With such a devastating force of nature and ailing shelters, the havoc wreaked in Turkish left at least 23,000 dead, with the count only poised to grow in the coming days. With news like these nothing financially relevant seems relevant, really. So read what follows lightly and make your hearts heavy with grief for those who fell. Donate if you can.
Weekly summary in a paragraph
US stock markets finished lower on Friday after a 3-week and a 6-week rise for the S&P500 and the Nasdaq, respectively. Value continues to underperform relative to growth. Oil higher mostly due to Russia cutting production by 0.5M barrels. The terminal rate is now expected at 5.15% from 4.9% last Thursday. The 2-10y inversion has reached 80 basis points. Economic data published this week threw a spanner in the works of the disinflationary path: it is very difficult to go from 4 to 2% and the Fed does not seems to backtrack from its 2% target. In corporate news, Disney earnings beat expectations on a cost cutting programme while Google got clobbered by losing an AI competition.
Asset classes weekly performance
This week the Dow finished -0.17% lower (+2.2% year to date) while the S&P500 did worse with a -1.1% decrease (+6.5% year to date, we are 1 time short), the Nasdaq tanked -2.4% (+12.0% year to date, we have a 3 times inverse position) and the Russell 2000 lost as much as -3.4% (+9.0% year to date). Gold finished lower -0.1% (+2.2% year to date, we are long) while Silver was -1.6% weaker (-8.8% year to date, we are long). Oil jumped +8.4% (-0.7% year to date). The 10-y US treasury yield jumped +1.9% this week (-1.3% year to date). The European stock market gave up -1.8% (+11.3% year to date). The Euro finished -1.1% lower against the US Dollar (-0.3% year to date).
It was too good to be true, wasn’t it? And often when things are too good to be true they just aren’t. The Nasdaq failed to add a 7th week of consecutive gains and retraced after having delivered what were basically a year’s worth of gains in the first 40 days of 2023.
It is tempting to go all in when markets outperform but it is prudent to either keep profitable positions on a tight leash (do you use automatic sell stops and take profits like we do?) or have cash and hedges in one’s portfolio (see our portfolio asset allocation below). We have beaten the market this week and are protected to the downside should there be more pain coming next week when the January CPI is announced.
Weekly Portfolio Update
Here are this week’s movements: we took profits on Nucor (+9.3%), Qualcomm (+3.2%) and Global Lithium ETF (+7.9%); take profits were triggered on our Pinterest, Peloton, SL Green Realty and Semrush Holdings short positions. Cash, precious metals and hedges amount to 39.5% in our portfolio (increased compared to last week).
Top 5 Weekly Portfolio Performers
ProShares UltraPro Short Russell 2000 +10.8% (3x inverse Russell 2000)
Vix short-term S&P500 future +7.5% (Volatility)
ProShares UltraPro QQQ +6.4% (2x inverse Nasdaq)
Denbury +4.3% (Oil)
Callon Petroleum Company +4.0% (Oil)
Portfolio Asset Allocation
US Long stock positions 44% (reduced)
EU Long stock positions 10% (unchanged)
Short stock position 6.5% (unchanged)
Hedges 7% (unchanged)
Silver & Gold 4% (unchanged)
Cash 28.5% (increased)
Year to date Portfolio Performance
Our year to date portfolio performance is +4.7% (excl. dividends) vs the S&P500 gain of +6.5%.
…in case you missed it…
Check out our first 2023 weekly newsletter to read the 5 things I got right in 2022…and the 5 I got wrong.
You can now listen to this newsletter on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.