Category

US Markets and ETFs

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

July Rate Cut? Wait For the Fed’s Complete Capitulation To Get Aggressive

By | Bond ETFs, Current Affairs and ETFs, Dividend ETFs, ETF Philosophy, ETF Strategy, Special Sectors ETFs, US Markets and ETFs | No Comments

Financial markets now anticipate that the Federal Reserve will begin ratcheting down rates from the 2.25%-2.50% range in July. Remarkably, the “de facto stimulus” associated with the Fed flip from rate raising to rate neutrality only lasted for six months. Reasonable criticism of the Fed’s “way-too-low-for-way-too-long” rate policies notwithstanding, weak economic data may support easing. Imports (-2.7%) as well as exports (-4.2%) contracted. And global manufacturing is the weakest that it has been since 2012. In a similar vein, corporate…

Read More

Buy The Dip In Long-Term Treasury Bonds To Hedge Stocks?

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

The 10-year Treasury yield pays 15 basis points LESS than the 3-month Treasury yield. That’s rather nutty when you think about it. Even nuttier? 30-year sovereign yields across the globe are LOWER than the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) of 2.38%. Why are bond market investors demanding the safety of lower-yielding, longer-term, sovereign debt? Why do many crave it more than higher-yielding, shorter-term instruments? Investors anticipate that the Federal Reserve will need to slash its overnight lending rate in attempts to stimulate…

Read More

What The Bond Market And Real Estate Market Are Telling Investors

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

Trade wars. Tariffs. Trump. One might think that the “Ts” are solely responsible for financial market volatility. In truth, a wider variety of cross-currents are at work. Some have been bubbling up for a number of years. Consider the debt profiles of investment grade corporations. Cash on the books relative to debt has deteriorated markedly, while gross leverage (debt-to-earnings) is sitting near an all-time peak. The trend for interest coverage is equally concerning. In 2015, roughly 8.3% of corporate income went toward…

Read More

Here’s What Will Cause The Next Recession (Part 2)

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

Each of the last three recessions contained elements of extraordinary financial instability. For example, Savings & Loan (S&L) institutions used federally insured deposits to make reckless real estate loans in the 1980s. When the Federal Reserve raised its overnight lending rate more than 300 basis points between March 1988 and March 1989, a real estate bubble burst, hundreds upon hundreds of S&L’s fell apart, and the 1990-1991 recession damaged livelihoods. Not surprisingly, one finds comparable patterns of financial senselessness in…

Read More

Here’s What Will Cause The Next Recession

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

Financial professionals frequently opine that asset prices are a function of economic conditions. Assets like stocks, bonds and real estate rise in value when the economy is expanding. They fall in value when the economy contracts. The problem with those statements is that they represent a flawed understanding of 21st century credit cycles. In particular, recessionary pressures did not cause the tech wreck (2000-2002) nor the housing collapse (2008-2009); rather, the bursting of each asset bubble sparked the recession that followed….

Read More

All-Time Stock Highs: Why Modest Risk-Renting Will Outshine Extreme Risk-Taking

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

There has been a great deal of media hype surrounding new all-time highs in the U.S. stock market. For that matter, there has been a fair amount of puffery when it comes to how well stocks are performing overall. In actuality, we have seen similar levels for the S&P 500 twice before. The S&P 500 traded around the 2925 level in September of 2018 and the 2875 level back in January of 2018. The last 16 months, then, have not…

Read More

The Attractiveness Of A Defensive Stock Strategy

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

In January of 2018, the U.S. economy surprised to the upside at nearly every turn. Since that time, however, the fundamentals have slowly deteriorated. Consider the Citi Economic Surprise Index (ESI). The popular measure compares actual data against estimates. Remarkably, the indicator has been trending downward for 15 months. Perhaps ironically, the S&P 500 now trades at higher levels than when the fundamental backdrop had been much stronger. For many stock investors, then, weak fundamentals are synonymous with the exciting…

Read More

Why Do Bond Investors Doubt The Stock Market Recovery?

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

Is a recession in the U.S. around the bend? Few economists are predicting one. On the other hand, longer-term Treasury bond yields continue to slide below shorter-term maturities. Bond investors are gobbling up long-term government debt because they believe that the economy will slow dramatically. Normally, the longer an investor allows the U.S. government to keep capital, the more that an investor would expect in annual interest from Uncle Sam. That is what transpires in a healthy economy. This past…

Read More