"Kip's VRA financial newsletter is a MUST read for every saavy investor in this country. Disregard it at your own peril. His mantra is my mantra. Kip Herriage's newsletter is my financial Bible."

--Wayne Allyn Root
2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential candidate
Author, "The Conscience of a Libertarian"

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Twitter: @kherriage

Saturday
Feb102018

VRA Saturday Alert: What. A. Week. VRA Market Update

Good Saturday morning all. What. A. Week. I’ve run all VRA System Scans and screens this morning and have a number of important points for us to cover. If you’re reading this, you are likely anxious about the markets. If not, you have more ice water in your veins that me…nerve wracking might be an understatement. But if I can be so bold, this is also why you subscribe to the VRA. The VRA System helps us to remove emotion from investing…as much as possible…making clear headed decisions, based on whats worked for me over 3 decades.

We’ll cover the VRA Alerts from this morning next, but first, the question that’s most on your minds; “are the lows in place?” I honestly do not know at this point, but we do have some hard data that points to the likelihood that a deeply oversold bounce should be in the cards come Monday morning and the early part of the week. Consider:

1) Both the put/call ratio and the VIX hit near panic-selling levels this week. On Friday, the put/call ratio averaged 1.4. Anything over 1 tells us that options traders are heavily bearish…almost always a solid contrarian indicator…a reading of 1.4 tells us that (if nothing else), a relief rally should be in the cards.

The VIX (volatility or the “fear index”), spiked to 50 on Tuesday…an 118% 1-day increase (an all-time record) and a 2.5 year high. But, on Wednesday and Fridays sharp declines, the VIX failed to surpass 31, closing at 29 on Friday. This tell us that the declines are becoming more orderly…less fear induced…and that’s a positive.

2) Investor Sentiment has flipped from 60% bulls (AAII Weekly Investor Sentiment Survey) all the way down to 37% bulls. We have to keep in mind that these are the readings from Wednesday, but we also learned on Friday that the USA Today Sentiment reading was down to 8…it had been as high as 80 just 2 weeks prior. Again, as contrarians, we want to act against the majority…most especially during a bull market, when bearish sentiment reaches a fever pitch. We’re getting there now.

3) Fridays wild day in the DJ (+300, -520, +500…with a close of +330) was just the kind of messy retest of the lows that we’ve been discussing. While the Dj remains some 1300 points above its 200 day moving average (200 dma)…never getting close to the 200 dma…the S&P 500 fell to EXACTLY its 200 dma on Friday. Here’s the SPX chart…this is the one that every smart money market watcher is talking about…its the only chart we will look at this morning.

At its lows, SPX traded down to 2359…again, exactly to the 200 dma (circled below). Investors that invest almost exclusively on fundamental analysis pay close attention to the 200 dma. Here’s why; if a stock or index is above the 200 dma, investors can assume the trend will continue to be “higher”….and will buy/add to positions. Conversely, if a stock/index is below its 200 dma, this is when investors can look to go short, betting against a move higher, looking for lower prices instead. The VRA keys off of the 200 dma for exactly this reason.

We can also see that the momentum oscillators are reaching heavily oversold levels….not yet extreme oversold on the VRA System…but certainly getting close. Should we get an additional test of the 200 dma, dollars to donuts we can bet that extreme oversold levels will be reached. These levels of extreme oversold readings commonly mark a bottom (at least for the short term). We also saw some interesting readings in trading volumes. As you can see below, buy-side volumes were higher on both of the recovery moves higher (Tuesday and Friday) than at any other point during the week, as the market was plunging. This is a positive divergence…and that’s good.

Fridays reversal higher was most important. If we had seen a sharp sell-off headed into the weekend, investors that wait until the weekends to review their portfolios would likely have entered sell orders, for first thing Monday morning. This is how black Mondays occur. This is how a standard market correction can turn into something much worse. The rally into the close could prove far more important than most realize. Again, another positive.

We also saw BIG reversals higher in some of the most important market leading indexes…aka, the same indexes that have led the market higher over the past year. The Housing Index (HGX) finished up .73%. The Semiconductor Index (SOX) finished up a huge 3.05%. The Bank Index, another important market leader, finished up 1.98%. Often, major intraday reversals like this signal important market bottoms.

