in as its still a falling knife.
I believe Putin will get what he wants through negotiation as he is holding the best cards
On the Fed I don't think what they do matters anymore as what is a few % vs a real inflation rate of 15% as was measured in the 80s. So long term must be very very bullish hard assets again using the technicals to stay safe.
I am staying with gold/silver miners. Also have some energy stocks that are keepers + a small position in tobacco.
Bought more EMX gold royalty and a few new medium dated puts that have served me well. Don't see any news positive enough for a real overall bull run in the future but no matter what the news the fed will never fight inflation hard enough in the near term to stop commodities from running again. Maybe they'll actually bring interest rates up to something beyond 0.25% in a few years when inflation is 30% but not this year. They'll chicken out.
Don't think Putin wants to invade but he's also the world's gym class tough kid and the US seems intent on egging him into invasion. We're reverse psychology-ing him into invading just to prove us wrong.
I recently added to some gold and silver miners: EXK, KGC, AGI, BTG and one cannabis stock VFF.
Looking to add to SILJ next week. Maybe add GOLD and GFI as both are acting strong.
SQQQ options. YOLO
Nibbling at (more) uranium stocks, trades with tech- long duration- but uncorrelated commodity/ value play over longer cycle
Trading UVXY small account.
Outlook is bleak. Talks have failed and Russia has little choice but some sort of incursion to further pressure Ukraine into concessions away from the West.
Feds cooked. The only investments I hold are paper gold/silver and miners. I like a lot of the discounts especially in tech/crypto but I think it's to early. I think there's a pivot at some point and trying to time that is my play.
Nothing - just sitting on my high-yielding integrated gas and oil stocks. INTC has my attention now, however.
1:Brought SPXU on Friday
2: CORN etf and DBC. Food and commodities etfs. Because the food and energy shortages to come is a thing.
3: i expect more egging on from the US and possibly false flags so the normies will forget about the biggest inflation of all time crushing there purchasing power, and paying $20 for a 4 piece.
4: the FEDS are still playing the “ will they or won’t they” game through the state media for the sheeple. LOL!!! The feds are fuck! They have no choice but to crash the market. There just trying not to spook the normies, so they can price it in… good luck with that 😂👍
Sold TGT puts and closed yesterday.
Sold Crude Puts, pretty much a no brainer right now...
long gold short oil. Russia is bluffing, it's just media terror (for information, I live in Ukraine). The Fed will make a political mistake what is good for gold and bad for oil
My active trading portfolio only saw minor activity. I entered the week snapping up long dated DBC and DBO call options. I finally took 50% profits on my Giant SARK position with a holding period return of 60% since I started building in November. But, I also hedged this position buy buying insanely cheep ARKK options for July. This offsets my $43 July ‘22 strike SARK calls that are going deeper and deeper ITM. I laddered calls on UNG as Nat Gas and LNG exports from the 🇺🇸 are FINALLY exploding! We’ll see how that pans. Not expecting much out of that but if Europe continues to experience a growing energy crisis, primarily caused by NG supply, these shippers and terminal operators will experience a surge in profitability they’ve not seen… that’s my thesis. Take it for what it is.
For my daughters Custodial account (she’s 4) I bought Dirt cheap RSX july 22 calls at the $10 strike as imp vol exploded on the UL.
Added to CCJ core holdings and increased my GDX position early in the week when gold was pacified… sort of pacified I guess. Took half my PSLV off the table and actually intend to use those proceeds to purchase real physical silver with 100% of the proceeds. I guess I did more than I thought after tallying up my activity!
I built a watchlist of utilities; particularly if they have exposure to the United Kingdom. The Brits I’m talking to daily have been bitching and moaning about the relentless price increases. The second watchlist I’m still developing is for fertilizer companies that might benefit from sanctions on Russian exports of potash etc. AND lastly, I’m trying to find a trade that shorts Canadian Government successfully. Really hoping someone has an eye out there because I’m struggling to figure out the timing and makeup of a successful trade.
Outlook for Russia/Ukraine is somewhat spelled out in my moves above but, this short 3 tweet thread is my primary timeline and scenarios:
This was based primarily on this WSJ piece: https://www.wsj.com/articles/beijing-weighs-how-far-to-go-in-backing-putin-on-ukraine-11645050771
My fed plan I’m not trying to trade day to day. But in December, I moved 50% of my Qualified plan retirement account assets into European value stock funds. They’ve held up ok so far. Only down 3%. The other 50% is in cash. Severely limited options available. Best I can do here without quitting my day job.
HY Talen 2025 bonds. $0.44 with 37% YTM (6.5% coupon). Who doesn’t like slumming in the HY dumpster? Plus they own a nuclear plant that could be secured for funding.
