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An Intelligent Investor's Response to Government Gridlock

Stocks in this article: NOV IEP

Icahn's 13-F disclosed that he bought his shares of IEP between $36.50 and $42.50 a share. On March 1 he purchased an additional 15,900 shares at around $63. Shares have since hit a 52-week high of $90.75 and have cooled down to $84.67 as of Oct. 2. No signs of any insiders selling either!

The following chart tells the one-year price story for IEP. The other lines tell us about the PE ratio (TTM) which is a rich 21.59. The future (one-year) estimated PE of only 12 suggests the stock may not be overvalued.

IEP Chart IEP data by YCharts

I'm not suggesting that we buy IEP or NOV tomorrow. I'm suggesting that we buy incrementally on any big market swoons.

This government shutdown just may be different enough and more serious than any we've experienced in modern times, especially if it ends up with "debt-ceiling paralysis."

If the U.S. government's debt ceiling isn't increased by Oct. 16, for the first time the Treasury won't be able to pay the interest owed on all kinds of government debt instruments from T-bills to bonds.

In a nationally televised interview President Obama told viewers that even though gridlock in the nation's capital is nothing new, "this time I think Wall Street should be concerned."

He added, "When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to default on U.S. obligations, then we are in trouble."

These words alone could send the stock markets reeling Thursday morning, and if we're lucky maybe the correction will be big enough that we can buy great companies and sectors at prices we haven't seen in week or months.

That's not just optimism speaking, that's being a rational, intelligent investor. Stay calm, be defensive, and set your buy-limit prices low enough to scoop up real bargains before the market's rebound as they always, eventual do.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Marc Courtenay is the founder and owner of Advanced Investor Technologies, LLC, as well as the publisher and editor of www.ChecktheMarkets.com.

Courtenay holds a Master's of Science degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, and is a former senior vice-president of Investments for two major brokerage firms. He's been a fiercely independent investment "investigator" and a consulting contributor to the investment publishing world for over 30 years. In addition to his role as an investment publisher and analyst, he serves as a marketing consultant to the investment media industries.

In his role as a financial editor, he specializes in unique investment strategies, overlooked stock investments, energy and resource companies, precious metals, emerging growth companies, the prudent use of option strategies,real estate related opportunities,wealth preservation, money-saving offers, risk management, tax issues, as well as "the psychology of investing". Because of his training and background in Clinical Counseling and Psychology, he enjoys writing about investor behavior, the ┬┐herd mentality, how to turn investment mistakes into investment breakthroughs and the stock market's behavioral trends and patterns.


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