Global Markets Pause, Agriculture and Technology Soar

Nicholas Vardy

Nicholas Vardy has a unique background that has proven his knack for making money in different markets around the world.

Most of your positions in Global Stock Investor took a breather this week, even as attention directed towards Egypt and the riots there began to wane. Emerging markets, with the broad exception of your holdings in Asian markets like iShares MSCI Malaysia Index (EWM), iShares MSCI Taiwan Index (EWT) and iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY), as well as Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX), continue to underperform.

The sense of frustration among some investors is growing. I had lunch with the head of one of the world’s top hedge fund managers last week in London and he told me his emerging market fund was down more than 6% in January. He was not happy, to say the least. So pat yourself on the back for sticking to your discipline and exiting positions like Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (IDX), iShares MSCI Turkey Invest Mkt Index (TUR) and Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (BRF) much earlier.

In contrast, both the technology and agriculture sectors — represented by Agrium Inc. (AGU) and Universal Display Corp. (PANL), respectively — continue to perform strongly.

From a risk-management standpoint, if a position has fallen below its 50-day moving average, I am moving it to (or keeping it at) a HOLD. If a position rises back through its 50-day moving average, then I have moved it back to a BUY.

Based on this discipline, I have moved WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan Fund (CYB) back to a BUY, while shifting Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. (FCX), Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) and Vale S.A. (VALE) to HOLD.

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Finally, I want to remind you that I will be hosting a special private meeting for my subscribers during The World MoneyShow in Orlando, Fla., on Friday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m., in the Destin Room of the Gaylord Palms Hotel. If you plan to attend the show and you wish to join me for my private meeting, please click here to sign up. I look forward to seeing you there.

Portfolio Update

Agrium Inc. (AGU) rose 2.94% this past week. The company is expected to release its quarterly results today. The consensus of analysts calls for a profit of $1.14 a share on $1.87 billion revenue. For the full year, analysts expect the company to post earnings per share (EPS) of $4.81. AGU remains a BUY.

The WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan Fund (CYB) rose 0.36% this past week. Now trading back above its 50-day moving average, CYB is a BUY.

iShares MSCI Malaysia Index (EWM) again traded slightly up this past week. Malaysia continues to rank third, after India and China, in the list of the world’s leading offshore destinations, according to global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney. EWM remains a BUY.

iShares MSCI Taiwan Index (EWT) traded slightly down for the first time in many weeks. Taiwan’s foreign exchange reserves hit another new high, after soaring to $387.1 billion at the end of January, to maintain its No. 4 world ranking. EWT remains a BUY.

iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY) traded slightly down this week. Less than three months after it appeared that the country was ready to go to war, relations between North and South Korea showed further signs of improvement when the two sides agreed to hold talks on the possible revival of attempts to reunite families separated during the Korean war. EWY remains a BUY.

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. (FCX) bounced 2.3% last week, even as copper hit record highs. Falling back down through its 50-day moving average, this volatile stock is back to a HOLD.

Global X FTSE Nordic 30 ETF (GXF) fell 2.06% this past week. Norway is the world’s third-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia. And the Scandinavian country ran an 11% budget surplus in 2009. And by not adopting the euro currency (Finland aside), the entire region has more control over its own monetary policy and stimulus measures than the rest of Europe. GXF is a BUY.

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. (JKS) gained 3.3% in this week’s trading, surging 20% in the past month. Still above its 50-day moving average, JKS remains a volatile BUY.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) dropped back 5.56% this past week. The company has staged quite a comeback. Net revenue for 2010 was $6.85 billion, a 50% increase over the $4.56 billion achieved in 2009. The company’s consolidated EBITDA for 2010 was in excess of $2.2 billion, compared to $1.09 billion in 2009, an increase of more than 100%. But trading back under its 50-day moving average, Asia’s Las Vegas is now a HOLD.

Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) fell back 1.76% this week. Nevertheless, things are looking up for Russia. The reason? Oil prices have been moving higher. This alone is bullish for many Russian companies. The “bad boy” of emerging markets, RSX remains a BUY.

Universal Display Corp. (PANL) was up another 4.13% this week and now is touching record highs again. With the tech sector booming, PANL remains a solid BUY.

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Vale S.A. (VALE) fell 3.45% this week. According to a government plan released on Tuesday, Brazil’s booming mining sector will more than triple output of iron ore, copper and gold on the back of investments of around $270 billion during the next 20 years. Now trading below its 50 day-moving average, Vale is a HOLD.

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