Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hundreds of Oil Stocks Could Go to Zero…Will You Still Be Owning One of Them?

By Justin Spittler

The largest shale oil bankruptcy in years just happened. If you own oil stocks, you'll want to read today's essay very closely. Because there's a good chance hundreds more oil companies will go bankrupt soon. As you probably know, the oil market is a disaster. The price of oil has plunged 75% since 2014. In February, oil hit its lowest level since 2003.

Oil crashed for a simple reason: There’s too much of it. New methods like “fracking” have led to a huge spike in global oil production. Today, oil companies pump about 1 million more barrels a day than the world uses.

Last year, America’s biggest oil companies lost $67 billion..…

To offset low prices, oil companies have slashed spending by 60% over the past two years. They’ve laid off more than 120,000 workers. They’ve sold assets and abandoned projects. Some have even cut their prized dividends.

For many oil companies, deep spending cuts weren’t enough…

The number of bankruptcies in the oil industry has skyrocketed….

Bloomberg Business reported earlier this month:
Since the start of 2015, 130 North American oil and gas producers and service companies have filed for bankruptcy owing almost $44 billion, according to law firm Haynes & Boone.
And that doesn’t even include two “big name” bankruptcies in the last couple weeks. Two weeks ago, Linn Energy filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest shale oil bankruptcy since 2014. It owes lenders $8.3 billion.

A week later, SandRidge Energy declared bankruptcy. It became the second biggest shale oil company to go bankrupt. The company owes its lenders about $4.1 billion. Ultra Petroleum, Penn Virginia, Breitburn Energy, and Halcón Resources also filed for bankruptcy in the past couple weeks.

Hundreds more oil companies could go bankrupt this year..…

The Wall Street Journal reported last week:
This year, 175 oil and gas producers around the world are in danger of declaring bankruptcy, and the situation is nearly as dire for another 160 companies, many in the U.S., according to a report from Deloitte’s energy consultants.
Defaults by oil and gas companies are already skyrocketing. The Wall Street Journal continues:
Oil and gas companies this year have defaulted on $26 billion, according to Fitch Ratings data. That figure already surpasses the total for 2015, $17.5 billion.
Fitch, one of the nation’s largest credit agencies, expects 11% of U.S. energy bonds to default this year. That would be the highest default rate for the energy sector since 1999.

Many investors thought the oil crisis was over..…

That’s because the price of oil has surged 80% since February. Dispatch readers know better. For months, we’ve been warning there would be more bankruptcies and defaults. We said many oil companies need $50 oil to make money. The price of oil hasn’t topped $50 a barrel since last July. Even after its big rally, oil still trades for about half of what it did two years ago.

Oil prices will stay low as long as there’s too much oil..…

Although the world still has too much oil, the surplus has shrunk in the past few months. In February, the global economy was oversupplied by about 1.7 million barrels a day. Thanks to U.S. production cuts, the surplus is now just 1.0 million barrels a day. The number of rigs actively looking for oil in the U.S. has dropped by 80% since October. This month, the U.S. oil rig count hit its lowest level in 70 years.

However, many other countries aren’t cutting production at all. Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil-producing countries, are both pumping near-record amounts of oil. Frankly, these countries don’t have much choice. Oil sales account for 77% of Saudi Arabia’s economy. And oil accounts for 50% of Russia’s exports. If these countries stop pumping oil, their economies could collapse.

Low prices have made it impossible for some oil companies to pay their debts..…

U.S. oil companies borrowed nearly $200 billion between 2010 and 2014. If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know the Federal Reserve is mostly to blame for this. It’s held its key interest rate near zero since 2008. This made it incredibly cheap to borrow money. When oil prices were high, the debt wasn’t an issue. Companies made enough money to pay the bills. That’s no longer the case. Today, many oil companies are burning through cash to pay their debts.

To make matters worse, many weak oil companies have been cut off from the credit market..…

Before prices collapsed, oil companies could refinance their debt if they ran into trouble. This could buy them time to sort out their problems. These days, many banks will no longer lend oil companies money. Bloomberg Business reported last month:
Almost two years into the worst oil bust in a generation, lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are slashing credit lines for struggling energy companies…
Since the start of 2016 lenders have yanked $5.6 billion of credit from 36 oil and gas producers, a reduction of 12 percent, making this the most severe retreat since crude began tumbling in mid-2014.
Oil stocks are still very risky..…

But that doesn’t mean you should avoid them entirely. As we’ve said before, oil stocks have likely entered a new phase. You see, when oil prices first tanked, investors sold oil stocks indiscriminately. Both strong and weak stocks plunged. In other words, investors “threw the baby out with the bath water.” You often see this behavior during a crisis.

Exxon Mobil (XOM), the world’s biggest oil company, fell 34% since 2014. Chevron (CVX), the world’s second biggest, dropped 48%. Now that oil has stabilized, the stronger companies are separating themselves from the weaker companies. This year, Exxon is up 15%. Chevron is up 11%. The crash in oil prices has given us a chance to buy world class oil companies at deep bargains.

If you want to own oil stocks, stick with the best companies..…

If you're going to invest in the sector, there are four key things to look for: 

Make sure you buy companies that can 1) make money at low oil prices. You should also look for companies with 2) healthy margins 3) plenty of cash and 4) little debt.

