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Michael E. Russell

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By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

Surprisingly the stock market has started off very strong. I wasn’t sure this would be the case. There are days when the market makes me feel like Fredo Corleone when he says to Michael that he is SMART, but apparently not so.

The S & P was up 6.5% in January with another 1.5% this past week. The NASDAQ is already up 11% for the year. Incredible! Almost all of the sectors that were crushed in 2022 have led this rally. Technology, financials, entertainment and commodities have recovered nicely. The groups that held up well in 2022 when the S & P fell more than 20% are all underperforming — consumer staples, utilities, and healthcare; these groups are all down approximately 3%.

There have been some crazy upward moves by many stocks. Tesla is up 85 points so far this year; NVDA up 68 points, year to date; Netflix up 72 points … I could go on. Viewers of CNBC have heard many analysts speak highly of NVDA. With the advance of artificial intelligence, this company seems to have found a special niche — a long-term holding.

The Federal Reserve raised rates by the expected 25 basis points. A day later, non-farm payrolls increased by 517,000. This was more than 2½ times the economists’ consensus forecast. The unemployment rate fell to less than 3.5%. This level has not been seen since the mid 1960s. Chairman Powell probably wishes he waited two more days before he announced the Federal Open Market Committee’s ¼% increase. The number would have been closer to ½%. I believe that we will see more rate hikes in the future.

I read some comments made by Warren Buffett’s vice chairman, 99 year-old Charlie Munger. Charlie has been an outspoken critic of bitcoin and all other unregulated digital tokens.  He wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal stating  “cryptocurrencies are a predatory scam targeting ordinary citizens.”  He further stated that “cryptocurrency is not a currency, not a commodity and not a security, instead it’s a gambling contract with a nearly 100% edge for the house.” He made a reference to the British Parliament’s passage of the Bubble Act in 1720. This Act banned trading speculative stock. I think Charlie was in the Parliament at the time of the vote!  Wow, 99 years old and still calling it correctly.

Speaking of surprises, Amazon officials have stated that they will probably have a loss this quarter. How can that be? There are 100 Amazon trucks a day in my neighborhood.

Interest rates have come into play. The 10 -year Treasury is yielding 3.5% while the one and two-year Treasury yield is 4.2%. This is called an inverted yield curve — short term rates yielding more than longer term rates. It does not pay to buy a long term bond while shorter duration bonds yield substantially more.

I try to end each article on a positive note but that is difficult this time. The Federal deficit has now reached a staggering 30 trillion dollars. You read that correctly, 30 trillion dollars. What this equates to is that every man, woman and child in this country are on the hook for $102,000 each. This number can only increase with the spending by the administration and congress. The madness must stop. Our elected officials don’t seem to care that we are reaching a point where this deficit cannot be repaid. We have been printing money with little thought as to how it gets paid back. Our Governor has proposed another $775 million dollars for Long Island schools. Where is the money coming from?  

Remember this article was written this past Sunday. A lot can happen in four days.  Did I just hear a balloon pop? No, a balloon was shot down. That will show them. In closing, I hope consumers are price shopping.  Gas prices vary as much as 80 cents a gallon.  Gouging? Probably. Cucumbers are 99 cents at one supermarket and $2 at another. Better cucumber? More importantly, happy hour prices at some local watering holes are all over the place. Please shop wisely. 

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor. 

Photo by David Ackerman

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Maybe it sounds like I’m tooting our horn too much, but I have to say how proud I am of the columnists who write for our papers and website. They are clearly bright and offer the reader information and knowledge that aren’t usually found even in a big metro daily or a glossy magazine. They are, collectively and individually, one of the main reasons our hometown newspapers have managed to survive while so many of our colleagues, 25% of them in the nation, have had to shut their doors.

Readers want to learn from our regular columnists, who, by the way, are local residents. That’s not surprising, though, because the population we serve is exceptional, accomplished in their own right, and can be expected to harbor such talent. Let me explain.

