Category

Dividend ETFs

July Rate Cut? Wait For the Fed’s Complete Capitulation To Get Aggressive

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Financial markets now anticipate that the Federal Reserve will begin ratcheting down rates from the 2.25%-2.50% range in July. Remarkably, the “de facto stimulus” associated with the Fed flip from rate raising to rate neutrality only lasted for six months. Reasonable criticism of the Fed’s “way-too-low-for-way-too-long” rate policies notwithstanding, weak economic data may support easing. Imports (-2.7%) as well as exports (-4.2%) contracted. And global manufacturing is the weakest that it has been since 2012. In a similar vein, corporate…

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What The Bond Market And Real Estate Market Are Telling Investors

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Trade wars. Tariffs. Trump. One might think that the “Ts” are solely responsible for financial market volatility. In truth, a wider variety of cross-currents are at work. Some have been bubbling up for a number of years. Consider the debt profiles of investment grade corporations. Cash on the books relative to debt has deteriorated markedly, while gross leverage (debt-to-earnings) is sitting near an all-time peak. The trend for interest coverage is equally concerning. In 2015, roughly 8.3% of corporate income went toward…

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Here’s What Will Cause The Next Recession

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

Financial professionals frequently opine that asset prices are a function of economic conditions. Assets like stocks, bonds and real estate rise in value when the economy is expanding. They fall in value when the economy contracts. The problem with those statements is that they represent a flawed understanding of 21st century credit cycles. In particular, recessionary pressures did not cause the tech wreck (2000-2002) nor the housing collapse (2008-2009); rather, the bursting of each asset bubble sparked the recession that followed….

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All-Time Stock Highs: Why Modest Risk-Renting Will Outshine Extreme Risk-Taking

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Internet ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Leveraged ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

There has been a great deal of media hype surrounding new all-time highs in the U.S. stock market. For that matter, there has been a fair amount of puffery when it comes to how well stocks are performing overall. In actuality, we have seen similar levels for the S&P 500 twice before. The S&P 500 traded around the 2925 level in September of 2018 and the 2875 level back in January of 2018. The last 16 months, then, have not…

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The Attractiveness Of A Defensive Stock Strategy

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

In January of 2018, the U.S. economy surprised to the upside at nearly every turn. Since that time, however, the fundamentals have slowly deteriorated. Consider the Citi Economic Surprise Index (ESI). The popular measure compares actual data against estimates. Remarkably, the indicator has been trending downward for 15 months. Perhaps ironically, the S&P 500 now trades at higher levels than when the fundamental backdrop had been much stronger. For many stock investors, then, weak fundamentals are synonymous with the exciting…

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Will The ‘Fed Put’ Work On The Next Go-Around?

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Real Estate ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The Federal Reserve’s “180-degree turn” has worked swimmingly for borrowers and risk-takers alike. The 10-year yield has dropped from 3.24% to 2.62%. That may encourage households and businesses to lever up with more debt. Meanwhile, stocks are surging upward, reaching for the record heights experienced during the September-October peak. The question investors need to ask themselves now is, “Will the ‘Fed Put’ work on the next go-around? It depends. And it likely depends on whether or not the U.S. is…

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The Silencing of the Bears

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

Since 2015, I have been less than enthusiastic about risk assets. And while I do not short the market, nor have I ever been completely divested from equities, investors have been rewarded for “going long.” Nevertheless, a review of the previous four years must note the 22 months of sideways stock movement that preceded the November 2016 election. The assessment must also account for the calendar year losses in 2018, especially for smaller-cap equities and foreign equities. The reason that…

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When Banks Get Beat, Who Wins?

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The chair of the Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful human beings on the planet. For one thing, he/she exerts an inordinate amount of influence on the cost of capital.  Consumers, businesses and governments make critical decisions based on the attractiveness as well as the ability to borrow money. For another, financial markets hang on both the specific actions as well as the verbal guidance of the Fed chair. Currencies, commodities, bonds, stocks. The movement of each market-based…

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Should You Buy the S&P 500 Dip Or Sell the S&P 500 Rips?

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Until recently, the U.S. stock market had been taking Federal Reserve rate hikes and quantitative tightening (QT) in stride. The investment community had come to believe that corporate tax reform would compensate for the gradual removal of ultra-easy interest rate stimulus. Indeed, up through October, rising interest rates had been hurting bonds far more stocks. Corporate credit assets of all sizes and shapes have logged total return losses year-to-date. The last time this happened? 2008. Lately, however, sellers have been overwhelming…

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The Yield Curve and Stocks: Much Ado About Everything

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

There has been a great deal of chatter about the strength of the American job market. And with good reason. Most measures of employment health – U-2 unemployment rate, jobless claims, wage increases, year-over-year job growth, etc. – support the notion that U.S. workers are “winning.” On the other hand, very few folks have addressed the possibility that the data are more likely to weaken than strengthen. On the contrary. So much faith is being placed on tax cut stimulus…

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