The 10 Most Important Tips for Playing the Stock Market in March

Editors' pick: Originally published March 10.

As the Trump presidency forges on with executive orders, cabinet appointments and changes to various policies and agencies, this edition of TheStreet's Trading Strategies analyzes industries and asset classes that are likely to be affected in the month of March.

While markets have, for the most part, endorsed the Trump administration's pro-business, pro-America strategy, there are other signs that investors have overlooked or ignored some aspects of the new president's policies that may present risks to corporate interests.

So what do investors need to know to position their portfolios in March? We're focusing on that favorite safe-haven investment -- gold, as well as currencies, fixed-income and select equities. Not to mention a potential tax cut, or even a tax holiday, that could impact companies with huge overseas cash piles such as Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holdings Apple (AAPL)  and Cisco  (CSCO)  as well as, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE)  , among others.

Trump and your taxes: Watch Jim Cramer lead a roundtable discussion on how investors and retirement savers should position their portfolio.

Mark Hulbert identifies six stocks most likely to benefit from a corporate tax cut -- but which also should do well if that cut doesn't materialize. And Peter Tchir writes about how lower individual tax rates will have the most immediate impact on municipal bond funds and dividend paying stocks. Plus, Douglas Borthwick says a Trump tax cut would likely strengthen the dollar.

Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, which owns Apple and Cisco, sat down with TheStreet's experts to discuss trading trends in March.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Editors' pick: Originally published March 3.

Playing Equities, Gold, Forex and Fixed Income
Playing Equities, Gold, Forex and Fixed Income

March could be a turbulent month for investors. Jim Cramer, TheStreet's founder and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, sat down with the experts the wide ranging discussion touched on trading strategies for gold, equities, forex and fixed income.

Meet Jim's panel:

Stephen "Sarge" Guilfoyle is an equities expert and the founder and president of Sarge986 LLC.

is a fixed-income expert and currently serves as managing director of macro income strategy at Brean Capital LLC.

Douglas Borthwick is a foreign-exchange expert and serves as managing director of Chapdelaine FX.

David Yoe Williams is a commodities and gold expert. He is also a principal at Strategic Gold.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Pay Attention to Hints of a New Tax Bill
Pay Attention to Hints of a New Tax Bill

Despite what bullish Wall Street investors seem to believe, sweeping tax reform isn't imminent -- although we might get more guidance soon on what GOP lawmakers have in store.

The Trump administration and legislators have sent mixed signals on the timing and substance of a tax-reform package. The president last month pledged a "phenomenal" proposal by early March, although U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said August was more likely.

Beyond timing, there's no consensus among Republicans on what tax reform, which has already helped propel banks such as Bank of America (BAC)  and JPMorgan (JPM)  sky-high, will look like. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said last month that proposal the House put forth wouldn't get 10 votes in the Senate.

Trump and your taxes: Watch Jim Cramer lead a roundtable discussion on how investors and retirement savers should position their portfolio.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

A Range of Sectors Could Be Big Movers
A Range of Sectors Could Be Big Movers

Exploiting a possible Trump-led corporate tax cut is not as easy as it looks.

That's not just because it's highly uncertain how much the top corporate tax rate -- currently 35% -- will be cut, or even if the cut will be approved by a budget-conscious congressional majority. It's also the case that any eventual cut will be felt most strongly by certain companies than by the overall market.

So we need to proceed with care. Even if the rate is cut, however, it's hardly a sure-fire bet that the overall stock market will benefit. 

In other words, a corporate tax cut would merely take the edge off of the stock market's current extreme overvaluation, leaving it still significantly overvalued. A shrewder way of betting on a possible corporate tax cut, in my opinion, is to pick those companies that both would benefit the most from a possible cut and which also are already compelling according to any of a number of traditional valuation criteria.

Watch Amazon (AMZN) , CVS Health (CVS) , CarMax (KMX)   and Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holding Facebook  (FB) , among others.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Corporate Tax Reform vs. Personal Tax Reform
Corporate Tax Reform vs. Personal Tax Reform

Much remains up in the air in terms of what will get done -- and when -- on President Trump's tax-reform plan. Overall, my sources believe that what ultimately becomes law will be smaller than discussed and take longer to implement. Having said that, it's wise to prepare for possible changes so that you can manager your portfolio effectively.

TheStreet's  expects cuts to individual tax rates to become law in some way, shape or form, which will have the most immediate impact on municipal-bond funds and dividend-paying stocks. On a corporate level, Tchir believes proposed reforms to cash repatriation, interest deductibility and business depreciation will come as a package.

Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holdings Apple  (AAPL)  , Cisco (CSCO)  and Alphabet (GOOGL)  , as well as Microsoft  (MSFT)  , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)  and Oracle (ORCL)  are just some of the companies that could benefit from a potential tax holiday, as they have huge hoards of cash overseas.

