Investors are keeping a close eye on the first leg of the France’s presidential election to be held this weekend. Of the four candidates who are most likely to reach the second round, two have an agenda that causes unrest to stock markets. The right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen wants France to follow the British example of leaving the euro. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon is a fan of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and would like to tax individuals who earn 400,000 euros or more at a tax rate of 100 percent. The France membership of the European Union is also open for renegotiation as far as he is concerned. The candidate from the middle, former economy minister Emmanuel Macron, is at this moment the most likely person to win the election in the second round in May. If that is the case, investors will get some rest. But not for long, because the French parliamentary elections are coming up soon: in June, the French will go to the polls one more time.
Stock prices bounced back yesterday. Earnings of a couple of companies looked better than expected and investors got new hope that Donald Trump’s tax reforms will be just around the corner. All major US stock indices closed substantially higher, gaining at least 0.75%. Volatility eased as a result. The VIX closed more than 5% lower and is now close to 14 points. UVXY ETFs also lost more than 5% and XIV ETNs added 2.6%.
Danny Daredevil, who is still holding UVXY ETFs, was a victim of this change of mood among investors. His RSS dropped to 446%. Adventurous Anny is still holding cash: her RSS remained at 22%. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry almost reached positive territory and their RSS ended just below zero percent at -0.43%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.
RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return
René’s Reflections @ Friday: What are you doing here?
It is probably not just coincidental that you are reading this blog. Unless your interest doesn’t extend beyond the personal note at the close of each of our daily posts, you most likely have some affinity with finance in general, or with investing in stocks in particular. It may be that you ended up here, browsing the net for ways that can help you get more from your money than you would get by keeping it in a savings account while waiting for interest rates to rise. Or maybe you are a professional in the field of finance with an open mind to every new idea that crosses your path. Who knows, you may even have landed here accidentally, decided to see what this is all about, and stayed here because we somehow caught your attention. No matter what fortunate chain of events led you to this blog, we can safely assume that saving (and/or making) money is well on your radar.
As with so many of our thoughts and actions, it is good to sit down every once in a while and to gear down for a moment of contemplation, asking ourselves the question “Why am I doing this?” In this particular case, the question would be: “Where does my interest in money stem from?” It goes without saying that for each of us, the answer would be different. But simply thinking about it, will give you insights that you might not have otherwise. Knowing your goals, and how to reach them, is important. But even more important is to know exactly why you have set these goals for yourself. You don’t hop on a random bus, not knowing why, and where it will bring you, do you?