Archive | Emerging Market ETFs

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 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...


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...


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...


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...


U.S. Stocks In 2016? Keep An Eye On The Global Economy

During the previous bull market (10/02-10/07), financial media fawned over the critical importance of diversifying one’s equity exposure across the globe. And why not? Performance for foreign exchange-traded trackers like iShares MSCI EAFE (EFA) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (EEM) far surpassed anything the S&P 500 could muster up; developed international markets doubled U.S. capital [...] 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...


Asset Class Update: Is Diversification Still A Free Lunch?

According to Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a frequent contributor to CNBC as well as Bloomberg, “the beauty of diversification is that it’s about as close as you can get to a free lunch in investing.” Since 2011, however, investors who diversified in stocks outside of the U.S. and who diversified across other asset [...] Continue Reading...


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