Friday, April 4, 2008

Jobs Report/What's Working on Wall Street

That much anticipated jobs report came in worse than economists' projections, but about what everyone else expected. What does it mean? The economy is having a tough time. Employers are cautious, as are people in general. Will this mean we're in a recession? Probably? Maybe? It doesn't matter. The market now appears to be undeterred by these type of announcements. The bank collapse headlines we saw a couple of weeks ago are carrying more weight.

What's working right now? Its still agriculture stocks. A couple of months ago, I did a post called energy issues for the future, and saved it on the right tab of the blog. It discussed what is happening with energy, and which companies I think will benefit. Please read the post for the details, but I'd like to talk about what has happened since. Ag stocks are still doing well. Oil stocks have been mixed as crude has spiked, but recession fears have held back stock gains. Alternative energy has been highly speculative, and thus volatile.

I picked 13 stocks/ETF's. Collectively, they are up 3.35%. Individual results are all over the map.

-Baker Hughes-Down 8.59%. Oil services have been weak on overall economic outlook.

-Diamond Offshore-Down 7.01%. Offshore driller. Had been on a tear right before I recommended it, and thus has backed off. Offshore drillers have shown recent strength.

-General Electric-Up 4.05%. Diversified company doing well, and I anticipate more strength. Innovators in alternative energy.

-Alternative Energy ETF (GEX)-Down 9.14%. This has been all over the map. I like it because of its holdings in Vestas Wind Systems, but holds too few holdings and too many solar stocks which have been extremely volatile. Decent long term hold.

-Monsanto- Up 14.38%. Ag-enough said.

-Ag. ETF (MOO) Up 9.22%-See above.

-Mosaic- Up 35.84%-Hitting on all cylinders.

-Potash- Up 36.79%-See Mosaic.

-Noble Drilling- Up 1.61%. Great company. In highly profitable offshore drilling. Lots of expanding international companies. Just signed a new $4 billion deal with Brazilian Petrobras to drill in large offshore find.

-Transocean- Up 7.50%. Similar to Noble, but more Gulf of Mexico based and much larger. Lots of hedge funds trading this stock.

-Siemens-Down 25.32%. Took a big hit when announcing profit warning. Trading very cheap right now. Similar business as GE, but having some minor issues. A good long term stock to own.

-Xcel Energy- Down 8.75%. Good utility to own. Making large investments into wind power, which will pay off in the future, but could hurt earnings near term. Got to like the 4.5% dividend.

-Schlumberger- Up 1.27%. Oil services giant. Have seen some earnings slowing, but great long term company. Buy on any declines.

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