Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some bad numbers causing some stocks to dip

The U.S. economy may grow this year but nothing close to what one would expect after the depth of the retreat. There may be a turn around occurring, we may be facing uphill rather than down, but we are not climbing out of the economic hole anywhere near fast enough. (The Canadian outlook is a little better but we are so tied to the States. I pay a lot of attention to what the elephant in the room is doing.)

Most of my portfolio is treading water or dipping slightly. Two investments that I am watching are Progress Energy (PRQ) and the Bank of Montreal's utilities ETF ZUT. If PRQ approaches $10 again, I'm in. ZUT has a ways to fall to get back to the point where I originally bought in, but it might. If it does, I'm buying a lot. (I paid about $14.88 for ZUT and it is now at $15.71 and dropping.)

Some folk believe that natural gas has set its new low and is now feeling its way back. Some producers have capped wells and others are threatening to follow suite. When capping starts, a low may have been reached. Whatever, I don't think they are going to give the stuff away and that's what will happen if NG drops much lower. If I am going to increase my holdings, I should buy more soon.

ZUT is a mixed bag of holdings and I'm sure of everything that is in the mix. I like ZUT if it can be had for a low enough price. Some of the poorer holdings make me worry that ZUT is not as stable in a crashing environment as one might hope. I buy utilities for both the yield and the resistance they offer to a crashing market. I think some of the ZUT holding could, if put under enough pressure, just roll over and play dead.

Oh well, I'm still up for the year, barely. And the dividends are coming in according to plan. The world still looks good if uncertain in some ways.



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