Doug Kass shares his views every day on RealMoneyPro. Click here for a real-time look at his insights and musings.

 

 

Britain Threatens to KO Coca-Cola
 
Originally published at 11:45 a.m. EDT on March 16, 2016
 
I'm taking a small short in Coca-Cola  ( KO - Get Report) at $44.70 based on U.K. Chancellor George Osborne's surprise announcement today that Britain will tax the soft-drink industry based on the amount of sugar in their beverages.

Osborne cited a substantial growth in U.K. childhood obesity as a catalyst for the tax, which the British government intends to impose in two years. Many other countries are also considering similar moves.

Coca-Cola is a darling for Warren Buffett, but faces plenty of headwinds in addition to today's British tax announcement. Stated simply, it's an Old Economy company with a limited runway for growth.

Still, my new KO short position is small -- at least for now.

Position: Short KO (small)
 


BGB Looks A-OK
 
Originally published at 11:25 a.m. EDT on March 16, 2016 
 
Have you noticed the divergence both yesterday and so far today between strength in the  Blackstone/GSO Strategic Credit closed-end fund  ( BGB - Get Report) and weakness in high-yield bonds?
Position: Long BGB
 


 
 

 

Selling Best Buy Amid a Weakening Retail Outlook
 
Originally published at 12:16 p.m. EDT on March 15, 2016
 
The U.S. retail outlook is deteriorating, and I'm responding in my portfolio.

The Commerce Department said today that retail sales dropped 0.1% in February -- but the real bad news was a revision to January's numbers. Commerce revised its initial reading of a strong 0.2% gain down to a dramatic 0.4% decline.

Reflecting this and my bearish market and global economic concerns, I'm selling my long of Best Buy  (BBY - Get Report)  and taking the stock off of my "Best Long Ideas" list.

This follows the elimination over the past week of my longs of Bed Bath & Beyond  (BBBY - Get Report) , Blackstone Group  (BX - Get Report) , Goldman Sachs  (GS - Get Report) , Morgan Stanley  (MS - Get Report) , Potash  (POT) , Radian  (RDN - Get Report) and Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) .

I've also taken all of these names off of my "Best Long Ideas" list. All told, my "Best Ideas" list is now down to just 13 longs, but has 21 shorts.

Position: None