Archive | Europe ETFs

Zero Rate Hikes In 2016? It Still Won’t Be Enough To Help The Economy Or Stocks

According to the Goldman Sachs Current Activity Indicator (CAI), economic well-being peaked in November of 2014. The erosion from 4.1% down to 1.3% over the last 18 months demonstrates just how vulnerable the U.S. economy currently is. Not surprisingly, economic weakness has taken its toll on stock assets. The S&P 500 has not gained meaningful ground [...] Continue Reading...


Time In The Markets, Not ‘Timing’ The Markets? At Least Know The Facts

What do China, Japan, India, England, Germany… heck, most of the significant economies around the globe, share in common? Bear market declines in stock prices of 20% or more. Several ETFs demonstrate the breadth of the global depreciation in equities. For example, SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (FEZ) illustrates the doggedness of the downtrend in Europe. [...] Continue Reading...


Why Stocks Have Gone Nowhere For 18 Months (And Counting)

Some charts are more interesting than others. For example, Rob Isbitts at Sungarden Investment Research pointed out that the three-year return for the S&P 500 has dipped below 30%. Why might that matter? When the three-year return disappointed investors with single-digit annualized gains (< 10% per year) in 2001 and again in 2008, bearish stock sell-offs came [...] Continue Reading...


Treasury Bond Yield Curve Is Telling Stock Investors To ‘Wake Up’

How dependent is the U.S. economy on stimulus by the central bank of the United States? Take a look at what has happened in the bond market since the Federal Reserve began to reduce asset purchases as part of its quantitative easing program (“QE3″) in 2014. The spread between longer-term maturity treasuries and shorter-term maturity [...] Continue Reading...


Cash-To-Debt Ratio Demonstrates Why Riskier Assets Have Limited Upside Potential

Cash on corporate balance sheets grew at a 1% pace to $1.84 trillion in 2015. That’s a record level of dollars on the books. On the other hand, debt grew at a clip of nearly 14.8% to $6.6 trillion from $5.75 trillion. That’s a 15% surge in debt obligations. In fact, American companies have grown [...] Continue Reading...


When You Exit The Stock Market, Don’t Let The Door Hit You On Your Way Out

You cannot make this stuff up. The median stock in the S&P 500 has never been more overvalued on price-to-earnings growth (PEG) and price-to-sales (P/S). On a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) basis – where profitability expectations already reflect pie-in-the-sky speculation – the median company’s shares trade in the 96th percentile. That’s pretty darn pricey! Credit Goldman [...] Continue Reading...


Do You Have Rally Envy Or Bear Market Anxiety?

For those who have paid attention, the last actual bond purchase by the Federal Reserve occurred on December 18, 2014. Why does the date matter? For one thing, research demonstrated that the expansion and manipulation of the Fed’s balance sheet (i.e., QE1, QE2, Operation Twist, QE3) corresponded to 93% of the current bull market’s gains. [...] Continue Reading...


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...


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...


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