Week in Review

Hey Influence Traders,

It was certainly an exciting week in the markets between the GameStop Saga of ‘21 and a sputtering #silversqueeze.

GameStop took off toward the moon and tried to drag a few other names and the silver market along with it.

That mostly fizzled out — but not before catching the attention of the Hill, regulators and the SEC.

It will be interesting to see how long that lasts.

Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet week in Washington from a ripple perspective.

Executive Order Count

Biden certainly slowed down this week from his initial executive order flurry.

According to the Washington Post, to date he has issued 29 new executive orders and revoked another 30 that were issued by former President Trump.

The majority of the recent orders have centered around immigration reform, with a smattering of national security actions.

Confirmation Calendar

The Senate has now confirmed six of Biden’s 23 cabinet picks … with no controversy.

For those keeping score, it’s (cue Chicago Bulls 90s intro music):

  • Janet Yellen – Treasury Secretary
  • Pete Buttigieg – Transportation Secretary
  • Alejandro Mayorkas – Homeland Security Secretary
  • Antony Blinken – Secretary of State
  • Llyod Austin – Secretary of Defense
  • Avril Haines – Director of National Intelligence

With the exception of Yellen, these picks are not too exciting and aren’t causing a lot of K-Street to Wall Street ripples.

The Next Batch

We do have a few upcoming hearings that will have a bigger impact on the markets, so I’m keeping a close eye on this quartet of women:

  • Jennifer Granholm – Secretary of Energy
  • Deb Haaland – Secretary of the Interior
  • Cecilia Rouse – Counsel of Economic Advisors Chair
  • Isabel Guzman – Small Business Administration Administrator

Biden has issued a number of executive orders around energy and climate policy, and Granholm and Haaland will each lead departments that will have significant influence over such policy direction.

Rouse and Guzman on the other hand will help lead the administration’s economic response to the pandemic, including getting government grant money into the hands of small businesses.

It’s important to remember that political appointees can often have more impact on the market than the elected officials who appointed them, because they’re responsible for how policy is implemented.

Next time I’ll review a few names that could be impacted by the policies of the four nominees above.

I’ll also focus on some smaller mining sectors that, while not as large as gold and lithium, should not be ignored.

The Super Bowl

Tampa Bay is a 3-point underdog. I think that they ill not only cover — but will win outright.

Yes, Mahomes is the future of the sport and the Chiefs are the defending champs … but this could be Brady’s last stand for another ring. I think that he’s going all-in for his (and Option Pit Chief Income Trader Bill Griffo’s) new home town.

Plus the Bucs have a solid pass defense.

Total points is 56 – I’ll take the over with the two QBs driving those buses. I’m shooting from the hip on this one, as I’m basing my decision purely on offense.

Coin toss – heads (just because).

Cutting Through the Noise for You,

Frank Gregory

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