In this fickle, volatile market, I’m seeing some strength under the surface. I’m also seeing a couple of things that surprised me – and which I’d most like to make you aware of today.
If you want your investments to be successful long-term (and who doesn’t?) then you’ve got to take your biases, fear and greed out of the equation…and apply smart, proven tactics consistently. That’s true now more than ever. And I’ve kept on with my weekly Portfolio Grader scans and stock research.
Well, after I went through all the fundamentals, I saw some Chinese and Taiwanese companies move into the “buy” category. Some of them we’ve been in and out of in the past in my subscriber services.
For now, we need to keep watching and waiting…particularly South Korea, which is the best corollary to our U.S. medical system. (While South Korea does have a single-payer healthcare system, it only foots part of the bill, so most South Koreans also use private health insurance.)
There’s been a relapse there and in some other Asian countries – but, by and large, they’re “over the hump” with coronavirus. And the fact that I’m getting what I call an “Asian invasion” of new stocks showing up on my radar, I think, is a good thing.
If nothing else, the strong ratings in Asian stocks suggest that Portfolio Grader’s buy list is then going to have a “U.S. invasion” once our stay-at-home orders are lifted.
Obviously, the stay-at-home orders are now expanding to encompass more states. Louisiana and Illinois are in that camp now; we have the national guard activated for three states: Washington, New York and California. So, this is getting to be pretty darn interesting, okay?
A week ago, the White House announced a plan for “15 Days to Stop the Spread” of coronavirus; today would be Day 8. So I want to know: What happens after 15 days? We need to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We need to know when things can be lifted.
Testing is underway; what they’re waiting to see is the COVID-19 cases start to plateau and start to meander a little lower. But will things start to lift in 10 days? 30 days? What are our rules here?
The federal government has effectively shut down our economy. Wall Street has largely shut down, too (with algorithms taking over the stock exchanges), which brings me to my next surprising news:
I was shocked, as I was doing my research on large-cap stocks to buy, that the analyst community is so quiet – versus making a lot of cuts in this bear market and global recession.
I think that a lot of Wall Street analysts are, themselves, shocked – and isolated – in this coronavirus crisis. Obviously, it’s taken a toll on the greater New York area. And the effect is kind of like what we see in that week between Christmas and New Year’s. In that case, the analysts are out skiing or doing whatever they do for the holidays. Then, come January, they change their estimates.
And estimate changes are what I want to see before I start buying up stocks. It’s fine to buy dividend stocks; I’ve just added one to my Platinum Growth Club Model Portfolio. But I’m looking for some analyst cuts in the first week of April – and I don’t recommend buying stocks that are going to have analyst cuts.
As you might imagine, analyst stocks are going to be the oases in this crazy, mixed-up market; other stocks are going to be vulnerable for a bit.
And as soon as I get a handle on the analyst changes, then I’ll figure out a good time to jump in feet first. But I think what we need even more is that guidance from the government on when bars and restaurants are going to reopen, when we can leave our houses and get out and about. As soon as we get wind of that, then U.S. stocks should take off – just like a lot of the Asian stocks took off in Monday’s session.
So, I have hope here, folks. I know this is very painful for a lot of you, and for those of you in hot spots like the greater New York area, it’s getting to be extremely stressful. Now that the National Guard has been activated to help in certain states, it’s getting to be very, very serious.
With that said, the good news is that interest rates are under control by the central banks. Our Fed is literally doing everything it can. So, we don’t expect Treasury bond yields to spike anymore; in turn, dividend stocks have been doing much, much better since last Thursday. We’ve had a lot of dramatic bounces in them.
Then, as we see that dividend stock relief, we’ll eventually get our growth stock relief. We’ve had some growth stocks bounce under the surface – but that’s not quite the “all-clear signal” I’ve been looking for:
Again, I need to see the analyst comments in April, and I’ll make a decision whether it’s time to jump in or not on the growth side. I also want evidence of when they’re going to lift the stay-at-home orders and businesses can restart.
I’ll keep updating you during fast market conditions. Hang in there, folks, I know it’s very, very painful. But at least the credit markets are working, and there’s hope; that’s the main thing I wanted to stress today. Take care.
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