Archive | ETF Strategy

Greece, Puerto Rico, Or China? Debt-Fueled Excesses At The Heart Of Them All

Lately, I have been fielding a host of “which is worse” questions. Is it the possibility of Greece exiting the euro-zone or is it the potential for Puerto Rico to default on its debt? Is it the 25%-plus bearish retrenchment of China’s Shanghai SSE Composite or is it the likelihood of eventual rate hikes by [...] Continue Reading...


Weak Wages and Weaker Manufacturing, But How ‘Bout Those Rate Hike Expectations!

I started working at the age of 13. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to make money. Gardener, golf caddy, food deliverer, waiter, bartender, entrepreneur, researcher, analyst, writer, planner, adviser, money manager – I probably spent as much time cursing and complaining as I did whistling. Nevertheless, thirty five years of work contributed to [...] Continue Reading...


When Market Breadth Stinks, Cash Is The Mouthwash

Perma-bulls on the major networks routinely gloss over the reduction in stock market breadth. For example, 60% of the Dow 30 components currently sit below long-term moving averages. When companies like Coca-Cola, Wal-Mart, DuPont, Intel and Verizon are simultaneously suffering from rally fatigue, one might anticipate an eventual breakdown in the gravity-defying direction of popular [...] Continue Reading...


The Risk Of Owning Stock Assets and Holding Stock Assets Right Now

Hold-n-hope advocates believe that greater gains with stocks over investment grade bonds require nothing more than a commitment to accepting increased volatility. In other words, if you accept the occasional craziness of stock prices, then your rewards will be far more robust than lower yielding debt instruments. But is that even accurate? In the 15-year period [...] Continue Reading...


Revenue Growers In A Late-Stage Stock Bull

Some facts are more disconcerting than others. For instance, top-line sales at S&P 500 corporations will decline for the second consecutive quarter for the first time since 2009. Equally discouraging? Roughly 70% of these companies (77/106) have reported negative profit-per-share outlooks. Meanwhile, earnings-per-share (EPS) prospects are expected to fall across the entire S&P 500 space. It [...] Continue Reading...


Allocating Assets When the Fed Talks Out Of Both Sides Of Its Mouth

One year ago, each of the 17 members of the Federal Reserve provided an expectation of where the fed funds rate would be at the end of 2015. The average came in at 1.1%. That might have required four to five rate hikes this year alone. By March, the expected year-end rate dropped to 0.65%. [...] Continue Reading...


Sky High Valuations? Lusterless Economy? It Just Doesn’t Matter!

Several years ago, Rolling Stone ranked the 10 best movies by former cast members of Saturday Night Live. Bill Murray barely made the list with Rushmore – an offbeat comedy from the late 90s. I remember thinking that Murray had been cheated in the editorial; he should have received additional nods for Caddyshack, Stripes, Lost [...] Continue Reading...


Rate-Sensitive, Energy-Sensitive Sectors Now Down 10%-Plus

Bullish borrowers have increased their margin debt to invest in stocks from $445 billion in January to $507 billion today. And why not? The overall price movement for growth sectors of the stock market remains healthy. Flashy sub-segments like cyber-security and biotech continue to soar. For example, I allocated a small portion of moderately aggressive [...] Continue Reading...


‘Taper Tantrum’ Round 2? It’s More Serious For Stocks This Time Around

By definition, a recovery is the regaining of something lost. Homeowners have partially (and in some instances, entirely) recovered the equity in their property since the start of the Great Recession. Similarly, market-based securities investors have regained their capital and even accumulated additional paper wealth. The jobs recovery is a bit more challenging to quantify. For [...] Continue Reading...


Why Greece Still Matters To Financial Markets

In recent commentary, I suggested that the inability for Greece to repay its debts can still have an adverse impact on stocks. Not everyone agrees with my assessment. Most in the media maintain that the euro-zone has already inoculated itself from the threat of a “Grexit.” Similarly, anonymous comments underneath my previous article(s) jokingly refer [...] Continue Reading...


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