More Opinion by The Springboard

THE UPRISING OF THE AMERICAN PARTY "Clearly the voters are engaged right now, at least for sure on the republican side, and what they have concluded is that the republican party has not done their job. Thus, Donald Trump gets their vote."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cautious Optimism for the US Markets

Today wound up being another fairly good day in the markets, and certainly the markets have been enjoying some fairly nice runups of late. And while there are definitely positive signs that the economy may slowly be in the beginning stages of coming out of the doldrums, I am still fairly cautious about the moves I make in the markets, but also optimistic going forward that certain stocks will see some nice gains.

Part of the activity in the markets was due to the start of a two-day meeting by the Feds which, for all intents and purposes appears that they will not make any immediate changes, which is positive news overall. It willalso be interesting see what the Fed will have to say about some of the predictions they made in March when they last met in which they said they saw GDP growth around 2.6% through 2013, and a nearly 1 point increase in 2014 to 3.2%. In March the Fed also suggested that unemployment numbers would continue to improve, dropping to 7.4% by the end of 2013, and down to 6.9% by 2014. I think that if the Fed reaffirms these figures, or show better numbers for GDP growth projections and unemployment figures, obviously this will cause the markets to continue to rally. If the Fed adjust these numbers to the negative, it may throw a bit of uncertainty in the markets and cause stocks to go lower. My strong suspicion is that the Fed will not adjust their figures, but rather will state that they are on track to meet these projections they made back in March. That is still a positive, to my mind, and I think the markets will react positively to that news.

I also think that, for the time being, the Fed will maintain monthly purchases of $85 billion worth of bonds. They won't start scaling this back, I believe, until some of the projected figures begin to get closer to becoming fact. Bernanke, I think, tends to be a bit cautious about acting too soon. Although a scaling back of these bond purchases would certainly be a strong signal for the economy, and the markets could see gains as a result.

Stocks I like right now are Ford Motor Company (F), Dunkin Brands Group (DNKN), Target (TGT), and Masco Corp. (MAS).

I picked Ford due to what I perceive as better auto sales figures due to improving employment, an uptick in refinancing of mortgages which may open some money up to potential buyers, and aging fleets which will need to be replaced sometime in the near future which Ford could be a beneficiary of. Dunkin Brands Group was picked due to a good earnings cycle, and strong expansion of their business and upgrading of stores. Dunkin is making a strong push for market share, and I think they have a good chance of getting some of it. Target is my choice because consumer confidence is up slightly, and because I think Target is considered by many consumers as an upgrade to other discount players like Dollar Tree and Walmart. If economic conditions improve, and employment situations improve, consumers may well treat themselves to shopping up at Target over the other discounters. Plus, their stores look great. Masco Corp. is a play on the nearly 7% uptick in new housing starts recently reported, and improving home sales overall. When people buy new or existing homes, they tend to want to spruce things up a bit, and Masco Corp. is definitely a company who offers products new homeowners can turn to to help them to do this.

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