Archive | Consumer ETFs

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...


A Stock Market Breather Before a Big-Time Bullish Breakout? Not Bloody Likely

It is unsettling to deal with the probability that we are closer to a bearish decline in stocks than a bullish reboot. Investment account values will wane. Household net worth will diminish. And when stock prices near their lowest ebb, the typical investor will decide that buying is impractical. However, if one prepares for inevitable [...] Continue Reading...


Risk Asset Update: Vast Majority Agonize Since The S&P 500’s August Lows

Weren’t lower oil prices supposed to act like a “tax cut” for U.S. households? If families spend less at the gas pump, then they will spend more of their dollars at the mall. At least that’s what mainstream media cheerleaders like CNBC’s Jim Cramer have insisted throughout the year. In contrast, the S&P SPDR Retail [...] Continue Reading...


5 Must-See Economic Charts Show Why Stocks May Stumble In 2016

Everyone has a guilty pleasure or three. Mine? I am addicted to Seth MacFarlane’s “Family Guy.” I cannot get enough of outrageously random references on everything from a pizza place’s version of a salad to writers plying their trade at Starbucks. Underneath it all are characters whose comments are outlandish and whose behaviors are impetuous [...] Continue Reading...


Why Stocks Are Getting Riskier By The Day

The central bank of the United States (a.k.a. the Federal Reserve) may hike its overnight lending rate in December. Committee members are also discussing plans to phase out the reinvestment of principal on balance sheet securities. Translation? Borrowing costs are set to move higher. The Fed is tightening for the first time in nearly a [...] Continue Reading...


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