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Carl Delfeld

Chief Analyst, Cabot Explorer

Carl Delfeld is a member of the Cabot investment team, and chief analyst of Cabot Explorer.

He received his Masters in Law and Diplomacy at the Tufts Fletcher School; worked for the First National Bank of Boston (now Bank of America) in London, serving as director of the Japan and South Korea Group; served as vice president at the investment bank Robert W. Baird & Company, developing new business in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney; was Asia advisor to the U.S. Congressional Joint Economic Committee, the U.S. Finance Committee and the U.S. Department of the Treasury; wrote for Forbes Asia and the Far Eastern Economic Review; served as a member on the U.S. National Committee on Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission; was chairman of the Asian Pension Forum and wrote a book, titled, Red, White & Bold; the New American Century.

From this author
Explorer stocks put in a solid performance this week as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was on Capitol Hill for two days of testimony. His remarks were parsed as if he were an oracle, but the takeaway seems that we are moving towards a rate cut dependent on labor markets cooling off a bit more.

I really don’t like paying too much attention to macro issues like interest rates and would rather focus on new ideas that most investors are not following closely. Right now, in a market so dependent on a small number of leading stocks, you can reduce your portfolio’s overall risk profile by adding some stocks in countries and sectors where expectations and downside risk are low.
Please note that next Thursday is July 4th and therefore there will not be a Cabot Explorer issue though I will send out an alert if there is any significant news on our stocks.

For Explorer stocks this week, Neo Performance (NOPMF) shares were up 12%, and Super Micro (SMCI) gave back half of last week’s 20% gain.

The dollar rose to its highest level since last year as the Federal Reserve breaks with other central banks by keeping interest rates elevated, giving global investors an incentive to move cash to the U.S. to capture higher bond yields.
Bill Gates has already invested more than $1 billion in the future of nuclear power, and as interest in the energy source grows, these stocks look to have bright futures ahead.
Inflation cooled for the second straight month in May, the U.S. labor market seems back to pre-pandemic levels, and the economy is expanding at a low but steady pace.

Therefore, the Fed is holding back on interest rate cuts. Probably the right move. Keep the ammo dry for when it is really needed. This was a solid week for Explorer stocks with all making gains except for a small pullback in Super Micro (SCMI).
Investing in monopolies is a good way to make money. But it can be difficult for U.S. investors. Where to find them? Start overseas.
As we approach the end of May, the S&P 500 is still up 10% for the year, including a 4.6% gain so far in May. But the market was off yesterday as bond yields creep upwards. It was a lackluster week for Explorer stocks as well.

U.S. stocks trade at a P/E ratio over 21x earnings while European stocks trade at a cheaper 14x earnings on average. U.K. stocks look even more compelling at just 12x earnings.
Nvidia (NVDA) is the hottest stock on the market by far. But Costco (COST) has been a steady grower with a solid business model for years. Here’s why I think Costco stock is the better long-term investment.
Major indexes are at all-time highs as data indicated inflation retreated a bit. And many of our positions are soaring.

That includes new addition Neo Performance (NOPMF), whose shares were up 17% during the stock’s first week as an Explorer recommendation as the company reported a swing to profitability. It wasn’t our only holding to post double-digit performance last week.

Details inside.
The rise of financial technology has been a positive theme of late. With that in mind, these five fintech ETFs are worth your consideration.
The global trend toward financial technology has made fintech stocks a hot commodity. Here are seven worth your consideration.
“The whole world is under-followed relative to the Magnificent Seven…Whether you’re looking at a place like Japan… emerging markets… commodity sectors… there’s really a ton of opportunities that people just refuse to look at.”

-Richard Bernstein, CEO and CIO, RBAdvisors
Emerging markets are a great investment, but frontier markets have even higher growth potential. Here are seven reasons they’re not as risky as you think.
Moat stocks are shares of companies with powerful economic moats that help ensure profitability for the long haul. They’re also a favorite of legendary investor Warren Buffett.
When I started in this business as an institutional stockbroker, Peter Lynch, the portfolio manager for Fidelity’s Magellan fund, was seen as a master of the game. His forte was picking smaller growth stocks. Upon stepping down in 1990 after his fund became too big to make any small-cap stock pick meaningful, he had delivered, over a 13-year period, a 29% per annum return to investors.

