Energy will be the best opportunity in stocks…eventually

Okay, this probably sounds crazy to many of you, but we have seen these “super-cycles” in oil before, where we see boom and bust, followed by another boom, sometimes with a decade or more between each peak and trough. When crude prices drop this far, this fast, many of the small producers are driven into bankruptcy, or at least fire sales of assets as they try to survive. Who benefits?…

Nasdaq Showing Clear Signs of Technical Weakness

As we enter 2015, the Nasdaq has begun showing some clear signs of technical weakness, and today’s action is no exception.  The Nasdaq Composite is down more than 1% as we approach the close, while the Dow and S&P 500 are both down less than 0.5% so far.  With this stated, the S&P 500 is in the process of cracking through 2,000, which is also technically negative.  Within the Nasdaq,…

Rising Oil Prices Could Be the ‘X’ Factor for Securities Markets – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, June 23, 2014

With stocks setting all-time highs almost as frequently as World Cup fans leap from their seats to watch a shot for a goal, investors might get the sense that the market will keep advancing indefinitely. However, recent developments in Iraq, and their direct impact on oil prices, could be the “X” factor that throws a wrench in the now five-year-plus bull market rally. Iraqi militants, including members of ISIS (Islamic State of…

Fed Meeting Could Trigger Stock Market Correction, Or Not – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, June 16, 2014

This week’s Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting has all the earmarks of a stock market correction trigger, just waiting to be pulled. Although it is widely expected that the Fed will reduce its bond buying by another $10 billion per month, which would be the fifth such reduction, investors may view this move as reason enough to begin selling. It is not simply another notch down in the Fed’s quantitative easing (QE) that is…

Recent Sector Performance Provides Some Guidance For Investors

The recent roughly 6% pull-back in the Dow and 7.5% for the S&P 500 was a shock to some.  However, if we dig a little deeper, we find that several of the sectors within the market and economy have experienced much more sizable drops.  In the table below, we can see all 10 sectors representing the U.S. economy and stock market.  As can be seen, the utilities sector, one of…

The Four-Day Workweek is Worth Considering – Published in Noozhawk on Monday, September 17, 2012

Back in mid-2008, when gasoline prices spiked above $5 per gallon, several states passed laws to facilitate the four-day work week.  The results were highly positive, but the short duration of the elevated energy costs meant that momentum towards national acceptance of a four-day workweek was lost.  However, the benefits go far beyond simple energy costs savings.  It is time to revisit the concept of a four-day workweek! The state…

Volt No Va

A long time ago Chevrolet tried to sell the Nova in Mexico.  They just couldn’t understand why it sold really well in the U.S. and other markets, but would not sell in Mexico at all.  Some genius finally realized that no va in Spanish means “no go.” Chevrolet is about to release their new all-electric Chevy Volt.  Reviewers are raving about how the car can go 1,000+ miles on one…

The future of the auto industry may lie with the after-market

Many have speculated on the future direction of the auto industry.  Auto executives have been under the gun to find ways of rejuvenating the big 3, or at least keeping them afloat long enough for the economy, and the car buying public to rebound. However, the future of the auto industry just might depend more on the after-market, than on the auto manufacturers.  It is clear that energy prices and…

An energy-independent Santa Barbara County is within reach (published in March of 2009 in the SB News Press)

With the recent major decline in oil prices, the debate concerning offshore drilling has faded from the public consciousness.  What has not faded is the increased economic hardships we are facing, both in Santa Barbara County and in the state of California as a whole.  The recent budget crisis at the state level highlights the ongoing financial problems that we will face as our legislature seems unable or unwilling to…