In March, Crisis Investing editor Nick Giambruno recommended a company that hits all of these checkmarks. It has a rock-solid balance sheet…some of the industry’s best profit margins…and “trophy assets” in America’s richest oil regions. It can even make money with oil as cheap as $35.

The stock is up 9% in two months. But Nick thinks it could just be getting started. After all, it’s still 30% below its 2014 high. You can get in on Nick’s oil pick by signing up for Crisis Investing. If interested, we encourage you to watch this short presentation. It explains how you can access Nick’s top investing ideas for $1,000 off our regular price.

This incredible deal ends soon. Click here to take advantage while you can.

You’ll also learn about an even bigger “crisis investing” opportunity on Nick’s radar. This coming crisis could radically change the financial future of every American. By watching this video, you’ll learn how to profit from it. Click here to watch.

Chart of the Day

Oil and gas companies are losing billions of dollars, we’re in earnings season right now. This is when companies tell investors if their earnings grew or shrunk last quarter. A good earnings season can send stocks higher. A bad one can drag stocks down.

As of Friday, 95% of the companies in the S&P 500 had shared first quarter results. Based on these results, the S&P 500 is on track to post a 6.8% decline in earnings. That would be the biggest drop in quarterly earnings since the 2009 financial crisis.

Oil and gas companies are a big reason U.S. stocks are having such a horrible earnings season.

As you can see below, first-quarter earnings for energy companies in the S&P 500 have plunged 107% since last year. Keep in mind, this group includes Exxon, Chevron, and other blue chip energy stocks.

Again, if you’re looking to buy oil stocks, make sure you “look under the company’s hood” before you buy it. Steer clear of companies that are losing money and have a lot of debt.

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Monday, May 16, 2016

Obama’s Cuban Ambitions as Seen by Cubans Themselves

By Jeff Thomas

For half a century, Americans have been largely unable to visit Cuba and have had to rely on the US government and media for an understanding of the political, social and economic conditions there. What has been described as the “American Berlin Wall” has been successful in providing Americans with quite an inaccurate view.

Throughout this period, those Cubans who exited the island in 1959 (and their descendants) have maintained a propaganda programme that, rightly or wrongly, reflected their desire to return to Cuba and to once again rule it. Additionally, they’ve contributed regularly to both the primary US political parties in order to assure that the blockade would be maintained and that Americans would be kept out until such time as the island could be re-taken.

This is not to say that all is rosy in Cuba. For the past 25 years or more, I’ve periodically spent time there, observing its developments, beginning with its attempt to recover from the loss of its principle trading partner, the Soviet Union, in the early 1990s. It’s been a rocky road, as Cuba has sought to become an international tourist destination whilst attempting to maintain a closed, communist society. Results have been mixed, to say the least.

Still, the US government embargo remains in place and Americans have little real understanding of Cuba, or how the Cuban people view the US. All Americans can rely on is the “official view”—reports fed to the US media by their government, which, in turn, are influenced by Miami-based Cubans.

Recently, Barrack Obama visited Cuba, gave speeches and even walked the streets of Havana, “meeting the people”. Americans have now had time to digest the official US view of that visit, yet, understandably, have no idea whatsoever as to the Cuban view.

If I could sum up the Cuban people’s perception, based upon discussions with Cubans in Havana after the visit, I’d say that the best word to describe their reaction would be “wary”. Cubans are only too aware that Americans have, for half a century, received a highly one-sided view of anything Cuban and, for the most part, tend to agree with their leaders that any dealings with the US government should be cautious.

As in any country, there are varied viewpoints and, to be sure, the Cubans who oppose the existing regime to the point that they’ve stolen a boat and braved the seas to escape Cuba, would have a far different view from those who are glad to remain in Cuba.

A particular concern that they tend to voice is that Americans leaders are arrogant, seeming to believe that they have all the answers for every country and seem to perceive themselves as magnanimous, in offering to unilaterally change other countries “for the better”. In the present instance, they resent Mister Obama stating in a Havana speech that his country is considering diminishing its economic punishment of Cuba, but that, first, he would need to be assured that the Cuban political structure be altered to reflect the American model more closely. As stated by President Raul Castro in the Havana Reporter, “he should not expect the Cuban people to give up their destiny…for which they have made huge sacrifices.”

A continuing sore in the side of Cuba is the occupation of Guantanamo Bay. Cubans, when confronted with their government’s admitted incarceration of some citizens for political reasons, may respond by reminding Americans that Cubans regard Guantanamo as “the horrible torture center”, housing the US government’s political prisoners. They are bolstered in their view by American presidential candidates who vehemently support the continued violation of the Geneva Convention at Guantanamo. (Most Cubans have television and there’s no restriction on American broadcasts. Cubans therefore know far more about the US than Americans know about Cuba.)

Again, quoting the Havana Reporter, “The Cuban authorities request for the illegally occupied military territory to be returned, although spokespeople for Obama’s administration say that the subject is not on the agenda for discussion.”

Again, the American presidential message, as seen from the Cuban perspective, appears to be, “We’ll decide what we will or won’t do for you, and we’ll decide what you’ll do for us.”

