Nicholas Vardy

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

This past week was an unusually steady one by recent standards, as a cautious consensus is emerging that global stock markets may have bottomed. While the emerging positive sentiment is still very fragile, there is a growing sense that the Federal Reserve is managing the credit crisis successfully. If that is the case, that indeed is good news for stocks. During the last 10 recessions, equity prices have soared on average 24% within just six months of hitting their lows. In addition, we are in a strong time of the year for stocks. On average since 1950, April has been the best-performing month of the year for the Dow, with an average gain of 1.8% for the month.

Your Global Stock Investor portfolio is well-positioned to benefit from just such a shift in sentiment. You already saw some of your positions rally strongly this week. Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) and Potash (POT) both hit record highs this week. The iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (EWZ) was up 5.91% and ArcelorMittal (MT) jumped by almost 5% as well. Considering how far U.S. markets are from their highs, you should be particularly pleased by this kind of outperformance.

Your defensive positions — in the PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA), Elements Rogers International Commodity ETN (RJI), Barrick Gold (ABX) and the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) also strengthened across the board. These picks will underperform during otherwise strong weeks — though, I should stress, they are all in their own individual bull markets.

Overall, I still am cautious on the question of whether markets have hit bottom or not. But your Global Stock Investor portfolio is well-positioned to profit from either scenario.

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Barrick Gold (ABX) rose slightly this week as the gold price climbed back above $920 an ounce. Any pullback here is an opportunity to BUY on the dips.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (CCH) announced an agreement to distribute Serbian beer brands such as MB Pils, Master, and international labels such as Heineken, Amstel, Kaiser and Schlossgold in all retail and wholesale outlets with which Coca-Cola has contracts in Serbia. Coca-Cola Hellenic hit yet another record high this past week, before pulling back slightly. This Warren Buffett-style, “one decision stock” remains a BUY.

PowerShares DB Agriculture (DBA) recovered somewhat this week after Pakistan said it will produce less wheat than forecasted, as high fertilizer costs prompted farmers to reduce planting. Corn is also hitting record highs with alarming regularity. The agricultural megatrend remains a top theme in your Global Stock Investor portfolio. DBA remains a BUY.

iShares MSCI Brazil Index ETF (EWZ) had a strong week, up almost 6% on improving sentiment about emerging markets. This commodities heavy ETF is among the top global performers this year and remains a BUY.

CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) was flat this week, as it continues to act as a hedge on global markets. The current weakness is a pullback in a long-term, upward trend. The yen remains a defensive BUY.

Millicom International (MICC) pulled back this week on no particular news. Look for your $2.40 per share dividend next month. The stock is technically oversold and I’d look at this as an opportunity to BUY.

ArcelorMittal (MT) announced that it acquired a 50% stake in Gonvarri Brasil to form a joint venture, allowing it to become a major player in the Brazilian steel downstream market. The stock had another strong week, soaring almost 5%. With the global steel industry facing a genuine structural supply constraint, MT remains a BUY.

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Potash (POT) jumped 12.73% during the past week to hit a record high of $179.29 this morning, after Goldman Sachs upped its price target on the company by $45 a share to $225 a share. That’s almost 28% upside from its current record price. Potash is a top BUY.

Elements Rogers International Commodity ETN (RJI) crept back above $12 this week. This most diversified of commodity plays has terrific long-term potential and is a BUY.

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Your Global Bull Market Alert portfolio has been in as firm a defensive mode as possible over most of the first quarter of 2008. By focusing on commodities and currencies, you've managed to avoid the meltdown in global stock markets.


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