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Friday File: “Cash for Patriots,” plus some Gumshoe Sentiment as vacation begins

Last Friday File until July 21

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What’s going on in the world as I put “wheels up” for my family vacation and resolve to stop paying (much) attention to markets for ten days?

Well, US gold American Eagle coins are reportedly selling at the slowest pace since 2007.

The first six months of this year was the best for the tech-heavy Nasdaq since 2009.

That should be good — no one feels the need to panic into gold, stocks are doing great. But…

Everyone’s freaking out about North Korea’s growing ICBM capabilities, our own President continues to represent almost unfathomable “black swan” risk with each tweet, Congress is no less hated or productive while in recess than it was when it was attempting to move forward with its agenda last week, the market is too expensive, oil is too cheap, interest rates and investors remain, from my perspective, quite complacent and unworried as we’ve grown accustomed to a market that only goes up for eight years.

That could all change while I’m tromping up some Scottish hill in search of a whisky, perhaps as soon as the next employment report on Friday morning, but it all remains quite unknowable to me… I head off to my break without panic, but with a fair degree of worry that these “summer doldrums” and a likely low volume of buyers could turn any bad news into a correction pretty quickly.

But I’ve felt that way at several times over the past couple years, and so far every dip has turned into more buying. It won’t last forever, I suppose, but that doesn’t mean I know whether the market will have a correction this year or in three years. I’m building up cash in my accounts to prepare for some hoped-for better buying opportunities in the future, and I’m paying closer attention to stop loss triggers that might hit in my Real Money Portfolio, but I’m not actively hedging (even with the VIX quite low, hedging is quite expensive — I last wrote about my exploration of hedging and VIX speculation about six months ago here, and the costs of hedging haven’t changed markedly since then… though most hedges and VIX speculation would have been money losers over the interim).

On the optimistic front, the CNN “Fear and Greed” index has swung back from extreme greed (meaning ...

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