Doug Kass

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Doug Kass is the president of Seabreeze Partners Management Inc.Expand

Until 1996, he was senior portfolio manager at Omega Advisors, a $6 billion investment partnership. Before that he was executive senior vice president and director of institutional equities of First Albany Corporation and JW Charles/CSG. He also was a General Partner of Glickenhaus & Co., and held various positions with Putnam Management and Kidder, Peabody. Kass received his bachelor's from Alfred University, and received a master's of business administration in finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School in 1972. He co-authored "Citibank: The Ralph Nader Report" with Nader and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law and currently serves as a guest host on CNBC's "Squawk Box."Collapse

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Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 3:03 PM EDT
The U.S. dollar weakened modestly after two days of strengthening following the Fed's remarks. Crude oil fell by 40 cents to $48. Nat gas was flat. Gold was down $1.60, recovering from the day's lows. Agricultural commodities: wheat -4.75, corn +2.50, soybeans -14.25 and oats flat. Lumber -9.20. Bonds rallied in price. The yield on the 10-year U.S. note down by one basis point to  1.83% and the long bond down two basis points to 2.62%. Municipals were up small but closed-end muni bond funds rallied nicely from the recent carnage. High yield was flat. Banks flat-lined and I remain cautious. Deutsche Bank (DB) is under $17, again. A concern. Insurers were down large fractions. Brokerages were mixed. Retail was up and down, but nothing major. My three shorts are Starbucks (SBUX), up a dime, Nordstrom (JWN), up 20 cents, and Foot Locker (FL), down 55 cents. Old media and old tech did little. Energy was unchanged, though Schlumberger (SLB) caught a recommendation from the Buy Side. SLB was down 20 cents and Exxon Mobil (XOM) was up 20 cents. Autos continue to roll over. Ag equipment was strong, with Deere (DE) up 60 cents and Caterpillar (CAT) up 75 cents. Consumer nondurables were slightly better, despite my protestations! Biotech couldn't hold its morning gains, though iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) nonetheless was up $2.60. Allergan (AGN) and Valeant (VRX) -- the object of my recent disaffection -- were lower, off $4.10 and $1.10, respectively. My former speculative biotech package was up marginally.  (T)FANG was mixed, with Tesla (TSLA) down $3, Facebook (FB) down $1.10, Amazon (AMZN) down $3 and Netflix (NFLX) up $1.75. NOSH was weighed down by O'Reilly Automotive (ORLY), down $2. CRABBY was settled, with little price change on the day. In terms of individual stocks, Apple (AAPL) was up $1.60 (continuing its Berkshire-inspired rally from last week -- yawn!), POT was up 60 cents on the Monsanto (MON) takeover news, and Oaktree Capital Group (OAK) was down 50 cents. Here is some good stuff from Real Money Pro today: Jim "El Capitan" Cramer on McDonald's (MCD) and PepsiCo (PEP).  Tim "Not Judy or Phil" Collins chimes in on gold.  Bob Lang on "The Bear Market."  Rev Shark on something strange in the neighborhood (and it isn't ghosts).  Bret Jensen on two promising biopharmas.
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 1:34 PM EDT
The two-year vs. 10-year U.S. Treasury curve has continued to flatten to a multiyear low. That's not good news for banks' net interest margins. The latest economic figures are ambiguous at best. And at worst, they show that growth is slowing. I continue to focus on recent weakness in
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Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 1:15 PM EDT
Barron's paid homage to my pal Byron Wien in this weekend's
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 12:50 PM EDT
Peter Boockvar rounds up the latest market and economic news: "Some Federal Reserve members have put markets on notice that a June rate hike is a…
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 12:44 PM EDT
DuPont (DD) is my favorite large-cap long. DD is making a new 2016 high today. Coca-Cola (K
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 11:57 AM EDT
I've repeatedly expressed concern in my afternoon Takeaways columns about gold's inability to breach $1,300 an ounce on the upside. Well,…
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 10:20 AM EDT
As I wrote back in December: "Surprise No. 10: It's Hillary vs. The Donald Despite his rude and crude campaign, Donald Trump [comes…
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 10:03 AM EDT
Our last three Trades of the Week -- shorting the iShares MSCI United Kingdom ETF (EWU) and the iShares China Large-Cap…
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 9:52 AM EDT
I'm selling out of the balance of my
By

Doug Kass

 | May 23, 2016 | 8:53 AM EDT
Sky-High Price-to-Earnings Ratios. Wall Street might historically view consumer staples as "defensive," but many have offensive valuations these days. Those have stemmed from an extended low-interest-rate period (which is likely to end shortly), coupled with the incorrect perception that consumer staples' profits will be immune to the soft global-economic backdrop. Yields That Won't Provide Adequate Support. Consumer staples' dividend yields no longer provide the safety net that many investors believe. As we saw with Campbell's, a good dividend yield provides little protection when fundamentals sour -- as they likely will for many firms in the more-competitive global backdrop that I expect. Inflation is rising, and with that will inevitably come higher interest rates, meaning that the sector's current yields will provide little support. Emerging-Market Profit Pressures. Don't view Campbell's as an outlier. Generic competition, a potentially strengthening U.S. dollar and higher input costs due to rising commodities prices all represent continuing profit threats for the sector. P/E/G Rates are Elevated. P/E/G rates -- or stock valuations relative to the potential for reduced or pressured secular profit growth -- serve as another significant headwind for consumer staples. In fact, the sector's P/E ratios are obscene in certain cases relative to expected five-year growth rates, as this chart shows: Company                              P/E*               Div. Yield         5-year Expected EPS Gain Campbell                              27.1               2.08%           &nb

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