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Richard Russell - The Cheapest Thing On The Planet Is Silver PDF Print E-mail
Written by King World News   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 07:40

silver-coins-bars4With continued turmoil and uncertainty in global markets, today KWN is publishing another important piece that was written by a 60-year market veteran.  The Godfather of newsletter writers, Richard Russell, says that he is buying physical silver because it’s “dirt cheap.” Russell also warned that the gold/silver ratio may plunge from 66/1 down to 16/1.  This means the price of silver would more than triple the upside surge he expects for gold.

....read Richard's full comment on all major markets including Silver HERE

 
3-D Printing - Exciting But Dangerous PDF Print E-mail
Written by Gordon Pape via Guru Focus   
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 06:53

There was an article in The Globe and Mail last week about how scientists are using the principles of 3-D printing to attempt to create a bionic heart. At about the same time, The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy story about how 3-D printing could revolutionize manufacturing by cutting both costs and timelines dramatically.

One example from the WSJ article: Ford Motor Company is using 3-D printers in its design centres to make moulds for prototype parts. "It takes four days and costs $3,000 to print a 3-D prototype of an engine's air intake manifold, compared to four months and $500,000 without 3-D printing," WSJ writer Bob Tita said.

3-D printing is a technology that makes it possible to create a solid object out of virtually any material from metal to human tissue. It has already been used to produce everything from titanium knee joints to plastic guns. The weapons applications scares the daylights out of authorities and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has asked for legislation to make that aspect of the process illegal.

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 don't pretend to understand how it works but from everything I've read the end products are as good or better than those made in traditional ways.

The process is not as new as most people think. According to Wikipedia, the technology has been around since the 1980s with the first working printer created by an inventor named Chuck Hill for 3D Systems Corp. But it is only in the past couple of years that the commercial applications of this mind-boggling technology have begun to capture the imagination of entrepreneurs and attract billions of dollars in investment money.

Someone asked me the other day to try to envisage what impact 3-D printing technology would have on the world a decade from now. I think it could potentially be as transformational as the Internet - perhaps even more so. The manufacturing implications are obvious - the U.S. Navy is already using the technology on an experimental basis to build equipment. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Imagine a 3-D printer in every home. Families could use 3-D kits to create toys for the kids, a kitchen table, patio furniture, new clothes, and maybe even a high-definition TV set. You may even be able to produce your own steaks. Let your imagination run wild!

As in the early days of the Internet, tech-savvy investors have been plunging into the stocks of 3-D printer companies, driving up prices to absurd levels in hopes of huge profits as the technology becomes cheaper and more widely available. Indeed, some basic 3-D printers can now be purchased for around $1,000 although those with commercial applications can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Predictably, this has already led to a boom-bust scenario. 3D Systems Corp. (DDD), one of the industry leaders, has seen its share price plummet from a high of $97.28 in early January to the $50 range currently (figures in U.S. dollars). The company recorded a 45% growth in revenue in 2013 to $513.4 million. GAAP earnings for the year were $0.45 a share. The good news is the company is profitable but even at the current price the shares look very expensive.

Another big company is Stratasys Ltd. (SSYS), which posted revenue of $484.4 million last year but lost about $27 million ($0.68 a share). Its stock is down from a high of $138.10 in January to around $100 now, but it has held up better than many of its competitors.

The ExOne Company (XONE) is a smaller player but it is developing an impressive client list including the U.S. Navy, Caterpillar, and United Technologies. Sales last year were $39.5 million, up 38% year-over-year, but the company lost $6.5 million ($0.51 a share) and based on management projections ExOne will do well to break even in 2014. Its stock has also plunged, falling from a high of $78.80 last summer to around the $30 level now.

The bottom line is that 3-D printing is an exciting technology with what appears to be an almost limitless future, but investing in the sector right now is a minefield. Normally, the best way to take a speculative position in a rapidly developing field such as this would be through a specialty exchange-traded fund (ETF). However, none that focuses exclusively on 3-D printing companies has been created to this point, although several broader-based technology ETFs hold shares of DDD, SYSS, and others.

Therefore, my advice right now is to stand back while this fledgling market shakes itself out. There will be money to be made down the road but the challenge will be to identify which companies to choose. I'm intrigued by the potential here so I'll keep a watch on the sector.

 

About the author:

Gordon Kendrew Pape is a Canadian author and newsletter publisher. He has written more than 20 books on a variety of themes, including novels, personal finance guides, and Christmas trivia. Wikipedia
GuruFocus - Stock Picks and Market Insight of Gurus
 
Sell In _____ and Go Away - What to Trade PDF Print E-mail
Written by Victor Adair via Drew Zimmeran @ PI Financial   
Monday, 14 April 2014 14:49

“Sell in May and Go Away” came early this year. Do you think Yellen had something to do with that?

The extraordinary central bank policies of the last few years have been a “strong tonic” (to say the least!) for global stock markets with speculative markets outperforming “investment grade” ones as the rally persisted. Market Psychology increasingly became, “What, me worry?” as investors were taught to “Buy the Dip” and margin debt soared to all-time highs.

This “irrationally exuberant” condition lasted until about a month ago when the more speculative markets reversed… for instance, the Russell 2000 is down ~ 9% from its early March All Time Highs. The investment grade share indices slumped a bit in March but rallied back to make new all-time highs, by a whisker, on Friday April 4/14 following the employment report. But on that day they also turned lower, joining the more speculative markets in a broad based sell-off. At the April 11/14 close the DJIA was down 616 points (~4%) from its All Time Highs, all of the major American and European stock indices were red YTD, while the Toronto market was a notable exception up roughly 4% YTD.

Meanwhile  investment grade bonds have had a strong rally YTD.

Many markets have been driven to speculative excesses and are due for a correction. It feels to me as though the necessary “correction” has started and that the “Sell in May and Go Away” trade came early this year. The more speculative the markets, the more “overbought” they became and the more “breath-taking” their correction is likely to be.

The volatile “churning” we saw in the stock indices last week may be symptomatic of a reversal, a turn in the markets may have a single identifiable cause or the market may seem to roll over for no particular reason. In my view Market Psychology needs to get into a “Condition” where it is ripe for a correction and then the littlest thing can act as the catalyst for a reversal. In terms of any "little thing” I’m wondering if somewhere in the back of the Market’s Mind there is worrying thought that Yellen doesn’t like the “Inequality” that has been created by the huge, Fed induced, stock market rally… and that “dove or no dove” she may have her own reasons for tapering.

Where’s the Trade?

Last week, when commenting on the bizarre market condition that had taken Spanish 5 year bond yields below American 5 year Treasuries we asked, “Where's the trade?”  Answering my our own question we acknowledged that we can't pick the end of an extremely powerful trend (the rush of speculative money into hot markets) BUT… we said that if we were a portfolio manager we would reduce  exposure to stocks and increase exposure to investment grade bonds. In other words, get defensive. We maintain that view.

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We also said that we liked the US Dollar and it fell against most currencies this past week on the idea that the Fed is not going to tighten as soon as previously thought. That presented us the opportunity to establish short call option positions in Euro, AUD and CAD.

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Our caution about trying to pick a top in the stock market kept us from getting short stock indices. From an emotional point of view not making money from a short stock position was more painful than actually losing money on a trade! But as a dear old friend loves to say, “There’s a rumor going around that the markets will be open again next week” which means that the past is the past and there will be good trading opportunities in the future!

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10 April 2014 ~ Michael Campbell's Commentary Service

 

First off – how can anyone be surprised that the parabolic risers in bio tech are taking it on the chin.  The...   Read more...

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