Category

International ETFs

Just A Manufacturing Recession? Stocks and Bonds Think There’s More To It

By | Asia ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs | No Comments

Six weeks ago, I made the case that the “ex-U.S.” stock bear began in January of 2018. It was a relatively easy case to make. After all, the MSCI World Ex USA Index fell more than 20% from its all-time high and has yet to recover. Even though the S&P 500 and the Dow did not fall 20% from their January 2018 peak, there has been minimal stock progress across 20 months. The Wilshire 5000 provides clear evidence that the…

Read More

The Stock Market Bear That Began 19 Months Ago

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

Mainstream pundits have been telling stock investors throughout 2019 that it does not matter if long maturity Treasury bonds yield less than short maturity Treasury bonds. They have been explaining that you should ignore the fact that, for the most part, the 10-year yield has been offering less than the 3-month yield since mid-May. However, financial institutions often rely on borrowing money at lower short-term rates and lending at higher longer-term ones. When the spread between short and long flattens,…

Read More

The Last Ones To Add More Stock Risk Will Have Rotten Nest Eggs

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

U.S. large company stocks may be celebrating the anticipation of rate cuts. After all, the S&P 500 has been toying with record highs. Yet a broader view demonstrates that the asset class is struggling more than advertised. For example, diversified investors might be aware of world index funds that exclude the U.S. In particular, the iShares MSCI ACWI ex U.S. (ACWX) sits in correction territory, nearly 10% below its January 2018 peak. What about the Russell 2000 – an index that…

Read More

Stock Market Rally: You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy

By | Asia ETFs, Bond ETFs, China ETFs, Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Europe ETFs, Frontier Market ETFs, Global ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Latin America ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Middle East ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

According to Jay Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, the U.S. economy is performing well. It is difficult to take the assessment seriously. After all, as recently as mid-December, the Fed intended to raise interest rates three to four times in 2019. By January, central bank committee members wiped away the possibility of any rate hikes during the year. And now? The Fed is preparing the world for rate cuts as soon as July. “We will act as needed including promptly if that’s…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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,…

Read More

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,…

Read More

Can A Stock Bull Prevail Without the Financial Sector?

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

“The most important item over time in valuation is obviously interest rates,” Warren Buffett explained in 2017. Never mind that this appears to contradict his beliefs back in 2001. Sixteen years earlier, Mr. Buffett stated that stock market-capitalization-to-GDP was “the best single measure of where valuations stand at any given moment.” On this indicator, then, stocks have rarely been as over-priced as they are right now. It is certainly possible that the financial crisis of 2008 fundamentally altered the investment…

Read More