Christmas in New Mexico
As Unpredictable as Snowfall
Lovely Bases and Set-Ups for 2015
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I'm sitting in our studio room in Taos, New Mexico. My wife and I drove up from Albuquerque this morning and we're installed here until after Christmas, ready for Christmas Eve at the Taos Pueblo and some visiting with family and ingesting as much green chili stew as possible.
When we pulled into our little court of adobe studios just after noon, the ground was brown and bare, not exactly the stuff of Christmas cards.
Two hours later, the snow gods of Taos had delivered as pretty a blanket of snow as anyone could wish for. It may disappear tomorrow, but the Christmas spirit takes its inspirations where it can.
Stock markets are equally unpredictable. When commentators were mourning the failure of Santa Claus to deliver his (somewhat) predictable December rally, the tone of investors was downright gloomy. From its new highs at 2073 on November 26 and 2075 on December 3, the S&P 500 Index flopped to 1973 on December 16 and the cry was "All hands to the lifeboats! We're going down!"
Imagine everyone's delight then, when the venerable S&P shot back up, finishing Monday at 2079.
You could almost hear the reformed Ebenezer Scrooge prancing around in his nightshirt, babbling "The spirits have done it all in one night!"
This is the point at which I usually put on my Grinch hat and remind you somberly that you can't take anything the market does, or will do, for granted. Markets are volatile, can go down as well as up, capital may be lost, not our fault and blah, blah, blah.
But I'm not going to do that. While I'm always a little reluctant to talk about my personal portfolio, I'll tell you now that I'm fully invested in that account, no cash. I'm actually quite bullish about the market's immediate future.
There's plenty of negative sentiment around, which will provide fuel for any coming rally. The Chinese stocks, which form the bulk of the candidate stocks for Cabot China and Emerging Markets Report, have been trading sideways as a group for many months. And that makes for a lot of lovely bases and set ups.
Global economies are still fragile enough that investors are ready to applaud a move by the Fed to dial back its plans for turning hawkish on rates and quantitative easing. But progress has been steady, and the tide has been steadily rising.
I'm not such am optimist that I'm going to push the China & Emerging Markets Report into a more heavily invested position before the upturn comes. But it's going to be a fun time to come to work for the next few months.
In any case, I hope the holiday spirits deliver whatever it takes for you to get into the swing of the season. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
My next Cabot Wealth Advisory will be a look back at 2014 in verse. I hope you like it.
Chief Analyst, Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report
And Editor of Cabot Wealth Advisory
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