Archive | Consumer 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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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 “profit recession,” it has become fashionable to describe the deterioration as a function of the price collapse 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...


Has The “Smart Money” Or The “Dumb Money” Been Reducing Risk?

Is it the “smart money” or the “dumb money” that has been seeking safer portfolio pastures throughout 2015? Time itself will tell. That said, riskier assets have been buckling clear across the asset board. Consider the iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF): iShares iBoxx High Yield Bond ETF (HYG) price ratio. A rising IEF:HYG [...] Continue Reading...


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