By Frank Holmes
NEW YORK (
) -- The world watched in awe as American swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time. I've read he's been training in the pool for an average of six hours a day, six days per week, which equates to about 30,000 hours since age 13 and about 10,000 calories burned during a training day. It's inspiring to see the incredible results of his tremendous sacrifice and commitment.
Investing in global markets requires the same sort of stamina, especially at times like this week, when the month's reading on the manufacturing industry was not encouraging. The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI of 48.4 for July was the lowest since June 2009.
However, I believe there are encouraging pockets of strength to energize and inspire investors.
For example, we're coming up on the anniversary of the first stimulus move that kicked off the global easing cycle. On August 31, 2011, Brazil unexpectedly cut rates by 50 basis points, and since then ISI says 228 stimulative monetary and fiscal policy moves have been initiated across several countries, including the Philippines, China, France, and Colombia.
In June and July alone, there were nearly 70 moves -- the most since the world began this massive easing.
Generally, by the time central banks make a fiscal or monetary easing move, economic deterioration has already occurred. Even with these moves, it still takes several months for the stimulative measures to take effect and work their way through.
But while the world wades in the shallow end of the pool waiting for the economy to warm up, Asia has taken a deep dive into the energy space as they've recently announced acquisitions of Canadian resources companies.
In my presentations, I've discussed how resources companies have significantly underperformed their underlying commodities. During 2009 and most of 2010, the performance between oil and the
S&P 500 Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Index
was closely correlated.
By the middle of 2011, oil and oil stocks started to separate, with crude continuing to rise while stocks deteriorated. Even with the recent drop in oil prices, oil stocks have continued to lag.