Archive | US Markets and ETFs

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...


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 – a 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...


Seven Year Bull Market? It May Only Be Six Years and 2 Months After All

What do these 10 companies – Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Sears, Target, Best Buy, Office Depot, K-Mart, J.C Penney, Gap – all have in common? Each one of them is closing down a slew of retail storefronts. The “talking heads” on CNBC want you to believe that brick-and-mortar woes are merely a reflection of the consumer’s preference [...] 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 – MSCI All-Country World Index, Nikkei 225, Stoxx Europe 600, Shanghai Composite, U.S. Russell 2000, U.S. Value Line Composite – the [...] Continue Reading...


5 Economic Charts Help Investors Understand Trump and Sanders

Investors should be capable of asking a very simple question: If the domestic economy is performing admirably, why are Americans fed up with established politicians on both sides of the aisle? On the Democrat side, a 74-year old white male who admires socialism has inspired more voters than the prospect of the first female president [...] 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...


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