VXX- sold $29 calls and bought $20 puts. VIX at 30 is usually a top that might have been technically driven by OpEx Friday. and if no invasion I expect a rally (likely brief) next week.
Who knows, but that’s what I did.
Added to physical silver holdings. Added two more Jr Miners to the 8 I already own. Took profits on Express but left 75% of shares in place. Added to hedge positions with inverse index ETFs on Wed. Added more Thursday. Added to small position in Energy Transfer. Took profits on 25% of Unit Corp, left remaking in place. Added small position in TLT. Cash holding in portfolio 30%. Total portfolio up 9.2% YTD. Total cash holdings overall 60%. Precious metals 25%. Small position in crypto. Time horizon is basically forever or until I am dead. I am 67 and don’t need income. At least not now. I learned my lesson the hard way in 02 and 09. It’s a game of inches and once you realize that it becomes much simpler.
Holding physical gold, silver, SHELL, PRL (asx) and silver miners in Canada and Australia. Gold and Shell have been the best holds in recent weeks.
If markets tank, I'll rebuy NEL (Oslo), H2O (Frankfurt) and ELBM (TSX-V)
Analyses of Ukraine by Dmitri Orlov https://thesaker.is/russian-options-in-the-ldnr-my-personal-take/
The world is running out of cheap and easy to get minerals and energy from the earth while China births the population of Canada every 365 days - anything along the commodities value chain is top of mind for me.
1/ Not trying to be a hero and catch falling knives here. As a full-time day trader, I'm net short (QQQ, SPY) with only a few speculative long positions in energy and gold (OIH, OXY, OVY, NOG, GLD) which could also tumble at any moment if the Russia/Ukraine situation de-escalates.
2/ In Jan this year I exited all crypto long positions and have committed those funds to yield farming in Anchor/UST and USDC - both dollar-pegged stable coins yielding ~20% and 8.5%, respectively. It's as "safe" as it gets in an unpredictable risk asset class but worth the hedge against rising inflation IMO.
3/ I see the aperture for a resolution through diplomacy all but closed at this stage, however; the high probability of mutual destruction (e.g. economic sanctions contending with high energy dependency) that would come if Russia does pull the trigger leads me to believe the theatrics by Russia may be on display longer than expected. Hoping cool heads prevail and that open markets simply absorb any lingering instability in the region as the new norm.
4/ Short answer: there's no easy way out for the Fed (or the markets). Whether it's "x' 25bps hikes vs. "y" 50bps in 2022, markets have already rolled over and this just may be the tipping point for the cycle to come. To quote Whitney Baker (@TotemMacro) in her recent Macro Strategy report (ref link: https://tinyurl.com/yc26apaj):
"We’ve said countless times that this money-fueled everything bubble would only end with inflation…because QE drove it (both directly and indirectly via monetized fiscal), and because that would be the moment the Fed’s hands would be tied, the “put” would be down, and valuations would adjust for higher rates. The inflation’s been plain as day for well over a year, but this vampire bubble still lived on. The Fed sold the market this transitory inflation bullshit this whole time, and the market, cued to the “post-GFC deflation” script and not this “exploding liquidity” script, bought it."
80% of the population has no savings, but they do have pitchforks and are suffering under food and gas inflation. They won’t suffer if the stock market collapses from the Fed increasing rates.
I bought TGT and some Canadian oil companies that are still way undervalued compared to US E&P's. Also, bought PANW and some other cybersecurity companies that I think may get defense stock treatment if things with Russia escalate. For next week, I'm keeping my eye on GOOGL, ORCL, COIN, AAPL and MSFT and will buy more shares if they come down more. For reference, my portfolio is close to 80% weighted toward energy, metals and ag.
long a boat load of SQQQ, (3x short NDQ) and long DBA and DJP... put this on 2 weeks ago... (look at this spread on a chart... what you NEED vs what you think you WANT)... will run it for a year or so... residual shorts TSLA and PFE, had these a while, happy to run
Bought $GLD and holding cash for opportunities. I am looking at $RBLX, let's see if it trades lower.
Out of the money UVXY calls have done really well for me the last 2 weeks
1. LAND, for AG exposure. They have good water rights for Almonds in CA, which looks like it’s headed for a serious drought that may pound the salad bowl and veg basket of the country. If that occurs, the combined forces of inflation and a bad rain year could play well for those that own rights to irrigate sufficiently and maintain a good yield.
2. Real estate in Italy. They’re giving it away, labor is cheap. I’ve got friends that have been helping remote villages attract chill tourists for years by handling their own and other’s rural offerings with translations and booking services. Helps to speak a few languages. The input costs vs. rent returns are attractive, being an asset to a community feels good. Lastly, we get to keep a nice place out of the U.S. if the political violence minded folks really decide to lose their minds any further than they already have.
