JT’s DAILY (WEEKLY as of 12/9/2013) BLOG for Month Of November 2015

Note: All previous month's posts are available in the archives, as noted above. 

All postings for the month are available here, sorted in descending order - i.e. most recent at the top.

All times are Eastern Time - same as the NYSE

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 11/30/2015

Posted Sunday 11/29/2015 7:00 PM

As expected, last week was a quiet week for the stock market, which was to be expected for a major holiday week. Not even with an avalanche of economic data coming out on Wednesday. The readings on personal income and spending, durable orders, housing, sentiment, claims for unemployment, and oil inventories were all more or less within the expected ranges, and thus had minimal effect. The immediate market focus will now shift to retailers and expectations for the holiday shopping season. The initial indications are that this year is unlikely to be a record setting year. 

Only a minimal number of my stocks are set to go ex-dividend this week, as follows:

Waste Management (WM), 12/02/2015, yield 2.85%.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), 12/02/2015, yield 3.25%.

Kimberly Clark (KMB), 12/02/2015, yield 2.92%.

Pepsico (PEP), 12/02/2015, yield 2.80%.

Ensco (ESV), 12/03/2015, yield 3.46%.

As for earnings, none of my stocks reported last week, and only three are set to report in the coming week; Fifth Street Finance (FSC) on 11/30/2015, Medtronic (MDT) on 12/3/2015, and Medley Capital (MCC) on 12/4/2015.

Upgrades / downgrades coming out on my stocks last week were minimal:

Kellogg (K) was upgraded from Neutral to OutPerform at Credit Suisse.

Pepsico (PEP) was upgraded from Reduce to Neutral at Nomura.

Blackstone Group LP (BX) was initiated at Neutral at JP Morgan.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP (CLMT) was initiated at Neutral at Goldman.

Cisco Systems (CSCO) was initiated at Buy at Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey.

Merck (MRK) was initiated at Hold at Berenberg.

Nucor (NUE) was initiated at Buy at BB&T Capital Markets.

Pfizer (PFE) was upgraded from Reduce to Neutral at Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey.

Nothing much has changed over the past few weeks. Just as some quality cyclicals were coming into range, the market rallied and they quickly advanced. I’m referring to Emerson Electric (EMR), Eaton (ETN), and Greif (GEF). While their current prices are still somewhat attractive, I can’t see buying a cyclical just now, considering the economic outlook, unless I can get a terrific bargain. BDCs are mostly at bargain levels, but again, an economic downturn could impact these names severely. As for energy, my investment status is like most Americans after Thanksgiving – I’m stuffed to the gills with these stocks, and I probably have picked up a few turkeys here and there. I would be a buyer if I didn’t own any, but at this point, my rule against over-weighting a given sector prevents me from buying more, no matter how tempting. Plus, it is now apparent that the depression in the oil patch is going to last awhile. T Boone Pickens’ prediction of oil in the $70’s by year-end is working out about like his beloved Oklahoma State University Cowboys’ bid for a Big 12 Championship. As an oil investor and an Oklahoma State alum, I wish he had been right on both counts, but the latter was not to be, and prospects for the former ($70 oil) are dim.

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 11/23/2015

Posted Friday 11/20/2015 9:00 PM

After a weekend spent digesting the news of the Paris terrorist attacks, the market, somewhat surprisingly, rallied during the week just ended, gaining back most of the losses sustained the previous eight days. Go figure. One theory is that now the market thinks the Fed will back off raising the discount rate yet again. Or perhaps the thinking is that terror is good for business, at least up to a point. Who knows? The result is the same no matter why it occurred. Stocks that were nearly within reach of being able to be bought at reasonably discounted prices are once again out of reach. The exceptions are the seriously depressed sectors, such as metals mining, energy, BDCs, and some REITs, which do not interest me nearly as much as when the declines first occurred. With West Texas Intermediate ending Friday under $40, the depressed energy sector is likely going to stay depressed for a while longer. Metals prices are also posting new lows.

The list of stocks going ex-dividend this week is fairly short:

NextEra Energy (NEE), 11/24/2015, yield 3.05%.

