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General Comment by Larry Berman CFA, CMT, CTA

Bias Subject Owned

Interest rates. The Fed will raise interest rates this week. Friday’s payroll was pretty decent, so there is no room for them not to go. Three rate hikes are pretty much priced in to the Fed Fund’s curve out to the end of the year. If we go into Europe and European elections, Netherlands actually starts this week, but we are really looking at the French election as the key one, April 23-May 7. If Marie Le Pen wins the election, that is going to be very destabilizing globally, far more than BREXIT, far more than the US election, and far more than the Italian election. We haven’t seen any impact from British breaking trade agreements with the EU, other than the weakening of the British pound. If France decides to leave the EU, and it goes back to the French franc, the whole European project begins to come apart. BREXIT was a warning shot across the bow, and this would be breaking it apart. If it is not this one, maybe it is the Italian election, sometime within the next year. If one of these goes extreme right wing it is going to start falling apart. That is what he is really worried about. The US economy, for all its ills, is still the strongest economy in the world. The restructuring that Trump is trying to put into place should be very, very good in the long run. There is lots of execution risk. We are now hearing Congress may not go for these trade deals, it has to be revenue neutral for tax cuts, etc., thus execution risk for the next couple of quarters We just have to be cautious on the markets.

Larry Berman CFA, CMT, CTA
Chief Investment Officer, Partner, ETF Capital Management Inc.

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