The columnists are found in the second section of the newspaper, called Arts & Lifestyles. In the interest of full disclosure and without false modesty, I point out and salute my youngest son, Dr. David Dunaief. He is a physician totally committed to helping his patients, and the high regard is returned by them in equal measure, as testimonials about him confirm. In addition, he writes every week about current medical problems and brings readers up to date with the latest research and thinking regarding common ailments. I know him to be a voracious reader of medical journals and he footnotes his sources of expertise at the end of every “Medical Compass” column. 

Dr. Matthew Kearns is a longtime popular veterinarian who writes “Ask the Vet,” keeping our beloved pets healthy. Michael E. Russell is a successful, retired financial professional who cannot cut the cord with Wall Street, and  shares his thoughts on the economy and suggesting current buys on the stock market. He will also throw in something irreverent, or even askance, to keep you tuned in. 

Also writing knowledgeably on the contemporary scene about finance and the economy is Michael Christodoulou, who is also an active financial advisor. Ever try to read your auto insurance policies? If I had trouble falling asleep, they would knock me out by the second paragraph. Enter A. Craig Purcell, a partner in a long-established local law firm, who is attempting to explain auto insurance coverage, a merciful endeavor, with his column. His words do not put me to sleep. Shannon Malone will alternate the writing for us. Michael Ardolino, a well-known realtor, somehow manages to make both ends of a real estate transaction, for buyers and sellers, sound promising at this time. 

Our lead movie and book reviewer is the highly talented Jeffrey Sanzel. In addition to being a terrific actor, he is a gifted writer and almost always feels the same way about what he is reviewing as I do. No wonder I think he is brilliant.  Father Frank has been writing for the papers for many years and always with great integrity and compassion. 

John Turner, famous naturalist and noted author and lecturer, keeps us apprised of challenges to nature. This is a niche for all residents near the shorelines of Long Island. He also writes “Living Lightly,” about being a responsible earth dweller. Bob Lipinski is the wine connoisseur who travels the world and keeps us aware of best wines and cheeses.

Lisa Scott and Nancy Marr of the Suffolk County League of Women Voters, keep us informed about upcoming elections, new laws and important propositions. Elder law attorney Nancy Burner tells us about Medicare, estate planning, wills gifting, trustees, trusts and other critical issues as we age.

The last columnist I will mention is Daniel Dunaief, who, like bookends for my salute, is also my son. Among several other articles, he writes “The Power of Three,” explaining some of the research that is performed at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Labs and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He makes a deep dive into the science in such a way that layman readers can understand what is happening in the labs. He has been paid the ultimate compliment by the scientists for a journalist: they pick up the phone and willingly talk to him, unafraid that he will get the story wrong or misquote them. In fact, he has been told a rewarding number of times by the researchers that his questions for the articles have helped them further direct their work.

When my sons began writing for TBR News Media, a few readers accused me of nepotism. I haven’t heard that charge now in years.

P.S. Of course, we can’t forget Beverly C. Tyler and Kenneth Brady, stellar historians both.

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By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

As I have mentioned in previous articles, crypto currencies are hard to understand.  I have tried to explain crypto exchanges to the readers while not fully grasping all of the nuances involved in their workings.

We had a financial meltdown in 2008 caused by the corporate giant Enron. We now have a much bigger fiasco caused by a 29-year-old named Sam Bankman Fried. This MENSA wannabe was able to do a Harry Houdini act by making 8 billion dollars in investor funds disappear overnight.

Here are a few of the victims: The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan lost 95 million dollars.  More than 100 affiliated companies are filing for bankruptcy. This financial genius has caused a situation so dire, FTX, Fried’s company stated that it doesn’t know where the assets went or who its top creditors are.

Have no worries folks because Congress is setting up committees to investigate what went wrong. Good news there. UGH! This in itself is a big problem. Apparently, Mr. Bankman Fried lobbied many elected officials in Washington hoping for loose oversight of crypto exchanges.

