There are plenty of problems in our economy, but there is little showing up in the economic releases.
Today we had 1st time unemployment claims under 200,000 again and continuing claims are at 1.69 million–pretty steady over the last number of months. Sure we have seen layoff notices from a plethora of tech companies announcing sizable layoffs, but in the big picture these have not been substantial.
The final read on 4th quarter GDP was revised down to 2.6% from 2.7% so no major weakness showing. The Atlanta Fed is showing a 3.2% number for the current quarter on their GDP Now model—where is the weakness?
Normally I would look at the bond market for direction–but with the banking fiasco this is probably pretty meaningless in term of economic growth forecasting. Equities remain kind of strong–are equities right this time? Equities are not forecasting much economic weakness–so we continue to just guess on what is ahead – everyone has an opinion.
Yesterday I bought an add-on position in the RiverNorth Opportunities Fund 6% perpetual preferred (RIV-A). Someone did a good sized dump on these shares and it fell to my GTC buy order–hit a low around 22.39 on multiples of normal volume. 6.61% current yield on a CEF A1 rated issue–I’ll take it and will take some more if it falls.
I have no plans for today–but I have a GTC order in on the Gamco (Gabelli) Natural Resources 5.2% perpetual (GNT-A)--now trading at $22.71 for a 5.72% current yield. Low odds this will execute because my order is at $21.50–but I’m ready if someone want to dump some shares.