And the discussion is not an isolated one. For many years, the UN has regularly held votes on the legality and morality of the blockade and, in each case, all members except the US and Israel vote for its elimination. Just prior to Mister Obama’s Cuban visit, Federica Mogherini, Vice President of the European Commission, reiterated the UN request for the “rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the US”, which she described as both outdated and illegal.

In his book, “Obama and the Empire”, Fidel Castro comments, “You state…that your country…would not tolerate any intervention in the hemisphere, reiterating that this right must be respected, while demanding the right to intervene anywhere in the world with the aid of hundreds of military bases and naval, air and space forces distributed across the planet. I ask: Is that the way in which the United States expresses its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights?”

To be sure, Mister Castro has his own agenda, as do all political leaders, yet his point is well taken. In spite of US pressure, he has outlasted ten US presidents since 1959. Cuba boasts universal literacy and the lowest rate of violent crime in the hemisphere, whereas, in the US, the percentage of those who are functionally illiterate varies between 15% and 35% (depending on the definition of illiteracy). The US also has both the highest number of prison inmates and the highest percentage of inmates per capita. Whether the US or Cuba has the greater claim to the moral high ground is therefore very much an individual assessment.

But, what’s the view on the street in Havana? What’s the reaction of the average Cuban to the Obama visit?

Well, for a start, people in the street, who are accustomed to seeing their leaders with a minimal entourage and few armed guards, were surprised to see a virtual army of suited protectors, making Mister Obama’s stroll through Havana anything but casual. Of course, this has become the norm for any American leader, but what message does this convey, when the visitor displays such a show of force?

In spite of this; however, a young waiter at a bistro in the popular Empedrado Callejón del Chorro commented that, whilst he doubted the sincerity of the visit, anything that brings the two countries closer together can only be an improvement. And, to be sure, younger Cubans are more likely than the previous generations to acknowledge that the inevitable passage out of the Castro’s leadership may be overdue, but that a softening of Cuban distrust of the “American imperialists” can only take place if the American government learns to regard Cuba as a sovereign nation, not as a whipping boy.

And, of course, this is a sentiment that we see worldwide. The more the US positions itself as the world’s policeman, the more it alienates the peoples of other countries. At a time when the US has begun its economic decline, it would do well to soften its approach, yet it is clearly doing the exact opposite. This does not bode well for the US. No one likes a bully. Bullies are typically only tolerated until they weaken. When this occurs, people turn on the bully, whether he is a person, or indeed, a government. What we are observing is the decline of a large nation and, soon, the rebirth of a small one. As events unfold, the comparisons between the two will be fascinating to observe.

Editor’s Note: Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, thinks Cuba is a huge investing opportunity...
Nick is an expert “crisis investor.” He invests in markets that are bombed out, hated, and depressed. This strategy allows Nick to buy world-class companies at bargain prices… and to buy a dollar’s worth of assets for pennies. This sets him up to make big gains, like the 210% gain he made on the Cypriot hospitality business Lordos Hotels in the wake of that country’s banking crisis a few years back.

According to Nick, Cuba has been in a slow motion crisis for decades. The U.S.' ban on trade with Cuba killed any chance of economic growth for the last 60 years. But Nick says the embargo will soon become “a page in the history books.” When this happens, money should pour into Cuba. Nick has a “back door” way to profit from Cuba’s huge untapped potential...

Here’s Nick:
Cuba has over 2,000 miles of pristine coastline and the potential to be a top tourist destination. If Cuba ever opens up, there’s potential to make a fortune.

Nick’s investment is a legal way to profit from the “opening up” of Cuba while the embargo is still in place. It trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange. This investment is up over 25% in the last three months. But Nick expects it to go much higher. We can’t disclose the investment here, because it wouldn’t be fair to paying subscribers. But you can get instant access to Nick’s “back door” Cuba investment by signing up for a trial subscription to Crisis InvestingClick here to learn more.

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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Do You Own the Next Enron?

By Justin Spittler

Companies are hiding more from you than you realize. Back in the late 90s, energy company Enron was a Wall Street darling. From 1998 to 2000, its stock surged 342%. It became America’s seventh biggest corporation…but the company was a farce. Management used shady accounting to inflate its sales and profits. When the fraud came to light, Enron’s stock plummeted. In 2001, it filed for bankruptcy.

In April, former Enron CEO Andy Fastow issued a serious warning…..
Fastow was one of the main actors in the Enron scandal. He spent six years in jail for his crimes. According to Fastow, many corporate executives are now doing what he did at Enron. He even accused tech giant Apple (AAPL) of misleading investors. Business Insider reported:
His point – an entirely correct one – is that the world’s largest company today is engaged in tax dodging behavior that, while perhaps technically legal, is clearly designed to increase profits and inflate the stock by misleading and confusing regulators (and perhaps investors) via a massively complex web of entities – exactly what he did at Enron! And this is 100% routine, common behavior among most large US companies.
Some people might find Fastow’s claim ridiculous. He is a convicted felon, after all. But Casey readers know better than to trust Corporate America.

