Archive | Bond ETFs

How Long Will “Risk-Off” Sectors Outperform Riskier Stock and Bond Segments?

Some stock sectors thrive when an economic recovery gains traction. Industrials tend to perform well due to increases in the demand for capital goods. In a similar vein, consumer discretionary companies spike alongside improvements in employment data, where people spend more of the money they make. One can visualize the above-described outperformance of cyclical sectors by charting corresponding ETFs [...] Continue Reading...


If Investors Get More Stimulus, Will They Take More Risk?

The U.S. economy continues to show signs of frailty. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a feeble pace of just 0.7% in the 4th quarter. In the same vein, the Atlanta Fed’s GDP forecast for the first quarter of 2016 is just 1.2%. There’s more. The manufacturing segment of the economy has contracted for four [...] Continue Reading...


Allocation Strategy During The Corporate Debt Hangover

Are corporations in great shape? Three consecutive quarters of declines in earnings suggest that they are not. Worse yet, record high leverage coupled with close-to-record low interest coverage indicate stress within corporate balance sheets. Beginning with the ‚Äúprofit recession,‚ÄĚ it has become fashionable to describe the deterioration as a function of the price collapse in [...] Continue Reading...


ETF Relationships That May Tell You When The Worst Is Over

Businesses, consumers and the federal government have taken on enormous amounts of debt since the Great Recession. Optimists argue that total debt is irrelevant; that is, they believe the only thing that matters is the cost of servicing those debts. Fair enough. Then what happens when interest expense does rise? Assuming total debt remains the [...] Continue Reading...


Why Good News And Bad News Are Not Helping Stocks Anymore

Since the Great Recession’s inception, whenever the stock market dropped like a steel anvil or the U.S. economy showed signs of weakness, the Federal Reserve acted to inspire investor confidence. For example, in November of 2008, when the Fed announced its first quantitative easing (QE1) program to buy mortgage-backed securities (MBS), stocks rocketed 10% in [...] Continue Reading...


Damage Control: Is It Too Late Too Become More Defensive?

A manufacturing recession doesn’t matter… until it does. Consider industrial production. For the third straight month, industrial production, which includes mining, utilities, as well as manufacturing, contracted. How anemic is American industry right now? The year-over-year percentage change provides a helpful snapshot of the weakness. Not surprisingly, media mega-stars routinely dismiss manufacturers, miners and utility [...] Continue Reading...


1704 on the S&P 500 in 2016? Less Far-Fetched Than Investors Want To Believe

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 [...] Continue Reading...


“We Front-Loaded An Enormous Stock Market Rally”

Richard W. Fisher served as the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for more than a decade (2005-2015). His appearance on CNBC this week offered remarkable insight into why voting members on the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) embraced zero percent rate policy as well as quantitative easing (QE) for so many years. [...] Continue Reading...


Why The S&P 500’s Record High From Last May Seems So Far Away

Some bear markets feature dreadful price catastrophes that occur quickly. At the onset of last decade’s banking¬†crisis, the S&P 500 plummeted close to the requisite 20% bear level in a five month period between October of 2007 and March of 2008. The Federal Reserve joined JP Morgan Chase in bailing out Bear Stearns to provide [...] Continue Reading...


Profit Shortage + Economic Weakness + Stimulus Removal = Less Risk Taking

Healthy bull market uptrends tend to feature similar risk-taking characteristics. Specifically, market-based participants will invest in a wide range of stock sectors (e.g., industrials, telecom, health care, energy, etc.) and asset types (e.g., large, small, foreign, preferreds, REITs, high yield corporate, convertibles, cross-over corporate bonds, etc.). There is little reason to discriminate because across-the-board risk [...] Continue Reading...


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