Category

Small Cap ETFs

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

Corporations Set Records For Buybacks As Their Insiders Sell

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

Tax-cut infused earnings have been solid. The rapid-fire rise of longer-term borrowing costs has slowed considerably. And corporate share buybacks have dwarfed earlier records. In Q2 alone, corporations purchased a staggering $436.6 billion in stock buybacks. That brings the year-to-date total to $670 billion. Similarly, announced S&P 500 buybacks are practically leaping off of the chart. More than most factors influencing market direction, buybacks have kept large-cap stocks from succumbing to legitimate concerns about Federal Reserve policy error, China trade…

Read More

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…

Read More

Non-Diversification: Free Stock Risk Without The Reward

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Emerging Market ETFs, ETF Philosophy, Europe ETFs, Financial ETFs, International ETFs, Large Cap ETFs, Popular Posts, Small Cap ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Let me be quick to acknowledge that yield curve inversion can have considerable lag time before a recession. And for that matter, the U.S. Treasury bond curve can invert long before a stock market bear. For instance, 10-year yields fell below two-year yields in February of 2006. That was approximately 22 months before the recession officially hit in December of 2007. What’s more, between 2/2006-10/2007, the S&P 500 managed to climb more than 20%. There’s more. The 1990s Treasury bond…

Read More

Shock the “Short S&P 500 Volatility” Monkey

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

A top-tier financial web site interviews me at the start of every year. The interviewer typically asks me about specific securities, asset allocation, economic backdrop as well as the impact of events (e.g., central bank monetary policy, mid-term elections, tax reform, etc.) This year, at the tail end of the interview, I fielded an atypical query. He wanted to know what “market surprise” might occur in 2018 (good or bad) that the financial media are not talking about. I thought…

Read More

Warning: Side Effects May Include Rapid Stock Price Depreciation

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

Over the last decade, the most influential central banks around the world have printed electronic currency credits to acquire $14 trillion in assets. The effect on stocks, bonds and real estate? Remarkable price gains as well as records galore. On the other hand, quantitative easing (QE) activity by the U.S. Federal Reserve, People’s Bank of China, European Central Bank and others has created a variety of implausible circumstances. The Swiss National Bank has become one of the largest shareholders in…

Read More

Are The Ultra-Rich Predicting A Stock Market Swoon?

By | Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Mid Cap ETFs, Small Cap ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Technology ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

I readily acknowledge that I know precious little about the world of art. In fact, I would struggle to distinguish Picasso from Velazquez, Van Gogh from Monet, or DaVinci from Rembrandt. On the other hand, my brain has retained a bit of knowledge about several artists for one reason or another. Not only did I see the 2002 movie on the life of Frida Kahlo, but I attended a Kahlo exhibit in New York. Similarly, whenever I gaze upon a…

Read More

If Familiarity Breeds Contempt, What Do Debt And Complacency Breed?

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

Back in 1999, low inflation and fabulous headline unemployment (<5%) warranted a Federal Reserve overnight lending rate of 5.0%. Today, low inflation and desirable headline unemployment (<5%) come with $3.75 trillion in electronic money credits still on the central bank’s balance sheet and a Fed Funds Rate of a mere 1.25%. That is 375 basis points lower than it was with similar economic fundamentals less than two decades ago, not to mention a whole lot of “electronic money printing” since the…

Read More

The Slowdown in Lending May Become Problematic For Stock Investors

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

In the current business cycle, the Treasury bond yield curve has rarely been flatter. The spread between 30s and 2s is a paltry 1.4% and the spread between 10s and 2s is a meager 0.8%. Historically, the yield curve has been close to flawless as an expansion-contraction indicator. When a flattening curve dipped below ‘zero,’ the inversion foreshadowed seven out of the last 8 recessions. However, the Federal Reserve’s creation of trillions in electronic dollar credits (a.k.a. “quantitative easing” or…

Read More

Signs That Investors May Be Shying Away From Indiscriminate Risk

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

You may never have heard of Robert Rodriguez. For that matter, you probably did not know that he retired in December from California-based First Pacific Advisors (FPA). Yet he is the only mutual fund manager ever to win the Morningstar Manager of the Year award for a stock fund and for a bond fund. In a recent interview, Mr. Rodriguez revealed that he has virtually zero exposure to stocks in his personal accounts. Liquidity? More than 65% via short-term Treasury-type securities….

Read More