So…as we can see…there are a number of signs pointing to the likelihood that the markets may be reaching their lows. Add to this that the economy is powering ahead, tax reform is just now kicking in, and we have a president that is committed to MAGA, and the fundamentals look solid. Globally, as well.

Now…the negatives. And yes, this decline “could” be signaling that something bad is headed our way.

For my members, I’ll remind you of my Wednesday podcast. Swamp draining is in high gear. It could also come with a steep price tag. If we really want to get dark, think back to what the markets did prior to 9/11/01. Many have forgotten this, but just prior to the 9/11 attacks, from May of 2001 to the day before 9/11, the Dow had already fallen some 14% during those 4 months. After the attacks, over the next 12 months, the Dow would plunge another 20%. 34% in combined DJ losses.

Was the 14%, 4 month decline in the DJ…just prior to 9/11…signaling trouble on the near horizon?

If you’ve seen the recent news out of Syria, which has already developed into a proxy war between Syria, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Israel and the US (among others), the news is getting steadily worse. In just the last few days, planes, helicopters and attack drones have been shot out of the sky. Are we nearing a much more serious global conflict?

I’ll resist going too far down the rabbit hole, on this already bleak and rainy Sugar Land, Texas morning. And honestly, its most often when paranoia begins to set in, that we’ve reached a market bottom.

Until Monday morning, thanks again for reading…enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Kip

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Friday
Feb022018

VRA Market Update. January Barometer. Higher Rates Causing Concern. Investor Sentiment. Perspective.

At the beginning of 2018 I made the comment (to anyone that would listen pretty much) that I believed this year would our best year…possibly ever…for the VRA Portfolio and our bottom line results. If that sounded like marketing rhetoric, I get it…but it was simply what I believed, based on what the VRA System was telling us.

On all VRA Buy Recommended positions we have a total net gain of 897% with an average gain per position of 69%. This is why the VRA is a top performing investment newsletter. We can find no one who has done better.

We’ve got a long ways to go in 2018 and it will take hard work and some very good fortune to put up these numbers for the full year. To the investment gods (little g), please know “this is not me bragging” (karma isn’t a big fan of bragging), I’m simply passing the results on so we can celebrate them together.

Crushing the Markets Year After Year. Who we are and how the VRA Investing system works. 

For those of you who are new to, or maybe just learning about, the Vertical Research Advisory (VRA) I wanted to put together a video that explains how the VRA's Investing system works, tell you a little bit more about my story and how we generate returns, year in and year out, in good markets or bad. 

 

https://youtu.be/8-8y21NvwCw

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VRA Market Update:

January closed with gains of 5–7% for the major averages (SPX, DJ, NASDAQ), while the Russell 2000 finished the month with just a 1% gain. To put things in perspective, for those that think this was the end of some sort of “melt-up”, China (Hang Seng Index) finished the month with gains of 13%.

Still, a great month to start the year. And no, we almost certainly will not keep us this torrid pace for the rest of ’18, unless we believe that the markets will end up 60–84% higher for the full year (January’s gains annualized). I’m ultra bullish…have been for a long while…but not that bullish (if I was, I would expect you to laugh me out of the business).

But here’s the most important point; the VRA does not invest in the broad market. We pick and choose our spots, with individual stock/ETF positions, using the VRA System to handily beat the broad markets (year after year). Remember, it’s not a stock market…it’s a market of stocks. As long as we’re in the right stocks at the right time, we’re good.

Note: The last 4 days marked just the 3rd time since the election that the VRA System has flashed “negative/correction”. For this pattern to continue, we should see a reversal higher in the next 1–2 trading days. If not, this will mark a pattern change, which could signal something larger than just a ST pause lies ahead.

 

As goes January, So Goes the Year. From the Stock Traders Almanac:

 

Conversely, a strong Januarys signals “high odds” that the full year will close higher. My year end target for 2018 continues to signal 30,000+ on the Dow Jones (or 14% higher from todays prices, minimally).

Still, its a market of stocks…

Booming January Jobs Data.

