How to Play Weakness in Oil and Russian Stocks into 2015
We are three days away from Christmas and just over a week from the New Year. This is the perfect time to look over your portfolio and holdings in the stock market.
To get set for trading in the stock market in 2015, take some winners if you haven’t already done so and dump some losers. Then consider what is occurring in the stock market and global economy (especially oil and Russian stocks) in relation to your economic outlook for the New Year.
Stocks were trading weak last Tuesday, with both the S&P 500 and DOW below their respective 50-day moving averages (MAs). We got an early Christmas present after the stock market surged on Wednesday and Thursday.
Now is a good time to consider taking this opportunity to realize some profits, as there are still uncertainties regarding oil prices and the tense economic and political situation in Russia that will surely affect stocks in the new year. On the plus side for aggressive traders, there’s actually a lot of money to be made in the stock market from the oil meltdown and the turmoil in Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be messing with the global economy after raising Russia’s interest rates to 17.0%, apparently in an attempt to combat the plummeting value of the ruble against the greenback and avert a mass exodus out of the German currency.
The end result has been a massive sell-off in Russian stocks listed on the MICEX and American depositary receipts (ADRs) on U.S. stock exchanges. The majority of Russian stocks are now trading as much as 70% lower from a few months ago. Some may view Russia as a chaotic mess, but I view indiscriminate and capitulated selling in the Russian stock market as a potential aggressive trading opportunity in 2015.
When the ruble collapsed by 70% against the U.S. dollar, everyone was dumping Russian investments. The Russian central bank has been trying to support the ruble and can do so, given its $400-billion reserve. The key will be oil prices and their ability to stabilize at current levels.
The Investment Opportunity in 2015…
What I say is that what’s one person’s junk is sometimes another’s treasure. Investors can take this chaotic opportunity to buy some of the beaten-up Russian shares for an aggressive oversold bounce.
Another possible investment opportunity, which I mentioned on Friday, is to trade the oil slide via the use of call options and call spreads.
In both cases, the chaos created in the stock market with oil and Russian stocksmay result in great risk-to-reward trades for some potentially quick money over the holidays and into 2015.
So until 2015, have a safe and great holiday season and a happy New Year.