The epicenter of the news world today is Capitol Hill.
There’s a confirmation hearing going on for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
There’s also the bigger news-making hearing about Russian hacking. Congress wants to get to the bottom of that country’s involvement in attempting to influence the presidential election.
This morning, FBI Director James Comey made a startling admission. (Yes, he of the famous pre-election flip-flop.) His agency is investigating whether links exist between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Here’s the money quote on the issue by Comey to the House Intelligence Committee:
I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
And that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.
Mr. Comey’s admission was surprising. But the director made yet another admission for the first time.
When asked if the president’s repeated claims that former President Barack Obama "wiretapped" him during the campaign, Mr. Comey said that there is "no information" that supports those claims.
|Image Source: wikipedia|
Now, as you might imagine, the political rhetoric just went parabolic after that. Both Republicans and Democrats on the committee threw fireballs.
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer sent out a tweet calling for the president to retract his "wiretapping" claim.
As for Republicans, their focus was on the leaks in this case. They’re also looking for violations of the law that led to media reports about contact that Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
To be certain, this situation is going to continue to garner a lot of political sniping.
That’s unfortunate … and it’s a threat to you.
You see — rather than focusing on how to prevent cyberattacks, including foreign government hacking of private U.S. citizens’ emails — both parties are going to retreat to their respective corners.
That makes the issue more about politics, and the wrongdoings of the other party.
What I think would be a more important … and much better use … of Congressional time and money, would be to come up with safeguards to the national security, fiscal security and privacy threats of U.S. citizens from what has been called "hacktivism" of all stripes.
Indeed, the issue of hacktivism is a problem. That’s where hackers try to change the outcome of a situation by obtaining and then releasing information to the public.
This is a problem that will likely continue afflicting society if we fail to step up to the cybersecurity challenges of the day.
Think about this for a moment.
If hackers can, by all accounts, relatively easily get into emails and release information designed to alter the U.S. elections …
Then how easy would it be to hack into other information-sensitive areas to wreak havoc on other segments of U.S. society … such as the banking system?
Over the past several months alone, Yahoo! (YHOO) has been forced to admit two massive data breaches. That admission cost Yahoo!, and its shareholders, about $350 million off the acquisition offer from Verizon (VZ).
Yet from a more personal standpoint, what we need to admit to ourselves is that our very cyber lives are at risk from hacktivists and criminal cyber-attacks.
So, how do we correct this situation?
Fortunately, the war against hacktivism has some stalwart forces.
Indeed, there are many companies out there on the front lines of this fight. And for investors, those companies represent the kind of opportunity to profit from a massive trend that’s not going away anytime soon.
And who are the companies in the trenches fighting the cybersecurity wars?
Many of the biggest, and arguably best, can be found in the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK).
This Exchange-Traded Fund holds the world’s top, publicly traded cyber-security firms.
|HACK is up 24% year-over-year.|
Year-to-date, HACK already is up nearly 11%. And that’s at least partly due to the high-profile Russian hacking issue.
The top five holdings in this fund include:
• Trend Micro (TMICF)
• Fortinet (FTNT)
• Palo Alto Networks (PANW)
• Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP)
• Symantec (SYMC)
The cyber-security trend is one we are keeping a very close watch on right now, as opportunities abound in this market segment for investors.
The next step is to identify the best-of-breed stocks that could be the next big game-changers — and that’s a task we are undertaking right now among the Uncommon Wisdom Daily staff.
So, stay tuned!
Speaking of picking the best-in-breed stocks, this time in the junior-resource space, Sean Brodrick is back with another idea for you.
And if you’ve been glued to C-SPAN for the better part of today, Sean’s lively interview with a uranium company CEO may be just what the doctor ordered …
Mining for Money
Ready to Ride that Uranium Bull?
By Sean Brodrick
Strap on your spurs, cowpokes. There’s a uranium bull waitin’ for a ride.
I attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto earlier this month. I spoke to an eager audience, which was very nice. I also got to do one of my favorite things — conduct "straight from the horse’s mouth" interviews. By that, I mean chats with CEOs and other executives of top mining companies in gold, silver, uranium and more.