During the 2022 election cycle, Fried donated approximately 40 million dollars to Progressive Democratic candidates. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said she would donate the funds she received to various charities.  Nice!  How about having these funds returned to investors?

A question to be asked is why this financial collapse is being investigated after the mid-term elections? Just one more reason for term limits! Point of interest Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer have been in office for more than 78 years combined. Come on already!They promise to fix problems that they are responsible for. TERM LIMITS, TERM LIMITS!!!  Wake up everybody.

Enough ranting, what’s next?  Where to invest? As I grow older, Healthcare stocks seem to be a a great area to put money.  Why?  Well, let me explain. This morning I had my 12th doctor visit this month and another one tomorrow to close out November.  During the 1970s Healthcare was 8% of U.S. GDP [Gross Domestic Product]. Today it is more than 20%.

As citizens get better health care and live longer, they also in most cases accumulate more wealth.  Due to more disposable income the Financial services sector is also a place to potentially invest. Within this sector there are areas that should do well over the next five years including Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, Computational biology and CRISPR-related investments. CRISPR gives us exposure to companies specializing in DNA modification systems and technologies.  

What should we be doing in December?  Consider making tax-loss trades to book 2022 losses so that you can offset future gains. The S & P 500 lost a quarter of its value at the indexes low this year. Since October it has regained some territory making it down a mere 15%!  Taking some money off the table and putting it into one and two-year treasuries, yielding 4.5% is not a bad idea. With North Korea, China and Russia rattling their sabers, some safer investments should be considered.  

Here is some advice for pre-retirees. Next year, you will be able to contribute up to $22,500 to your 401K or 403b and other retirement plans — an increase of $2,000.  Americans can also contribute an additional $6500 if you are over the age of 50.  In addition, IRA maximum contributions are now $6500.  

For those of us older folks, bond yields north of 4.5% make a portfolio of 60% stock, 40% fixed income attractive. A final thought, with the S & P down roughly 16%, here are some stocks to ponder. Are they an opportunity? Perhaps. Apple down 16% year to date.  Microsoft down 27%. Alphabet down 34%. Tesla down 45%.  Netflix down 52%. Amazon down 39%. I am not necessarily recommending them, but give them some thought.

I would love to hear from some of you that read my monthly article. I can be reached at [email protected]. From my family to yours, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous 2023.

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor. 

Gas pump. METRO photo

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

The state of our economy reminds me of the skit performed by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the 1950s. Who’s on first, what’s on second, I don’t know who is on third! What a mess!

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admits to a series of mistakes by her department and by the Federal Reserve. President Biden is now going to Saudi Arabia to ask them to pump more oil while shutting down our own pipelines. I find it difficult to believe that inflation is only up 8.6% year over year, a statistic issued by the Fed. Gas at the pump is up 60%, meat up 62%, vegetables up 55%, air travel up 34%; I just don’t get it.

I feel like a grandparent who tries to help the kids with their math homework. It is somewhat confusing to me that 2 + 2 no longer adds up to 4, etc., etc. I guess our kids are all going to become economists and work for the Federal Reserve.

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news, but I think a reality check would be in order. I will use the Federal Reserve number even though they exclude food and housing. Really! On inflation, there can be no dispute. Friday’s report that consumer prices shot up by the highest number in 40 years cannot be considered a surprise. Reports issued by the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey showed the most downbeat sentiment on record, mainly due to historically low unemployment and soaring prices. 

It appears that notes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) indicate that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell intends to raise rates one-half percent this month and again in July. Futures also indicate another half percent increase in September.

The change in attitude at the FOMC since March is extremely troubling. The inflation numbers caught them completely by surprise.  Why didn’t they just ask people who were filling their gas tanks and shopping for food?  They sure knew that inflation was running rampant. Just a few more statistics, because Washington D.C. makes me crazy.

