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ETF Philosophy

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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How Long Before Powell Throws In The Rest Of The Towel?

By | Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Real Estate ETFs, Semiconductor ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

It was only a few days ago when the stock market celebrated a Trump-Xi tariff delay. And it was only a few days before that when Federal Reserve Chairman Powell flip-flopped on the extent of rate hiking yet to come. Both of the above-mentioned actualities sent stocks and risk assets soaring higher. And both were expected to serve as tailwinds for a phenomenal December rally. So how did the Dow lose nearly 1600 points in two days, then recover roughly…

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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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So Goes Apple, So Goes The U.S. Market

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

Apple (AAPL) has been one of my largest individual holdings for the bulk of the post-recession stock bull. I believed in it when it was trading for one-tenth of its current value back in 2009. I even believed in it when it plummeted 40% in the winter of 2012-2013. Back then, though, Apple’s troubles did not adversely affect the broader equity rally. On the contrary. The S&P 500 exhibited all of the signs of a powerful uptrend. More recently, Apple…

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Why The Economic Slowdown Will Rattle Stock Investors

By | Bond ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Energy ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Materials ETFs, Real Estate ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), grew at 4.2% in the second quarter. It slowed to 3.5% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Q4 projections have been coming in closer to 2.9%. An optimistic “take” would be to exclaim that the 2% pace that has been the hallmark of the current expansion is now in the rear-view mirror. For 2018 and beyond, we have kicked it into a higher gear (3%) due to tax cuts and regulation curtailment. A…

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Marching Orders: Key Indicator Issues Signal To Reduce Stock Risk

By | Asia ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Financial ETFs, Health ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, Transportation ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Financial stocks should benefit from phenomenal employment trends as well as rising rates. Yet the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) is down roughly 12% from a 2018 high and down nearly 5% year-to-date. Cyclical stocks should excel in a strong economic environment. Nevertheless, the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) is down approximately 11% from its 2018 peak and down 3.5% this year. Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google? Market-driving FANG stocks? Tech leadership is off anywhere from 16%-30% from record-breaking tops….

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Conspicuous Weakness In Market Internals A Bad Omen For Stocks?

By | Asia ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Real Estate ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

One week ago, FactSet revealed that 250 of the stocks in the S&P 500 had dropped more than 20% from all-time peaks. The index itself, however, had only declined a modest 5% from its record top. Today, there are more indications of market distress. The Russell 2000, a popular small cap barometer, has dropped 13% from its high. The Dow Jones Transportation Average has fallen 13% as well. And the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) is sitting at a 52-week…

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Higher Rates Will Hurt Stocks More Thank You Think (Part 2)

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

In my previous week’s commentary, I explained why higher interest rates will hurt stock assets more than many might think. Naysayers pointed to the fact that rate levels are still quite low on a historical basis. Unfortunately, these folks are neglecting to place their comprehension of borrowing costs in context. Take a look at the last 20 years of U.S. monetary policy via the Federal Funds Rate (FFR). The Federal Reserve’s tightening phase from the 4% level up to the…

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Higher Rates Will Hurt Stocks Far More Than You Think

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell thinks the economy is awesome. And he has no problem telling us so. What Powell will never discuss, however, is the “way-too-low-for-way-too-long” stimulus that the central bank engaged in to get here. In particular, the Fed has kept the neutral rate of interest far beneath the rate of inflation (CPI) for an entire decade. Consumers, corporations and Uncle Sam predictably borrowed as if there’d never be consequences. What consequences? Asset bubbles. Stocks, bonds, real estate, collectibles,…

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Give The Fed Credit For The Boom (And The Inevitable Bust)

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

The broader U.S. market has finally recovered from its late January meltdown. Indeed, most sectors have gone on to reach all-time highs. On the flip side, a number of influential segments and sub-segments are still laboring. For instance, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF) remains roughly 5% below its January peak. Theoretically, financial stocks should benefit from a rising interest rate environment. A healthy economy typically implies that borrowers have the capacity to repay. Moreover, with a strong economic backdrop,…

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