Friday File: “Never go Down” Inflation Investments and Some Price Updates

A checkup on Pershing Square after a wild week, plus thoughts on MarketWise, Roku, Inflation, Intrusion, Intuitive Surgical, Crown Castle and more, including a few add-on buys and one stop loss...

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, July 23, 2021


I pull together these thoughts for the Friday File throughout the week, and sometimes that means I end up feeling almost bipolar — the market sentiment on Monday was so wildly different than the sentiment this morning that our emotions can get a little whipsawed. Which means, of course, that I should be tuning down Twitter and CNBC and not paying much attention to any particular day’s price action… easier said than done.

As things close out for this midsummer week, the world is again copacetic — mostly ignoring the inflation risk and trusting the Fed, rightly or wrongly, celebrating the earnings results that continue to come out even stronger than expected, helping the market to “grow into” its valuation, and, at least this week, focusing a lot on whether or not COVID’s fourth wave in the US is going to have a big economic impact (low vaccination rates and the rapid takeover of the world by COVID’s Delta Variant have some investors looking back to last March and April and worrying that we’re in for a repeat, though that was ameliorated somewhat, at least for the US, when we finally saw both sides of the political divide pushing the vaccine-hesitant to join the immunized herd and reduce the risk of hospitalization and death).

For most of us, the temptation remains strong to make “macro” bets because the headlines and social media and our own echo chambers steer us into having a strong view, and often a false sense of certainty, about where the world is going… and the antidote to that temptation, most of the time, is going smaller — drilling down into individual stocks and markets instead, focusing on things that we might hope to understand and on companies that should survive whatever surprises the macro world is likely to throw at them. Because yes, the future panics will come as a surprise — the risk that everyone sees coming is not likely to be the risk that crushes the economy. Have some cash, be diversified across sectors and markets and styles, look for companies that are “anti fragile,” be ready for lots of possible outcomes: an acceleration of inflation, fed rate hikes, and a 30% market crash; a renewal of animal spirits and the continuation of the bull market as the reopening and stimulus-fueled growth keeps surging; or for a stock market ...

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