Northrop Grumman (NOC), 11/25/2015, yield 1.70%.

Molson Coors (TAP), 11/25/2015, yield 1.75%.

Coca Cola (KO), 11/27/2015, yield 3.06%.

McDonalds (MCD), 11/27/2015, yield 3.14%.

Kellogg (K), 11/27/2015, yield 3.01%.

Realty Income (O), 11/27/2015, yield 4.63%. O pays monthly.

Safety Insurance Group (SAFT), 11/27/2015, yield 5.05%.

As for earnings, both Wal-Mart (WMT) and JM Smucker (SJM) reported last week as scheduled. As for this week, none of my stocks are scheduled to report, although BDC Fifth Street Finance (FSC) will be reporting the following Monday, 11/30/2015.

Upgrades/downgrades were minimal last week, as far as my stocks were concerned:

Buckeye Partners LP (BPL) was initiated at Neutral at DA Davidson.  

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP (CLMT) was initiated at Buy at DA Davidson.  

Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP) was initiated at Buy at DA Davidson.  

Alliant Energy (LNT) was upgraded from Market Perform to OutPerform at Wells Fargo.

Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA) was upgraded to OutPerform at Raymond James.

Exelon (EXC) was initiated at Sector Perform at Scotia Howard Weil.  

NextEra Energy (NEE) was initiated at Sector OutPerform at Scotia Howard Weil. 

Molson Coors (TAP) was initiated at Buy at Brian Garnier & Co.  

Exxon Mobil (XOM) was downgraded from Market Perform to UnderPerform at Raymond James.

General Dynamics (GD) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Argus Research.

Sysco (SYY) was initiated at Buy at Wells Fargo.

Intel (INTC) was upgraded from Market Perform to Market OutPerform at JMP Securities.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that the long-promised update of my stock lists has been completed. As explained on the initial screen of the section, I have modified the columns slightly regarding historical prices, and added a Tier4 grouping of “fallen angels”, or perhaps more accurately, “risky bets that went South”. Either way, the list is of stocks that were on my other lists that are no longer recommended, even as a pure speculation. In the process of updating the lists, I confirmed what I knew intrinsically all along – high yield payers often cannot sustain their payouts, and even when they can, what you see (initially) is what you get, and is usually the best that you will get – dividend increases are few and far between on these stocks. On the other hand, quality counts. While the yields on high quality names are not going to excite like the double-digit payers, these types of stocks increase their dividends regularly, even as the yields decline. Why? Because the share prices frequently increase even faster than the payouts. Examples are 3m Co (MMM), Colgate Palmolive (CL), Northrop Grumman (NOC), Raytheon (RTN), JM Smucker (SJM), Molson Coors (TAP), to name a few. Also, the review confirms why MLPs and REITs are, by definition, too risky to be on my Tier1 list. Energy MLPs, a long-time favorite of dividend seekers, have declined significantly in recent months, as the oil price decline has hit home. REITs also have taken some hits, such as Welltower (HCN), which is currently at or below $60, down from the mid-80s level it had reached not too many months ago. My advice remains the same; seek quality for the bulk of your portfolio, limit the high yield / speculative holdings to 15% or so of the total portfolio, and stay diversified, by sector, and never have too much of your capital in any one stock. And also, don’t buy stocks that don’t pay a reasonable dividend. Management should pay you something for your capital. You can be sure they will pay themselves!

JT

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 11/16/2015

Posted Sunday 11/15/2015 5:00 PM

Stocks had a down week, with just one day out of five posting positive numbers, which were minimal on that one day. Crude oil led the way, again threatening to drop below $40 per barrel for the benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI). The upbeat Jobs Report from the prior Friday has conditioned most market participants to expect that the Fed will increase the short-term rate before the end of the year, contrary to the consensus that predominated before the Jobs Report came out.

In a market like this, the name of the game is dividends. My next batch of payers will be tallied shortly. But first, for completeness, here are three stocks that recently went ex-dividend that I missed the last couple of weeks: United Parcel Service (UPS) went ex-dividend 11/12/2015, yielding 2.85%; Gladstone Investment (GAIN), which pays monthly, went ex-dividend 11/13/2015, yielding 10.08%; and NuStar Energy LP (NS) went ex-dividend 11/5/2015, yielding 10.17%. Next, the stocks going ex-dividend this week, listed by date, are:

11/16/2015

Chevron (CVX), yield 4.76%.

