Thursday, April 13

Tomorrow (Friday the 14th) is Good Friday, and a bank holiday. Markets are closed tomorrow through the weekend. Volume is down today as many people have taken a longer weekend, and prices have reacted somewhat across all indices with weaker than expected, and in some cases even somewhat negative movement.

Today the oil bubble burst – demonstrating once again that we are very exposed to the energy sector. Our portfolio fell 0.75% to the Dow Jones’ 0.45% and the S&P’s 0.43%. In a review of individual sectors we’ve noticed that it’s generally healthcare where we see the least correlation to our portfolio, though we haven’t decided if it’s worth doing anything about that for the time being.

Our losses today were led by a predictable drop in Shell Oil (RDSA) – down 1.72% in trading today. This was slightly worse than the general energy sector’s 1.52% loss, but RDSA is not a US based company so the continued drop in the dollar did nothing to shield them from the drop in crude.

The financial sector earnings posted this morning (JPM, CITI, WFC) were somewhat stronger than analysts expected, but the financial sector still fell. Analysts cite the continued pressure of falling treasury yields as the primary factor in this move. Outstanding loans have also fallen recently, sending Wells Fargo (WFC) down 2.6% in trading today making this their worst week since last September.

Last night Frontier Communications (FTR) announced that it is moving up it’s quarterly earnings announcement and conference call to May 2nd. Share prices for common stock fell 4% in trading today as volatility in this issue increases. The price of the preferred stock did not move enough to merit increasing our position, and the probability of that happening remains fairly small until mid June when the next payment is likely to throw the market price far out of line with the underlying stock.

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