Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Highest P/Es for Commodity Companies Hide Bargains

Commodity companies, the most- expensive stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, are turning into relative bargains.

While investors paid an average 33.1 times earnings this year for copper, plastic and seed producers last week, the premium fell to 17.7 based on 2010 analyst estimates that call for profits to almost double, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The decline in the price-earnings ratio is the steepest for any group in the S&P 500 and would leave the companies 23 percent less expensive than their historical average of 23.2 times.

To some of the world’s biggest hedge funds, that opportunity is too good to pass up, especially as brokerages boost forecasts following second-quarter profits that were 60 percent higher than estimates, the most of any industry. At a time when bears say China’s moves to rein in speculative investments may curb demand, Harbinger Capital Partners, D.E. Shaw & Co. and Marshall Wace LLP all bought commodity producers last quarter amid signs the global economy is emerging from its first recession since World War II. (more)

The Calm Before the Financial Storm?

Is the rally over?

Not at all! The world’s bankers say the economy is recovering. Investors believe them; they’re bidding up stocks.

The Dow rose 155 points on Friday. And today, stocks are rising in Asia. Oil is over $74. Gold rose $13 on Friday…to close at $954. And the dollar is killing us softly…sinking to $1.43 per euro on Friday.

Stocks and oil are at their highest levels so far this year. With such profits at hand people figure they don’t need the dollar. Investors run to the safety of the greenback when financial storms approach. But now…they think it will be clear sailing.

“Worlds bankers suggest rebound may be under way,” says a headline at The New York Times.

Is the world economy really recovering? Should you buy stocks now to take advantage of this new bull market? (more)

The Bad News Banks

Star analyst Richard Bove thinks 150 to 200 more banks will fail within the next year. So much for things looking up.
Richard Bove, one of Wall Street's most influential analysts, foresees further trouble for banks on the horizon. In fact, he believes an additional 150 to 200 will fail within the next 12 months.

Bove, who is the vice president of equity research at Rochdale Securities, made the call in a report that examined the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's capacity to meet the continued challenges of the financial crisis. The bright side is that the nation's top 19 banks appear in a good position. (more)

World faces hi-tech crunch as China eyes ban on rare metal exports

A draft report by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has called for a total ban on foreign shipments of terbium, dysprosium, yttrium, thulium, and lutetium. Other metals such as neodymium, europium, cerium, and lanthanum will be restricted to a combined export quota of 35,000 tonnes a year, far below global needs.

China mines over 95pc of the world’s rare earth minerals, mostly in Inner Mongolia. The move to horde reserves is the clearest sign to date that the global struggle for diminishing resources is shifting into a new phase. Countries may find it hard to obtain key materials at any price. (more)

Fed to Steal State Pension Funds

Congress may confiscate every state pension fund into the bankrupt social security system. Indications that this strategy is being discussed in Washington have come in to us from several sources over the last few days.

Tonight, a correspondent who has just come home from a Tea Party Townhall Meeting in Salado, Texas with US Representative John Carter (R-Round Rock) issued the warning. She said, “Representative Carter informed the crowd that talk has been bandied about Congress to appropriate every state’s pension plans into the bankrupt Social Security System.” She is absolutely 100% sure that she understood him correctly.

Dear readers, please understand that we are bloggers, and not professional journalists. Our information comes from ordinary folk who do the best they can to understand the political scene. Ordinarily, this would seem so outrageous that we would wait to share the news until we could get more clarification. But the current administration has moved with such breathtaking swiftness to federalize private assets and plunge our country into socialism, that we feel the need to sound the alarm, just in case. (more)

10 Solid Dividend Stocks Worth Considering

The market has been defying gravity this summer, with the S&P500 up 49% since March. But most of the appreciation has been in what I consider lower quality stocks. Many homebuilders with doubtful prospects have doubled from their recent lows, while stocks that are somewhat recession proof like McDonalds (MCD), Walmart (WMT), Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter & Gamble (PG) have bounced a mere 15-20%.

According to Bloomberg, “companies with the worst earnings led the 45 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since it fell to a 12-year low five months ago”. It might be a good time to sell some of your winners that have done exceptionally well and either wait for a pull-back, or, if you’re trigger happy, buy solid investment-grade companies. (more)

On the Edge with Max Keiser - interview with Alex Jones