Regulators have accused Valeant (VRX) and SunEdison (SUNE) of similar crimes..…
You’ve probably heard about the drug maker Valeant and the renewable energy company SunEdison. Their downfalls have been two of the year’s biggest investing stories. Like Enron, both companies were hot investments. From January 2013 to July 2015, Valeant gained 332%. SunEdison’s stock surged 892% over the same period.

Like Enron, both companies used “creative accounting.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether “SunEdison misrepresented its cash position to investors as its stock collapsed.” Valeant is under investigation for its pricing and accounting practices. And like Enron, both stocks have crashed. SunEdison plunged 99% before it announced plans to file bankruptcy. Valeant’s stock has plummeted 89%.

The mainstream media paints Valeant and SunEdison as a couple “bad apples”…
According to most reports, it’s rare for public companies to pull tricks on investors. But if you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know that’s not true. For the past few months, we’ve been telling you about the huge surge in share buybacks. A share buyback is when a company buys its own stock from shareholders.

Buybacks reduce the number of shares that trade on the market. This boosts a company’s earnings per share, which can lead to a higher stock price. But buybacks do not actually improve the business. They just make it look better “on paper.” According to research firm FactSet, 76% of the companies in the S&P 500 bought back their own shares between November and January. Most companies used debt to pay for these buybacks. The Wall Street Journal reported last week:
The biggest 1,500 nonfinancial companies in the U.S. increased their net debt by $409 billion in the year to the end of March, according to Société Générale, using almost all—$388 billion—to buy their own shares, net of newly issued stock. Companies have become far and away the biggest customer for their own shares.
Companies are also using “financial engineering” to make their businesses appear healthier…
Financial engineering is when companies use accounting tricks to goose their sales, profits, or cash on the balance sheet. It’s how Enron, Valeant, and SunEdison hid problems from investors. Many other companies are doing similar things.

As you may know, U.S. corporations are required to report “GAAP” earnings per share. GAAP based earnings comply with accepted accounting guidelines. A growing number of companies are also reporting “adjusted” earnings that do not comply with GAAP. Many companies use adjusted earnings to strip out “temporary” factors like the strong dollar or a warm winter. Management decides what to leave out and include when measuring adjusted earnings.

Two-thirds of the companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average report adjusted earnings…
In 2014, adjusted earnings were 12% better than GAAP earnings. Last year, they were 31% better. Companies say adjusted earnings give a more complete picture of their business. But it’s becoming obvious that companies are using non-GAAP earnings to hide weaknesses.

As Dispatch readers know, the U.S. is in its weakest “recovery” since World War II. Europe, Japan, and China are all growing at their slowest pace in decades too. With the economy so weak, many companies have had to “get creative” to grow earnings.

Sales for companies in the S&P 500 have fallen four straight quarters..…
Earnings are on track to decline a fourth straight quarter. That hasn’t happened since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. These results would be even uglier if companies didn’t report adjusted earnings.

You see, it’s much easier for companies to mask weak sales or profits when the economy is growing. When the economy slows, those problems become too big to hide. Right now, the global economy is clearly slowing. So expect to hear about more “Enrons” in the coming months.

The stock market is a dangerous place to put your money right now..…
If you're going to invest in stocks, keep three important things in mind. You should avoid investing in businesses you don’t understand. Many hedge funds wish they had followed this advice with Valeant and SunEdison. Despite these companies’ complex and unclear business models, some of the largest hedge funds in the world invested in them. This earned Valeant and SunEdison the nickname “hedge fund hotels.” We also encourage you to avoid companies with a lot of debt. These firms will struggle to pay the bills as the economy worsens.

Finally, we recommend you steer clear of companies that need buybacks to increase earnings. Buybacks can give stocks a temporary boost, but they’re no way to grow a business. In short, money spent on buybacks is money not spent on new machinery, equipment, or anything else that can help a company grow. It’s especially a poor use of cash when stocks are expensive…like they are today.

We encourage you to set aside cash and own physical gold..…
A cash reserve will help you avoid big losses during the next big selloff. It will also put you in a position to buy world-class businesses for cheap after the “rotten apples” are exposed. Physical gold is another proven way to defend your wealth. Gold has served as real money for centuries because it has a rare set of qualities: It’s durable, transportable, easily divisible, has intrinsic value, and is consistent across the world.

It’s also protected wealth through the worst financial crises in history. Investors buy it when they’re nervous about stocks or the economy. This year, gold is up 22%. It’s at its highest level since January 2015. For other proven strategies to protect your money from a stock market crash, watch this short video. In it, you’ll learn how to fully “crisis proof” your wealth. Click here to view this free presentation.

Chart of the Day

The U.S. stock market is wobbling on one leg. Dispatch readers know buybacks have been a major driver of U.S. stocks. Since 2009, S&P 500 companies have shelled out more than $2 trillion on buybacks. As noted, buybacks can make earnings look better “on paper.” They can also prop up share prices. With the economy slowing and earnings in decline, buybacks have been one of the things keeping stocks afloat…but even that’s starting to give way.

Today’s chart compares the performance of PowerShares Buyback Achievers Fund (PKW) this year versus the S&P 500. PKW tracks companies that bought back more than 5% of their shares over the past year. Holdings include McDonald's (MCD), Lowes (LOWE), and Macy’s (M).

