Archive | Global 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...


What Negative Interest Rates Tell You About The Risk-Reward Backdrop

When a country’s central bank reduces its interests rates below zero (i.e., “goes negative”), the action should boost the relative appeal of stock assets. That is the theory. Unfortunately, recent policy initiatives by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Japan (BOJ) have failed to inspire their respective stock markets. The ECB first [...] Continue Reading...


Do Historical Comparisons Matter? Strong Similarities Between 1937 And 2015

The case for the continuation of the U.S. bull market heavily rests on the shoulders of steady economic growth and low interest rates (on an absolute basis). Many believe that, as long as these circumstances exist, stocks will provide venerable results. However, market participants might want to consider a similar period in history – a [...] 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...


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...


Why The U.S. Stock Market Never Completely Recovered

Some things go unnoticed. For example, the S&P 500 rallied 13% off its closing lows (1867) set in late August. Lost in the shuffle? The popular benchmark has yet to revisit its closing highs (2130) registered back in May. In essence, the corrective activity that began in the springtime as a function of a faltering [...] Continue Reading...


Can Service-Oriented Sectors Manufacture A Healthy Bull In Stocks?

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported that its services index climbed to 59.1 for October. Any reading above 50 represents economic expansion. Meanwhile, the ISM’s manufacturing index limped to the barn with 50.1. Not only is the percentage teetering on the brink of contraction, but the nine point disparity represents the widest divergence between [...] Continue Reading...


13 Economic Charts That Wall Street Doesn’t Want You To See

About a week ago, I spent an afternoon playing basketball and drinking beer with a best friend from my high school days. It was the second get-together in five months. How is that unusual? Prior to the first go-around this past May, I had not seen Anthony in more than 30 years. I asked Anthony [...] Continue Reading...


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