This mornings January employment report showed 200,000 new jobs created, beating estimates by roughly 10,000, with the official unemployment rate at 4.1%. But the real kicker was wage growth, which powered to an 8.5 year high. Wage growth grew a big 2.9%, beating estimates by a country mile. This is what a strong economic recovery looks like…this is also how we get back to 4%+ GDP. In fact, this weeks Atlanta Fed’s estimates for Q1 were a shocker even to me, with an estimate for first quarter GDP hitting 5.4%. We’re seeing hard core evidence of what a Trump economy looks like…just imagine what he might be able to do over the next 7 years.

 

But even range expansion bull markets need to take a breather. As we covered yesterday, if the entire year were to follow Januarys lead, the market would finish the year with gains of up to 70%. Just not gonna happen…hence the overbought pause from time to time, always necessary to remove excessive optimism and stow some fear back into the market. Fear is beginning to show up, as seen in this weeks AAII Investor Sentiment Survey.

Bulls at 44.8%, bears up 4.7% to 28.8% with neutral investors still at a high reading of 26.5%

 

I’m looking forward to next weeks readings….I can almost guarantee you that bearish readings will surge by double this weeks 4.7% gain, following the sell-off of this week. Remember, especially for our newer members, until the AAII survey shows bullish readings of 60%, for weeks on end, there will be no signifiant top in this bull market. I’ve followed this survey since the late 80's…highly reliable. We have yet to see investor euphoria in this market, certainly not from the retail investor. Just last year I was reporting that investors actually in the stock market had hit 19 year lows. Without question, the public is falling back into love with stocks…but that’s a process that will take years to play out.

Think of it this way; when most every market guru is predicting Dow Jones 50,000, we’ll know its time to reverse my bullish viewpoint. We’re not there…not close. This is the power and importance of investor psychology, both as a short term and long term indicator. These are the lessons my mentors taught me some 30 years ago. I don’t see them even going out of style.

But again….it doesn’t mean that we won’t have corrections. Stock market corrections are necessary to the health of a long term bull market. Trees don’t grow to the sky.

Rising Interest Rates Causing Concern

A primary boogeyman, according to those that are bearish, is that rising rates will suffocate the stock market. While its true that the move higher in rates (10 year) has accelerated, with the 10 year yield hitting 2.72%, my view remains that rising rates are a natural end game from an economy that is picking up speed. Perfectly natural.

We can see the fear in this one year chart of XLU (utilities ETF), which has crated some 14% since its November highs. Utilities are the largest borrowers of money in the country, which explains the move lower. Pretty ugly chart, yes? But keep reading…

 

Now, take a look at another chart of XLU…this time the 8 year chart. Here, this correction looks perfectly normal, taken into broader context. Interesting…no?

 

While we’re on the subject of perspective, if you’re on social media like I am, it can feel like we’re living on the edge…so much going on in the world of politics and business…but are things “really” that crazy?

I was too young to remember much of the 60’s, but again, some perspective might be in order. How crazy were the 60's!

 

 

State of the Union

Wednesday’s SOTU was off the charts fantastic…of course I say this as a Trump supporter…an early Trump supporter that both predicted his victory in late 2015 and then wrote a book about his winning (that I started 2 months prior to the election). The strength of my conviction.

Dems hated it. We know this because they refused to stand throughout the night. Even for our flag, our veterans, a booming economy, the lowest black/hispanic unemployment, possibly ever. Sickening, frankly. And they wonder why they’ve lost 1031 net national elections over the last 9 years? They wonder why their fundraising efforts are collapsing? But somehow, they think they can take back the House/Senate in this years mid-terms….uhhh…..no chance, not as I see it anyway.

The markets sure like the SOTU. MANY billions in fresh capital will come flooding into stocks (month beginning money from corps, pensions, retirement plans, etc). And the BIGGIE; Trumps tax cuts start showing up in paychecks.

Important Point: Reagans tax cuts caused the DJ to more than double over the last 6 years of his presidency. But Trumps could be even more powerful…I fully expect that they will. Here’s why; unlike Reagans tax reform (where the cuts were phased in over years), the beauty of Trumps tax reform is that its all hitting NOW. No phase in…no waiting…everyone gets to keep/make more today. I cannot overstate the power of this. This is why pullbacks, like the last two days, must be bought.

