Free Editorial

QE Unplugged

From the January 29, 2014 HRA Journal: Issue 208-209 (Part I)

As I expected, the US Fed pulled the trigger and announced an initial “taper” of the Quantitative Easing (QE) program.   Starting this monthly purchases of T Bills and Mortgage Backed Securities will be reduced by $10 billion.

Equity markets rallied strongly then flattened as traders locked in profits and awaited earnings and fresh economic readings. Mom and Pop were piling into Wall St but no one who actually works there thought things look very cheap.

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Absentee Santa?

From the December 17, 2013 HRA Journal: Issue 207

Even in a crappy market year-and this has been all that and a bag of chips for resource stocks-traders tend get relief heading into year end.

Ever optimists, equity traders start looking for things to buy (bet on) as the year winds down. Cheap or free booze widely available at company and private holiday gatherings doesn't hurt either. That's what a normal year looks like. 2013 has been anything but normal. Read More

My Big Fat Chinese Plenum

From the November 29, 2013 HRA Journal: Issue 206

No, it's not a glandular condition. China's leaders concluded the third Plenum of the 18th Party Congress a couple of weeks ago. Party Congresses last for five years and Plenums (full meetings) are annual except for the first year of each Congress where there might be two or three full meetings.

Traditionally, the third Plenum is the one where new leadership lays out its long term goals and strategies and it has been third Plenums that were the basis for sweeping changes in China's society and economy in the past 30 years. The mother of them all was the third Plenum in 1978 when Deng Xiaoping started China down the path to "Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics". This was the first third Plenum since the ascension of Chinese leader Li Keqiang and expected to be particularly important.

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Return of the Taper (Talk)

From the November 6, 2013 HRA Journal: Issue 205

Well, that didn’t take long. No sooner had the resource market started showing faint signs of life than the talk of a near term cut back in QE reared its head again. That combined with weakness in the Euro generated renewed selling across the commodity space. Traders are again left to wonder “Do we EVER get out of this mess?!”

I am less worried about the medium term than I was a couple of months ago, for reasons I touch on later in this article. That doesn’t help much in the short term. Many are wondering again if June was indeed a long term bottom for the Juniors. Do we get beat up again going through tax-loss selling season or can we find a late year bottom higher than the summer doldrums?

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The New Abnormal

From the October 19th HRA Journal: Issue 204

The US dodged a bullet and the Vancouver Subscriber Investment Summit had a great turn out on the same day. Coincidence? I think not.

Seriously; thanks from Keith, Lawrence and I for the great turnout. I'd like to thank the companies that presented as they make these days possible. Last but definitely not least I congratulate Nichola Vermiere and Katy Severs for organizing a great event and doing all the hard work to make sure it was well attended and went off without a hitch. People thanked me for a great show but It's Nichola and Katy that do the heavy lifting. I just show up and try not to trip over the microphone wire. Read More

The Circus Is Back In Town

From the September HRA Journal: Issue 203

Well, the taper talk is still on but it's playing second fiddle to Washington's annual game of chicken. The next month will be all about US government shutdown and a game of "will they or won't they?" on the debt ceiling. I'm pretty convinced a sizeable percentage of the US Congress might be clinically insane but I can't believe they will actually go over the debt cliff. It's clear from the relatively calm markets that few other traders believe it either. Read More

The Other Shoe: Gold and the Fed Taper

From the September HRA Journal

Market action has been constructive but not instructive. While the explorers haven't seen much price movement volumes have improved for the better names and I am starting to see a little more life in the financing market. Read More

Gold and Silver: Once More into the Breach

From the August HRA Journal

The gold market looks like it's finally put in a bottom but this is a very recent development and things could still go awry. I don't really expect that but there is still the actual start of tapering to contend with. Wall St expects that next month and isn't pleased at the prospect. I don't expect "apocalypse Wall St" but given the strong run a 10%+ September-October correction would be neither shocking nor really that scary. Read More

Signs Of A Bottom: Head Office Edition

From the July HRA Journal

As things go from bad to worse for so much of the mining and exploration sector I thought it was time to collect up some anecdotal evidence of bottoming.  This won’t be based on charts or tables (though I might toss in a couple later) but from empirical observation. Read More

The Good News Bears

From The June 2013 HRA Journal

Gold continues to struggle and so do explorers.  I am seeing encouragement in the trading of some discovery stories but this is a very small subset of the junior sector.  

I think the precious metals markets are well set up for a rally but gold rallies don’t usually happen in the summer. It’s still possible but I don’t think a rally strong enough to drag the juniors along for the ride can be assumed in the short term. Read More


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