Archive | Bond ETFs

Should Investors Take Notice When Reward Prospects Diminish?

The world’s central banks devise conventional and unconventional ways to depress interest rates. The impact? Consumers purchase goods and services on credit with favorable financing terms. Corporations issue low-yielding debt in order to buy back shares of their own stock. And governments issue low-yielding treasuries to continue spending far more than they generate in tax [...] Continue Reading...


The S&P 500’s 788,400 Minutes: Measuring One Year-And-A-Half In The Life Of An Index

There may be 525,600 minutes in a normal calendar year. However, there have been 788,400 minutes since the S&P 500 first hit 2050 in November of 2014; there have been 1,314,000 minutes since the NYSE Composite Index rose above the 10,000 level in November of 2013. In other words, lost in the narrative that “there [...] Continue Reading...


Three Charts: What Debt, ‘CapEx,’ and Whole Profits Tell Stock Investors

For several years now, I have expressed concern about the accumulation of debt by governments, corporations and households. Some folks seem to recognize that – across the board – total debt levels are on an unsustainable path. Others have argued that the only thing of importance is the ability to service existing obligations, and that [...] Continue Reading...


No Bull. Economic Weakness Continues To Pressure Corporate Profitability

Is the U.S. economy really in great shape? The U.S. Federal Reserve does not seem to think so. They started the year with an intention of raising the overnight lending rate four times – from 0.25% to 1.25%. In March, they announced that it would more likely be a mere two. And today, the Atlanta [...] Continue Reading...


No Sales, No Profits, No Bull: What Happens When Valuations And Central Banks Collide

Total business sales – sales by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers – have fallen 5% from their July 2014 peak of $1.365 trillion. At $1.296 trillion for January 2016, total business sales have dropped back to where they were in January of 2013 ($1.293 trillion). In fact, the erosion of total sales by American businesses are even uglier [...] Continue Reading...


Risk On Or Risk Off? Big Picture Suggests The Latter

One way to gauge the well-being of stock assets is to examine all of the 1900-plus stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange. We can do this by evaluating the progress of the NYSE Composite Index. The first item worth noting is that stock assets have struggled to make any progress since late October of 2013 [...] Continue Reading...


Are U.S. Stocks Really The Only Game In Town?

The S&P 500 notched an all-time record high of 2130 on May 21, 2015. That was 10 months ago. Since that date, the popular gauge has suffered two faith-rattling corrections – a 12% decline in August of 2015 and a 14% pullback in February of 2016. Granted, U.S. stocks rallied back to respectable levels after each [...] Continue Reading...


The Federal Reserve’s Path: Four Hikes, Two Hikes, Zero Hikes, QE4

Three months ago, the Federal Reserve anticipated raising overnight lending rates four times in 2016. Now they are projecting just two hikes. At this rate, by the time June rolls around, Janet Yellen’s Fed will declare zero changes to interest rate policy for the entire calendar year. And in the fall? If there’s enough financial [...] Continue Reading...


A Slowdown In Stock Buybacks? Don’t Expect Institutional Buyers To Pick Up The Slack

According to FactSet, S&P 500 earnings will drop roughly 8.3% in the first quarter. That’ll mark the fourth consecutive quarter of declines in corporate profits-per-share. Why might that matter? There are only two occasions over the previous two decades where earnings contractions lasted longer. In both instances, the U.S. economy experienced a recession; in both instances, the S&P 500 [...] Continue Reading...


Seven Year Bull Market? It May Only Be Six Years and 2 Months After All

What do these 10 companies – Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, K-Mart, J.C Penney, Gap – all have in common? Each one of them is closing down a slew of retail storefronts. The “talking heads” on CNBC want you to believe that brick-and-mortar woes are merely a reflection of the consumer’s preference [...] Continue Reading...


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