That's OK. There are still three quarters to go. Although I'm not a big fan of making such predictions in the first place, I do believe it is important to follow up on them, taking the good with the bad.
1. Fiscal cliff a nonevent in the short term: I believe that I nailed this one, for what it's worth, which is not much. A deal was made, as usual, and the sky did not fall. Even the dreaded "sequester" has failed to bring the pain that was promised and that perhaps was hoped for by some of our elected officials. We'll have to see how that plays out in the coming months, however. There are threats of airport closures and job furloughs on the horizon, but so far, there are several politicians with egg on their face.
2. Still bullish on gold and silver: Year to date, with gold down about 4.5% and silver down 9.5%, it may be difficult to see $2,000 gold and $40 silver over the next nine months. The economy is getting so much better, and the uncertainty is waning, right? I'm certainly not convinced, and all of the money-printing that's being done by the Fed tells me that metals will move higher, eventually. Interestingly, I saw that a reputable metals dealer is paying $1.10 over the spot price for "junk" silver (silver coins minted prior to 1965 with no numismatic value). Typically, dealers pay less than spot, so this tells me that there may be a lot of demand here, at least among silver hoarders.3. Restaurant stocks struggle: Too early with this call, at least through the first quarter. Following are the top 10 restaurant names by market cap are up an average of 14% so far this year. Those restaurant stocks are McDonald's (MCD), Yum! Brands (YUM), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Burger King (BKW), Darden (DRI), Panera (PNRA), Dunkin (DNKN), Domino's Pizza (PZA), Brinker (EAT) and Wendy's (WEN). I had been a restaurant bull for much of the past four years but became concerned about rising input costs. Apparently, they haven't been much of a factor -- yet.
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