When was the last time you saw a VIX below 13.0%? Most seasoned investors would tell you that this could be considered a once-in-a-cycle unicorn moment, and while the bears are focusing on reasons why the market could be pregnant with tail risk, others (maybe yourself included) are focused on what matters: making money.
It is more important than ever to pick the right stocks, as a slow market - topped by a holiday season on Wall Street - will make it harder to find the names that really move in the right direction.
The homework has been done for you, focusing on the oil sector, bringing you a reasonable upside to finish the year strong with names like Chesapeake Energy (NASDAQ: CHK), First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR), and even Warren Buffett's own Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), you are spoiled for choice, but more on why later.
When OPEC gives you lemons
Whenever the OPEC meets on production policy for daily oil barrels, markets seem to go into a trance, like when America's very own Jerome Powell (FED Chairman) comes on to speak at every FOMC meeting. Considering this is one of the world's most essential commodities, its latest meeting was nothing short of a surprise.
What surprise? There was no meeting at all! In fact, it was delayed last week to an undisclosed future date, causing the price per barrel to fall from roughly $77.2 to end the week 3.0% lower after the announcement to postpone.
However, as the two largest economies in the world, the U.S. and China, struggle to get their houses in order, the meeting delay could be a chance for them to catch their breath.
Given that the FED needs inflation to come down, and China needs to stimulate its own inflation via consumption, it looks like low oil prices will be the common ground for a while.
So look, knowing all this stuff to talk about at your next cocktail party or upcoming Christmas dinner is fine and dandy. Still, what can you do to make lemonade with the lemons OPEC has thrown your way? Stick around for one more minute.
Bet big, bet late
The biggest names in Wall Street are known to bet big and bet late, as being too early in a play can bring 'opportunity costs' and annoy short-sighted investors. However, there is one legend in the field whose investors couldn't care less about waiting: Warren Buffett.
Buffett has been holding (and quietly adding) shares of Occidental for a while despite the falling oil prices accompanied by a stock price decline of 2.5% in the past quarter. Other, less patient names have been buying up the stock as if expecting the incoming surge in oil prices to be nearby.
Invesco (NYSE: IVZ), Occidental's second-largest shareholder, has increased its position by 2.8% in the past quarter. Antipodes Partners, the third largest shareholder, has also upped their position by 81.5%. These two have something in common: Impatient shareholders looking for fast and easy returns.
Well, they just might get it, as analysts see a net upside in Occidental stock of 19.0% and expect earnings per share to jump by as much as 41.0% in the next twelve months, compared to an industry average of only 33.0%.
Acting by osmosis (that's fancy for association), stocks like Chesapeake are also set to rise above their peers. The exploration industry expects EPS growth of 17.8% on average, while Chesapeake analysts are shooting for a massive 29.2%.
At a hefty 33.6% upside from today's prices, the only thing you will need to worry about is where to put all the lemonade. How is this possibly any good for a solar stock like First Solar?
The simple answer is found in the very same rise in oil prices that will catapult earnings at Occidental and Chesapeake. You see, when oil rises and becomes too expensive at the gas pump, customers - and investors - will be more welcoming of alternative energy sources.
Want to know how much of a sure thing this is? Why don't you ask analysts who have placed a price target of $232.9 a share on this stock's back? That's, of course, implying a 51.0% rally from today's prices. How's that for a macro-driven sure thing?
Well, there you have it, pick your poison, mix and match it, but don't blame yourself once OPEC comes back around with a production slap to bring oil higher, and think about how much money you left on the table.