11/17/2015

MicroSoft (MSFT), yield 2.70%.

11/18/2015

3M Co (MMM), yield 2.62%.

Vodafone (VOD), yield 5.06%. VOD pays semi-annually.

Diebold (DBD), yield 3.20%.

Main Street Capital (MAIN), yield 7.11%. MAIN pays monthly.

11/19/2015

Pan American Silver (PAAS), yield 2.97%.

11/20/2015

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), yield 2.99%.

CenturyLink (CTL), yield 7.60%.

All four stocks listed in last week’s posting as scheduled to report earnings did so as expected. See last week’s posting for the names, and the firm’s websites, the financial press, or Seeking Alpha for earnings details. As for the week ahead, only two reports are expected; Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) on 11/17/2015, and JM Smucker (SJM) on 11/2015.

Upgrades/downgrades from last week on my stocks were:

Sanofi (SNY) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at Bernstein, and to Neutral at UBS, and also at Bryan Garnier.

Enerplus (ERF) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at UBS.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was initiated at Neutral at Citigroup.

Mid-America Apartment Communities (MAA) was initiated at Hold at BB&T Capital Markets.

Eaton (ETN) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Argus.

Ventas was upgraded to Buy at Hilliard Lyons.

Raytheon (RTN) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Argus.

Kayne Anderson Energy Development Co (KED) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.

Digital Realty (DLR) was initiated at UnderWeight at BB&T Capital Markets.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Northcoast.

The market action over the last two weeks has resulted in a lot of doubt as to the likelihood of a “Santa Claus Rally”. The primary factor seems to be the worldwide economic slowdown, exacerbated by a recent dampening of expectations regarding the upcoming holiday shopping season. As is usually the case when things turn down, a rising chorus of “doom and gloom” from the usual suspects takes center stage in the financial press, which probably further depresses the market. If this keeps up, it will soon be time to go bargain hunting. I have my list ready. It includes Emerson Electric (EMR), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Ventas (VTR), Greif (GEF), Wal-Mart (WMT), and CenturyLink (CTL). Noticeably absent are energy firms – I’m full up on those bargains for the moment.

JT  

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 11/09/2015

Posted Saturday 11/07/2015 7:00 PM

Volatility was contained last week, as stocks ended the week slightly ahead of where they began it. A surprisingly robust monthly Jobs Report released on Friday threatened to take stocks down, as the “good news is bad news” syndrome took effect initially, presumably as investors feared the report would result in the much-delayed initial Fed rate hike coming to pass before the end of the year. As the day wore on, however, the market over-all mostly recovered, with only the more rate-sensitive sectors, such as REITs, holding on to their initial losses.   

A number of my stocks announced their next payouts coming up, listed as follows by date, with the annualized yield as of Friday’s close indicated.

11/09/2015

Exxon Mobil (XOM), 3.44%.

Entergy (ETR), 5.00%.

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (BWP), 2.96%. BWP has stabilized somewhat since the substantial distribution cut and fall from grace more than a year ago, but remains a stock no longer recommended. As is my practice, I will continue to follow such stocks, which will be segregated into a new “Tier4” category of stocks I once recommended, but no longer.

11/10/2015

Emerson Electric (EMR), 3.87%.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), 5.82%.

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), 7.13%.

JM Smucker (SJM), 2.27%.

Spectra Energy (SE), 5.22%.

11/12/2015 (None occur on 11/11/2015)

Southern Company (SO), 4.76%.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), 1.68%.

Kraft Heinz (KHC), 3.05%.

Fifth Street Finance (FSC), 12.96%. FSC pays monthly.

Hercules Technology Growth Capital (HTGC), 10.98%.

11/16/2015 (None occur on 11/13/2015)

Chevron (CVX), 4.53%. Remember, I will now also post any stocks going ex-dividend the following Monday, since they must be bought before the weekend to get the upcoming dividend.

