Market Inquisitor

Tamen Dubito

Cannabis Control Board of Ontario – Announcement Thoughts

Friday morning the government of Ontario released their plan outlining the provincial cannabis retail & distribution model. I wanted to overview the announcement and confront a number of issues and questions surrounding the announcement in this article.

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TD’s Wells Fargo Moment

Toronto Dominion Bank, better knows as TD is Canada’s largest retail bank. Last week allegations arouse that bank tellers sold products and added fees to customer accounts that were against the law because they were under pressure from ever aggressive sales targets. Aptly coined as TD’s Wells Fargo moment by John Aiken of Barclays, this post will serve as a comparison between the two scandals and for possible opportunities for those who live for the excitement of catching falling knives.

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Oil (USO) Position & Market Update

Today oil prices collapsed ~5% after a large 8 million barrel inventory build. I have closed half of my position at a ~50% gain before commissions and will likely close the remainder within the next 2 weeks. The move in the oil price was likely an overreaction to the headline, and its time to get constructive on oil prices and E&P equities.

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Yield Curves Continue to Flatten

Equities are rallying, the FED looks like it wants to hike 3 times this years: good times are here again thanks to President Trump. However, the US Treasury yield curves continue to flatten.

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Short USO (Oil) – A Tempting risk/reward

The end of 2016 markets performance was marked by a strong surge into year end. This of course includes the oil market, which benefited from an OPEC deal to reduce production and strong commitment from Saudi Arabia for further cuts. But now three reasons are creating a favourable risk/reward for shorting oil. Uncertainty regarding OPEC deal and US shale producers, speculator exuberance and complacent option market volatility.

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Golden Opportunities

The ongoing portfolio readjustment continues following a surprise Trump victory, one of the casualties of the latest market turbulence has been the yellow metal, falling over $100 US from a high of $1338.3 to the $1220 range. Periods of volatility like these provide an excellent opportunity to add position in anything that has exposure to precious metals, as the reasons for owning gold have increased significantly.

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Junk Bonds: Painful Memories – New Opportunities

During the early 2016 market sell off, few expected the sharp rebound that occurred shortly after, with high yield bonds rising close to 15%. With the election of Donald Trump heralding higher yields and lower crude prices, a lack of clear policy blueprints from both DJT and OPEC are leading to a junk bond sell off.

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US Election Trade: IShares Mexico ETF

Arguably the best gauge for the outcome of the US election has been the Mexican Peso, trading in lockstep with Trump’s polling results. For investors that don’t trade forex, the iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (EWW), which tracks the MSCI Mexico IMI 25/50 Index, works just as well.

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Gold Positioning shift

With gold treading water above the key $1250, I created some analytics to take a closer look at positioning.

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Deutsche Downtrend

As part of her re-election campaign Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor re-affirmed the promise that her government would not bail out Deutsche Bank (DB) in the case of failure.

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