E Nothing Is Calm, Nothing Is Bright

*Irish CRH gained 1.1%.

*Schlumberger Ltd of the Dutch Antilles is up. SLB reported insider buying to the SEC. Its systems help find and fund oil and gas.

*BP plc, the UK oil co returning to the US Gulf of Mexico waters, lost 1.3% yesterday. Last week insider Helge Lund bought £3 mn worth of shares.

*Peace on Earth is not in view so BAE Systems, maker of military goods, rose 0.75%. BAESYDassault Aviation in France also rose. Fighter planes are in demand.

Funds

*Yesterday's Barron's reports that last Thursday US closed-end funds, notably bond ones, traded down as much as 15% before pulling up a bit. That was over the Fed's decision to raise interest rates and the initial reaction by Pres. Trump calling for the head of its chairman. Discounts in double digits resulted, writes Randall Forsythe, who notes that this free fall results from the smallness of CEFs and their trading at market whim when compared to open-end or exchange-traded funds, which are managed. That is the flip side of their advantage, often at a double-digit discount from net asset value. If you want to sleep well at night don't pursue the biggest discounts or the highest yields. We don't, why we cover a few Yankee bonds outright.

Our country funds fell sharply in the wake of the bond fund sales, however, and closed the week at double-digit discounts à la Canadienne: Herzfeld Caribbean (CUBA) -22.9%; Japan Small cap JOF (cf above), -14.7%; Korea Fund, KF, -13.2% Mexican Equity & Income, MXE, -9.9%; Morgan Stanley India,IIF, -15.6%; Templeton stocks EMF, -13.4% and bonds TEI, -16.2% , and naturally, Canadian General Corp, CGRIF, -27.1%. End of year tax selling of CEFs is normal but the discounts are bigger than normal and may be a harbinger of more trouble for the market overall.

*SeekingAlpha writer Christoph Liu is recommending Investor AB, the listed investment group owned by the Wallenberg clan of Sweden's Skandinavska Enskilden Bank and managing pension funds for its holdings. We told you first. He thinks its discount is not as great as that of other European holding companies, but the reason is that this is the easy entry into Sweden and the Nordics. IVSBF.

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Comments

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William K. 8 months ago Member's comment

Interesting indeed. Interesting interpretations as well.

Mark Borkowski 8 months ago Contributor's comment

Vivian Lewis provides some good information on selected companies and stocks. She profiles a few winners and most of the notable loosers. A summary of some political events and more. The message that comes through in a non descript way is that the military goods market is good and healthy and that "peace on earth is not in view". Pity.

Danny Straus 8 months ago Member's comment

Always impressed by your knowledge of the Israel market, and #Teva in particular. $TEVA