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Time to Get Defensive, Avoid ‘Magnificent 7’ Tech Stocks (Szn 6, Episode 3)

This podcast was recorded on Feb. 15, 2024 and made available to premium subscribers that same day (without ads, natch). For more information on premium subscriptions, visit our Substack or Supercast.

Ted Oakley, founder of Austin, Tex.-based Oxbow Advisors, joins the podcast to discuss his views on markets and the economy and why this is a time to get defensive with one’s portfolio.

Content Highlights

  • The stock market highs for the year will be set during the first quarter (1:47);
  • “There are things that people don’t see” (or at least don’t publicize) that are pointing to a slowdown in the economy (3:08);
  • One of these is the US consumer, who is now borrowing to finance purchases (4:59);
  • Another is commercial real estate, which is just starting to rear its head… (6:05);
  • Interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve may be further away than realized due to inflation risks (8:22);
  • Oxbow has been invested in ‘Magnificent 7’ stocks Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), and Apple (AAPL) for some time, but has been trimming these holdings and is certainly not looking to add more. But certain defensive sectors got cheap recently… (10:48);
  • Background on the guest (23:07);
  • What previous period in investment history is today’s market most reminiscent of? Bulls will not like this answer… (29:32).

More on the Guest

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Big Week Ahead: Earnings, GDP, Fed Interest Rate Decision

The following is an amended form of the July 25 Daily Contrarian. This briefing and accompanying podcast are released to premium subscribers each market day morning by 0700. To subscribe, visit our Substack.

We are staring at a three-headed beast this week: Earnings, the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, and economic data.

Three-headed beast. Promo image for the original Showa iteration of King Ghidorah. Source: Toho Co via Wiki
Promo image for the original Showa iteration of King Ghidorah.
Source: Toho Co via Wiki

The Fed interest rate decision is Wednesday. Second-quarter GDP is Thursday. The most important economic data release isn’t until Friday with the Personal Consumption Expenditures, aka the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

The FOMC and Q2 GDP will get the lion’s share of attention. Both could turn out to be non-events. GDP is a trailing indicator and anyway this is just the first estimate of Q2 GDP. Yeah if it prints negative that will be two consecutive quarters, which technically means we were/are in recession, blah blah. Doesn’t change the fact that this tells us something which has already happened. As such it is unlikely to move markets very much.

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