Bulls and Bears Stand Divided

bulls vs bearsRepublicans and Democrats are not the only people drawing lines in the sand and not wanting to budge. We are seeing a pretty divided stance on the near term movement of markets. I have been to several economic forecast meetings in which very highly respected economists discuss their near term outlook of the economy and it surprises me that I have heard many different stories from all of them.

This perfectly explains the volatility of the markets. In fact, some people change their minds day to day. Whatever it may be, their currently exists major differences of opinions among highly regarded economists and corporate CEOs.

For some, the debt crisis in Europe, combined with the monumental debt piling up in the US is only delaying the inevitable. That being another dip in markets. For others, record low interest rates, strong earnings among manufacturers, and more liquid banks is priming the market for more of a rebound. The one thing that most will agree, is even if we do trend upwards, that will be a very slow growth.

I am encouraged with recent earnings from manufacturers, however am discouraged with many of their "restructuring" plans for 2012. With the latest earning reports, many US manufacturing companies released a restructuring plan for 2012 in which they will be looking to scale down operations as well as cut certain jobs. All seem to have the same answer when asked why. Because they are unsure of near term outlook. They would better be prepared than be caught by surprise.

What worries me most is how sluggish the current economy is, while enjoying record low interest rates. In fact, without such interest rates, I believe it is safe to say we would be head deep in a depression as of now. They are the lifeline that has kept us a float, barely. However, this cannot last forever. How long will the government extend this benefit while stockpiles of debt continue to grow? That of course, will be the big question as we go into 2012. The government has made it clear by both words and actions they will take ANY action necessary to keep markets flowing. Whether or not that will come back to haunt us is a big subject of debate.

At any rate, I see commodities finishing strong to end the year. As risk and uncertainty continues to rise, commodities will go stronger. I see a lot of opportunity in some of the emerging market sectors, but I will go into much more detail about that in a later post. Happy Trading.

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