Trading Diary: Raising cash, buying gold and going dormant

Active investors are sometimes best off by laying low in the weeds and waiting for better investment opportunities.

This is the sign that welcomes you to the sleepy U.K. Village of Little Snoring. It could also have served as a sign describing today's Wall Street action. (Image via Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 – Very, very short column today, the reasons for which you can discover for yourselves by perusing today’s companion column.

Trading Diary

We’re quietly raising cash and slightly raising our positions in gold and silver ETFs, just in case some “lone wolf” – like Kim Jong-un – or some new, self-appointed Stalinist vigilante in the U.S. decides to do something profoundly evil and stupid, creating a 21st century edition of the 20th century’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand moment.

Read also: U.S. Stocks: Have they entered their summer of discontent?

The market is clearly entering upon its usual summer doldrums today, the first full day of meteorological summer, at least as defined here in the U.S. While stocks are up ever so slightly as we write this (approximately 3:30 p.m. ET), this market lacks all conviction.

Worse, the GOP Senate has just put out the text of its own Obamacare “repeal and replace” plan, which looks a bit more like a laundry list of Obamacare Band-Aids rather than genuine repealing and replacing. That’s dampening what, until now, was this week’s somewhat inexplicable enthusiasm for healthcare stocks, although that sector is still doing rather nicely.

Other than what we’ve just noted, we’re continuing to raise cash and go dormant, adding just a bit to positions we are growing in general sector ETFs.

Maybe we’ll get a clearer read tomorrow.

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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