Larry Summers, who served as Treasury Secretary from 1999-2001, issued an economic research paper this past week. To quote, “In order to bring down core CPI to the 2% range would require the same extreme monetary restraint exerted by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker which resulted in back-to-back 1980s recessions.” Once again there are plenty of smart people out there who have been stating that the Fed is way behind the eight ball. Example:  former Alliance Bernstein chief economist Joseph Carson has been screaming for more than a year, “The Federal Reserve is missing the boat.”

Let’s talk about stocks. The Standard and Poor’s P/E has dropped from 21 to 16. This number, 16, is normally considered to be a reasonable P/E to purchase stocks. However, if interest rates are still too low and earnings forecasts drop, don’t be surprised if there is more damage done to the stock market. The market is down 10 out of the last 11 weeks. I blame the Fed’s ineptitude in dealing with inflation, plus the war in the Ukraine and the lasting effects of the pandemic.

What do we buy? Drugs! Not street drugs, but great drug companies. The pandemic and the need to stay home and eat and eat and eat have caused a lot of us to get fat. So, let’s look at companies that make insulin. Why?  It manages blood sugar levels which help weight control. Eli Lilly (LLY) just received FDA approval for Tirzepatide for diabetes apparently with good results. Novo Nordick (NVO), a Danish company is the world’s top maker of insulin. Novo’s drug sales for obesity doubled year over year to $480 million. They are projecting a nine-fold increase in sales.

Some news that hit the wire this past week:

1. Twitter agreed to share data on false accounts with Elon Musk, thus putting the $44 billion takeover back on track.

2. Jet Blue airlines increased its offer to purchase Spirit Airlines.

3. Kohls is in talks to be purchased by Franchise Group for $8 billion.

As our parents told us, “if you don’t have anything good to say, stop talking.” On that note, please enjoy our wonderful weather. If any of our readers know how to keep the geese off the front lawn and the deer out the garden, please let me know. 

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor. 

METRO photo

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

It has been a tumultuous 90 days. Investors are currently on the path to seeing one of the worst years in stock market history. This statement was made by several strategists at Goldman Sachs on CNBC.

This could be considered a reasonable position to take, but why? Well, to point out the obvious, stocks and bonds are off to a horrible start, while consumer prices continue to increase. Also, no baby formula!

If you extrapolate this bad news to the end of the year-even though we are barely halfway through Spring, diversified investors may see the potential for significant losses after inflation.

I take a less dire view. Big stock downturns are normal. Over the last 72 years, the S&P Index has fallen more than 20% from its high on ten different occasions.

There are many differences about this decline. The current decline is approximately 18% from the January high. The major difference is that the current decline has occurred after a market that never seemed to stop going up.

Another interesting point is that during the career of Warren Buffett, the average Bear market has taken about two years to go back to even, while a few have stretched to four years or more.

How about this statistic: the NASDAQ has been positive every year since 2008 UNTIL this year!

My take is that expectations need to change. Crypto currencies have fallen off a cliff. Some investors think it wise to buy in at these lower prices. I disagree. Until Crypto currencies are regulated, losses could be devastating. A case in point is Crypto exchange Coinbase Global which totally missed earnings estimates. The company stated that customers could lose their assets if it were to declare bankruptcy.  Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tweeted a clarification, saying “we have no risk of bankruptcy.” 

Unfortunately, I remember the same statements made by the CEO of ENRON.

METRO photo

A Georgetown law professor recently spoke of crypto bankruptcy risks. His point was that even though the contracts say you own the currency, you have the potential of being a general unsecured creditor if there is a bankruptcy.

For those with strong stomachs, there are plenty of companies with strong cash flow, good growth potentials and decent dividends. Never flee the market. Historically, the stock market outperforms most other asset classes. Domestic stocks represent the businesses that keep America strong.

An interesting point was advanced by Vanguard. They recently calculated that since 1935, U.S. stocks have lost ground to inflation during 31% of one year time periods, but only 11% of ten-year cycles.

