Trading Diary: No funerals, a wedding and a Wall Street rally

We stumble into a surprise midweek, midsummer rally, toy with silver and gold positions, and get ready to attend an actual Millennial wedding. Change.

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WASHINGTON, July 12, 2017 – As we noted in our companion column, Wall Street is off and running – at least as of 11 a.m. ET Wednesday – as bulls step in to buy. This thus-far modest Wall Street party appears to be based on Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s surprisingly dovish remarks Wednesday morning, broadly hinting that those aggressive interest rate hikes the nation’s central bank has been promoting this year might slow rather considerably.

Trading Diary

As for our portfolios, we’ll likely settle back and watch the action today, wary that in recent months, there’s been little follow through on nicely bullish days, at least since this past March. That’s when the Trump Rally either paused or breathed its last, depending on your point of view.

Read also: Surprise! Dovish Yellen remarks ignite stock market rally

We did make small, incremental purchases in the Swiss gold and silver ETFs, (symbols: SGOL and SIVR, respectively). We currently prefer these to the several more popular precious metals ETFs for two reasons:

Unlike many precious metals ETFs, these ETFs are not merely paper representations of gold and silver. They’re backed by actual metal held in Swiss vaults.

Just as important, these two ETFs trade without commission at our discount brokerage, so we can make small sales and purchases of shares pretty much any time we want without incurring commissions that would be crippling even at today’s deeply discounted rates.

We continue to keep an eye on major U.S. iron ore producer Cliffs Industries (CLF), which continues to rally on continuing hopes that the Trump administration will make good on its promise to impose steel dumping tariffs on China as the President promised to do during his campaign.

We still think that the imposition of these tariffs is not yet in the bag due, perhaps, to diplomatic considerations revolving around the nuclear-tipped mess that is North Korea and our need for some kind of Chinese cooperation in winding down this dangerous provocation.

That said, traders are buying steel and iron ore stocks with abandon once again Wednesday morning, following on Tuesday’s positive action. Call option trading has picked up even more feverishly, too, all of which means that professional traders at least are betting on those tariffs. But it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.

Most of our other holdings are up nicely Wednesday morning as well. During the summer doldrums, we’ll take what we can get. So, with no IPOs on the horizon, at least at our brokerage house, we’ll relax for the rest of the day and do other things – mainly by getting prepared for a brief sojourn to Cleveland, Ohio, where we’ll be attending that rarest of events: an actual Millennial wedding.

Apparently, miracles can still happen, even in 2017.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17