His lessons still ring true today.
Winston Churchill’s amazing life offers some useful lessons that can be applied to investing. Here are 7 investing lessons we can take away.
The first week in April was quiet for Explorer stocks. Looking at what sectors are doing particularly well through the MSCI World index, technology and other cyclical sectors such as energy have outperformed.

Where are the bargains? Consumer staples, Europe, and perhaps even electric vehicle stocks. The EV slowdown can’t be denied – their first-quarter growth rate was a weak 2.7% vs. last year’s 47%. Hybrids vehicles are clearly preferred by many, and on the rise.
New technologies are making nuclear energy much safer and more efficient than before. And nuclear stocks are benefitting.
As global workforces shrink due to aging and population changes, automation will need to pick up the slack. These two robot stocks could benefit.
Southeast Asia is perhaps the biggest growth region of the 21st century. And most Southeast Asian stocks have only begun to grow. Here are 2.
As the world races to combat global warming, it will need nuclear power to do it. And these three nuclear energy stocks should benefit.
This week the Fed left interests rates again unchanged and Super Micro Computer (SMCI) became part of the S&P 500 index. An announcement of a two million convertible shares offering by Super Micro led to a pullback in the stock though long term, it’s smart to raise capital after the sharp rise in the share price.

Elsewhere, Washington is fixated on the potential push to force a change in the ownership of TikTok while China, as strongly expected, objects. This is a bit ironic since X, Instagram, Facebook, and Google aren’t available to Chinese citizens.
Contrary to the belief of many Americans, Tesla (TSLA) is not the world’s largest EV maker, that honor belongs to BYD. But is BYD (BYDDY) stock a buy?
Luxury leader LVMH Moët Hennessy (LVMUY) CEO Bernard Arnault has a mantra that can be applied to business and investing: “In times of uncertainty, be patient.”

I would add that this requires playing both defense and offense.

Our offense has been working quite well of late: Super Micro Computer’s (SMCI) share price was up another 40% this week and is now up 300% since the start of the year. Sea (SE) had a good first week in our portfolio as well, up 22% after an encouraging financial report.
It was a relatively quiet week for Explorer stocks as a financial media frenzy focused an unprecedented amount of attention on the expected financials of one stock – Nvidia (NDVA).

Nvidia has quickly become the third most valuable company in the United States.

As of last Friday, about 30% of the S&P 500’s gain for the year was due to Nvidia, according to an S&P analyst.
U.S. stocks, buoyed by positive earnings, continued their move higher this week with the S&P 500 within striking distance of the 5,000 milestone.

Super Micro Computer (SMCI) shares performed even better, surging another 26% this week alone, and are now up over 100% in 2024. I suggest that you seriously consider taking some partial profits and letting the balance run. Super Micro is a leveraged play on Nvidia (NVDA) and other advanced chips for AI since it sells to the servers and systems that incorporate and support those premium chips in data centers.
Given recent market volatility, it’s time to refocus on managing portfolios and reducing stock investing risk. These tips will help.
In my view, the best strategy for overseas markets is to play the trends with a contrarian value approach. For example, the Hang Seng China Enterprises index, a closely followed gauge of large Chinese listings in Hong Kong, has fallen about 11% so far this month after losing 14% last year. Foreign investors have sold about 90% of the $33 billion worth of Chinese stocks that they had purchased earlier in 2023 and have continued selling this year.

So today, we go against the grain on China.
A major challenge in 2024 for investors and analysts alike will be separating the artificial intelligence (AI) “pretenders” from the “contenders.” Super Micro Computer (SMCI), a recent Explorer recommendation, was up 23% this week, and Exscientia (EXAI) shares were up 13% yesterday.
Harvard University has the largest endowment in the world, and there’s one key difference that differentiates it from how we might run our own portfolios.
Welcome news: The Fed holds interest rates steady in a sign tightening has peaked and that rates cuts may be coming in 2024. Big positive for stocks.

One of the Explorer’s themes is the exciting and potentially profitable sector of medicine and life sciences. A success story is Novo Nordisk (NVO), which is up about 45% this year. The Denmark-based company has been the talk of the pharma and medical world and even Hollywood with stars trying the firm’s diabetes and weight-loss medicines, Ozempic and Wegovy.