Preparing for a Year of Global Uncertainty

The Weekend Edition is pulled from the daily Stansberry Digest.

This week didn't quite look like a full-fledged resumption of "bull season," but it wasn't all that troubling of a performance in the markets, either...

The major U.S. indexes were down slightly. Bond yields remained steady, with the 10-year Treasury continuing to hover near 4%.

The headline economic notes were mostly shoulder-shrugging news about jobs.

Payroll processor ADP reported that private-sector jobs in the U.S. grew by 164,000 in December, above Wall Street expectations. Plus, initial jobless claims – new people seeking unemployment benefits – fell to a two-month low in the final week of 2023, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

All in all, the labor market isn't cratering, but it's continuing what appears to be a gradual weakening. On Friday morning, investors digested the monthly "nonfarm payroll" report for December, which showed the unemployment rate holding at 3.7%.

The relative calm in the air, though, is somehow uneasy...

I mentioned earlier this week that one of the things on the top of my mind at the start of 2024 is November's presidential election – and what influence everything about it might have on the markets. I'm not the only one...

My colleague Whitney Tilson wrote in his free daily newsletter earlier this week that the 2024 election was the most frequently cited worry among Investopedia readers in a recent poll... ahead of war in the Middle East, a recession, inflation, interest rates, or anything else.

Incidentally, Stansberry Research senior analyst Alan Gula covered the subject of the upcoming election at length in the latest editions of our Portfolio Solutions products.

Among other things, Alan analyzed how the present economy and/or folks' perception of it could sway election results in November, and vice versa. And he talked about why politics might play a larger role in the markets as the year goes on. As Alan wrote...

The bond market has been focused on continued disinflation and the prospect of Fed rate cuts. And as my colleague Matt Weinschenk illustrated in the monthly briefing , the stock market just had a fantastic year, with a sharp move higher in the past two months.

However, at some point, the U.S. financial markets may start to appreciate the risk of a disorderly or ambiguous political outcome and a further fraying of our nation's social fabric. That could spell volatility and potentially sharp declines in the stock market. This is yet another reason why we're staying cautious for 2024.

We'll be keeping an eye on political developments this year. There won't be any shortage.

And if we look abroad...

Two wars with global economic implications are already ongoing.

Lately, terror attacks have been happening nearly every day in the Middle East that threaten to escalate tensions between interested nations. This could reverse the progress made in curtailing inflation, which would influence central bank interest-rate policy... and expectations for stocks and other risk assets.

I discussed earlier this week how spiking shipping rates related to attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea are a reality. So, too, is uncertainty around global energy supply and demand.

Oil prices spiked by more than 3% on Wednesday and finished up this week, but are still in a 20% sell-off since the end of September.

As Stansberry Research analysts Brian Tycangco and Bill McGilton wrote in the latest issue of our Commodity Supercycles advisory...

Brent crude (the international standard) is trading around $76 per barrel today. That's sharply lower from the almost $97 per barrel it was trading at toward the end of September.

The sell-off reflects worries about a slowing economy in the U.S. and China. While the pandemic is behind China and the country's economy is rapidly springing back to its former self, both countries are seeing less energy demand in the fourth quarter than previously forecast.

What's next? Recession? Stagnation? Another war? Something else? Nobody has a crystal ball, of course, but you can prepare for the possible outcomes.

So, how do you seek gains in a year of global uncertainty?

Most investors tend to focus on stocks. And our team is always searching for opportunities to buy shares in high-quality businesses at good prices.

Fewer folks are interested in bonds, and especially the kind of corporate bonds our colleague Mike DiBiase follows in Stansberry's Credit Opportunities. When panic grips the market, these bonds go on sale.

When times are calm, we also typically see even less talk about commodities. But these assets and the businesses and stocks associated with them, like energy companies, might be worth familiarizing yourself with or revisiting as we look ahead at a year of global uncertainty.

First of all, they touch almost every business in one way or another – and can provide tremendous opportunities for profits if you're familiar with trends many other people overlook. As Brian and Bill explained in the latest issue of Commodity Supercycles...

Our portfolio touches on nearly every part of the energy sector. Whether it's oil and gas production, selling the "picks and shovels" to these energy companies, or renewable energy... we're prepared to profit from a host of trends in the sector.

Second, as we've seen lately, uncertainty can be good for these businesses as questions emerge about global supply and supply chains.

But that's not all we should be paying attention to today...

Crypto Capital editor Eric Wade just came forward last Wednesday to discuss another sector worth considering today – for a multitude of reasons.

Earlier this week, Eric rushed to put together an "emergency briefing" before what he calls perhaps the most lucrative moneymaking opportunity of 2024 passes by. It's a chance to make incredible gains no matter what else is happening in the world... a refuge from the storm of inflation, war, energy prices, and the overall economy.

Eric has recommended more 10X winners than anyone else in our company's history. And he says several potential catalysts are converging right now. Click here for all the details to find out exactly what it is he sees coming this year... and how to get in position to profit.

All the best,

Corey McLaughlin

Editor's note: We're on the verge of a pivotal make-or-break moment for investors. And Eric wants you to be prepared before it happens. This opportunity is extremely time sensitive. So don't wait to tune in to hear his urgent analysis on one particular asset class – and learn what the strongest buy recommendation of his career is. Click here to get the specifics.