The recent upsurge in commodity prices and early signs of a pick-up in inflationary pressure could indicate that the bull market has entered its latter stages. However, until market leadership narrows or our favorite forward-looking economic indicators exhibit signs of deterioration, we’re inclined to regard dips as opportunities on the long side.
Access to relatively inexpensive sensor content, data storage, processing power and high-capacity telecom networks has enabled a new era of machine-to-machine communication that can unlock significant efficiencies for industries rooted in the physical world. The rollout of 5G communications networks over the next few years will enhance remote monitoring and other long-distance IOT functionalities.
We understand investors’ pessimism toward MLPs. Including distributions, the Alerian MLP Index has performed poorly this year. Although sentiment toward midstream MLPs remains weak, the doom and gloom gives savvy investors an opportunity to lock in above-average yields on high-quality names that stand to benefit as US onshore oil and gas production takes market share over time.
On only five occasions over this period has the S&P 500 given up more than 2 percent of its value in the final month and a half of the year. We’re not inclined to fight that seasonal record. Looking ahead to 2018, 65 weeks have passed since the S&P 500 last endured a correction of 2 percent or more. We’d be surprised if stocks don’t break this historic winning streak at some point in the first quarter of 2018.
Utilities and regulators in many states have reached a consensus that coal is yesterday’s fuel. Operators will keep these power plants running as long as they remain economic, but NextEra Energy’s decision to close the St. John’s River facility suggests that their time may be short.
Global growth trades will prove to be the winners in this last phase of the bull market. But success with them will require accuracy and agility. Outperformance will favor strong stock pickers, as investment correlations that favored passive investment strategies break down while the bull market nears its end. Emerging markets should continue to outperform for the rest of the year.
Miners who control costs, even more so than increasing production, are the ones who will do well in this current cycle, especially with China’s expected slowdown. Our favorite of the bunch remains a key Wealth Builders Portfolio member.
Even in a bull market that’s gone this high for this long, value and opportunity can be found. Here are two energy companies that offer strong businesses but haven’t yet convinced other investors of their full worth.
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