Last week, I promised I would show you an interview I filmed at the world’s top mining conference. It’s my talk with the CEO of a uranium company. I believe it’s an interview well-worth your time.
This interview is with Amir Adnani, the CEO and president of Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSEMkt: UEC). You can watch it below.
Amir tells us about UEC. His company has built a portfolio of excellent uranium properties in Texas. UEC is a past-producing uranium producer. It is just waiting for uranium to recover to over $40 per pound before it starts producing again.
The spot price of uranium is currently $24 per pound. The longer-term, contracted price is about $33, according to industry heavyweight Cameco Corp. (NYSE: CCJ). That’s way, way down from a spot price of $136 per pound in June 2007.
So yeah, there’s room to the upside.
UEC "mines" uranium through In-Situ Recovery (ISR) mining. That process forces soapy water through uranium-rich rock, then recovers it in what is essentially a water treatment plant.
In other words, you don’t move or actually mine any dirt. Watch the video to get the scoop on that.
Amir ALSO gives his reasons why he thinks uranium is poised for a price surge. These include …
New Contract Cycle. The last time utilities contracted for large amounts of uranium delivery was in 2010. Many of those contracts are expiring. Yet hungry reactors still need to be fed. Amir believes the next cycle of uranium supply contracts is about to begin.
Looming Demand. Including new nuclear power plants that are being built, Amir expects the next decade will see a billion pounds of uranium demand that needs to be filled.
Production Crunch. On the supply side, in 2016, uranium prices hit a 12-year low. So, big producers started shutting down production. Combined with higher demand, this is an ingredient for a real price squeeze.
Political Winds of Change. The Trump White House is friendlier to nuclear power than the Obama administration, Amir says. That should remove obstacles for all sorts of U.S. uranium producers.
You can see all this and more by watching the video. Point your browser to: https://youtu.be/qofDIhxiXkc
As I explained in Friday’s column, I’ve experienced three years of disappointment with uranium prices and the performance of uranium mining stocks.
Related story: The ‘Glow-in-the-Dark,’ Post-Fed Hike Play
But the laws of physics haven’t been repealed. Those reactors need to be refueled. Demand for uranium will rise sooner than later.
And that should light a fire under a whole range of uranium producers.
Last week, I talked about using the Global X Uranium ETF (NYSE: URA) to avoid single-stock risk in this volatile sector. If you decide to hop aboard this uranium bull, cowpoke, be sure to hang on for a potentially wild ride.
Thanks, Sean. Now let me turn the microphone over to you. Do you own HACK, or URA? Do you prefer buying ETFs that offer wide exposure and less risk … or small stocks like CCJ or UEC that come with more risk but can offer big potential upside … or a healthy mix of both? Leave me a comment on our website or send me an e-mail.
Happy first day of spring! Markets stayed flat as traders tuned into Comey’s testimony and to Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The S&P 500 shed 5 points, or 0.2%.
• ‘Beauty and the Beast’ breaks box office records: Disney’s (DIS) live-action remake of the 1991 cartoon pulled in $357.1 million this weekend worldwide. This was the sixth-highest opening weekend of all time, and Disney’s fifth-biggest. It was also the biggest opening weekend for a PG-rated film. DIS shares gained 0.9% today.
• More bad news for bitcoin: After surpassing gold and peaking at $1,259, the cryptocurrency dropped to $970. Last week, the SEC rejected a proposal for a bitcoin ETF.
• CEO pay to set post-recession record: Median pay rose 6.8% in 2016 for the top brass at the 104 biggest U.S. companies, to $11.5 million.
• The world’s biggest billionaire is … Bill Gates topped Forbes’ 2017 Billionaires List for the fourth year in a row. It’s the longest list of billionaires so far, with 2,043 names. (Up from 1,800 in 2016.) Women make up 11% of the group, with 227 this year. (Up from 202 last year.)
Good luck and happy investing,
Uncommon Wisdom Daily