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Europe ETFs

Do You Have Rally Envy Or Bear Market Anxiety?

By | Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

For those who have paid attention, the last actual bond purchase by the Federal Reserve occurred on December 18, 2014. Why does the date matter? For one thing, research demonstrated that the expansion and manipulation of the Fed’s balance sheet (i.e., QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, QE3) corresponded to 93% of the current bull market’s gains. 93%! Secondly, stocks have struggled to make any tangible progress since the central bank of the United States ended six years of unconventional monetary policy…

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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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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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Low Interest Rates Alone Cannot Prevent A Bear Market In Stocks

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

The most common definition of a bear market in stocks? A major index needs to fall 20% from a high-water mark. And while that is precisely what has happened for most gauges of stock health – MSCI All-Country World Index, Nikkei 225, Stoxx Europe 600, Shanghai Composite, U.S. Russell 2000, U.S. Value Line Composite – the Dow and the S&P 500 remain defiant. Yet there’s another way to view bulls and bears. In particular, chart-watchers often use the slope of a…

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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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