I believe investors could begin to add to their portfolios shortly, with the caveat that this market may still have some downside risk. However, keep in mind that the S&P was trading at a P/E of more than 21x in January while currently trading at 17x earnings. Some technical analysts believe that the bottom line may be 15x.

Trying to time the bottom line is futile.  Keep in mind that the average annual return for the S&P since 1988 is 10.6%; 34 years of growth.

The view espoused at Morgan Stanley is that there may be a little more downside risk. But Lisa Shalett, Chief Investment Officer, states that segments of the market are priced. For upside surprises, these include financials, energy, healthcare, industrials and consumer service companies.

We still must be concerned about Russia/Ukraine and China/Taiwan.

In my next article I will mention some stocks with good growth potential. Hoping for a market bottom soon!

Until then, enjoy the rest of Spring and stay healthy.

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor. 

The price of fresh vegetables is skyrocketing in 2022. METRO photo

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

The world is in a complete state of flux. Wholesale prices are the highest in more than 40 years. Year over year the price of vegetables has risen 82%, grain prices 43%, meat and fish categories rose an average of 34%. Then there is energy! Home heating oil, diesel and gasoline rose 106%, 64% and 60% respectively.

As the war in Ukraine rages on, one major problem is that world food and energy supplies are threatened given the amount of crops, fertilizer and oil that come from that region.

As prices continue to rise, household income is being eaten up. Thus, discretionary spending is shrinking. There is a measure compiled by economist John Williams who utilizes a CPI methodology used 30 years ago by the Federal Reserve. This index, he states, shows that family income had to rise 17.4% from a year ago in order to have maintained last April’s standard of living. This is the highest increase since 1947, the year I was born. But it’s not my fault!!!

How do all of these numbers reflect in the stock market? Up to now, corporate margins have held up, some even making new highs. But, as we all know, pricing power isn’t infinite. Here are the market performance numbers as the Federal Reserve tries to put the brakes on inflation, something Chairman Powell and Fed Governors have done a very poor job with, at least, 10 months too late.

Down Jones — 5.9% YTD

S&P — 7.84% YTD

Nasdaq — 14.66% YTD

The trend for this market is clearly down, at least in the short term. What does this mean for investors? I believe it is time to reevaluate your portfolio’s. Those with a shorter term horizon should look at the utility sector, which has risen 6% YTD. Readers with a longer investment horizon would be wise to use a down market to add to core holdings. IBM, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Exxon Mobil and JPM have very strong balance sheets. Management teams at quality corporations have shown the ability to keep their focus on the bottom line.

AT&T is becoming a pure telecom play again. This 150-year-old company spun off Warner Brothers to Discovery. Investors should be happy with AT&T’s focus on wireless and broadband. If you look at the Nasdaq’s biggest percentage movers this month, pharmaceuticals and biotech firms have led the pack.

It is hard to recommend new purchases at the present time; however, it is no time to panic. Keep track of your holdings and keep in touch with your financial advisor.

During this holiest of holiday seasons, I pray for world peace and a healthy and happy year ahead.

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor.

Pixabay photo

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

As I sit here on Sunday morning pondering what I would recommend to readers, I find myself in a quandary.

Ukraine is in the forefront of the news, while Canadian truckers are being arrested and having their bank accounts taken due to their opposition to Trudeau and his position on masking and vaccinations.

Is it time to put money to work during these uneasy times? Emotionally an investor could think not. History says otherwise.

Once again, the reader only has to look back in time and realize that sound investment decisions can be made at any juncture. 1929, 1952, 1987, 2001, 2002, 2008. These dates were extremely stressful to the investor. Sell, hold or buy? DECISIONS, DECISIONS!

Today, it is more of the same. Companies that we have mentioned are still financially strong with solid balance sheets. Yet, they are being punished by this market! Do we sell shares in these companies while earnings are robust?

Is 5G now a passing fancy? Not so.

