Charts point to big buying opportunity for Exxon Mobil


Volatility has crept back into the market, and energy stocks are reeling.

The energy sector has fallen 10 percent this month as oil broke below $60 for the first time this year and the Dow and S&P 500 dance along the lines of a correction. According to one technician, the sell-off is presenting an attractive buying opportunity for the biggest name in the group: Exxon Mobil.

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Don’t be fooled by the ‘stocks are cheap now’ argument. They’re not

coin graph

The stock correction, while dramatic, hasn’t really done a whole lot to make the market look more affordable.

In fact, valuations remain high by historical standards when looking over five- and 10-year periods. Normally, investors will go bargain-hunting when the market saw as sharp a dive as it has during February, but low-priced sectors are still hard to find.

As a group, the S&P 500 has fallen from trading at more than 18 times forward earnings to 16.3 times as of Friday. While that gets the index closer to its normal level, that still is a shade above the five-year average of 16 and considerably above the 10-year standard of 14.3, according to FactSet.

Looking inside the index, six of the 10 sectors are trading below the five-year average, with energy the only one meaningfully under, while only one is below the 10-year norm. (The real estate sector is too recent to track its history.)

While the correction has brought valuations more in line, most strategists aren’t recommending using the metric as a guide for buying.

“On a valuation basis, concerns remain,” John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, said in a note to clients. “Valuations aren’t cheap though we’d suggest that they aren’t terribly rich considering six quarters of consecutive earnings growth as well as the relative valuations of stocks and bonds against prospects we see for reflation versus worrisome inflation.”

The comments reflect a growing dilemma in the markets: How do prices line up with high expectations for earnings balanced against worries over inflation?

This bull market that began 10 years ago next month has been dependent on what strategists call “multiple expansion” — the willingness of investors to pay higher prices compared with earnings, fueled by expectations that growth will continue.

Price-to-earnings sat a little above 10 in March 2009 and has been on a steady trek higher since around October 2011.

Valuations “have improved meaningfully with the recent decline in equity prices and improvement in [earnings] expectations,” said Lori Calvasina, head of U.S. equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. However, “multiple expansion is unlikely with Fed tightening ramping up and given the late stage of the bull market.”

So rather than just looking for low multiples, the best bet for investors could be to find sectors that suffered the most during the correction.

Stoltzfus calls the group “babies thrown out with the bathwater” and advised clients to “stay tuned” for opportunities that will arise as market volatility continues.

Sam Stovall, the chief investment strategist at CFRA, advises a similar approach, looking for the sectors that took the biggest beating during the sell-off and drilling down for opportunities. Specifically, he said market history since 1990 shows that the three sectors and 12 sub-industries that lose the most during corrections will outperform in the six months ahead.

In this case, that means energy, health care and materials among broad sectors, while the three worst-performing sub-industries have been semiconductors, life and health insurance, and a tie between health care supplies and oil and gas exploration and production. For instance, though materials are still slightly expensive compared with historical norms, the sector’s 10.6 percent loss during the correction makes it attractive.

“Due to the swiftness of the sell-off, history says we should expect a quicker conclusion and more rapid recovery than normal,” Stovall said in a note.


How to access the high-net-worth space


Advisers who want to move upmarket should educate themselves about such topics as tax optimization, income planning and estate planning.

As industry pressures intensify for advisers, high-net-worth investors represent a “sweet spot” given their substantial investible wealth, which can provide a great boost to advisers’ businesses.

However, competition is steep: while 13 percent of advisory firms report an increased focus on high-net-worth clients, those with $1 million or more in liquid assets, they may not realize that this demographic accounts for less than 1 percent of the overall U.S. population.

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Look out below: more U.S. dollar weakness to come, says currency expert


It’s not just stocks that are falling — the greenback is also taking it on the chin.

