Jump on the george soros coal train




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Jump on the george soros coal trainJump on the George Soros coal train

By Michael Kahn

If there ever was a sector in the stock market where the trend — the relentless, unforgiving trend — was your friend, it has had to be in the coal sector. Coal has been falling with little respite since early 2011 and the Dow Jones U. S. coal sector index has shed 94% of its value (see Chart 1).

But there comes a time in any bear market when the fundamentals get so bad that everyone just gives up, and that is when opportunity is created for brave investors. Even notorious environmentalist and billionaire investor George Soros looked at this group and in August, bought a chunk of two coal companies.

I am not a follower of fundamentals per se, but I do know that environmental regulations and the slowdown in the global economy, especially in China, combined to nearly kill the industry. Indeed, many companies that were on my sector watchlist for years are now bankrupt.

On the surface, it does look that there is nothing to like about coal stocks on any level. And that is just when contrarians should start to get interested.

Make no mistake, buying coal stocks goes against logic. And technically, the arguments I can make for a bottom are mediocre at best — that is, except for the sentiment angle. Everyone seems to think coal is hopeless, creating an extreme in bearish thought. That’s actually bullish because theoretically everyone who wanted to sell has already done so. Supply dries up.

Jump on the George Soros coal train

By Michael Kahn

If there ever was a sector in the stock market where the trend — the relentless, unforgiving trend — was your friend, it has had to be in the coal sector. Coal has been falling with little respite since early 2011 and the Dow Jones U. S. coal sector index has shed 94% of its value (see Chart 1).

But there comes a time in any bear market when the fundamentals get so bad that everyone just gives up, and that is when opportunity is created for brave investors. Even notorious environmentalist and billionaire investor George Soros looked at this group and in August, bought a chunk of two coal companies.

I am not a follower of fundamentals per se, but I do know that environmental regulations and the slowdown in the global economy, especially in China, combined to nearly kill the industry. Indeed, many companies that were on my sector watchlist for years are now bankrupt.

On the surface, it does look that there is nothing to like about coal stocks on any level. And that is just when contrarians should start to get interested.

Make no mistake, buying coal stocks goes against logic. And technically, the arguments I can make for a bottom are mediocre at best — that is, except for the sentiment angle. Everyone seems to think coal is hopeless, creating an extreme in bearish thought. That’s actually bullish because theoretically everyone who wanted to sell has already done so. Supply dries up.