Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The blow off rally in oil, gold and currencies has been blamed on every thing from hurricanes to a potential battle between the Turks and the Kurds. Blow off rallies come near the end of a major run. They can last a good while and exact tops are impossible to call; exact bottoms are easier but still impossible. :) In any event, huge projects are in the works; projects that will ultimately send the prices across the "spider web" curve. Over the past 5 years or so, the dollar has dropped to a clearing price level. Total US export growth in the past year was better than 12% and manufactured goods exports grew by better than 16%. Imports growth was in the 3% range! All the while, finished goods prices jumped by 4.5%! If you want to see a slew of earnings surprises, combine 16% export growth with price increases of 4.5%; a powerful combination for profits.

I read a few numbers late last night and did not write them down but the following are close approximations. In the last year, the dollar has dropped something like 12% against the Euro and 5.5% against the Chinese Yuan. It was not so long ago that Europeans had to spend 1.2 Euros to get on US dollar. Today, they spend a Euro and get back 42 pence in change! Those who worry over the trade imbalance are worried about a problem already solved.

CAL will hold its earnings web conference Thursday morning. Google and many others earnings reports will follow. The CAL estimates have been increased many times over the past couple of months. The low end of the range is now up to $1.87, the high end at $2.50 with the median at $2.17 (up from $2.14 a few days ago). I will not be surprised by $2.60.

Warning: should Congress reach a compromise carbon tax bill, one that would fund the FAA through an increase in the tax on jet fuel, the initial reaction of the market might be negative. Keep in mind that the higher the price of fuel the more sense to riding the bus or the air-bus. The average price of the average CAL ticket works out to less than 12 cents per mile as the crow flies. An increase in the fuel tax in combination with new anti congestion rules will clear a path for quicker landings. The higher price of fuel will make the "air-bus" savings per passenger larger.

By the way, I spent a great weekend at Table Rock, which is at the south end of Linville Gorge. It was a beautiful weekend. Our "Old Goats Patrol" made up of former scout masters enjoyed good times, great food, great views and a fun time at the "old liars campfire." I am behind on individual emails but following the market closely. The over bought enthusiasm is already at least halfway cured. This little correction should be over soon. BUY, BUY, BUY for the long term.