Biotechs

FYI, I still want to own this group… And our timing looks to have been spot on. Early this week Amazon (with partners Buffet/Berkshire & JP Morgan) announced they are moving into the healthcare industry. Hello….

 

 

If you remember the beating that grocery stocks took when Amazon bought Whole Foods, you’ll have an idea of the carnage that may be coming to healthcare/insurance stocks. And, hell yes. Since Obamacare was forced on us, our insurance costs have skyrocketed while healthcare/insurance/hospital stocks soared at the same time. Gee…wonder is there’s a connection here? Bottom line; I am perfectly fine with Amazon running our entire US healthcare industry. I know this kind of blanket statement sounds a bit insane/stupid, but I also know that when Amazon enters a field, consumer costs plummet while our level of service actually improves. Talk about a win-win.

Until next time, thanks again for reading…please remember to login to your VRA Members Site at least 1–2 times each week to make sure you are positioned properly.

Kip

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Thursday
Jan252018

VRA Update: The Next Catalyst for stocks, DOW 40K and the Trump Infrastructure Plan

One of the advantages this week of waking at 3am has been watching the events at the annual Davos World Economic Forum (Switzerland), where the global warming/global cooling/climate change establishment billionaire elites take their fuel guzzling private jets to meet each year to remind us peons that “they got this”. But man oh man, are this years meetings different from the previous 8 years. Nationalism is sweeping the globe…and the elites aren’t happy about it.

This morning the head of the World Bank said “with Brexit and now Trump, we may even be forced to cut the EU and World Bank budgets this year”, he proclaimed, with shocked face and deep sigh, as the Bloomberg moderators nodded in sad amazement. And Trump is only now arriving at Davos…this should be fun.

Yesterdays meetings produced Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s statement that “the Trump Admin. wants a lower US dollar”. VRA readers were not surprised…we’ve nailed the lower dollar trade all year (plus this was not new policy from Trump, as we’ve covered here often).

Precious metals are loving Davos. Gold soared $20/oz to $1357, silver even more, with a 3.8% gain, wile both copper and oil spiked sharply higher as well (3.8% and 2.4%). Remember, this is just the beginning of the reflation/inflation move higher. We still want to see gold break $1370 to confirm the breakout technically…trading at $1358 this morning.

 

Oil is ramping…but this is only the beginning of the move

 

 

I’ll have more on this soon…here’s my tweet from last night.

 

 

But know this; when I say “animal spirits are in full force” I mean that I have not heard company heads this excited in many, many, many years. They are charging forward, with more money than they know what to do with, backed up by the view that a global dynamo of an economy is directly ahead. Again, our biggest risk is selling too soon, certainly in our favorite natural resource names.

From Trumps tax reform to killing overly burdensome regulations to his upcoming infrastructure bill…just…wow. Folks, we have a president that understands how a free market capitalist system is supposed to work. And he’s just getting started.

 

Next Catalyst for Stocks; Trumps $3 Trillion Infrastructure Bill

As I read the leaked draft report, it confirmed one of the next major catalysts for US growth/earnings is directly in front of us. While the biggest winners are co’s like Caterpillar (CAT) and John Deere (DE), this is also how the US gets back to 4%+ GDP. I’ve been expecting a $1 trillion plan…this leaked document blows that estimate away.

And remember, to build/rebuild all of these roads, bridges, airports, schools, etc., it will require basic materials to do so (copper, lead, aluminum, silver). Just another reason to own the miners. This group will be the next big group to move.

BIOTECH Breakout

This is the technical formation we’ve been keying off of (XBI). Here’s the cup and handle chart I posted on January 11th. High probability technical formation.

138% ETF Gains In Two Months

 

VRA Portfolio

Strong start to 2018 for VRA Portfolio. S&P 500 is up 5.2% to start 2018…but we’ll take our 14.4%, which annualizes to 192%. Way too soon to be counting chickens…just confirmation that we’re on the right track and in the right stocks/sectors (and on the right side of the Trump Bull Market).

Here’s my BIG PICTURE tweet from over the weekend…this market is nowhere near topping out.

