Archive | Special Sectors ETFs

Are You Considering “Sell In May, Go Away?”

One of the signs that a stock market may be transitioning from a bull to a bear? Participants dismiss exorbitant valuations, cast aside disturbing shifts in technical trends, disregard economic stagnation and scoff at historical comparisons. For instance, it has been 352 days since the Dow Jones Industrials Average registered an all-time record high in [...] Continue Reading...


Why Should Stock Investors Pay 2016 Prices For 2012 Profits?

Since the S&P 500 logged an all-time record (2130.82) 11 months ago, there have been two violent price sell-offs of more than 10%. On both occasions, the popular index rallied back to recapture the 2100 mark. Yet the unknowable question still remains; that is, will the bull market demonstrate its durability by notching a new [...] Continue Reading...


Lack of Earnings Quality and Debt Downgrades Limit S&P 500’s Upside

Four in a row. That’s how many consecutive 3-point baskets Andre Iguodala scored against the Houston Rockets in last night’s playoff game. There has also been a “4 for 4″ in the financial markets. One after another, major banks have lowered their year-end targets for the S&P 500. Most recently, the global equity team at HSBC [...] 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...


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 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 – 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...


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...


Earnings Growth Based On Debt and Buybacks? Totally Unsustainable

My grandfather was never rich. He did have some money in the 1920s, but he lost most of it at the tail end of the decade. Some of it disappeared in the stock market crash in October of 1929. The rest of his deposits fell victim to the collapse of New York’s Bank of the [...] Continue Reading...


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