It looks like the dog days of summer have finally hit the gas; you may have noticed that prices are creeping up at your local gas station. And the way things are looking, this appreciation probably will continue through August. In fact, just last Friday, oil prices gained nearly 5%, representing a 20% jump since oil hit a low in late June.
Now most people don’t think of rising fuel prices as reason to celebrate. However, if you want to make money in this market, you need to be able to identify the silver lining for every cloud. In this case, while I’ll certainly groan about paying more at the pump with the rest of them, I’m really more interested in one of causes behind this price appreciation: The weaker dollar.
For some time now, the U.S. dollar has been gaining on the euro (as well as several major currencies) thanks to the ongoing debt crisis across the pond. However lately it looks like the European Central Bank has stepped up to the plate, and there are renewed hopes that Spain and Italy will get their act together thanks to lower borrowing costs for the indebted nations.
And following last week’s stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll report, investors became less risk averse, causing demand for international currencies to rise while the dollar sold off. Finally, although we don’t have any hard data on this just yet, I imagine that the ongoing London Olympics are doing their part in keeping investors somewhat distracted and therefore more optimistic about Europe.
And some investors see the weaker dollar as cause to celebrate: U.S. stocks hit a three-month high Monday. That’s because there are plenty of U.S.-based multinational companies that have much of their sales denominated in international currencies. I’m talking about big players like McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), and Apple (NYSE:AAPL) — these three blue chips have zeroed in on emerging markets like China, India and Brazil, and the weaker the dollar is relative to the Yuan, the Rupee, and the Real, the greater the payout.
So if you hold any companies that do a lot of their business abroad, you can feel a little better about your profit potential when you have to shell out more for gas. If you don’t have any multinational companies in your portfolio but would like to, a great place to start would be my Blue Chip Growth newsletter, which you can read more about here.
Stay cool in the summer heat, and I’ll be in touch.