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Special Sectors ETFs

Why Are Investors Considering Alternatives To Stocks?

By | Commodity ETFs, Consumer ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Large Cap ETFs, Natural Resources ETFs, Special Sectors ETFs, Telecom ETFs, US Markets and ETFs, Utilities ETFs | No Comments

Mortgage interest payments as well as non—mortgage interest payments are costing consumers more and more of their disposable income. Consider the non-mortgage variety. Personal interest payments have already recovered levels not seen since the financial crisis. To be sure, interest payments are not the only thing taking a bite out of the cost of living. Oil prices have moved meaningfully higher. According to a 2005 study by the Federal Reserve, oil price increases adversely affect aggregate consumer spending. Is it…

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The Fed Is About to Kill The Credit Boom

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

Did seven years of zero percent rate policy, three rounds of quantitative easing (QE) and “Operation Twist” provide a consequence-free credit boom? Or will “too-low-for-too-long” monetary manipulation eventually lead to a credit bust – one with adverse effects for asset prices as well as economic growth? It is not particularly difficult to understand that the mid-2000s credit expansion became an unsustainable bubble for households. At the pre-crisis peak in the fourth quarter of 2007, household financial obligations as a percent…

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Taking Stock Of A Devitalized Bull Market

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

As recently as the November 2016 election, the S&P 500’s dividend yield (2.0%+) was higher than the 10-year Treasury bond’s yield (1.75%). Many exclaimed that ultra-low interest rates alone justified extremely high stock valuations, including a GAAP-based price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) of 25. A year and a half later, the S&P 500’s dividend yield (1.8%) offers much less than the 10-year’s yield (3.0%) and struggles to compete with cash equivalents. Meanwhile, the benchmark’s GAAP-based P/E is still in the stratosphere at…

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The Big Bad Bull Gets Meeker And Weaker

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

Can the U.S. economy grow without the federal government overspending? Apparently not. Since the financial crisis in 2008, GDP has only grown alongside massive Treasury debt issuance. Some might argue that it does not matter how the economy expands as long as it is expanding. After all, the U.S. is still capable of paying the interest on its mushrooming obligations. On the flip side, the bond market does not believe that the near-term economic picture will be quite so rosy. The paltry 0.18%…

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Do Not Blame China For U.S. Dependence On Debt, Deficits And Low Rates

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

Over the 10 trading days (2 weeks) through April 6, the S&P 500 averaged a daily range of 2.3%. According to Dana Lyons of the Lyons Share, that kind of volatility ranks in the 94th percentile since the S&P 500 began in 1950. Similarly, it is uncommon to see at least seven 1%-plus price swings in a brief period like two weeks. We actually had eight. More remarkably, it is rare to witness this type of price movement when it…

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Comeuppance: Stocks Will Not Be Able To Shake The Overhang Of Higher Borrowing Costs

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

The average American household has roughly 6% less spending power than it did a decade ago. How can that be? Hasn’t the economy been expanding at an appropriate clip since the Great Recession? Haven’t median incomes been rising briskly in conjunction with “full employment?” One of the problems may be attributable to demographic shifts. A rising percentage of young adults are living with their parents longer. Meanwhile, a significant wave of older folks are moving in with their adult children….

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The S&P 500 and Stephen Hawking: A Theory on “Peak Everything”

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

The NASDAQ served up an annualized return of 66% in its final two years of dot-com mania. Only after the balloon had burst did people begin to question the lunacy of paying 10x revenue for the privilege of being a shareholder. Ironically enough, since early 2016, the top 10 growth names in tech collectively produced an annualized return of 67%. That’s right. The NYSE FANG+ Index has topped turn-of-the-century craziness. For the current bull-bear cycle, then, we may be witnessing…

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Trade Wars and Currency Wars: Financial Markets Have Good Reason To Be Wary

By | Asia ETFs, Currency ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, International ETFs, Popular Posts, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

On Tuesday, market watchers did not witness the buying or selling of a single 10-year Japanese Government Bond (JGB) on an exchange. Not a one. Let that sink in for a moment. The Bank of Japan has swallowed up so much of the country’s debt obligations in its quantitative easing endeavors, trading activity across the entire JGB space has become “razor thin.” Theoretically, the circumstances could present liquidity risk. The bid-ask spread for JGBs could widen to such an extent…

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If Consumers Stop Spending, Stocks And Real Estate Will Slide

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

Here is an economic data point that you will not hear about in the mainstream financial media: U.S. wage growth in 2017 had been the weakest since 2010. In fact, labor costs rose a paltry 0.35% on a year-over-year basis. Are higher wages for workers, then, right around the bend? Some believe that the tighter labor market is about to spark wage inflation. Yet it seems that this could be wishful thinking. Actual inflation has shown up in housing costs (e.g., rent, repairs,…

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The Most Dangerous Stock Market Ever? Either Way, Have A Plan

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

Today’s stock market may not be as dangerous as 2000’s dot-com euphoria or 2008’s asset balloon. Why not? Global central banks are likely to act quicker and with far more “shock-n-awe” to minimize bearish price depreciation than they did in the previous sell-offs. Some argue that policy efforts would fail to reinvigorate yet another wealth effect because central banks are out of ammunition. I disagree. Indeed, I expect that monetary gamesmanship in the near future will result in an average…

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