Just like a child who is not allowed to play video games 24 hours a day and throws a tantrum, stock traders have taken stocks down by 250-400 Dow points. The 1/4% rate cut was made as expected so all should be happy. They even got an end to quantitative tightening-kind of a double bonus.
Spoiled brats didn’t like it when Powell said this is not the first in a long series of rate cuts. Give them what they want, but don’t promise more of the same goodies down the road and they throw a tantrum.
Anyway we all know that by tomorrow traders will find a reason to “party on”.
The 10 year treasury is trading down at 2.02% and with the employment report coming Friday we will see if this yield falls below 2%–I believe it is destined to move back below 2% soon.
Only 10 minutes until the announcement of a 1/4% Fed funds rate cut (at least I am pretty sure).
Everyone knows this will happen–no cut would send stocks tumbling, while a 1/2% cut would send stocks to the moon. Fed Chair Powell already is going to have to do a mea culpa for raising rates in December, so the last thing he wants to do is send stocks sharply higher or lower.
The the press conference–the global economy will be blamed for the “change of heart” by Powell–there is no other reason.
Thanks all for the kind words on the site–I think we have been down maybe 4 hours in the 1st 18 month of the site being active.
Apparently the “hosting” server has been giving the host problems and they thought they had it fixed yesterday (Tuesday), but as those that tried to use the site this morning between 6 and 7:30 am know it was down–so I guess they didn’t get it fixed.
I will post further updates if Chad get further news from the host.
Yesterday morning our website was either down or very, very slow for maybe 30 minutes. Before I could get to Chad the site was fine so I just let it go.
This morning around 6 am (CDT) it looks like the site was down again–this time maybe 90 minutes or so–growl!!
Maybe there was maintenance or something–don’t know. I have sent off a message to Chad to get an explanation. Minimally if there is maintenance to perform we should get a notice in advance.
We did some really quick and dirty due diligence on the Highland Income Fund (NYSE:HFRO) and unfortunately most of the CEFs holdings are Level 2 assets. This means some there is some observable data from which to value the assets (versus Level 1 which is for instance common stock).
We love the funds with level 1 assets (mostly Gabelli related funds)–but we can live with Level 2 given that they will need to maintain a high asset coverage ratio. As of 12/31/2018 their asset coverage ratio was 306%. With this type of investment we watch the coverage ratio more than the fund performance–this is the important part of making our capital secure.
The fund has net asset of just over $1 billion (as of 12/31/2018) and has been in existence since 2000.
We are less excited about this issue than we were 10 minutes ago when irrational exuberance got the best of us.
At a reasonable price on the OTC Grey market we will likely still purchase a small position in this new issue.
Might as well simply figure that the business news will be dominated by speculation over what the Federal Open Market Committee will announce tomorrow midday.
We don’t need to speculate as the Fed Chair has backed himself into the corner with his congressional testimony and will have to deliver a 1/4% cut to interest rates. To do otherwise would tank the stock market, God forbid, and who wants to be the one to stop that party.
As we have mentioned, and we admit “talking our book”, with an economy that is growing around 2% and employment which is very strong there is no reason to lower rates. Sure the global economy is kind of weak–but no one can save Europe, demographically they are becoming Japan and to push on a string is a waste of our effort.
We are somewhat resigned to the cycle of issuers redeeming issues and sticking us with a lower coupon–but that is ok–companies need to do what they need to do and we need to find a way to earn a little reasonable return. That is what this game is all about.
On this page reader/participants can post comments pointing out ERRORS AND OMISSIONS on our various lists.
I think we are dealing with near 1000 pages on site at this moment (1/5/2019) and we always say we have maybe 98% good data with 2% being incorrect or simply missing.
For instance this week Affinity4Investing let us know we were missing one of the Allstate Corp preferred issues–fortunately we stumbled on his comment so we were able to get the issue added, BUT there is so much commenting activity we can only skim through them. Thus if they are posted here were can, at a glance, find out issues.
We will respond to comments on this page, but we will clear it off every week or two.
Just a quick note on the use of the RSS (real simple syndication) feed on this site–and on any site.
In the column on the right hand side is a choice of “RSS Feed”.
If you have a feed reader installed and you click on this choice it will allow the addition of a “feed” from this website. This means anytime something new is posted to the home page a notice will come to your feed reader.
