Archive | Large Cap ETFs

No Bull. Economic Weakness Continues To Pressure Corporate Profitability

Is the U.S. economy really in great shape? The U.S. Federal Reserve does not seem to think so. They started the year with an intention of raising the overnight lending rate four times – from 0.25% to 1.25%. In March, they announced that it would more likely be a mere two. And today, the Atlanta [...] Continue Reading...


No Sales, No Profits, No Bull: What Happens When Valuations And Central Banks Collide

Total business sales Рsales by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers Рhave 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...


Risk On Or Risk Off? Big Picture Suggests The Latter

One way to gauge the well-being of stock assets is to examine all of the 1900-plus stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange. We can do this by evaluating the progress of the NYSE Composite Index. The first item worth noting is that stock assets have struggled to make any progress since late October of 2013 [...] Continue Reading...


Are U.S. Stocks Really The Only Game In Town?

The S&P 500 notched an all-time record high of 2130 on May 21, 2015. That was 10 months ago. Since that date, the popular gauge has suffered two faith-rattling corrections Рa 12% decline in August of 2015 and a 14% pullback in February of 2016. Granted, U.S. stocks rallied back to respectable levels after each [...] Continue Reading...


The Federal Reserve’s Path: Four Hikes, Two Hikes, Zero Hikes, QE4

Three months ago, the Federal Reserve anticipated raising overnight lending rates four times in 2016. Now they are projecting just two hikes. At this rate, by the time June rolls around, Janet Yellen’s Fed will declare zero changes to interest rate policy for the entire calendar year. And in the fall? If there’s enough financial [...] Continue Reading...


A Slowdown In Stock Buybacks? Don’t Expect Institutional Buyers To Pick Up The Slack

According to FactSet, S&P 500 earnings will¬†drop¬†roughly 8.3% in the first quarter. That’ll mark the fourth consecutive quarter of declines in corporate profits-per-share. Why might that matter?¬†There are only two occasions over the previous two decades where¬†earnings contractions lasted longer. In both instances, the U.S. economy experienced a recession; in both instances, the S&P 500 [...] Continue Reading...


Low Interest Rates Alone Cannot Prevent A Bear Market In Stocks

The most common definition of a bear market in stocks? A major index needs to fall 20% from a high-water mark. And while that is precisely what has happened for most gauges of stock health РMSCI All-Country World Index, Nikkei 225, Stoxx Europe 600, Shanghai Composite, U.S. Russell 2000, U.S. Value Line Composite Рthe [...] Continue Reading...


Underweight or Overweight: What’s Your Allocation to U.S. Stocks?

Some are interpreting the 9% bounce off of the 1812 lows for the S&P 500 as a sign that all is right with stocks once again. Indeed, many may view the S&P 500 trading at 1978 on the first day of March as a pretty good deal relative to where the benchmark began the year [...] Continue Reading...


Are Stocks Cheap Now? Get GAAP If You Want To Get Real

The times they are a changin’. In the ’80s as well as the ’90s, corporations reported quarterly results that corresponded to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). These days, the vast majority of companies report “pro-forma” earnings that adjust for unusual, special or one-time circumstances. Take a look at the dramatic rise in the percentage of [...] Continue Reading...


Financial Stress Index Is Screaming, “Bear Market Rally”

What if investors had a way to determine the extent of “stress” in the financial system? And what if those stress levels could tell investors whether or not riskier assets (e.g., stocks, higher-yielding debt, etc.)¬†can succeed without definitive U.S. Federal Reserve intervention? Consider the Cleveland Financial Stress Index (CFSI). The CFSI monitors the well-being of [...] Continue Reading...


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