 

 

And the markets do just fine during a government shutdown (but yes, we are trading at Extreme Overbought Levels today, on the VRA System).

 

 

This past week saw a a fresh $58 billion pour into equities. This is what we’ve been expecting…this is what happens at the beginning of the melt-up phase…just wait and see what this chart will look like when the DJ is hitting 35,000–40,000 in 2019–2020.

 

 

Finally, My radio interview with the great @RealWayneRoot Trump bull market. Tax reform, deregulation, infrastructure bill & range expansion taking Dow Jones to 40,000.

https://youtu.be/8UTVQdVuv2o

 

 

Until next time, thanks again for reading..

Kip

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Friday
Jan192018

VRA Update: PLEASE Shut the Government Down. VRA Market and Investor Sentiment Bullish.

The VRA nailed the birth of the "global reflation trade" in January 2016. My system caught the early reversals in base/precious metals, oil and global economies, along with the explosive volume movements that are hallmarks of a signifiant reversal. Frankly, this was one of the easiest calls I've ever made...but even today, many continue to discount the power of the global economic recovery. This is why it pays to be a smart money contrarian that employs both fundamental and technical analysis.
Because the reflation theme is still in its infancy, plus the fact that we're seeing "range expansion" take place today, we must remain fully invested in our favorite positions.

Precious metals/miners update: when Apple announced they would be adding $350 billion to the US economy and creating more than 20,000 new US jobs, the short-term result was a spike in the US Dollar, which sent gold and the miners lower. I view this as a temporary set back....I still see the US dollar headed lower and PM's headed higher. This chart confirms this....a waterfall decline in the dollar. Yes, it is highly oversold, but all I expect here is a bounce...not a trend change. Talk about an ugly chart.

VRA Market update 

Wednesdays rip-roaring +320 in the Dow Jones was met with yesterdays decline of 97 points. We'll take this kind of investing success, week after week after week. The year is shaping up to give us lots more where this came from. Internals were not great, but hey, every record-setting bull market needs to take a breather from time to time.
Yesterdays decline was (supposedly) due to fears of a government shutdown. In just a minute, I'll show you exactly how wrongheaded these fears are (hint; the markets LOVE government shutdowns).

The VRA System continues to read the broad market as "highly bullish" with best-looking sectors remaining as energy, precious metals/miners, China, biotechs and special situation small cap stocks...just as we are positioned today. I encourage everyone to login to your VRA Members Site at least 1-2 times each week, to ensure you are properly positioned.

I also encourage you to resist the temptation to go "all in" on just 1-2 VRA Buy Rec's. I only recommend 10 stocks at a time for a reason (actually 11 today). Diversification is a hallmark of successful investors and reduces the risk of becoming emotional about our positions. "Loading up" can also lead to large daily/weekly swings in your portfolio...the kinds of swings that can lead to oversized losses. Emotional investors tend to "buy high and sell low", or just the inverse of what we're looking to accomplish.     
 
I've always been an aggressive investor. After 33 years of doing this, pretty sure I always will be. During the 15 years of the VRA, we've crushed the markets like a red-headed stepchild. The point being, we can be smart money investors and aggressive at the same time. I believe this is why many/most of you are with me today. If you're looking to beat the broad markets by a few percentage points each year, I'm probably not your guy. Instead, we'll keep using the VRA System to ensure we are positioned in the right sectors/stocks that can produce gains of 50% or more. We'll also stay on the right side of big market moves; higher or lower, it does not matter...we'll keep making money, regardless the direction of the stock market. This is the essence of how the VRA works. 

Investor Sentiment

Here's the latest reading from AAII. Bulls back to 54.1% with bears down to 21.4%. Remember, until this survey reads 60% bulls for weeks on end, sentiment will not be a problem (as contrarians).
FUND MANAGERS "STILL" UNDERWEIGHT US STOCKS

Take a look at the Merrill Lynch/BOA survey of fund managers. Remarkably, US stocks are still dramatically underweighted, near the very bottom of the list. There's just one explanation, as I see it; Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS has the supposed smart money (fund managers) scared of investing in the US. As contrarians, when the US makes its way to the top of this list, this is when we'll reduce our US holdings... 

