Anniversary, Part II

I suppose it’s fitting that futures should be down on the morning of the one-year anniversary of the stock market bottom last year. Perhaps stocks will put in a similar reversal today, but even if they don’t, I think we can take a little selling in stride.


Oil prices are down a bit today as the dollar strengthens. We should note that the dollar and oil have moved higher in tandem lately, proving that there is more to the strength in oil prices than its relationship to the U.S. dollar.   


Expectations for the global economic recovery and a subsequent rise in demand for oil are part of it. But I also think that investors are slowly realizing that there is very little upside for production levels in non-OPEC countries.  


A recent article about Mexico bears this out. If you don’t know, one of the world’s biggest oil fields, Mexico’s Cantarell, used to produce 2 million barrels of oil day just a few years ago. Now, it doesn’t even give up 500,000 barrels a day.   


In January, Mexico posted a 2.65% drop in year-over-year oil production. And January’s production total was the highest in 9 months.   


The problem isn’t just available oil. It’s also the lack of investment to get the oil out of the ground. Mexico is in the process of opening up its oil industry so it can take advantage of better technology to boost production, but it’s not easy. The Mexican Constitution bars much foreign involvement in Mexico’s oil. The results of this policy are easy to see, and not just in the declining output in Cantarell. Where you’ll find hundreds of oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico’s state run oil company, PEMEX, has drilled about a dozen deep-water oil wells.  


The implications for Mexico are significant, as about a third of Mexico’s budget is derived from oil revenues.  


The strength in oil and energy prices has been great for the Energy World Profits portfolio. Members have gains of 40%, 36% and 29%. And one of our stocks, an emerging market coal producer, is up nearly 100% from recent lows. Anybody that bought that stock on weakness is sitting pretty right now.   


For more on Energy World Profits, click HERE


These days, the Nasdaq is pretty dominated by a few companies, Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL), Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) and Cisco (Nasdaq:CSCO). When times are good at these companies, the Nasdaq is good for investors.   


Apple has been grabbing headlines recently with the imminent release of its new iPad. But today, Cisco is trying to grab some headlines of its own with a product announcement that will “forever change the Internet.”   


The financial media is anticipating that Cisco is about to release some kind of high-speed networking product. But Cisco has been pretty secretive.   


Now, Cisco stock has made a pretty good run over the last few days in anticipation of this announcement. The potential for a “sell the news” reaction is high, I expect. Because of Cisco’s leadership on the Nasdaq (and the Dow Industrials, for that matter), the next few days of trading could be determined by the market’s reaction to Cisco’s announcement later today.   


Just thought you’d like to know.  

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