Market Pulse: A game-changer |

Market Pulse: A game-changer

David Vomund

Most everyone has heard of the energy boom due to the new drilling technique called fracking.

One can debate its environmental effect, but there is no debating that it’s a game-changer for the economy and job growth.

Rising production of shale gas and oil will play no small part in the economy’s long-term growth picture.

The U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. Natural gas and associated liquids are the feedstock for fertilizer, the manufacture of PVC (plastic) and much more.

Since gas costs four times as much overseas, such low domestic costs give American companies a huge competitive advantage and the trade deficit will shrink. It already has.

In November, the U.S. imported only $34.3 billion more than it exported.

That’s the lowest trade deficit in more than four years and it is because we are importing less oil.

Through the first 11 months of 2013, crude oil imports were down 14 percent.

My client portfolios are overweighted in energy issues. MDU Resources (MDU), with its growing operations in the Bakken and Rockies, is our largest holding.

Spectra Energy (SE) is the largest mid-stream operator and a major gas pipeline. BP Plc (BP) has a high yield and many attractive prospects.

These stocks are buys for both growth as well as income.

There is a tendency to focus on what is wrong and miss what is right. The fracking boom will be a key catalyst for future economic growth. Because of it, energy independence is within our reach.

That will be a big long-term positive, one that is not fully appreciated.

Declining production and an increasing reliance on foreign sources have been economic headwinds since the early 1970s.

Just the opposite will now be true for many years. That is a game-changer.

David Vomund is an Incline Village-based fee-only money manager. Information is found at or by calling 775-832-8555. Clients hold the positions mentioned in this article. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial adviser before purchasing any security.

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