Friday File — Real Money Update, Watchlist, and more

Notes on Skyworks, Orocobre, Shopify, Blackbird Energy, NI Holdings, Northern Dynasty, and Qualcomm, among others

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 14, 2017

We’ve seen some real shift in the dollar, interest rates, and gold over the past week or so, driven, it seems, mostly by the geopolitical risk that is headlined by Syria — I don’t have any idea how that will resolve itself, but under President Trump and his ability (and seeming inclination) to create “black swan” events overnight, it’s pretty clear to me that investor complacency remains quite high among institutional investors (individual investors are still pretty skittish and afraid despite rising consumer confidence, as a whole, and they’ve been afraid and under-invested for many years, but institutions are quite bullish if you believe the surveys).

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Does that mean anything for our portfolio positioning? Not unless you’re a lot smarter than I am, or want to do more rolling of the dice. I continue to keep more of my portfolio in cash than usual, but I also continue to make small investments every month, and to opportunistically nibble on (or spit out) positions as company-specific stories percolate in my brain.

That trend of falling dollar/falling rates/rising gold has certainly helped the same segment of my portfolio that it always helps — the REITs are keeping quite a bit of air under their prices, and the gold stocks have gotten a bit of a rosy sheen on their cheeks, but nothing has really changed for those companies just because gold might be two or three percent higher than before, or because the 10-year note has dropped from a yield of 2.5% to 2.25% over the past month. Such moves are neither hugely portentous nor particularly predictable, better to own a portfolio that can handle fluctuations and not worry so much about a month’s worth of gold or dollar movements. I haven’t changed anything in my portfolio from a “big picture” perspective this week…. though I did make a few “small picture” changes, and we’re really just hitting earnings season again now so I’m keeping quite a bit of cash on hand as I look for (and hope for) earnings-related dislocations.

And I did my monthly update of the Real Money Portfolio this week, which you can see here. So… jumping right into company-specific stuff, here are my updates, thoughts, and portfolio adjustments for the week:

This week, I sold my Shopify (SHOP) call options after a wave of “maybe someone will buy SHOP” rumors ...