Despite a selloff in the stocks, the U.S. dollar, traditionally a haven in times of turmoil, is hovering near multi-year lows. It could see even more downside this year for two major reasons: Europe and China. The DXY U.S. dollar index ended January with losses of 3 percent, its worst drop in nearly 2 years, and its third straight month in negative territory.

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Is The Stock Market Now On Thin Ice?

The sharp drop in the major averages Friday added to the week’s woes, as the Dow Industrials was down over 4% and the S&P 500 lost 3.9% for the week. All eleven S&P sectors were lower. The relentless selling was evident from the weekly NYSE A/D numbers, as only 283 stocks advanced and 2821 declined.

After last week, many investors are likely to be on edge, especially those who just got into the stock market this year. Even the Super Bowl weekend is unlikely to keep many from worrying about the stock market. It is too early to tell how many of the new buyers will exit the stock market, but I would urge them to view last week’s action from a historical perspective.

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Doing well by doing good 2018: Bigger strides for sustainable investing


This year saw more governments and businesses than ever before put the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of their development plans.

As 2018 begins, how on track is implementation of the 2030 global goals, and what does 2018 hold for sustainable investment?

Despite major advances, the UN’s 2017 annual progress report on SDGs warned that unless the speed of progress is stepped up, the 17 goals to be achieved by 2030 will be missed.

“Implementation has begun, but the clock is ticking,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “The rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet the targets by 2030.”

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While Uber Invests In Lobbying And AI, Drivers Are Fighting For Decent Pay

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For almost nine years, Uber has drawn attention and business with its neoteric solutions and rule-breaking style. Along the way, it’s also drawn plenty of public criticism.

For example, Uber has gained an international spotlight for using special kinds of software to gouge riders and track them after drop-off, to spy on and manipulate competitors, and to circumvent authorities. Regulators have questioned whether it’s a public nuisance, or clogging our streets, or has mishandled breaches of user data, or failed to protect and perform sufficient background checks on its drivers, a (proportionately tiny) number of whom later committed rape or murder.

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It is important for Moldova to maintain economic relations with both the East and the West – Calin Corjan

Privat investor Calin Corjan believes that Moldova should develop relations both with the East and with the West.

The first persons of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus during the official meeting in Astana signed an agreement on establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union – the EAEU, in connection with which many analysts insist on rethinking of economy in Moldova. The new largest public market in the CIS, which represents the EAEU, will cover 170 million people and promises to be the center of economic development.

According to executive director of the Center for Strategic Studies and Reforms Galina Selari, Moldova should consider cooperation with the Eurasian Union.

“We risk losing our traditional economic niches in the eastern market. Russia is the basic market for Moldavian vegetables, fruits and wine products. Tomorrow these niches can be occupied by the partners of the Eurasian Union. To prevent this from happening, Moldova must rethink its economy”, – she said.

She stressed also that cooperation with the EU is less of an interest for Moldova, since the economy of the republic is mostly integrated namely with the CIS countries.

Privat investor Calin Corjan
Privat investor Calin Corjan

The economist, expert in international business and innovations, privat investor Calin Corjan, on the contrary, believes that Moldova should develop relations both with the East and with the West.

“In my opinion, Moldova must build a competent policy, cooperating with both the EAEU countries and with the EU states. Both markets for the republic are not only interesting, but also important. Moldova should expand its markets for products. Our country has potential. Therefore, it is important to maintain relations with the West and with the East”, – considers Calin Corjan.


Lots of Russians want to invest in bitcoin but we believe it’s a bubble, wealth fund chief says


A panel of fund managers have given their tips on where to find pockets of value in the market — and what assets investors should avoid.

The cryptocurrency bitcoin soon popped up in the discussion.

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Is The Stock Market Overvalued?

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There’s a great debate on Wall Street regarding the stock market’s valuation right now. The market has soared since the historic 2009 low. Additionally, this is now the longest period in history we have not had a 5% decline in the S&P 500. That is leading many people to question whether or not the market is overvalued as we make our way into 2018.

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