From March 2009 to May 2015, PKW gained 314%. The S&P 500 rose 215% over the same period. Since then, PKW has fallen 10%. The S&P 500 is down 3%. Investors appear to be losing confidence in companies that buy a lot of their own stock. That’s a big problem for the stock market, which is showing major signs of weakness.

The article Do You Own the Next Enron? was originally published at

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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Our Next Technical Price Targets for Gold & Silver

I have pointed out earlier, gold is forming a possible short term top. It is on the verge of completing a bearish ‘Head and Shoulder’ pattern. The pattern is confirmed if gold closes below $1220/oz. The downside pattern target for this setup is $1138/oz. 
If gold starts to rally and breaks out to the upside, then we should see the $1396 level be reached based on technical analysis.
I will open a new long gold position when the time feels right. With technical analysis strongly suggesting gold and silver have bottomed, New breakouts to the upside in metals and mining stocks can be bought.
On the other hand, silver has formed an almost perfect cup and handle pattern and has broken out of it. It has reached its first target objective; chances are that silver will either consolidate or pullback after having met its target or move up to $18.70/oz. levels, which is the pattern target of the ‘Cup and Handle’ pattern formation. However, new buying is not advised at current levels due to a poor risk-reward ratio.
If you have not read the post about what the Silver COT data is warning us about be sure to read this short post: Click Here
If we take a look and monitor the gold/silver ratio closely, recently, the ratio had touched its resistance of the past 20 years. Every time the ratio has returned from the resistance, the minimum it has retraced is to the levels of 45.
There are no reasons to believe that it will be any different this time around. Hypothetically, if gold were to remain at $1236/oz. and if the ratio corrects to 45, silver will reach $27.5/oz., which is a 62% increase from current levels.
Hence, it is prudent to stay with silver for a better return compared to gold once price has a pause to regroup before the next rally.
How to Trade Gold & Silver Conclusion:
Buying gold and silver offer different rate of returns to the investors. If an investor is able to time both the precious metals, then the total returns will be ‘astronomically high’ in the future.
My timing ‘cycles’ provide signals both for the short term and the long term. The price action of both gold and silver along with my cycles have been showing VERY strong “Cycle Skew”, which I explain in detail in my book “Technical Trading Mastery”. This cycle skew is telling us that precious metals are now in a strong uptrend and is another confirming indicator that support much higher prices long term.
During the first half of a bull market trading price patterns and upside breakouts tend to work very well. Because interest in the sector is growing and more buyers continue to enter that market, price pattern breakouts are the last chance to get a position before price has its next rally higher.
I will continue to inform my subscribers of new swing trades, and even more importantly the long term investing "Set it and Forget It" ETF trades to ride out the new bull and bear markets for massive profits.
Keep following me to know more at: www.The Gold and Oil
Chris Vermeulen

Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Here’s The Only Oil Stock You Should Own Right Now

By Justin Spittler

It was the most important oil meeting in years. The world was watching closely on Sunday as 16 major oil nations met in Doha, Qatar. Saudi Arabia and Russia, two of the world’s biggest oil producers, were among the heavyweights in attendance. The purpose of the meeting: to reach an agreement to “freeze” oil production at current levels. It was the first time in fifteen years that OPEC, a cartel of 13 oil producing countries, met with nonmembers to discuss freezing output.

As you likely know, the price of oil has crashed 75% since June 2014. Thanks to new methods like “fracking,” the world has too much oil. According to the International Energy Association, oil companies produce about 1.4 million more barrels of oil a day than the global economy consumes. 

In February, oil hits its lowest price since 2003. Low oil prices have slammed economies that depend on oil. For example, Saudi Arabia posted its largest budget deficit in history last year. And Russia’s currency has lost 49% of its value since oil prices began to decline.

Low oil prices have slammed major oil companies, too. Last year, British oil giant BP (BP) recorded its biggest annual loss ever. U.S. oil giants Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) earned their lowest annual profits since 2002 last year. Since June 2014, shares of these three oil companies are down 27% on average.

Many experts hoped an agreement to freeze production would support oil prices…
But the countries failed to reach an agreement. Bloomberg Business explained why.
Discussions broke down after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries rejected any deal unless all OPEC members joined including Iran…
Iran didn’t even attend the meeting in Doha…
For years, economic sanctions have cut off Iran from the global economy. These sanctions were put in place to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb. They crippled Iran's economy in the process. Iran’s oil exports have plunged 45% since 2011.

The U.S. and five other countries lifted these sanctions last year. With the sanctions gone, Iran plans to significantly boost its oil production. In March, Iran pumped 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd), which made it the world’s sixth-biggest oil producer. It hopes to soon increase that to 4 million bpd.
Iran also plans to double its oil exports. In February, Iran sold oil to Europe for the first time since 2012. Bloomberg Business explains:
Iran’s oil minister called a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to freeze oil production “ridiculous” as it seeks to boost output after years of sanctions constrained sales.
Yesterday, the price of oil plunged 6.4% on the bad news…
But it recovered almost all its losses, ending the day down just 0.7%. Today, it’s up 3.2% Oil stocks shrugged off the bad news, too. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP), which tracks major U.S. oil producers, rose 2% yesterday. We see this as an important bullish sign for oil stocks. This bad news could have easily pushed oil below $30 a barrel. Instead, oil is trading higher today than it was yesterday.