We can only speak to the Chrome browser which is the one we use. We use a feed reader on our desktops, laptops and Chromebooks. It is great–very efficient for catching stuff you want to catch.
In our case we actually follow 100’s of feeds. For instance you can follow any company SEC filings or you can follow any company on Seeking Alpha–or any particular author. Many companies have feeds from their websites as well with press releases etc.
So simply here is how you do the Chrome RSS. Go here. Then “add to Chrome”. Then open the file to install–done. Then as you want to add a feed to your feed reader just click the RSS icon on the site you want to follow and it will add the feed. Your list will update every 10 minutes or whatever you set it to.
You should see this symbol in your tool bar of Chrome–top right corner when you have the feed reader installed.
The S&P500 traded in a range of 2976 to 3027, opening the week at 2981 and closing the week at 3025–“party on Garth”.
The 10 year treasury traded in a range of 2.01% to 2.08%, closing the week at the high yield of 2.08%.
The Fed Balance Sheet fell by $5 billion last week — the balance sheet stands at $3.8 trillion right now.
The average $25 preferred stock and baby bond is trading at $25.11 right now which is up 6 cents on the week–it just keeps marching higher. We have just 149 issues now trading at $25 or below–compared to 161 last week. Obviously this all goes to show that bargain hunting continues to get more difficult.
We had 1 new income issue announced last week as BDC Newtek Business Services (NASDAQ:NEWT) announced a new 5.75% $25 baby bond – they will call the NEWTZ 7.50% issue, which is a small issue. Holders of the NEWTZ issue got spanked–which they sorely needed to teach them a “call risk” lesson.
The new issue is to trade under ticker NEWTL, which was also a ticker used previously. It is possible this ticker could change prior to the start of trading. Details can be seen here.
All the markets are awaiting the decision on interest rates from the FOMC next Wednesday. We believe the Fed Chair has backed himself into the corner (with his testimony to congress) and that while lower rates are unnecessary (in my opinion) they will lower the Fed Funds rate by 1/4%.
Purely on a domestic basis the economic numbers continue to look fairly strong. Obviously on a more global basis economies are weakening and Europe remains a never ending basket case – I don’t see that changing for the better anytime soon
Of course when I write on the lowering of the Fed Funds rate I am “talking my book”. It is more palatable to have our money market earning over 2% and not being pushed into more risky assets. In these times of redemptions of preferreds and baby bonds we always seem to end up with excessive cash and we don’t mind waiting for reasonable opportunities while earning 2%–when we are earning 0 on money market there is more urgency to get cash deployed.
Look for all of the markets to remain quiet until next Wednesday afternoon as no one will want to make commitments prior to the interest rate announcement.
I will be adding a new link titled “Sandbox” in the right hand menu.
That link will get you to this page.
I had originally set up the “Reader Initiated Alert” page for ‘alerts’. I was thinking this, for instance, might be when a preferred stock is undergoing a temporary selloff and someone wants to let the population know about it quickly. Of course we all (including me) use the ‘alert’ page for general messaging.
I am requesting that we start using the Sandbox page for all general talk, and try to preserve the ‘alerts’ page for ‘alerts’.
I have had a screen up on one of my monitors all week where I see all comments – no matter where they are posted–it is a great page and I wish everyone had a page like that–believe me we all benefit from all the knowledge being shared. I don’t want to stifle any of the exchange of knowledge, but hope to get things a bit better organized by adding the Sandbox page.
As predicted by some the new Newtek (NASDAQ:NEWT) baby bonds have priced at 5.75%.
Here are the details of the issue known at this point.
Over the years I have gotten to like Newtek issues, but I am on the fence on this one. 5.75% may be too low for me to make a buy–but given the current marketplace who knows for sure.
I am looking for this one to trade sometime next week on the NASDAQ under ticker NEWTL. Of course there will be no OTC Grey market exchange trading prior to the NASDAQ listing, but for those looking for an early purchase checking with your brokerage bond desk next week may be fruitful.
BDC Newtek Business Services (NASDAQ:NEWT) has announced a new baby bond with a maturity date in 2024.
The company states that the “use of proceeds” is to call the 2022 7.50% baby bonds (NEWTZ). These baby bonds were trading as high as $28.00 in recent days. Investors were totally asleep at the wheel on this one–although we know a number of readers were on this one and sold at high prices and got out. We had seen a few exchanges of comments on this one.