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Emerging Market ETFs

Cash-To-Debt Ratio Demonstrates Why Riskier Assets Have Limited Upside Potential

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

Cash on corporate balance sheets grew at a 1% pace to $1.84 trillion in 2015. That’s a record level of dollars on the books. On the other hand, debt grew at a clip of nearly 14.8% to $6.6 trillion from $5.75 trillion. That’s a 15% surge in debt obligations. In fact, American companies have grown their debt load at a double-digit annualized rate since the economic recovery began in 2009. Doing so has put corporations in a precarious situation – circumstances…

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Why Low Interest Rates Do Not Imply Perpetual Increases In Stock Prices

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

Some investors have come to believe that ultra-low interest rates alone have made traditional valuations obsolete. The irony of the error in judgment? Experts and analysts made similar claims prior to the NASDAQ collapse in 2000. (Only then, it was the dot-com “New Economy” that made old school valuations irrelevant.) The benchmark still trades below its nominal highs (and far below its inflation-adjusted highs) from 16 years ago. Without question, exceptionally low borrowing costs helped drive current stock valuations to extraordinary…

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When You Exit The Stock Market, Don’t Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out

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

You cannot make this stuff up. The median stock in the S&P 500 has never been more overvalued on price-to-earnings growth (PEG) and price-to-sales (P/S). On a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) basis – where profitability expectations already reflect pie-in-the-sky speculation – the median company’s shares trade in the 96th percentile. That’s pretty darn pricey! Credit Goldman Sachs for the assessment. For that matter, give the financial conglomerate kudos for acknowledging the strong possibility that one might be wise to “sell in…

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Why Should Stock Investors Pay 2016 Prices For 2012 Profits?

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

Since the S&P 500 logged an all-time record (2130.82) 11 months ago, there have been two violent price sell-offs of more than 10%. On both occasions, the popular index rallied back to recapture the 2100 mark. Yet the unknowable question still remains; that is, will the bull market demonstrate its durability by notching a new closing high, or did U.S. stocks hit a plateau in May of 2015? My contention is that U.S. stocks topped out last May. Primarily, the downward sloping…

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Should Investors Take Notice When Reward Prospects Diminish?

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

The world’s central banks devise conventional and unconventional ways to depress interest rates. The impact? Consumers purchase goods and services on credit with favorable financing terms. Corporations issue low-yielding debt in order to buy back shares of their own stock. And governments issue low-yielding treasuries to continue spending far more than they generate in tax revenue. For some investors, then, the only thing that matters in the determination of whether to acquire assets like stock and real estate is ultra-low interest…

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The S&P 500’s 788,400 Minutes: Measuring One Year-And-A-Half In The Life Of An Index

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

There may be 525,600 minutes in a normal calendar year. However, there have been 788,400 minutes since the S&P 500 first hit 2050 in November of 2014; there have been 1,314,000 minutes since the NYSE Composite Index rose above the 10,000 level in November of 2013. In other words, lost in the narrative that “there is no alternative,” stocks have not gained significant ground in a very long time. Equally worthy of note, defensive stocks have been far more impressive than…

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Three Charts: What Debt, ‘CapEx,’ and Whole Profits Tell Stock Investors

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

For several years now, I have expressed concern about the accumulation of debt by governments, corporations and households. Some folks seem to recognize that – across the board – total debt levels are on an unsustainable path. Others have argued that the only thing of importance is the ability to service existing obligations, and that each group is quite capable of paying back the interest on their loans. Unfortunately, the naysayers argument ignores several unpleasant realities. First, borrowers at all…

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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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If Investors Get More Stimulus, Will They Take More Risk?

By | Bond ETFs, Currency ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The U.S. economy continues to show signs of frailty. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a feeble pace of just 0.7% in the 4th quarter. In the same vein, the Atlanta Fed’s GDP forecast for the first quarter of 2016 is just 1.2%. There’s more. The manufacturing segment of the economy has contracted for four consecutive months. Meanwhile, year-over-year growth for total business sales as well as retail have steadily eroded. Also, year-over-year activity for corporate spending on tangible assets…

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