Blackmont Stomps on Buy-and-Hold; Mixed Rate Decisions in Europe

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"The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing.”

                               W.R. Inge

FX Trading – Blackmont Stomps on Buy-and-Hold; Mixed Rate Decisions in Europe
Investment advisor at Blackmont Capital and friend of Currency Currents, Yves Lamoureux, made a few comments on trading strategy that we wanted to include in today’s piece:

From Buy and Hold to Buy and Fold!
Have investors been snoozing during the recent drop? They are now hitting the sell button in panic. The constant reminder to buy and hold stocks for the long term and forget about volatility probably hit home as more than 10 years of returns are wiped out.

Investors will soon be diagnosed S.A.D. (stocks anxiety disorder) on any further drop of the market — a new social phobia that can be best explained by an unreasonable desire to avoid stocks. New records of cash held in money markets and bonds will attest to that … and of course massive margin unwinding (see chart below).

Even the best of breed of buy-and-snooze have profoundly suffered. I have always tried to bring this point home. You have to sell a stock in order to “make money.”

In a fast changing landscape, one decision large cap stocks may not be leaders in a carbon constrained economy. We love buying stocks but we prefer even more selling them.

Yves Lamoureux, Investment Advisor
Blackmont Capital Inc.

Well said Mr. Lamoureux.

Especially for those investors concerned their clock is ticking, recent stock market losses have been devastating. We read somewhere yesterday that nearly $7 trillion dollars in US stock market wealth was erased in 2008.

Ouch.

Right now stocks are hovering at serious lows. A sharp spike in November is the nearest key low to offer technical support. A break through that level and we’ll have to go back to 2003 to find a potential stopping point for bleeding stocks.

Unfortunately, stocks need to battle dilapidated consumer and investor confidence levels besides what’s going to prove to be a very bleak earnings season when everything’s said and done. Our expectations remain that we’re stuck in a period of heightened risk aversion. Sure there will be some bouts of risk-taking and corrective price action, but those feelings likely won’t last.

And though history tells us stocks can and do turn before all problems and concerns have been solved (a leading indicator of sorts), it would seem to us that we’re not yet near that point and stocks should continue to be plagued by gravity.

Central Banks in Europe Mixed on Interest Rate Decisions

This morning both the Bank of England and European Central Bank stepped into the interest rate ring. BOE came out 50 basis points shorter from when it entered; the BOE benchmark rate now sits at 1%. The ECB didn’t leave any basis points in the ring today; the ECB benchmark rate remains at 2%.

But did the ECB still lose something in the ring today?

We would answer ‘YES’ based on our belief that Europe is in for significantly tougher times – or at least a continuation of the current tough times. It seems odd to us that the ECB would choose to put further rate cuts on hold.

And while the Eurozone maintains the second-highest CB benchmark interest rate among the major currency countries (Australia first at 3.25%), this doesn’t appear positive for the currency; not today. The euro began breaking down against the buck after the announcement this morning. Traders may potentially view today’s rate decision as not only postponing rate cuts, but postponing financial relief to the economy.

Right now, the growing concern that Europe’s economy has, relatively, the furthest still to fall is the biggest driver for the currency. Trichet and his henchman didn’t help to alleviate that concern today.

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