Increasing interest rates will bolster the balance sheets of many Money Center and Regional banks. It is fair to say that even though the ten-year treasury is now yielding 2%, our checking and savings accounts are still yielding close to 0%! Thus, bank earnings and balance sheets are stronger than ever.

I believe that based on past history, investors should think about adding or starting a position in some great companies. Dollar cost averaging is a smart way to start or increase your positions. Emotion should not play a part in selling a stock. 

Banks need to watch their loan portfolios and manage the risk as to their non-performing loans.

We are all aware of the supply chain problems thus effecting the costs of goods and services.

With all of this in mind, we need to remember a basic tenet; try to have enough liquidity to cover 6 months of household and business expenses. It is especially important now to monitor your debt load due to higher interest rates.

Let us look at some stocks that have been mentioned before. Qualcomm is certainly a quality investment at these levels, even during this volatile market period. It is reasonably priced with a P.E. ratio of 14x forward earnings with a solid dividend. Morgan Stanley is another sound investment idea. The company is buying back $3 billion in stock each quarter while paying a 3% dividend. 

Still a favorite is Nvidia. This company has exceeded even the highest expectations of forward guidance for earnings. A great CEO, Jensen Huang, has Nvidia positioned to take advantage in the growth of 5G. For those suffering from cabin fever, look at Disney. Increase pricing power and high occupancy rates at their theme parks suggest good earnings growth.

In closing, let us hope the people of Ukraine will be safe. By the time this article is published we will probably know if Russia has decided to invade.

Be safe and stay healthy. 

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor. 

Metro Photo

By Michael E. Russell

Michael E. Russell

To the readers who have missed the Investing 101 column by Ted Kaplan, I have spoken to his lovely wife Elizabeth and will try to follow in his footsteps.

To say that present times are challenging is an understatement. Supply chain issues, higher gas prices at the pump, heating oil and natural gas prices are expected to increase by 60% this season. We have seen shortages at the supermarket and shortages of corks for wine bottles!!! We have housing shortages, federal deficits approaching $25 trillion. We have an economy that is still robust with 10.2 million jobs unfilled.

The 10-year treasury is now at 1.62% and  analysts are expecting an increase to almost 3%. We have not seen rates this high in almost 12 years. A key measure of the bond market as quoted in The New York Times expects inflation to increase by 3% per annum over the next 10 years. It appears that the Federal Reserve will have to take major steps to halt this inflation creep.

In spite of these negative factors, investor’s wealth increased by $9.7 trillion, 23.5% for the year!

That being said, the University of Michigan’s survey stated that this has not trickled down to the average family. Their economic outlook shows the lowest confidence in the economy in more than 10 years. What this says is that employment is up, wages are up, but their income in real terms is down. The Consumer Price Index has jumped 0.9% in October, bringing the year-over-year increase to 6.2%. The most in more than 3 decades!

For many investors, according to Randall Forsyth of Barron’s, the growing concerns about rising prices and interest rates present a problem. In this scenario, bonds may not serve as a buffer in the classic 60/40 equities to bonds portfolio.

Morningstar is looking for a 7.5% gain in equities next year while analysts at Bank of America believe the S&P will be flat.

With all the potential negative news out there, I still believe there are stocks with solid dividends that have potential for growth.

A conservative play is New York Community Bank, NYCB. This bank has over 1200 branches with a dividend of 6%.

I believe that the major energy suppliers are attractive at these levels. Energy demand is high and will continue to be so.  ExxonMobil, XOM, is currently trading at $63. This is 25% below its 5 year high. It is paying a 5.5% dividend.

In closing, let me wish everyone a healthy holiday season.

Michael E. Russell retired after 40 years working for various Wall Street firms. All recommendations being made here are not guaranteed and may incur a loss of principal. The opinions and investment recommendations expressed in the column are the author’s own. TBR News Media does not endorse any specific investment advice and urges investors to consult with their financial advisor.