Trump and your taxes: Watch Jim Cramer lead a roundtable discussion on how investors and retirement savers should position their portfolio.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Small Caps Are Likely to Benefit for Trump Administration
Small Caps Are Likely to Benefit for Trump Administration

Virtually every U.S. business and investor has been looking for, hoping for and/or betting on a major tax-reform package under President Trump. Obamacare repeal and other items on the Trump agenda might attract a lot of attention, but it's the possibility of tax cuts that really revs up the masses. But what exactly has the market already priced in and how do we handicap how far stocks still have to run? Will there be a "sell the news" event when rumor turns into fact?

What should equity investors do in this environment? We'll, you're going to have to defend yourself from headline-driven political risk to your portfolio.

You can find many such stocks in the Russell 2000, as small-cap names tend to pay about 33% effective tax rates vs. the roughly 28% that big-caps in the S&P 500 pay. (And of course, some big-caps like Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holding General Electric (GE)  pay much, much less.) 

Those who like to do their own hunting might want to move into regional banks. TheStreet's   has long liked KeyCorp ( KEY) , while another name known for its above-average effective tax rate is Bank of the Ozarks ( OZRK) .

Trump and your taxes: Watch Jim Cramer lead a roundtable discussion on how investors and retirement savers should position their portfolio.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Watch the Dollar... Or Short It?
Watch the Dollar... Or Short It?

Currency markets have overwhelmingly decided that a Trump tax cut will lead to U.S. dollar strength -- but I believe that it's too early to position for the best scenario, so I prefer to take the other side. 

The overriding view in U.S. currency markets assumes that more money in corporate and consumer pockets will lead to greater spending, which in turn will stimulate the economy, pushing up stock and real estate prices in turn. Many think this will then fuel higher prices in general, which will prompt a hawkish Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

Currency traders have already largely baked the above assumptions into the currency cake. However, President Trump and his subordinates have said from Day 1 that China, Japan and Germany all have large current account surpluses fueled by weak currencies relative to the dollar. They want to make America "more competitive" -- and when they say "more competitive" when discussing the dollar, they're really calling for a weaker greenback. They don't want the strong dollar that's been the norm since the 1990s.

Trump and your taxes: Watch Jim Cramer lead a roundtable discussion on how investors and retirement savers should position their portfolio.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Infrastructure Spending Will Be a Massive Issue
Infrastructure Spending Will Be a Massive Issue

Jim Cramer discusses the appeal of 50 to 100 year savings bonds with David Yoe Williams, a commodities/gold expert. Williams speaks to the opportunity of toll roads and pipelines being publicly funded and the public having equity in infrastructure.

Williams is a principal at Strategic Gold, a Naples, Fla.-based firm that buys and stores physical gold for investors. He was an NYSE floor trader for 29 years for Richardson Greenshields, Glenwood Securities and other firms. Williams holds a b.s. in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Will Gold Be Great Again?
Will Gold Be Great Again?

TheStreet's  says the argument for investing in gold remains compelling both in the near- and long-term, and a Trump tax-reform plan should only help.

Gold is already off to a good start in 2017, up some 8% so far to about $1,230 an ounce. Those strong gains follow a year where the metal also rose 8.5% during 2016 despite a poor fourth-quarter showing.

There are several reasons why I believe the commodity, which is mined by Barrick Gold (ABX)  and Randgold Resources  (GOLD) , among others, will move even higher both short- and long-term, but let's focus on the current consensus as to why gold is rallying -- inflation. Gold has long been used as a store of wealth and hedge against inflation and that trade seems to be back in vogue.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March, including a look at commodities, fixed-income products and the impact of a Trump tax holiday on companies including Action Alerts PLUS portfolio holdings Apple (AAPL) , Cisco (CSCO) and Alphabet (GOOGL) , as well as Microsoft (MSFT) , Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Oracle (ORCL)  , among others, can be found here:

When Janet Yellen Speaks, Investors Should Listen
When Janet Yellen Speaks, Investors Should Listen
Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen

How will the Fed react in March?

Jim Cramer asked Peter Tchir, a fixed-income expert on what he thought the Fed would do in March. Tchir remarked that the real risk is if the Fed does nothing. He also noted that, "we want to see a measured increase at the front end of the rate. That may push treasuries up a little bit but it'll be very controlled."

"The real risk is if the Fed does nothing," Tchir said., adding that the agency, which is headed by chairwoman Janet Yellen, should act soon.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

Fixed Income Trades Could Be Lucrative
Fixed Income Trades Could Be Lucrative

Floating rate assets could become your friend, according to TheStreet's Peter Tchir.

"...because leveraged loans can be a very difficult product to buy individually, these are often traded at a premium to net asset value (NAV) for that market access and good markets. You've got a floating rate protection, you've got exposure to the high yield market - so you're getting that decent amount of income without that rate risk..."

Tchir currently serves as managing director of macro income strategy at Brean Capital LLC.

A full rundown of TheStreet's guide to trading in March can be found here:

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This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.