It looks like the worst is over for oil stocks…
Although we’re not “calling the bottom” in oil stocks, we do think the oil market has entered a new phase.
You see, when an industry crashes as hard as oil has over the past 18 months, all stocks in the industry usually tank. Even the best companies suffer big losses. But when a crashing market nears a bottom, things start to change. Investors looking for bargains begin to buy top quality companies. Strong companies start to separate themselves from the weak. That’s happening in the oil sector now.

For example, Exxon, the world’s largest publicly traded oil company, has jumped 14% this year. Chevron, the second largest, has jumped 11%. These are both large, quality oil companies. Meanwhile, weaker companies are still fighting to survive. They’re bleeding cash. To make money, they need oil at $50 or higher. Yesterday, oil closed at $41.47…and that’s after a 50% rally since February. We’re not saying oil prices are ready to head higher. As we mentioned, the world is still oversupplied by about 1.4 million barrels per day. We’ll likely see more defaults and bankruptcies in the oil sector.

But we are saying now is a good time to start buying cheap, extremely high quality oil stocks…
Because oil is likely to stay low for at least several more months, it’s important to buy only the very best oil businesses. Stick with companies that have big margins, plenty of cash, and little debt. Only invest in companies that can make money even if oil stays low.

Nick Giambruno, editor of Crisis Investing, just recommended one such oil company. If you don’t know Nick, his specialty is buying quality assets for cheap, when no one else wants them. Following this strategy has allowed him to make large gains for subscribers, like the 210% gain he made on Cypriot hospitality business Lordos Hotels in the wake of that country’s banking crisis a few years back. Nick has been keeping a close eye on the oil industry for months…waiting for the right time to buy. And last month, he told his readers it was finally time to “pull the trigger.”

He recommended a world class oil company with “trophy assets” in America’s richest oil regions...a rock solid balance sheet…and some of the industry’s best profit margins. Most importantly, the company is making money. According to Nick, some of the company’s projects are profitable at as low as $35 oil.
Nick is certain this company will survive the current downturn. Its stock could deliver huge gains when oil prices recover past $50.

You can learn more about this opportunity by signing up for Crisis Investing. Click here to begin your risk-free trial.

Chart of the Day

Silver is having its best day in six months. If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know silver recently “broke out.” More specifically, it “carved a bottom.” That happens when an asset stops falling, forms a bottom for a period of time, and starts heading higher. Assets often keep rising after carving bottoms. As you can see below, that’s exactly what silver’s done. Today, silver skyrocketed 5.3%, its biggest jump since October. Silver is now up 23% on the year. It’s at its highest price since last April.

At risk of sounding like a broken record, we think silver is headed much higher. It could easily triple in the coming years. Silver stocks, which are leveraged to the price of silver, could go even higher. If you would like to speculate on higher silver prices, we recommend you watch a short video we just put together. It explains how you could grow your money by 10x or more in the coming years. If interested, you’ll want to watch this presentation soon. It will no longer be available after tomorrow.

Click here to watch.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Massive Surge in Precious Metals and a New Spike Alert

Metals and mining stocks continue to rock higher decoupling from our cycle analysis to create a strong impulse wave higher. This is what I feared last week and talked about happening and is the reason we had our protective stop for our short gold trade so we would keep that trade as a winner. Also, my gut was warning that this cycle break and emotional rally was trying to happen, and that is why we did not re-enter a short position in this sector.
The last two weeks this sector has been moving fairly sporadically and out of sync. Because of this, I have not covered it in much detail. Yesterday Obama announced an unexpected and expedited closed door meeting with the FED for today. I think this may have everyone worried and buying metals today.
Today’s massive gap and rally actually have me very interested in a short trade for gold. With the chart forming a balance head and shoulders pattern, price trading at resistance, a news/fear based rally, along with a short term cycle topping today, this could be a great low-risk trade and price may fade back down over the next 1-3 days.
See chart below or login to view:

Couple things to touch on here:
First, I would like to mention and be clear that while I share some spike alert setups here and there with you, those trades are not the main focus of this newsletter and my trading. This year the way the markets have been gyrating spike trades have definitely filled the void for a lack of swing trades and long term investment positions.
We will sooner than later start building some new long term positions and have swing trades. But it is difficult because so many markets are all trying to change directions and chopping around. I don’t want us holding onto trades that will be all over the place for several weeks before moving in our favor. We don’t need that stress. Rather, I’m trying to hold off as long as I can before getting positioned. Don’t worry, they are coming!
Second, I know many of you love the price spikes as they provide a steady stream of winning trades each week. Friday morning was a quick $900 profit, and this morning in the video I shared with you the SPY price spike that took place in pre market today. I traded it also for a quick day trade pocketing $400.00 in less than 1 hour to kick start the week.
You can see my trade today with my Interactive Brokers account. I waited to enter this trade until I felt the market shook out the short positions and got everyone bullish for the day. Then I sold short 1 the ES mini futures contract at 10:01am.
I have explained the market shakeout move before. How we see a price spike and the market, but the price will first move in the opposite direction to get everyone on the wrong side of the trade before it makes its move to reach the spike target.
Then 59 minutes later at 11:00am I bought back my short position and locked in 8 points ($50 per point x 8 = $400). Then another short position in the afternoon as the market started to breakdown again to fill the morning spike for another 11.5 points ($50 per point x $11.5 = $575).
Just these three trades you were able to pocket $1,8670.00 which is more than enough to cover 4 years of me sharing analysis and trades with you… not too shabby!
I will be creating a mini course/guide on how to trade Spike Alerts soon because there is an art to doing it well. Plus, I am working on a solution so those of you who want to keep rocking with the price spikes can do so without me bombarding every member with all this day trading/momentum analysis and updates.
I totally understand and feel for those who just want long term and swing trades and not intraday updates all the time. So, I’m working to satisfy both groups.