3. That depends on how well the oligarchs have hidden their money since 2016. I don’t have a good sense of what has changed since the Panama papers. It could be the the international intelligence community really can kick them in the economic sack. If not, I expect Putin wants the grain supply (13%!) and natural gas resources and will get them.
You’re right, Chris. There is no way the U.S. can afford a war like that right now and NATO isn’t capable without the U.S. We’ll sell weapons but that’s it.
4. The Fed will do anything it can to support the markets, including lie about inflation. Folks at the upper end of the scale don’t give a rats ass about the cost of food and gas. Players do well during inflationary periods. It’s folks that don’t know what’s going on that get screwed. Players own real assets that will float with the rise in prices, can play the forex exchange, and they won’t be hungry.
If folks on the bottom gettting pounded was going to move our politicians, they’d have changed their tune already as our homelessness crisis, general reduction in the American life span, etc. would have sent them change signals. Hell, even some of the smarter Uber rich have started to argue that this course of historic inequality will have bad consequences. Unfortunately our entire political system is too old, too partisan, and too far removed from consequence to react. I expect a lot more of the same talk we’ve heard to date.
1. I only buy bitcoin -- zero stocks. I buy Bitcoin every week.
2. Bitcoin -- because there's nothing else to invest in. Equities are manipulated and have fake valuations. Currencies are garbage. Bonds have no yield. Bitcoin is the only thing in the world worth buying and holding. And keeping anything in a brokerage account or a bank means getting it stolen or frozen by the Government for "wrong think."
3. Don't care -- whatever happens I will remove myself from the situations so that it doesn't affect me. I already moved to Thailand years ago. If any Government's' silly bickering bothers me here, I'll just go somewhere else.
4. They'll tighten and taper until they blow something up then print money like crazy. But I don't care because I own Bitcoin so I'm completely immune to anything they do and am my own sovereign nation and my own central bank.
For me I'm quite long lithium stocks, but most all (save a touch of LAC) is Australian holdings. They've been more resilient than the US and Canadian resource stocks during the choppiness of the last few months. (Perhaps owing to the fact there's many great projects around the world floated over there. And perhaps the leverage per mkt cap $ tends to be much higher there. For years (more so the last couple) I've believed in this secular.., but am vigilant.
Hedging & shorts: Tough now b/e many of the IMHO over the top NASDAQ names (I.e. CVNA) have been gutted by half or more. So I've been using UVXY on and off.
There was a seasoned and reasoned Russian ‘expert’ on CBS last Sunday who pointed something interesting out. ‘Because things can go wrong [etc.] in major unintended ways Russia has been telegraphing [numerous] things about this escalation. [Good and bad.] They even put on a nuclear military exercise called 'Union Resolve' military drills [currently in progress from last Thursday]. Putin clearly is pointing out this means more to me than it does to you’.
Of note, ‘…the last time they put on nuclear drills was 1984. [27 years ago!] When they invaded Crimea’’.
While I neither think Putin will invade, nor the Fed will hike nearly as much as the Fed funds futures market is currently pricing, having lived through several major market downturns, notably October 1987, the Japanese bubble burst, the Dotcom bubble and, of course, GFC, I believe there is no hope, near term, for any major index to rebound regardless of what the Fed does. my sense is they will start to hike, 25 in March, 25 in June, but given the weakening pressures in the economy, and the fact that equities have turned into downward momentum plays, they will not go much further. In the end, as bad as inflation is for the politicians, a recession is 10x worse and will seek to be avoided at all costs, including allowing inflation to continue to rise.
I'm looking at pretty deep out of the money QQQ put spreads as the way to play it given I think the NASDAQ is by far the most overvalued index. will seek strikes such that the payout is 4:1 or 5:1 with expiries between September and year-end. I fear there is much further to decline in the indices.
one other thing I really like is a gold leasing program where you own the gold and get paid interest in gold, it has been at 2.25% - 2.5%. so a great way for you gold holdings to really outperform. the company I work with is called Monetary Metals
Went long with in the money $42.5 INTC Jan 2023 call options, and plan on taking possession of the stock. Spec position on some PYPL and SQ. Conservative pick up of some BIO (bio rad)
Also grabbed some shares of VZ and T for the yield, and some July, Sept, and Jan 2023 OTM calls on T and VZ with the expectation of 10%+ increase in relatively safe stocks here. 5G opens the door massively for revenue/profit opportunities.
Lastly, I picked up April OTM puts of IWM to hedge some of these long positions.
Reading how defensive everyone is here makes me want to be net long. What if Putin peacefully negotiates a truce; what if there is some truth to “transitory” and the Feds 7 hikes really is 2, 3 or even 4?