Dividend announcement misses from last week and the week before were:

Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP (CLMT), which went ex-dividend 10/30/2015, yielding 10.33%.

Buckeye Partners LP (BPL), which went ex-dividend 11/5/2015, yielding 6.89%.

Misses can easily occur when firms wait until just before the ex-dividend date to announce, since I only survey my stocks once a week for dividend and earnings announcements.

Some reorganization developments for a couple of MLPs I follow occurred as well.

First, Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP), the general partner of Crestwood Midstream Partners LP (CMLP), which absorbed the MLP in early October, went ex-dividend 11/4/2015, paying out $.1375 per unit, which at a unit price of $2.67, generated an annualized yield of 20.6%. Holders should not get too excited, as a reverse 1 for 10 stock split has been announced for CEQP, to take effect on 11/23/2015, which, assuming the distribution per unit stays the same, will result in a 90% or so dividend cut. Reverse splits are an attempt to regain a respectable stock price after a drastic decline, and generally are representative of a disaster stock, which is likely never going to recover enough to offset the losses of holders who bought at the earlier, pre-split price.   

Another similar development that came to fruition last week involved Exterran Partners LP (EXLP). What happened here was that the general partner of EXLP, formerly Exterran Holdings (EXH), separated into two firms, Exterran Corp (EXTN) and Archrock Inc. (AROC), with AROC retaining the interest in the MLP, and thus replacing EXH as the general partner. Further, Exterran Partners LP (EXLP) was renamed to Archrock Partners LP (APLP), to be traded on the NASDAQ, same as EXLP had been. EXLP / APLP went ex-dividend on 11/5/2015, distributing $.5725 per unit, yielding 11.95%. 

Both of these reorg developments are reflective of the stress in the MLP space just now, as over-leveraged firms with high payouts react to the drastic oil price decline.

Moving on to earnings, last week’s posting identified forty-five firms on my lists scheduled to report during the week just ended, and forty-four did so, with two minor corrections; TICC Capital (TICC) reported on 11/6/2015, not 11/3/2015 as listed, and Safety Insurance Group (SAFT) reported on 11/3/2015, not 11/4/2015 as listed. The lone omission was Kayne Anderson Energy Development (KED), which my resource erroneously indicated would be reporting. KED is actually a closed-end fund invested in energy firms, mostly MLPs, and does not report on a strict quarterly schedule like a regular corporation. See last week’s posting for a tally of firms reporting, by date. As for details, see the firm’s websites, news articles in the financial press, or Seeking Alpha.

As for the week ahead, the number of firms reporting drops off substantially. Only four firms are scheduled to report, as follows:

Amerigas Partners LP (APU), 11/9/2015.

PennantPark Investment (PNNT), 11/10/2015.

Pan American Silver (PAAS), 11/12/2015.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), 11/12/2015.

E*Trade indicates Vodafone (VOD) will report 11/13/2015, but I have not been able to confirm it. That illustrates investor frustration with foreign firms, it is frequently difficult to find out what their schedule is, for both earnings and dividends. Another example is Statoil (STO), which should have a quarterly dividend announced by now, but I could not find any evidence of it.

Upgrades / downgrades on my stocks from last week were as follows:

Digital Realty (DLR) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at Raymond James.

Eaton (ETN) was downgraded from OutPerform to Market Perform at Bernstein.

Norfolk Southern (NSC) was downgraded from Neutral to UnderPerform at Macquarie.

Eni S p A (E) was downgraded from Equal Weight to UnderWeight at Morgan Stanley.

Reynolds American (RAI) was downgraded from Top Pick to OutPerform at RBC Capital Markets.

Altria (MO) was downgraded to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

Williams Partners LP (WPZ) was upgraded from Neutral to Buy at Ladenburg Thalmann.

NuStar Energy LP (NS) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, and from OverWeight to Neutral at JP Morgan.

Kellogg (K) was upgraded from UnderPerform to Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Pan American Silver (PAAS) was downgraded to UnderPerform at BMO Capital.

Memorial Production Partners LP (MEMP) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Wunderlich.