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Stock & ETF Trading Signals

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Don Kaufman shows us how to "Protect & Profit" in any Market

Today we want to introduce the newest member of our team, Don Kaufman. Don has made quite a mark in the last couple months with the introduction of his new TheoTrade program. Truth is, some of our readers have stated they are getting more from his free videos then some of the more expensive programs they have purchased.

Don will be bringing us a free webinar monthly to keep us on the cutting edge of these extremely volatile markets. Just take advantage of any one of his free items. Getting his free eBook or even just watching his most recent free video will guarantee that you will get notified of the free webinars.

So what's in the "How to Protect & Profit in Any Market" eBook?

This 50 page eBook [visit here for free download] will teach you what you need to know to start playing the markets instead of the markets playing you.

Your Portfolio Deserves More Than a 50/50 Chance 
It has been shown statistically, over the long run, that fundamental and technical analysis is right about 50% of the time. Flipping a coin will give you the same percentage. As the author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Malkiel states, “Technical and Fundamental analysis is a science giving astrology a good name.” Why flip a coin when you can use high probability options strategies?

Diversification is Dead
As a Wall Street saying goes, "When they raid the house they take everyone." Professionals consider diversification as a hedge for people who don’t know how to hedge. Think about it - would you protect the value of your own home against a potential fire by diversifying, that is, buying two houses so if one burns down, the appreciation in the other offsets your loss? Of course not! You insure your home so if it burns down, the insurance covers most of the loss. Welcome to one aspect of using options. Real professionals know how to use options to protect their portfolio from any shock to the markets.

Be The House 
Today, investing in the stock market is a big gamble, almost like going to Vegas and playing the slots. And we all know what happens with slot machines. The House always wins. It may take a loss occasionally, but the overall strategy assures that the House will always come out on top. Options let's you turn the tide and be the house. Find out how you can put the odds in your favor.

Get Don's FREE eBook "The Rebel's Guide to Trading Options"....Just Visit Here!

See you in the markets,
Ray C. Parrish
aka the Crude Oil Trader

About Don Kaufman 
Don is one of the industry's leading financial strategists and educational authorities with 18 years of financial industry experience. Prior to co-founding TheoTrade, Mr. Kaufman spent 6 years at TD Ameritrade as Director of the Trader Group. At TD Ameritrade Mr. Kaufman handled thinkorswim® content and client education which included the design, build, and execution of what has become the industry standard in financial education. He started his career at thinkorswim® in 2000 (acquired by TD Ameritrade in 2009), where he served as chief derivatives instructor, helping the firm progress into the industry leader in retail options trading and investor education services.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Answer to the Biggest Question in the Markets Right Now

By Justin Spittler

Are we in a bear market or a bull market? If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know that U.S. stocks have had a wild ride this year. The S&P got off to a horrible start in 2016, plunging 11% in just six weeks. But since mid-February, stocks have staged a huge bounce, climbing 13%. Regular readers know we’ve been skeptical of this big rally. We’ve argued that until the S&P 500 sets a new high, there’s little reason to be bullish. And we just got another clue that this rally is “suspect”.

The initial public offering (IPO) market is at financial-crisis lows.....
An IPO is when a private company goes public by selling stock to investors. The health of the IPO market can say a lot about the state of the stock market. Buying stock at its IPO is typically a high risk, high potential move. IPOs have a lot of potential because they’re often involved in a new or exciting business. Many investors who buy are hoping to get in early on the next Starbucks, Facebook, or Google.

However, IPOs are also very risky. The companies are often based on new or unproven business models. Many companies with an IPO are losing money every quarter. Some barely earn any revenue at all. More often than not, investors who buy IPOs are buying hopes and dreams, not stable, profitable business. When markets are healthy, investors are more willing to take a chance at buying an IPO. But when markets are shaky, IPOs tend to do poorly, as investors seek safer, more stable investments.

The number of U.S. IPOs plunged to a seven-year low last quarter.....
Investor’s Business Daily reported on Wednesday.
Just eight IPOs got out the door in Q1, down 76% from 34 in Q1 2015. That was the fewest IPOs since Q1 2009, which had just one. The $700 million in proceeds raised was the lowest total in 20 years, down 87% from the $5.5 billion raised in Q1 2015, according to Renaissance Capital, which manages two IPO-focused exchange traded funds.
Like us, The Wall Street Journal thinks this is a bad omen for the rest of the stock market.
[I]f the pace of IPOs doesn’t accelerate, it could be a warning sign for the rally.

