Friday, March 16, 2007

Stocks Lower into Final Hour, Weighed Down by I-Banks

BOTTOM LINE: The Portfolio is slightly lower into the final hour on losses in my Retail longs and Internet longs. I covered my remaining (IWM)/(QQQQ) hedges this morning, thus leaving the Portfolio 100% net long. The tone of the market is negative as the advance/decline line is lower, most sectors are falling and volume is very heavy. Oil is now trading .50 lower today despite a weaker dollar and strength in other commodities, giving up this morning's gains. I am hearing from a number of sources that energy-related commodity funds are seeing substantial redemptions. Moreover, Bloomberg is saying today that some of this money is flowing into energy-related equity hedge funds due to their lower volatility and better performance. In my opinion, oil is still very elevated, even after its 27% plunge, given the deteriorating fundamentals for the commodity. I still believe this is almost solely a result of the frenzied and historic speculation by investment funds. It is interesting to note that if enough investors yank their money from commodity funds investing in oil, oil will likely drop further, thus eventually resulting in a substantial fall in energy-related equities. I expect US stocks to trade mixed-to-higher into the close from current levels on bargain-hunting, falling energy prices and short-covering.

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