Volatility is the name of the game so far in 2015 and today was no different. The U.S. dollar’s strength continued today, which is becoming a headwind for global economies. This strength sounds like the case of too much too fast or too much of a good thing. The Federal Open Market Committee’s statement today added to fluctuations from currencies, fixed income and equities. Stocks did not cheer the FOMC comments as the S&P 500 sold off into the close with a decline of 1.36% to 2,002.
Cannabis stocks were mostly quiet today. Volume is becoming quite challenging as recent actions by the U.S. Treasury Department may take a big bite out of OTC PINK companies. The cannabis market has been drifting lower after the early lift at the start of the year. Today’s action seemed skewed to the negative with many PINK sheet companies declining.
Daily Positive: Oppenheimer fined $20 million for AML failures in penny stock trades. See below for why this is a positive in our view.
Daily Negative: Capital destruction continued today, as several low quality companies declined. Most notably, FITX fell by approximately 20% on more news revealing the scam that is this company. We are happy to see their power diminish, but we do not cheer investors getting hurt by bad people.
With regards to the Oppenheimer fine, we are happy to see regulators clamping down on bad behavior and potentially achieving some much needed house cleaning. We believe this could have a big impact on the OTC markets in general, and specifically the PINK companies. Abuse, manipulation, pump and dump are all the most prevalent in this part of the market. This penalty could significantly reduce the volumes of PINKs, which could cause many names to disappear. We would be very happy to see PINKs be removed altogether, as they are not actual public companies in our view and have been the key place for bad actors to make their money.