Author: Brendan Ruchert-Dixon
June was a strong month for the Alpha trapper portfolio. Asta Funding (ASFI) performed well, especially toward the end of the month, after the company clarified its stock buyback intentions with a 1 million share privately negotiated purchase at $9.40 per share, and as the stock was added back into the Russell 2000 index.
First Solar (FSLR) also partially bounced back from an all-time low after a refreshing stream of positive news about its project pipeline and higher-than-expected solar panel demand.
I continue to hold both stocks as I believe both are still great values with further gains warranted, but I will sell some or all if they reach higher price targets I have in mind (or if the fundamentals change dramatically).
As I write this on the last trading day of June, the market has just celebrated yet another partial solution to the debt crisis in Europe. As with all the others, I think the celebration will be short-lived before the sobering return to the reality that there is still too much debt.
I bought back most of my short Barclays Bank PLC iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Funds (VXX) holdings toward the end of the month, as this renewed optimism about the market gave me a good opportunity to do so at a profit. I anticipate that I will continue to trade in and out of VXX as market sentiment fluctuates.