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN FEARS

Many would like you to believe that a government shutdown will be bad news for the stock market. Uhhh...not the case! 
Check out the following table, showing all shutdowns back to 1976. Clearly, the markets love it when the government is closed for business, with an average annualized return for the S&P 500 of 27%, from the last 3 closures. 



Finally for this morning, gold/silver and the miners had a shake-out this week. Everything that I see says that we must continue to use any pause to add to positions. I first recommended gold/silver in 2003...over the years we've booked more than 3000% in net gains from this group...and I'm more bullish today than at any point in the last 10 years. Barring massive price suppression (sadly, always possible), the move higher directly in front of us will be an epic one. This is how I see it...so this is how I must report it to you. 

Lastly, Parabolic Options Program #6 is now open to new members. Like our Extreme Options Program, Parabolic is a 6 month membership, but instead of 1-2 options trades each month (as with Extreme) we have unlimited options trades....all based on the VRA System and VRA Options Signals. In addition to our options recommendations, Parabolic includes multiple email updates each week. In these updates I give you our upcoming targets, which helps to prepare you for the options trades we are about to make.
Should you have any questions about signing up, please email us at support@vrainsider.com and we will send you more info! Parabolic #6 opens today and will launch next Tuesday. As always, we limit each options program to the first 100 members.

We're off to a great start for 2018...this is my kind of market and could well be our best year ever for the VRA. Parabolic Options #6 will be the icing on the cake. We're also launching new members sites (for both Parabolic and Extreme), where all trades/returns are listed. New sites will launch next week.
Hope you can join us!

Until next time, thanks again for reading....have a good weekend.

Kip

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Thursday
Jan112018

VRA Update: 360% Gains in Just 11 Days. Next Up.

VRA Update: 360% Gains in Just 11 Days. Next Up.

Since the beginning of 2018 the VRA Portfolio ( stocks and options) has produced gains of 360%. I’ve been saying this will be my best year ever. This bull market is just getting started, and I fully intend to crush it again this year.
Market Update

Walmart announced that they would raise their starting wages, announced they are giving big cash bonuses to employees, plus something I have not seen before...a $5000 adoption benefit, for Walmart employees that adopt a child.
Wow.
Here's an AM tweet from Charles Payne...one of the rare MSM "gurus" that is actually a guru, in my book.
Since Trump's tax bill was passed into law, just 3 weeks ago, we've seen more than 80 fortune 500 companies making employee cash/benefits awards, similar to Walmarts. 
Can anyone name a single fortune 500 company that offered company wide cash & benefits packages to ALL employees, during Barack Obama's entire 8 years in office? There must be at least a few...right?
And here's a reminder tweet of mine, once we knew the tax bill had the votes to pass:
I remember the Reagan years pretty well. I was young (18-26), but I remember the news of the day...great news that went on for years on end; tens of millions, new jobs created...higher wages, year after year...and a rip roaring stock market, that more than doubled over his 8 years in office.
Under Reagan, it took 12-18 months before his polices began to make a difference in the stock market, but jobs growth was a different story...job creation began to rise quickly after just 6 months in office, with interesting rates topping out near 20%. 8 years of economic boom.
Under Trump, we've seen near immediate improvement with major employer after major employer, paying it back to their best assets...the people that work for them. Who the president is matters a great deal. 
I had people scoff at my year-end target for 25,000 for the Dow Jones, just as some are scoffing at my 30,000 target this year and my 40,000 target by 2020. But folks, this is what earnings growth of 10-15% per year works out to, assuming the P/E multiple stays around 20. It's really just math, at the end of the day.
Regardless, we'll continue to use the VRA System to ensure we are positioned correctly...whatever the future may hold.
Investing Tenets and Observations of the Day    
A few of my mentors investing lessons...
1) "Don't fight the tape, don't fight the FED". Yes, the FED has started raising rates...at some point the markets will have to deal with this...but the rising "tape" says we must be bullish.
2) "The trend is your friend". When the major averages are in confirmed bull market status (above 200 dma), we must be long. Conversely, stocks trading beneath their 200 dma pose big risks.
3) "There is no more bullish sign than an overbought market/stock that continues to rise". This is exactly what we're seeing today. Overbought markets that continue to rise. Highly bullish
4) "It's not a stock market....it's a market of stocks". One of the best investing lessons my mentors taught me. There's always an opportunity to make money, by focusing on both fundamental & technical research. This rule is at the heart of the VRA System.
I remain a bull...
...a big one...with the amount of money coming into the markets (a massively unreported story in my view), our next move should continue to be on the long side.
Remember, when inflation (and higher rates) first begin to return to the global economy, it is a highly, highly bullish event for stock prices. It's the confirmation of a strong economy and a much brighter global growth story. How could this be bearish?
It's only after a year (or even 2-3 years) of rising inflation and higher rates that we must start to become concerned. Please do not listen to the bears that tell you otherwise. It's not that they are wrong...they are just early (likely very). 
Ideally, I'd like to see the market take a breather...maybe even have a 200 point down day, just to get some fear back into the market. But frankly, we may not get anything close to this kind of decline...this bull market has too much higher to run.
Oil Powering Higher. Commodities Must Be Owned. 
Oil is breaking out to 4-year highs. Long-term readers will remember that I was bearish on oil at $100 and then turned bullish on oil at $32. Today, at $64.50/barrel, I could hardly be more bullish. ST overbought, yes... but we want to continue to own/buy.
Let me repeat; this is the beginning of the move higher...this is not the time to take profits...my $70/barrel target (WTI) for oil this year will likely be too low. Most continue to miss the power of the reflationary move in global economies. We're talking a 2-3-4 year cycle of MAJOR moves higher, in commodities across the board. 
I've been saying that the pause in gold/silver/miners would be short lived. It's likely that we've already seen the ST lows in each. $2000/oz remains my target for gold this year. Price suppression schemes may have just reversed course...in favor of higher gold and silver prices. And what a reversal that would be. Still looking for one final sign of proof....we must see buy side volume in GDX (miner ETF). Once volume confirms, look out above.
 