I bought some cheap out of the money puts on the Amsterdam stock exchange (AEX) as a ‘educated guess’/gamble/lotto ticket. Time horizon: up to 1 month. The puts are dated for April and July about 20% out of the money, because I guess that an escalation in the Ukraine is not a matter of “if” but “when.” When "it" hits the fan, it will drag the “markets” down with it, and will most likely coincide with the Fed hiking rates in March: a double whammy. IMHO this thing will blow up, despite neither Russia nor Ukraine being interested in a military conflict. The US and EUSSR want/need war, because they need something big to distract the sheeple from their recent horrible CONvid policies and decades long financial mismanagement. I’ll probably lose my money with those puts, but it’s worth a try. As I said: it’s largely a gamble and I’m prepared to lose the money I invested, so do your own research and due diligence. Edit: f*ck, I didn't know that Monday was a national holiday in the US.! "President's Day," WTF?!?
Bought gold for the first time....Bought Shopify for the first time. Shorted S&P (have been since 4775....neutral Dow. Short Nasdaq. But starting to buy a little of the QQQ (stepped buying as we descend). Not now as certain about Ukraine as I was a few weeks ago. Never underestimate the determination of the industrial military complex to sacrifice anyone's blood for profit. Fingers crossed they pull back but as a pious but practical believer would say hundreds of years ago in Arabia "Trust in Allah but always tie your camel to a post...." So I am going to hedge the War with a long on munitions manufacturers. No seriously, I will hedge the War with a long on German helmet manufacturers......More seemly. Oliver
Sorry... meant Au ...(thats why i'm retired)
US Ag Miners NEM & GOLD, XOM (plenty oil reserves to gut in near future), WY (lot of lumber long term) CASH
Shorted GBPUSD, EURUSD, AUDUSD, and NZDUSD.
The XME ETF has already run up a lot over the past month, but it's still looking strong. A lot of the upward movement in January was on the back of the coal miners (correlating with the energy sector), but the past 3 weeks the steel/aluminum names have found strength leading the etf higher. The war seems like it would be positive for U.S. steel/aluminum producers (and most of the companies in XME) medium-to-long term as it can accelerate the cutting off of trade with China. And the ETF also has some gold miners.
Uranium and lithium names are starting to look attractive again medium-to-longer term, but probably still has further to fall over the next few weeks (especially lithium with its strong correlation/reliance to interest rates)
In IRA account added to short BGS $30 strike March/April/August puts anticipating that the Feb 30's would turn to dust. Increased total exposure by 25%.
As to the Ukraine / Russia kerfuffle. It seems that the only people denying an imminent invasion are the leaders of Ukraine and Russia. Where there's smoke, there's smoke.
SRTY(and several ETF’s/Gold/BRDCY- 500% increase in net profits YOY- they own almost every aspect of their production and logistics (even containers) and they own 2500 Firestone’s - as cars become more expensive - people spend money fixing up their cars…..
Looking at coffee and Oil ETFs in the coming week- even as oil demand drops due to price- our dollars have become worth less- we have taken our 8 piece pizza and cut all the pieces in half…. And Powell is trying to convince everybody about growth….. 16 pieces but its still the same pizza !! Its a great time to be a trader!!
I moved to Lithium Americas. I guess, the EV craziness is going to continue, no matter what Russia does to Ukraine. My second biggest holding is PM/MO, even soldiers have to smoke and more stress, more nicotine is needed. Now, I am looking for some producer of some cheap alcohol. Once recession starts, all those high income employee will be fired and will start drinking. Alcohol will do better in dark times, just my 2 cents...
I thought to myself, in trying times like these…I should buy as much ARKK as I can…Sorry, just being a *SARK*astic ass. Aside from betting that the two-of -every -money -losing -creature ship is going down, loaded up on even more oil. Blood will be in the streets either from Putin or Powell any one of these days. Just a question of on the pavement or paper. Did the same as some others here and loaded more Miners. GDX, GDXJ, GOLD, tiny more SBSW(pays insane dividend). Eying the temporary weakness in Lithium market after my ALB got crushed. Same with the drop In my Uranium ETFs. Bought some SPXS right before close for some short term coverage for Tuesday and Wednesday, will re-evaluate. Own BTC, ETH and USDC long term. Probably will fall more short term, but We loan them all out for income. USDC pays 8%! Definitely not riskless, but I think 8% is pretty good for cash-ish right now.
Other Then that- Energy and Commodities only place to seek shelter, everything else will get washed away with the wave that’s coming.
Sold all my Canadian stocks, bought some BTC.
Bought $UVXY on Friday afternoon
$gdx $PAAS $MOO
ZEC, immediately pulled off exchange and shielded. 5 eyes ain’t fuckin around. We’re at the beginning of the targeted banking weaponization, imo.