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Today I posted my two-hundred-and-thirty-second YouTube video: Quick Pick Intel Today’s Quick Pick: Intel (NASDAQ: INTC). Intel’s revenue and earnings report last week was terrible. It was a classic kitchen sink quarter, where the company laid out all the bad news at once, so investors only have positive things to look forward to. The stock was trading at $28 on January 31, and the 52-week range is $52.5 – $24, so we’re currently pretty close to the bottom of the range. The 2022 loss is a little over 38% but year to date, even with all of this bad news, the stock is actually up 5.75. If you have a longer time range, this is the time to buy Intel. We’re close to a bottom here and their plans going forward include new chips and, in 2024, new technology that can really compete with AMD. Additionally, Intel’s fab business, where they manufacture chips designed by other companies, went up about 30%. They are one of the few companies left that are actually manufacturing the chips, (their biggest competitor being Taiwan Semiconductors.) As Intel improves its own technology, its fab business will grow and become more appealing to chip designers. As long as Intel hits its projected milestones throughout 2023, this is a good buy for 2024.
Fed raises interest rates by 25 basis points as expected; market convinces itself that the Fed is talking “Pause soon”
The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates Wednesday by 25 basis points, as expected. That brings the Fed’s benchmark interest rate to a range of 4.50% to 4.75%, the highest level since October 2007. After a pullback on the news and the Fed’s press release, the stock market advanced because in his press conference Fed chair Jerome Powell didn’t strongly push back on questions suggesting that the Fed sees inflation continuing to fall and that the central bank is nearing a pause in its interest rate increases. If you’re familiar with the way that financial markets torture the Fed’s frequently opaque language to support the current consensus, you won’t be surprised that today’s move up on stocks is based on a very minor shift in the Fed’s language.
Today I posted my two-hundred-and-thirty-first YouTube video: Now It’s May for the Fed’s Pause Today’s topic is: Now It’s May for the Fed’s Pause. There wasn’t a lot of suspense about today’s Fed meeting. The CME FedWatch chart, which measures what investors think the Fed is going to do, had a 25 basis point raise at 98% odds– meaning 98% of investors believed that is what the Fed will do–before the Fed meeting. The other 1.8% believed the Fed won’t raise rates at all. So no one was expecting a 50 basis point rise. And the Fed didn’t disappoint the financial markets. The central bank delivered the expected 25 basis point increase. So now we’re asking, when will the Fed pause the rate increases? We’ll be getting the next update and Dot Plot set of projections from the Fed on March 22, when many expect another small raise, but also a signal that the central bank will stop raising rates by the following meeting on May 3. The March 22 meeting will give us an update on the Fed’s projections for a peak interest rate. I:n December the Fed looked like it was projecting a peak of slightly over 5%. The market is now expecting a peak of below 5%. Look to the March meeting to see if those projections get closer together or further apart.
Today I posted my two-hundred-and-thirtieth YouTube video: Trend of the Week Watch the Yuan. This week’s Trend of the Week: Watch the Yuan. China controls one of the two largest treasury portfolios in the world, and the strength of the yuan affects treasuries worldwide. Right now, the yuan is under pressure from many different sources that I’m not sure the market is taking into account. China’s battle with high rates of COVID has left the Chinese government with two choices: either let the yuan fall and import inflation, or spend money to support the yuan causing inflation problems on the other end. It’s clear to me that China will provide stimulus to counteract the slowing economy from the COVID outbreak, which will put added pressure on the yuan. Additionally, as Russia tries to make up for losses in its oil exports, it really only has one option: sell from its huge currency reserve. Due to global sanctions, the only currency it can trade is the yuan. Expect to see Russia selling off its yuan to buy rubles in order to support its own currency. All these factors are putting pressure on the yuan. There’s a lot to watch in global currencies right now, including strange things happening with the yen in Japan and the dollar under pressure as the U.S. faces the debt ceiling crisis. Keep an eye on the Treasury market.
Gold is back and I like the shiny metal as risk of a debt ceiling crisis increases–here’s how I’d play gold now
With the Federal Reserve seemingly winding down its cycle of interest rate increases, a stronger dollar is no longer the big currency market story. Gold is. Gold is back. And for at least the next 3 to 6 months.
Sell any post-Fed rally–stocks are way ahead of themselves on the Fed, interest rates, and inflation
Here’s what I expect on Wednesday. The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee will announce a 25 basis point interest rate increase. In his post-meeting press conference Fed chair Jerome Powell will try to talk the financial markets out of their exuberance by stressing that the Fed doesn’t see a quick end to interest rate increases because at 5% inflation is still running way ahead of the Fed’s 2% target rate. And I expect that investors and traders will ignore Powell’s comments and bid stocks high because a pause in rate increases is just around the corner–maybe as early as March–and financial markets can look for the Fed to begin cutting interest rates in the second half of the year. To which I say, Bushwah! I would sell any post-meeting rally. March increasingly looks like the month where reality will whack the markets on its head.