Plains All American Pipeline (PAA) was downgraded from OutPerform to Neutral at Credit Suisse, and from Buy to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.

Emerson Electric (EMR) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Societe Generale.

Eni S p A (E) was downgraded to Neutral at BTIG Research.

Waste Management (WM) was initiated at OutPerform at Credit Suisse.

Westar Energy (WR) was upgraded from UnderWeight to Neutral at JP Morgan.

Note that I indicate the previous rating when it is available from my source.

Friday’s selloff of rate-sensitive stocks, primarily REITs, put two of my REITs into buy range; Ventas (VTR), and Welltower (HCN), formerly Health Care REIT. VTR around $50 or so and HCN around $60 or so would be hard to pass up. Another sector besides REITs coming into range are cyclicals. Emerson Electric (EMR) around $45, Eaton (ETN) around $55, or Greif (GEF) around $30 would all be attractive levels at which to start a position. Note that the Greif ‘B’ shares are now so thinly traded that I no longer recommend them, for investing in Greif. All of these candidates are close to these round number levels, but not quite there yet. Now is a time to be very selective and cautious regarding commitment of new money, even though the ZIRP policy has effectively eliminated fixed income alternatives. Receiving nothing as far as a return is still better than losing money. The best way to avoid the latter is, to repeat myself, be very selective and cautious. Also, be diversified, both by sector, as well as by individual holdings within a sector. Any individual stock can always “blow up”, with some unexpected development causing a loss in value. The only defense here is to never own too much of any one stock, no matter how good it seems, or how great it has been in the past.

JT  

1st Posting for Week Beginning Monday 11/02/2015

Posted Sunday 11/01/2015 6:00 PM

Stocks lost ground four out of five days last week, but still managed a modest gain overall for the week, as the one positive day exceeded the four negative days. Further, the market gained substantially over the entire month, with all of the major averages posting the best monthly gains seen for a long while.

Meanwhile, my dividend payers just keep on keeping on. Before I list the next batch, note that I missed Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP) last week, which went ex-dividend 10/29/2015. MMP yields 4.54%. This week, we have more of my stocks going ex-dividend than usual, reported as follows, by date, with the annualized yield indicated:

11/03/2015

Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE), 4.89%.

Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), 9.32%.

Memorial Production Partners LP (MEMP), 21.5%. The quarterly payout has been reduced from $.55 to $.30, effective this round, as the firm reacts to the oil price decline. The yield is still sky-high, reflecting the severely depressed unit price, which closed Friday at $5.58.

Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY), 15.0%. Similarly, LGCY reduced the quarterly payout from $.35 to $.15, also effective with this payout.

11/04/2015

Intel (INTC), 2.82%.

Pfizer (PFE), 3.22%.

Norfolk Southern (NSC), 2.91%.

Williams Partners (WPZ), 10.04%.\

Martin Midstream Partners LP (MMLP), 11.30%.

11/05/2015

Eaton (ETN), 4.05%.

HCP Inc. (HCP), 5.91%.

11/06/2015

American Electric Power (AEP), 3.99%.

Amerigas Partners LP (APU), 8.69%.

Welltower (HCN), 4.93%. I just cannot get used to this ridiculous name change for HCN.

11/09/2015

Exxon Mobil (XOM), 3.55%. Remember, I will now also post any stocks going ex-dividend the following Monday, since they must be bought before the weekend to get the upcoming dividend.

Last week’s posting identified forty-four firms on my lists scheduled to report during the week just ended, and forty-one did so. See last week’s posting for a tally, by date. As for details, see the firm’s websites, news articles in the financial press, or Seeking Alpha. The three miscues were: Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY), now scheduled to report 11/04/2015; Medical Properties Trust (MPW), now scheduled to report 11/05/2015; and Unilever (UL), which actually had reported before last week, on 10/15/2015. Further, I missed Eni S p A (E), which reported last week, on 10/29/2015.

As for the week coming up, the avalanche continues, as forty-six firms that I track will be reporting, tallied by day as follows:

11/02/2015

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP (BWP), Entergy (ETR), Sysco (SYY).

