I took some time off from writing My Gut Feeling, instead, devoting my evenings to: wrap up the end of the Fall semester at Seton Hall (reading papers and preparing exams); spending time with the family for Hanukah; and, then fight off a winter cold. So, after tonight’s victory for the Vegas Golden Knights, it was time to put pencil back to paper (or really fingers to the keys) once again.
As to what happened in the last two weeks:
- A fast and painful NASDAQ 100 (NDX) / tech bout of profit taking took place and then a recover ensued. The NDX and other major US Indexes logged all-time records last Friday.
- Those all-time records occurred as it became clear that a tax legislation accord was agreed to on Capitol Hill. As I have said, the new tax law is the right thing for the economy (and stock market), but might hurt some people, me included, in the short run. From an investment perspective and the business of investing, it will be a long-term tailwind.
- The FOMC nudged up interest rates in what was a much-anticipated event. It was the third such rate hike in 2017.
- Disney (DIS) agreed to purchase 21st Century Fox (FOXA). FOXA will spin off its broadcast networks prior to the deal into a new Fox branded company. The deal will close after FOXA closes its purchase of Sky PLC, a UK / Ireland based broadcast network. In my opinion, this DIS – FOXA deal will precipitate the spin-off or sale of DIS broadcast networks in what I consider to be a necessary divorce of the DIS – ABC/CapCities marriage. This divestiture taken together with offshore capital repatriation, courtesy of the new tax law, will reduce the massive post FOXA acquisition debt load at DIS.
- Bitcoin continued its meteoric and irrational rise, as futures contracts were listed for trading on the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange).
- The FCC repealed Net Neutrality Rules. Net Neutrality would prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from charging premium fees for certain types of users / services or slowing down (throttling) speeds for certain users or content providers. Absent Net Neutrality, it is akin to preventing single occupant automobiles from high occupancy lanes or charging premium tolls for driving in express lanes. The issue boils down to one simple issue: are ISPs public utilities or for-profit endeavors. The Obama Administration viewed it as the former whereas the Trump Administration views it as the latter.
Over these past two weeks, I performed some final tweaking to our portfolios. However, as we enter the homestretch for the year, I am standing pat. Any losses worth taking have been realized and I am all locked and loaded for the year-end “Santa Claus” rally. Are you? The only exception is for clients who must take their required minimum distributions (RMD) for 2017 for their IRAs.
My anticipated publication schedule over the next few weeks is as follows: a normal My Gut Feeling today; my annual list of 10 Things I Won’t Miss later this week; a final My Gut Feeling for the year next week; My Gut Feeling For 2017- A Look Back in the first week of 2018 and My Gut Feeling For 2018 in the second week of next year.
Hockey Knight in Las Vegas (pregame view from my seats)
Disclosure: At the time of this commentary Scott Rothbort, his family and/or clients of LakeView AssetManagement, LLC was long QLD & TQQQ — although positions can change at any time.
Scott Rothbort is the President & Founder of LakeView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor specializing in high net worth private wealth management. For more information on investing with LakeView Asset Management, LLC call us at 888-9LAKEVIEW or request more information by clicking on the contact button on the top right hand corner of the website. LakeView Management, LLC is a Nevada LLC, with its principal office located in Henderson, NV and branch office located in Millburn, NJ
Scott Rothbort is also the publisher of the LakeView Restaurant & Food Chain Report, a newsletter focusing in on food, restaurant, beverage and agricultural stocks. An individual subscription to the newsletter can be ordered at www.restaurantstox.com Furthermore; Scott is also a professor at the Seton Hall Stillman School of Business in South Orange, NJ.
– Read Scott’s intra-day thoughts and comments on Scutify for which he is a co-founder of its parent company Wall Street All-Stars, LLC
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