The U.S. IPO market is heading toward its worst year since the financial crisis.....
On Tuesday, VentureBeat reported that just 24 companies have filed for IPOs this year. You can see in the chart below that the IPO market is on track to have its worst year since 2008.

We warned that the IPO market was slowing in October.....
Back then, the IPO market was just starting to show cracks. The S&P 500 was coming off its first 10% decline in four years. Companies are hesitant to go public when markets are volatile, because nervous investors are less likely to buy shares in an IPO. We also noted that several high profile companies either cancelled or postponed their IPOs. Supermarket chain Albertsons, which delayed going public in October, still hasn’t had its IPO.

Casey Research founder Doug Casey said to avoid one of the year’s most anticipated IPOs.…
The Italian carmaker Ferrari (RACE) went public on October 21. Days before the IPO, Doug urged readers of The Casey Report to not buy the stock.
Ferrari is going to have an IPO on its stock soon. A smart move on their part; when the ducks are quacking, you should feed them. I wouldn’t touch it if your broker offers you some…
Doug’s call was spot-on. Ferrari’s stock has plunged 25% since its IPO.

Most of last year’s IPOs have been huge disappointments..…
Investor’s Business Daily reports:
Among all IPOs of 2015, their stocks are down 18% on average from their IPO price and down 28% after the first trading day, Renaissance says.

Instead of buying IPOs, investors have been buying “defensive” stocks..…
For example, utility stocks have jumped 13% this year. The S&P 500 is up just 1%.
As Dispatch readers know, utilities tend to perform well when markets are shaky. No matter how bad the economy gets, folks still need running water, electricity, and gas to heat their homes. Investors often pile into utility stocks for safety.

Consumer staple stocks, which sell things like groceries, toothpaste, and laundry detergent, have also done well this year. The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP), which tracks 39 consumer staple stocks, is up 5%. It hit an all-time high on Wednesday. Like water and electricity, folks buy these items no matter what’s happening with the economy.

Investors are also buying gold..…
As we often say, gold is money. It’s preserved wealth through economic depressions, currency crises, and every other kind of financial disaster. Investors often buy gold when they’re concerned about the economy or stocks. This year, the price of gold is up 16%. Yesterday, gold closed its best quarter since 1986.

Gold is the ultimate defensive asset.....
Even though utilities and consumer staple stocks are less risky than most stocks, they’re still stocks. They generally move with the rest of the market. During the 2008 financial crisis, the S&P 500 plunged 57%. Utilities fell 49%. Consumer staple stocks fell 34%. Gold only fell 29%. And in the aftermath of the crisis, gold recovered much more quickly than stocks. It went on to surge 167% from November 2008 to September 2011.

Today, gold is coming off a five-year bear market.....
It’s down 36% from its 2011 high. But as we mentioned earlier, gold has taken off this year. In case you missed it, Casey Research founder Doug Casey recently wrote an essay explaining why gold could easily triple. You can read it here.

There’s more risk than opportunity in U.S. stocks right now.....
The S&P 500 has climbed 205% since March 2009. That’s far more than the average gain of 136% for U.S. bull markets since 1932. The S&P 500 is also 56% more expensive than its historic average, according to the long term CAPE valuation ratio. U.S. stocks have only been more expensive three times in history: before the Great Depression...during the dot-com bubble...and leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Investors who buy U.S. stocks today are betting that the market keeps breaking records. That’s not a gamble we want to make. On top of owning gold, we encourage you to set aside cash. This will help you avoid major losses should U.S. stocks fall. And it will put you in a position to buy stocks when they get cheaper.

You could also make money “shorting” one of America’s most vulnerable industries.....
“Shorting” a stock is betting that it will go down. E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, recently recommended shorting a major American airline.The airline industry has been booming since the 2008–2009 financial crisis. But E.B. thinks the good times are coming to an end. In short, E.B. thinks the industry boomed on cheap credit, and that it will suffer huge losses when the easy money stops flowing.

E.B is targeting the most vulnerable U.S. airline. The company’s stock has surged an incredible 1,600% since March 2009. That’s eight times the return of the S&P 500. But like most stocks, it’s gone nowhere this year. It hasn’t set a new high since May. E.B. thinks this stock could plunge more than 50%. You can get in on this trade by signing up for The Casey Report. Click here to begin your risk-free trial.

Chart of the Day

Investors have turned bearish on biotech stocks. Today’s chart shows the performance of the iShares Biotechnology ETF (IBB), which tracks 189 biotechnology companies. Biotech companies develop or manufacture new drugs. Some of these companies are trying to cure diseases like cancer, HIV, and Alzheimer’s. Because a successful new drug can be worth billions of dollars, biotech stocks can soar hundreds of percent in short periods.

But they are also very risky. Most young biotech companies only have one or two products. And many biotech companies don’t make any money. Biotechs are the type of stocks investors like to own in a strong bull market. Between March 2009 and July 2015, IBB surged 574%. The S&P 500 gained 215% over that time. Since July, IBB has plunged 34%. It’s trading at its lowest price since October 2014.
The selloff in risky biotech stocks is more proof that investors have gone on the defensive.

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