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My market predictions

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By Michael O’Connor

While recent inflationary data has been positive and pricing pressure has been on a downward trend, we are not out of the woods just yet.

As we move forward, the focus will likely shift from rising inflation to softening economic data and the negative effects this may have on company earnings.

For now, we are likely in the interlude between inflation peaking and economic data slowing significantly, somewhat of a momentary sweet spot.

Remember, there will always be risk. The particular risk that we are most preoccupied with just changes over time.

Market Outlook

I'm not bearish, but I do think that return expectations need to be modified.

We have just ended a period of unprecedented liquidity. Money was free. The Fed Funds Rate sat at 0.3%. The 10-year Treasury was 0.72%. The federal reserve doubled its balance sheet from $4.5 Billion to $9 Billion.

These were not normal conditions, and these conditions gave rise to unadulterated risk-taking.

The market is now resetting to more 'normal' conditions where the Fed is no longer willing to remove any and all downside risk.

Moving forward, the market recovery is more likely to be more U-shaped than V-shaped this time around. This simply means a recovery will take longer than we have recently experienced as the liquidity and support that fuelled previous reversals gets stripped out of the market.

That's not to say that upside doesn't exist. There is still an abundance of companies with the ability to generate consistently strong earnings over time. Still, the general upward trend of the market may be slower relative to what we have experienced in recent years. Liquidity pulled forward a lot of the expected returns, and that will take time to reset.

My Holdings

In my view, pullbacks in the stock market are still buyable. I recently topped up positions in Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway, for example.

Other names I have been purchasing are less focused on pullbacks and more on the shift in secular trends in the market. An energy market that has experienced a complete lack of investment in infrastructure in the past decade, growing demand and no immediate substitute has created some powerful supply/demand dynamics for the likes of Exxon. Stranded asset risk exists but still represents a solid medium-term play and has worked well so far this year as other areas detract.

Finally, I will re-look at some decimated stocks over the coming weeks. Twilio is down +80% in recent months (currently trading at roughly $72 off a high of $435), but Q2 earnings beat expectations, and I do like the long-term viability of the company, so it's time to see if the current price represents a more digestible entry point. Bear in mind, momentum is still very much against this one, and lack of profitability will likely keep it out of favour over the short term.

For free weekly stock tips and direct access to my personal investment portfolio, go to www.theislandinvestor.com.

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Last chance to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising draw

By Sean Moriarty There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle. The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle.

The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s clubhouse at 7pm.

Funds raised will go towards the upgrade and development works planned over the next few years.

Guest of honour on the night is national GAA president Larry McCarthy and the Sam Maguire Cup will make an appearance too.

“Apart from ongoing and essential maintenance work, the club has a number of development projects in the pipeline. The money is being raised towards improving our grounds to provide top class facilities that can be used year-round, including car parking, perimeter fencing for pitches, ladies and juveniles dressing rooms, outdoor skills wall, player dug outs for senior and juvenile pitches, safety enhancements and lighting on the walking track, landscaping, scoreboard, viewing gallery to the sports hall, alignment of entrance to the grounds and a remembrance garden,” said Michael Cronin, Club Chairman.

“We are calling on everyone to get behind the fundraiser. Our vision is to provide top class grounds and facilities where everyone is welcome to use and participate fully in our activities, games and culture. In order to achieve this vision, we are setting out exciting new developments and investments in our facilities – and we need your support.”

There are 10 prizes up for grabs: 1st Prize: €15,000, 2nd Prize: €3,000, 3rd Prize: €2,000, 4th Prize: €1,000, 5th Prize: Two nights dinner and B&B at the Killarney Park Hotel, 6th Prize: €500 Voucher for Killarney Carpets & Furniture, 7th Prize: €300 Voucher for O’Sullivan’s Cycles, 8th Prize: €250 Voucher for Killarney Oils, 9th Prize: €150 Voucher for Killarney Hardware and 10th Prize: A signed Kerry jersey.

Tickets are €100 each and can be collected/returned at the clubhouse this Saturday (10.30am-12noon), Monday (7-8pm) or Wednesday (7-8pm), and tickets are also available online on spagaa.com.

Any queries contact Andy (087 2236754), Michael (085 8213027), Assumpta (087 6779292) or Deirdre (085 1216359) or any Club Officers.

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Marian Players excited to get back on stage

By Michelle Crean With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on […]

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By Michelle Crean

With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on stage this weekend.

It’s been two years since they staged a show due to COVID but the Marian Players Rathmore are rearing to go tomorrow night (Saturday) with their hilarious show ‘Dame Annie Goes West’.

A medley of comedy and colour, combined with music and dance, locals from both sides of the border have been working together to make it a great production.

“We’re very excited, we can’t wait! It’s great to be back,” Mary Hickey told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They [the cast] got together in October and they’re at it since.”

Val Moynihan is the “genius behind it”, she added, and it’s produced by her son Brian Hickey, and co-written with Eilish Coakley.

She said that they have loads working in the background also doing the stage curtains, lighting and making costumes amongst other tasks.

“It’s a pantomime without the pantomime in the background! It’s a whole community effort both sides of the border.”

Evening shows start at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and again Sunday (January 29) at 3pm.

Mid-week shows continue on Wednesday next (February 1) at 7.30pm, Thursday (February 2) at 7.30pm and also Saturday (February 4) at 7.30pm and Sunday (February 5) at 3pm.

The booking office (085 2031730) will be open every day from 2pm to 6pm to reserve seats and collect tickets and is located adjacent to the community centre, next to Christy’s Take Away.

Seats may be reserved over the phone too and paid for using a bank card. All proceeds are going to Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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