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Downbeat Forecasts Pressure the ECB 01-20-15

Attention is on Frankfurt this week, where top European Central Bank (ECB) officials will convene Thursday to decide the course of monetary policy. With the euro zone economy in bad shape, deflation an increasing threat, and an important Greek election looming this weekend, it is expected that the ECB will have additional easing—perhaps another round of bond purchases—up its sleeve.

As if to pressure regulators to act, the World Bank and the IMF both lowered their global growth outlooks, the World Bank last week and the IMF today. Read more about Downbeat Forecasts Pressure the ECB 01-20-15

Good Start Fizzles 01-13-15

Alcoa reported earnings after yesterday’s market close, kicking off the earnings season for the final 2014 quarter. Thanks to strong automotive demand and lower energy costs, the aluminum maker beat the Street’s revenue and earnings expectations by sizeable margins, seemingly setting a positive tone for the corporations to report in the ensuing weeks. Read more about Good Start Fizzles 01-13-15

And Here We Go Again 01-06-15

After the worst year since 2008 in 2014, less than a week into the new year, oil has extended its losses. West Texas Intermediate crude, the benchmark for domestic oil, in just three trading days has retreated 10 percent from its 2014 close to roughly $48, the lowest mark since the first quarter of 2009. London-traded Brent crude, the international gauge, likewise fell to another multi-year low, ending today near $51, an 11 percent drop thus far in 2015. Read more about And Here We Go Again 01-06-15

New Year, Old Portfolio 12-30-14

As 2014 winds down, and people here in New York prepare to ring in the New Year at Times Square, we too are thinking about the upcoming year, unwilling to drop the metaphorical ball as 2015 unfolds.

In the latest issue, published just last week, we talked about our vision for 2015, reviewed priorities for our portfolios, and stressed the need to hold hedges in the market that we expect to see, going forward.   Read more about New Year, Old Portfolio 12-30-14

Issue Preview 12-23-14

On Friday we will publish the January 2015 issue of The Cash Cow. Last month, our stock indicator accurately predicted the brief, but sharp, market pullback. Subsequently, we notified you in last week’s Weekly Update that the indicator has turned moderately bullish, and stocks have more than recovered the lost ground since. We will examine what our indicators say this month about the direction of stocks, bonds, and precious metals in the near term. Read more about Issue Preview 12-23-14

Stocks Follow Oil's Seesaw Action 12-16-14

It seems with each passing day, oil sets a new low. Today, under pressure from falling oil, the Russian ruble dropped yet again despite a huge benchmark interest rate hike (from 10.5 percent to 17 percent) by Moscow. The currency has lost more than half of its value against the U.S. dollar since the end of June. Soft economic news from China and the euro zone added to the growth concerns. Read more about Stocks Follow Oil's Seesaw Action 12-16-14

Oil Near a Five-Year Low 12-09-14

As we discussed last week, market expectations near term look grim for oil and energy sector stocks and funds, but this is no time to panic. In fact, as oil prices near a five-year low, this looks to us like a good time to exploit the market weaknesses of the strongest positions available. Read more about Oil Near a Five-Year Low 12-09-14

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