11/03/2015

Crestwood Equity Partners LP (CEQP), Emerson Electric (EMR), Exterran Partners LP (EXLP), Frontier Communications (FTR), HCP Inc. (HCP), Kellogg (K), NuStar Energy LP (NS), Magellan Midstream Partners LP (MMP), TICC Capital (TICC), ONEOK Partners LP (OKS), Plains All American Pipeline LP (PAA), Westar Energy (WR), Solar Capital Ltd (SLRC).

11/04/2015

Ares Capital (ARCC), Memorial Production Partners LP (MEMP), MFA Financial (MFA), Calumet Specialty Products Partners LP (CLMT), Spectra Energy (SE), Annaly Capital (NLY), CenturyLink (CTL), BlackRock Capital Investment (BKCC), Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE), Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), Legacy Reserves LP (LGCY), Kimco Realty (KIM), Prospect Capital (PSEC), Transocean (RIG), Triangle Capital (TCAP), Safety Insurance Group (SAFT).

11/05/2015

Apollo Investment (AINV), Breitburn Energy Partners LP (BBEP), Consolidated Communications (CNSL), Linn Energy LLC (LINE), Molson Coors (TAP), National Health Investors (NHI), Windstream Holdings (WIN), Alliant Energy (LNT), Medical Properties Trust (MPW), Main Street Capital (MAIN), Kraft Heinz (KHC), Universal (UVV).

11/06/2015

Enerplus (ERF).

Upgrades / downgrades from last week on my stocks were:

Exterran Partners LP (EXLP) was initiated at OutPerform at Credit Suisse.

Ventas (VTR) was downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Mizuho.

Welltower (HCN) was also downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Mizuho.

Energy Transfer Equity LP (ETE) and Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) were both initiated at Buy at Evercore ISI.

Newmont Mining (NEM) was downgraded to Hold at HSBC.

Kellogg (K), General Mills (GIS), and J M Smucker (SJM) were all initiated at Neutral at Susquehanna.

Intel (INTC) was downgraded to Neutral at Tigress Financial.

Ventas (VTR) was downgraded to Hold at Tigress Financial.

DrPepper Snapple (DPS) was upgraded from UnderPerform to Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

American Capital Agency (AGNC) was downgraded from Buy to Hold at Wunderlich.

Realty Income (O) was initiated at Hold at Wunderlich.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) was upgraded from Hold to Buy at Drexel Hamilton.

Novartis (NVS) was downgraded to UnderPerform at MainFirst.

SCANA (SCG) was upgraded from Neutral to OutPerform at Macquarie.

Newmont Mining (NEM) was upgraded to Buy at Mackie Research.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) was downgraded to Peer Perform at Wolfe Research.

Altria (MO) was downgraded to Market Perform at Cowen & Company.

Regarding the dividend cuts at MEMP and LGCY, the reductions were expected, as these two upstream MLPs were perhaps the last holdouts in the space. Two other fellow travelers, Linn Energy LLC (LINE) and Breitburn Energy Partners LP (BBEP) had previously reduced their payouts, to zero in the case of LINE, and to $.0417 monthly in the case of BBEP. Any of these four MLPs can be bought today at a tremendous discount from what they were trading at before the oil price crash. The question is, will they even survive, much less recover? If oil prices recover, at least partially, in the next couple of years, yes. If not, possibly no. Still, I don’t see these firms as potential Enrons or Worldcoms, i.e. hopeless cases. Certainly no fraud is involved, just a collapse in the price of their sole product. Buying any of them at today’s prices would seem to be a worthy speculation, as long as one is using funds that he/she can afford to lose. Just don’t bet the ranch. Anything could happen.

Other than energy, as per last week’s recap, there are certain sectors that are depressed, offering possibly some bargains. Specifically, Mortgage REITs, some property REITs, BDCs, Precious Metals Miners, and certain cyclicals, such as Eaton (ETN), Emerson Electric (EMR), or Greif (GEF). To sum it up, there are potential opportunities, each with multiple caveats. None are sure things, regardless of what some pundit might claim. In other words, the stock market situation is the same as it always has been – caution is warranted.  

JT