Category

Asia ETFs

No Sales, No Profits, No Bull: What Happens When Valuations And Central Banks Collide

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Latin America ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Total business sales – sales by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers – have fallen 5% from their July 2014 peak of $1.365 trillion. At $1.296 trillion for January 2016, total business sales have dropped back to where they were in January of 2013 ($1.293 trillion). In fact, the erosion of total sales by American businesses are even uglier when one takes inflation into account. Over the last 20 years, whenever total business sales continued on an upward trajectory, the U.S. economy steered clear…

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Seven Year Bull Market? It May Only Be Six Years and 2 Months After All

By | Asia ETFs, Biotechnology ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Financial ETFs, Retail ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

What do these 10 companies – Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, K-Mart, J.C Penney, Gap – all have in common? Each one of them is closing down a slew of retail storefronts. The “talking heads” on CNBC want you to believe that brick-and-mortar woes are merely a reflection of the consumer’s preference to shop online. Maybe. Or perhaps shuttering the doors will help boost the bottom-line profitability of retail company shareholders. After all, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF…

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What Negative Interest Rates Tell You About The Risk-Reward Backdrop

By | Asia ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Global ETFs, International ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

When a country’s central bank reduces its interests rates below zero (i.e., “goes negative”), the action should boost the relative appeal of stock assets. That is the theory. Unfortunately, recent policy initiatives by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) have failed to inspire their respective stock markets. The ECB first began fooling around with negative interest rate policy in June of 2014 by lowering its overnight deposit rate to -0.1.% It went to -0.2% in…

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Is Unemployment Really 19%? Your Tactical Asset Allocation Should Reflect Economic Reality

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Several weeks ago, a comment provider ripped into me for being a left-wing nut job. What did I do to draw his ire?  I explained that the tapering of QE3 and the 0.25% rate hike bump – modest stimulus removal efforts on the surface – adversely impacted everything from currencies to commodities, sovereign credit to corporate credit, equity prices to equity valuation. Today, I am taking aim at the 4.9% – an endeavor that may spark angry comments about my right-wing…

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1704 on the S&P 500 in 2016? Less Far-Fetched Than Investors Want To Believe

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, International ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

How does a favorable bullish uptrend become an unfavorable bearish downtrend? Does the transition happen overnight? Do commentators, analysts, money managers and market participants simultaneously concur that the environment for risk-taking is exceptionally poor? The transition from “good times” to “bad times” is far more gradual than many realize. Granted, prices on the Dow or the S&P 500 may fall apart in a matter of days, changing the narrative from “no reason to worry” to “don’t panic.” That said, there…

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U.S. Stocks In 2016? Keep An Eye On The Global Economy

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

During the previous bull market (10/02-10/07), financial media fawned over the critical importance of diversifying one’s equity exposure across the globe. And why not? Performance for foreign exchange-traded trackers like iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) far surpassed anything the S&P 500 could muster up; developed international markets doubled U.S. capital appreciation while emerging economies catapulted 350%! Indeed, when I spoke at conferences 10 years ago, attendees rarely inquired about companies listed on the NASDAQ or…

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Has The “Smart Money” Or The “Dumb Money” Been Reducing Risk?

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Is it the “smart money” or the “dumb money” that has been seeking safer portfolio pastures throughout 2015? Time itself will tell. That said, riskier assets have been buckling clear across the asset board. Consider the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF): iShares iBoxx High Yield Bond ETF (HYG) price ratio. A rising IEF:HYG price ratio signals an increasing desire for the perceived safety of U.S. treasuries over the higher yield-producing income of comparable corporates. The ratio has not…

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A Stock Market Breather Before a Big-Time Bullish Breakout? Not Bloody Likely

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Global ETFs, Industrial ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Natural Resources ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

It is unsettling to deal with the probability that we are closer to a bearish decline in stocks than a bullish reboot. Investment account values will wane. Household net worth will diminish. And when stock prices near their lowest ebb, the typical investor will decide that buying is impractical. However, if one prepares for inevitable depreciation in overvalued asset prices, buying low becomes less intimidating. For example, in spite of the exceptionally poor rap that trend-following techniques receive from the…

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Risk Asset Update: Vast Majority Agonize Since The S&P 500’s August Lows

By | Actively Managed ETFs, Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Natural Resources ETFs, Retail ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Weren’t lower oil prices supposed to act like a “tax cut” for U.S. households? If families spend less at the gas pump, then they will spend more of their dollars at the mall. At least that’s what mainstream media cheerleaders like CNBC’s Jim Cramer have insisted throughout the year. In contrast, the S&P SPDR Retail Index (XRT) demonstrates that investors are not particularly impressed by the prospects of American retailers. The current price for the exchange-traded fund tracker is lower…

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Singer Meghan Trainor Knows, It’s All About That Central Bank Stimulus

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Defense & Aerospace ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Real Estate ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, Telecom ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Nearly one-third of S&P 500 corporations have reported earnings and revenue from the third quarter. With 147 companies chiming in, profits are down -0.6% and sales are down -2.7% from a year earlier. One might have thought that several quarters of contraction in earnings and revenue (a.k.a. an “earnings recession” and a “revenue recession”) might have weakened stocks. After all, if robust sales and hearty profits are the primary drivers behind price appreciation for companies in the Dow and the…

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