Final point on PM's and miners. History tells us that PM's love higher interest rates. History also tells us that PM's and miners love higher inflation. Folks, we have both of these today. 
VRA Market Update
Congress is back in session...this is when market accidents happen. Known as the Congressional Effect, going back some 60 years, more than 90% of all stock market gains have occurred when both houses of congress are out of session. Pretty powerful statistic. While we also know that more than 90% of all gains occur during the November to May time frames, I am not getting bearish on the markets...just pointing out that if a correction is going to occur, its more likely to take place when the House and Senate have an opportunity to screw things up.
Important New Years Market Pattern
Below is a link to an article from Zero Hedge that could foretell what we can expect for 2018, along with my tweet about the piece. Bottom line; we saw the Dow begin the new year with a gain of 2% or more. In years where the first 5 days of the year saw gains of 2% +, the market went on to rise in 15 of 15 years, with an average gain of 18.6%. 
Most interesting statistical research.  
It matches well with my year-end target of DJ 30,000 (20% higher from the beginning of 2018). In April of 2017, I stated that my year-end target for the DJ was 25,000. We missed that by just two days. Frankly, I'm even more confident about my 30,000 target for this year. Range expansion meets momentum,...this is the market we appear to be in today...is highly, highly bullish. It makes sense when you think about it this way; when the markets (or individual stocks) hit all-time highs, there is no one that owns that particular investment that has a loss...meaning that there is little to no reason for that investor to sell. When there's little selling pressure, even small amounts of buying pressure can send an investment soaring. 
Today, with the largest tax reform package in US history about to be unleashed...with corporate earnings already growing their best in a decade...and then add in the coming $2 trillion infrastructure bill and up to $4 trillion that could be repatriated back into the US, you can see why I remain so bullish about the future for stock prices. 
Yes, we remain extended and overbought...but that's no reason to sell. In fact, statistical analysis also confirms for us that markets that reach overbought levels and remain overbought tend to be one of the best investment environments of the last 100 years. 
In our next VRA Update we'll cover several charts that make up the VRA Portfolio. I continue to see major moves higher in energy, biotechs, China, precious metals & miners and small caps.  
Until next time, thanks again for reading….have a great week.
Kip
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